Leipzig doesn’t seem like a top tourists destination, but you will be surprised to find out, what great attractions you can visit there (my favorite is number 7).
So, let’s start!
Some words about Leipzig. It is a city in Eastern Germany of 600 thousand people, largest city in the federal state of Saxony, 200 km away from Berlin. As you know, Eastern Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union until 1989, so it was less developed in different aspects. Today, Leipzig is changing a lot, its economy is improving, more and more people move to this city. It was also recognized as the most livable city in Germany by the GfK research institution.
It is a very quiet city pleasant to live in, while it also has its own hipster and clubbing areas that will be mentioned further, so you won’t get bored here. Here is the list of the top 10 attractions you should visit in Leipzig.
Old City Hall
Old city hall (in German, Altes Rathaus) is one of the characteristic buildings in the city center. It is called an ‘old’ city hall not only because it was here before the new one, but it was built in 1556, almost 500 years ago! It saw the royal celebrations of the times, when Germany was separated into small states within the Holy Roman Empire. Today, you can learn the over 1000-year-old history of the city in the Leipzig history museum inside of it.
Address: Markt 1
One of the most popular things to do in Leipzig is visiting the Panometer with huge 360-degree panoramas of different places like the bottom of the ocean, where the remains of Titanic are laying, or the city panorama from 17th century. The ticket price of 11,5 euros is definitely worth it.
Address: Gasanstaltstraße 8b
Grassi museum is often regarded as the main and the most interesting museum in the city. It has 3 different departments: applied arts, ethnology, and the museum of musical instruments. Just a nice place to visit if you like museums.
Address: Johannisplatz 5-11
St. Nicolas Church
In my opinion (and many people will agree with me), St. Nicolas Church (in German, Nikolaikirche) is the most beautiful church in Leipzig. Its construction started in 1165. As many other European churches, this one consists of parts made in different architectural styles characteristic for the centuries of their construction: 12th — Romanesque, 16th — Gothic, 18th – Baroque (I’m not such a nerd, I looked it up on Wikipedia).
Address: Nikolaikirchhof 3
There is a couple of lakes near Leipzig that the locals love to visit. Perhaps, the most popular one is Cospudener See with its long beach lines and the famous sauna, which is located directly at the lake.
A very unusual building in the center of Leipzig that you will definitely notice, and most probably, would want to take a picture of, is the Augusteum. It is one of the buildings of the University of Leipzig, one of the best German universities together with the Pauliner church. The building was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, so the Eastern Germany government decided to repair it trying to combine the glass with the old stone architecture of the church.
Monument to the Battle of the Nations
The most impressive building that I have ever seen. I hadn’t known about its existence until the local Leipziger told me about it. The first impression is that it looks like a pyramid of the Mayas in Mexico. The memorial was built to honor the victims of the Battle of Leipzig that happened in 1813. About 600000 soldiers were involved in that battle between Prussia, Russia, Sweden and Austria from one side, and French army led by Napoleon from the other, making it the largest battle before the First World War.
Interesting fact is that it was in 50% funded by the German lottery. Take 500 steps to the top of the monument and enjoy the view of the city in front of you!
Address: Str. des 18. Oktober 100
Probably, the best place to relax after a difficult day close to the city center is the Clara-Zetkin Park. This city park gathers many people by organizing events and festivals on the river on Sachsenbrücke, which is silently regarded as the center of all happenings. Having been there on a random day, not in a popular season to visit Leipzig, I saw a regatta of locals on the self-made or self-modified boats with many food stalls and people standing on the bridge.
This small street not far from the park mentioned above is another popular meeting place to grab a beer, listen to live performances, and even play ping-pong on the middle of the street. Some people living on that street just go to their balconies and enjoy this great atmosphere.
Picture from Leipzig.travel
Karl-Liebknecht Street, or KaLi, how the locals call it, and some nearby streets is a big hipster area (like the whole Leipzig) on the south of the city with lots of street art, unusual bars, and restaurants of all possible cuisines. I really recommend visiting it to get a fuller picture of the city.
It was my overview of the top 10 cool attractions you should visit in Leipzig to feel like a local. I really liked the city, and hopefully, you will do too. Read also about the top 10 unusual things to do in the nearby Berlin. Have a great trip!
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