Leipzig…a surprise in colour and variety

Photo: © LTM/PUNCTUM

Whether it’s a shopping spree in the midst of the most beautiful city architecture – flanked by historic areas, a visit to renowned cultural sites and trendy party locations or a relaxing trip to the countryside, Leipzig will leave nothing to be desired.

One who strolls the heart of Leipzig often returns with large, colourful shopping bags. Before you know it, you will be mesmerised by the thrilling flair of the city: in passing, admire magnificent townhouses, browse numerous shops, and relax with a coffee in between. Shopping in Leipzig means short distances. The pedestrianised city centre features over 700 shops – small exclusive addresses have their place alongside major department stores and shopping centres such as the Höfe am Brühl shopping centre and the Promenaden Hauptbahnhof.

A special highlight are the picturesque passages – originating from the time of the first trade fairs in about 1900 – that still dominate the cityscape and give a shopping trip, to a certain extent, a feeling of time travel.  In the winter months they are especially popular with locals and guests. Here the shops are covered, so you can stay relaxed and keep your feet dry, even in inclement autumn weather.

During the Advent season, one of your travel souvenirs ought to be from a visit to the traditional Leipzig Christmas market (November 22 to December 23). In addition to “Glühwein” (mulled wine) and roasted almonds, the incredible variety of Saxon craftsmanship offered in more than 250 stalls yearly attracts about two million visitors. For something a bit different, check out “Werk II” Christmas Market at Connewitzer Kreuz (December 9 to 18). If you enjoy the studios of regional designers, second-hand stores, street and flea markets and other trendy shops, be sure to devote some time to a detour within the “Südvorstadt”- as well as in the Plagwitz and Schleußig quarters of the city.

Enjoy Culture and Gastronomy

Buying and selling have shaped the history of Leipzig as a city of trade. But there are many other facets to the more than 1,000-year history of this city 200 kilometres south of Berlin: The Old Town Hall on the market is one of the few remaining and very valuable buildings of the Renaissance. From the St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche) came the great compositions of the legendary son of the city, Johann Sebastian Bach. In the St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche), the spark of the Peaceful Revolution was kindled. October 9, 1989 is honoured every year with the Leipzig Festival of Lights in homage to more than 70,000 people who took to the streets of Leipzig to demonstrate for freedom and democracy, thereby laying the foundation for the fall of the Berlin Wall and for the German reunification.

Shopping trips and sightseeing have not left your experience close to being finished. More than a dozen of the 50 Leipzig museums and local art and historical galleries are available to explore in the city centre.

Cultural enjoyment is complimented by the culinary arts.  Leipzig has an exquisite gastronomic offering that serves all tastes, ranging from snacks to star cuisine. Quaint pubs, for example on the pub street Karl Liebknecht Street (short: Karli) or directly within the city in Barfußgäßchen, invite you to relive your day in friendly company. In trendy clubs like “Moritzbastei”, the “Distillery” in “Elsterartig” or “Flower Power”, you can dance and celebrate from sundown to sun-up.

Photo: © Jens Gerber

Recreation in the Parks

One who loves peace and tranquillity should definitely go beyond the boundaries of the “Stadtring” (city ring road). Here Leipzig’s short roads turn green and run in all directions through large parks and alluvial landscapes leading to numerous lakes.

The Leipzig Zoo also offers relaxing walks in idyllic nature. Here you can discover about 850 species of animals within six different themed worlds. Thanks to its vision of the future that focuses on sustainability and protection of species, the zoo is one of the most modern in the world. A visit to the giant tropical hall ‘Gondwanaland’ is highly recommended. Around 24,000 plants, from marsh plants to giant trees, thrive in about 16,000 square metres of space. They offer an impressive habitat for more than a hundred species of animals from Africa, South America and Asia, including squirrel monkeys, ocelots, iguanas, sloths, tapirs and Komodo dragons. Another highlight: the elephant bath, daily at 10.15am and at 3.00pm. A magnificent spectacle – not just for kids.

Last, but not least, Leipzig travellers should definitely plan a trip to the Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal), in the southeast of the city. At 91 metres tall, it is one of the largest monuments of Europe and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Leipzig. It was built in memory of the Battle of Leipzig and was inaugurated on October 18, 1913. Close-by, the Panometer invites you to a journey to the other side of the globe. Until January 15, 2017, the artist, Yadegar Asisi, features his latest work at this spot: a 360° panorama of the Australian Great Barrier Reef that is more than 30 metres high and more than 100 metres wide.

Travel tip

In less than two hours you can be in Leipzig. Ryanair offers direct flights from London Stansted to Leipzig / Halle. Various travel deals for individuals and groups can be found online.
www.leipzig.travel
www.leipzig.region.travel

About the Author