Leipzig, that’s been nicknamed the “New Berlin” because of its youthful vitality, is the hippest city in Saxony. Mobile artists seeking reasonable rent, roomy studios, and a mood reminiscent of the fast-gentrifying German metropolis will find it to be a paradise here.
Things to do Leipzig
The city has a long history and was instrumental in the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Due to the city’s spectacular examples of modern architecture, variety of music-related attractions, & a number of museums and art galleries, a trip to Leipzig can easily become crammed with attractions.
1. Things to do Leipzig- Discover Augustusplatz
Augustusplatz, which is located in Leipzig’s easternmost section, is the biggest square in all of Europe. Cathedrals and numerous historical sites are accessible in this square. This square also holds seasonal markets, concerts, and festivals during the year.
The Augustusplatz is where the city’s high-rise structure is situated. One of Leipzig’s tallest structures is the Kroch-Hochhaus, a municipal high-rise that is 467 feet tall. There is an observation deck on the roof of this spectacular structure from which you can take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Leipzig.
If you enjoy classical music, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Opera & Gewandhaus Concert Hall while you’re at Augustusplatz. You can find entertainment and a peaceful classical performance at these locations. The Neues Theater, Museum of Fine Arts, Europahaus, & Mendebrunnen are a few further noteworthy and must-see structures in Augustusplatz.
2. Take in the Sweet Presentations of the Thomaskirche Choir
This Gothic & Baroque church has been around since the 12th century. Your list of must-do activities in Leipzig should start with visiting Thomaskirche. Having been extensively destroyed during World War II, it underwent painstaking reconstruction before being officially reopened to the public in 2000.
Johann Sebastian Bach served as the cantor at this 13th-century church from 1723 to 1750. Since 1950, St. Thomas Church has served as his final resting place. One of the main draws for tourists at St. Thomas Church is the statue of Johann Sebastian Bach.
You are welcome to drop by to hear the St. Thomas Church boys choir sing a motet on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. It will only cost you about €2, and it ranks among the most distinguished choirs in the world.
Take a tour of the church’s Baroque tower (1702) after the Sunday concert. Richard Wagner was also baptised in this church, which is another intriguing detail about it. In 1789, the renowned Mozart performed on the organ here.
3. Things to do Leipzig- Look around the Bach Museum
One of the most fascinating exhibits in the Bach museum is the treasure room. They display the glass cases that Bach kept in this chamber.
The documents are displayed rotating due to their extreme sensitivity and fragility. In other words, they are on exhibit for a short period before going back into hiding. You could be fortunate enough to discover them on exhibit.
There are other musical instruments that Bach used in the Bach museum, such as an organ console, a violone of his orchestra, and a viola d’amore that his close friend Johann Christian Hoffmann made for him.
An exhibit of Bach’s family tree is also there. You can follow his ancestors here to learn about the musicians in the family, including organists, court musicians, instrument builders, and even cantors.
The next stop on this list of things to do in Leipzig is across the street at the Bach Museum while you are admiring the beauties at Thomaskirche. As you might have guessed, Johann Sebastian Bach, arguably Leipzig’s most renowned citizen, and his life and work are central to the story.
His vintage instruments, learning about his family genealogy (many of them were musicians), and listening to his songs are just a few of the interactive features. The “Treasure Room,” where handwritten, original Bach manuscripts are kept in glass cases, is this attraction’s main draw.
4. Things to do Leipzig- Visit the Leipzig Zoo in the afternoon
One of the first zoos in Germany was opened in Leipzig in 1878. More than 5,000 animals from Asia, Africa, & South America reside in the zoo, which covers an area of roughly 27 hectares. The rarest animal species, including tapirs, eastern quolls, Chinese pangolins, Baikal seals, and Siberian tigers, are kept in natural habitats.
Six themed exhibits, an aquarium, as well as an ape enclosure, can be found at the Leipzig Zoo. The Gondwanaland biome & Pongoland have become pioneering new habitat ideas at the Leipzig Zoological Garden. Orangutans, bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas are all housed at the Pongoland indoor project.
Here, you can take in commentary and see the animals being fed in a few chosen enclosures. Entry to the Leipzig Zoo costs about €21 for adults & €13 for children aged 6 to 16. If you’re lucky, you might get discounted prices, as if you go to the zoo three hours before it closes.
More about the Leipzig Zoo
There is a sizable and impressive zoo in Leipzig. This should be at the top of your list of things to do close to Leipzig if your children or you enjoy visiting zoos.
It features thematic sections including Pongoland, Africa, and Asia. The Gondwanaland biome is extremely awesome. This enormous interior space has been designed to resemble the tropics, with humidity and a temperature set at 25°C.
Several tropical plants & animals can live and flourish as a result. You can travel through the rainforest on a route, through the treetops on suspension bridges, or on a boat. Although we must say that we didn’t see many animals, it’s still extremely impressive. Even if you don’t speak the language, the boat is worth the modest additional cost.
5. Things to do Leipzig- Take a Taste of Allerlei, Leipzig’s Signature Food
In this recipe, morel mushrooms, carrots, peas, and asparagus are either steamed or sautéed. It is typically served with bread dumplings and crayfish. Moreover, it is thought that this meal was invented in Leipzig in the 19th century as a trick against roving tax collectors and troops.
This regional dish is currently only made using traditional techniques in a small number of Leipzig eateries. But at Auerbachs Keller, you can be sure to obtain a genuine one. One of the best & second-oldest restaurants in Leipzig, Auerbachs Keller was founded in 1525 and offers a comprehensive selection of genuine Saxon foods and beverages.
Martin Luther, Queen Elizabeth II, and even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the wine bar and extensive wine vaults located downstairs. Since this wine bar has been there since 1438, it is the coolest place to have a drink and take in Leipzig’s rich history.
6. Things to do Leipzig- See the Market’s Always-Fresh Produce
Markt is a historic centre featuring a rectangular plaza and lots of stores and eateries. The Christmas market typically takes place here in the winter. Hence, if you find yourself in Leipzig around Christmas, In addition to a weekly produce market throughout the year, the market square hosts an Easter market. In modern times, there are also sporadic weekend markets and concerts.
The largest gothic festival in the world, Wave-Gothic Treffen, for instance, features medieval-themed booths as well as sideshows like jousting in the market square. Markt’s architecture combines both traditional and contemporary styles.
The Markt is located close to the Old Townhall arcades to the east. The recently renovated Alte Waag structure, which for many years served as Leipzig’s main trade fair hub & housed the city scales, lies on the building’s northern side.
The new renovations and structures that resemble the outlines of traditional Leipzig structures are on the southern side.
7. Things to do Leipzig- Check out the Grassi Museum
The Grassi Museum, often known as “Museums in the Grassi,” is one of Leipzig’s most remarkable tourist attractions. It is home to the Musical Instruments Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Applied Arts Museum, among other museums.
Franz Dominic Grassi, the Italian businessman who resided in Leipzig, is the name of the museum. At his death, Franz left the city of Leipzig more than 2 million marks, which went towards the construction of the “Old Grassi Museum,” Mende Fountain, & Gewandhaus.
The then-director began the construction of the “New Grassi Museum” between 1925 and 1929 as the “Old Grassi Museum” became too small for the expanding quantity of collections. The musical instruments museum contains lovely objects from the 15th and 20th centuries.
Three excellent museums are part of the university-run collection called Museen Im Grassi. It is located to the east of the Old Town, less than a 15-minute walk between Augustusplatz and the Marktplatz.
The Museum für Musikinstrumente, the Museum for Völkerkunde, and the Museum for Contemporary Art are all located there (Museum of Applied Arts). Everyone has a different entry cost.
The Museum of Applied Arts features ceramics, furniture, & glassware from the 1920s and 1930s to the present day, which will appeal to fans of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Items from the 16th to the 20th centuries can be seen at the Museum for Musical Instruments. A fun, interactive audio laboratory is also available.
There is a sizable collection of items from all around the world at the Museum of Ethnography.
8. Things to do Leipzig- Take a look at Leipzig Hauptbahnhof
The Leipzig Hauptbahnhof is also a museum. On track 24, there are five antique locomotives. The station’s concourse was transformed into a three-story shopping centre featuring high-end stores and boutiques about 20 years ago.
9. Things to do Leipzig- Admire the Panometer’s Leipzig Panorama
A visit to the Panometer is a must-do activity while in Leipzig. It is recommended to observe the current exhibit in this unusual museum.
One of the things to do in Leipzig should be to visit Mendelssohn-Haus. The Haus is the sole surviving private dwelling from the 19th century in the city, which explains why. Felix Mendelssohn, a composer, lived there with his family from 1845 until he died in 1847 while still a resident.
For Mendelssohn’s 150th birthday, in 1997, the flat was transformed into a museum to showcase his life and creative output. The museum displays some of his handwritten correspondence, authentic furniture, and genuine watercolours.
A new, interactive display was added to the museum in 2014. Visitors to the exhibition can experience what it’s like to lead an orchestra.
10. Things to do Leipzig- Museum of Imaginative Arts
One of the museum’s strengths, which includes artwork from the Middle Ages to the Present, is its collection of pieces by German Renaissance masters including Lucas Cranach the Elder & Frans Hals.
Almost 40 works of 19th-century French art were also donated to the museum in 2004 with the opening of the new structure, ranging from works by Delacroix & Camille Corot through Impressionists like Monet.
11. Things to do Leipzig- Time Historical Forum
From 1949 until reunification, East Germany is the sole focus of this museum. The ongoing display chronicles every facet of life inside the GDR under the oppressive rule of the SED (Socialist Unity Party).
The exhibition devotes a significant portion of its space to the civil bravery and resistance that preceded the Monday Demonstrations as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall. Moreover, there are educational exhibits devoted to post-unification life in former East Germany.
12. Things to do Leipzig- Markt
There’s a good probability that something will be occurring on the market whenever you visit Leipzig.
Other than the Wave-Gothic-Treffen, which is the largest gothic festival in the world, there are monthly food markets, an Easter market, and side events like jousting in the plaza. The Old Town Hall as well as the 16th-century Alte Waag structure once held the city scales and served as the centre of Leipzig’s trade fairs for centuries.
13. Things to do Leipzig- Ancient Town Hall
Leipzig’s Old Town Hall is a magnificent architectural monument as well as a museum that chronicles the town’s history from the Middle Ages to the present. The structure is regarded as one of Germany’s most exquisite Renaissance structures, and it is ideally situated to people-watch due to its frontage on the expansive market square.
The building is home to the Museum for City History Leipzig, which welcomes guests to take in a permanent display that takes them through Leipzig’s eventful past. It’s a thorough insight into the city’s past, with historical prison cells inside the basement and historic chambers on the main floor.
14. Things to do Leipzig- Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts
Leipzig’s Museum of Fine Arts displays the best in artistic creation. This modernist glass cube structure, which is conveniently located, has a remarkable collection of top-notch paintings from the 15th century to the present day, including pieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Munch, and Monet.
The museum also dedicates spaces to highlight local artists, having pieces by Max Klinger and Neo Rauch on exhibit. The juxtaposition of exhibits includes anything from paintings and religious art to sculpture and installation. Set up a few hours to enjoy the museum to the fullest because the collective is large and is best visited at a leisurely pace.
15. Things to do Leipzig- Distillery
One of the first techno clubs in what was then East Germany was called Distillery. While it’s been open for business for more than 20 years, this club has attracted a laid-back, music-focused clientele.
The distillery is one of Germany’s top techno clubs, including reasonably priced beverages and occasional DJ superstars like Ellen Allien & Carl Craig.
16. Things to do Leipzig- The Round Corner Museum
The Leipzig Stasi Museum, also known as Museum in der “Runden Ecke,” explores GDR history. This unsettling archive-based exhibition investigates what life was like under the Iron Curtain and is located in the old East German police headquarters, popularly known as the Stasi.
To fully comprehend and appreciate the huge collection of Stasi propaganda, crafty surveillance technology, and other devices that investigate the GDR’s harsh regime, English guides are both available and essential.
17. Nations Monument
An important fight that saw the defeat of Napoleon’s army by Prussian, Austrian, and Russian soldiers took place in Leipzig in 1813. The Monument towards the Battle of Nations was erected in recognition of this brutal conflict centuries later. The sombre temple, which stands 91 metres tall and has a distinctly Gothic appearance, offers magnificent views of the city from its summit and is well worth the climb up.
18. Horizon Tower
For expansive and stunning city views, head to Panorama Tower also called as City-Hochhaus. At a modest cost, visitors can take the elevator to the 29th level to see Leipzig’s skyline or eat in the upscale, contemporary restaurant. Visitors can stay at the modernist City-Hochhaus building.
Some of Leipzig’s most remarkable architectural landmarks, including structures from many eras, can be found on Augustusplatz. The square was initially constructed in 1785, but World War II severely damaged its original aesthetic.
It is now surrounded by some of the most recognisable structures in the city, such as Leipzig’s first high-rise structure, Kroch-Haus, the Opera House, and Gewandhaus, the sole new concert venue constructed under the GDR.
The largest square in Leipzig, Augustusplatz, is a terrific place to start your list of fun things to do in Leipzig if you want to take in architecture.
Although the square itself is not particularly noteworthy, it regularly hosts fairs and events. The opera house, Gewandhaus (concert hall), City-Hochhause (going up next), and Leipzig’s tallest structure are all located there. It is undoubtedly worthwhile to pass through here while exploring Leipzig.
20. Mädler Passage
One of the few entirely intact shopping malls in Germany is Mädler Passage. Mädler Passage, which is steeped in history, combines the magnificence of the historic architecture and the modernism required for a practical commercial mall.
In Leipzig, the Panometer gallery presents the union of a massive 360-degree painting with a gigantic gasometer. Yagergar Asisi, a Berlin-based artist who employs paper, pencil, & computers to create breathtaking images inspired by nature or history, came up with the original idea. Each of the shown pieces is approximately 100 metres long and 30 metres tall.
22. Island Conne
In Connewitz, Leipzig’s epicentre for alternative lifestyles, there is a self-governing cultural centre called Conne Island. It features a variety of concerts, including indie, pop, hardcore, and metal performances. Also, it hosts some of the city’s most intriguing house, techno, & drum and bass events. On-site amenities include a skate park as well as a picnic area.
23. Museum in the Roundabout
This is where the Stasi headquarters were located in Leipzig; it is sometimes referred to as the Stasi Museum. You can visit there today to discover more about how the Stasi surveilled, arrested, and recruited people.
The majority of the museum’s interior, which is on the first level, has been preserved as it was in 1989. You can observe their procedures, their detention cells (such as the ones pictured above), and a great deal more. There is a lot packed into the little museum.
There are several displays, including intercepted mail, uniforms, listening posts, covert cameras, and more, as well as material that will explain how it operated and the strategies it employed.
Some of the actions they took to keep an eye on people are mind-blowing. As the information is in German, pick up an English audio guide to make the most of your trip. There is a modest fee for the audio guide.
On Augustusplatz, City-Hochaus, Leipzig’s highest structure at 142 metres, is situated. Visitors will find it more intriguing because it features a viewing platform just on the 31st floor with fantastic views over Leipzig. You may even see further than Leipzig on a clear day.
The Panoramic Tower Plate of Art restaurant is also available for an even better experience. Also, you can sip on alcohol while admiring the scenery.
Here you may find out more about the restaurant and the most recent viewing platform opening hours. The observation platform has an entry fee.
25. Christmas Market in Leipzig
The Leipzig Christmas Market is a sizable standout attraction when it comes to things to do in Leipzig in December. This market, which is situated in & around Marktplatz, dates back to 1458 and lasts for roughly a month before Christmas.
With more than 250 stalls, it’s one of the biggest Christmas markets in Germany. Local cuisine, handmade crafts, and other items are available. Every night on the Old Town Hall balcony, trombonists perform by tradition.
Christmas markets are also available in Augustusplatz, in the back of the Old Town, and by Nikolaikirche. An excellent spot to visit Christmas markets in Leipzig.
26. Opera Ludwig (Leipzig Opera)
Even though you don’t have to wait for winter to go to the opera house & see a performance, now may be a good time to schedule it. It’s a great indoor choice or if you’re seeking nighttime activities in Leipzig. After all, Leipzig has a rich and illustrious musical heritage.
You may watch the opera, the ballet, a musical, and more at Oper Leipzig. Try to attend a performance by the Gewandhaus Orchestra; they are highly respected.
Best Accommodations In Leipzig
There are many hotels and other lodging alternatives in Leipzig, making it easy to choose a place to stay. Depending on the type of lodging you’re looking for, we’ve included a few potential locations below for you to take into account.
1. Grand Hotel Steigenberger Handelshof
At an outstanding location, this opulent hotel is only a short distance from Markt Square and the Old Town Hall. The ideal lodging option in Leipzig is there. You’re surrounded by history because you’re in a former exhibition building.
The majority of the 5-star rooms and suites offer sitting areas in addition to flat-screen TVs featuring satellite channels, tea & fee-making amenities, toiletries, and bathrobes. Superior doubles through presidential suites are among the well-appointed accommodations available.
2. Leipzig Adina Apartment Hotel
This is the finest choice for you if you’d prefer apartment-style lodging in Leipzig’s Old Town! From here, it’s simple to explore Leipzig because the major railway station is only a short stroll away and the Fine Arts Museum is very nearby.
With its two yearly markets at Easter & Michaelmas made imperial fairs, Leipzig prospered. Leipzig was granted economic benefits that aided in its continued growth, such as the ban on local markets in cities within 15 kilometres. There are many things to do Leipzig like visiting the city hall, Nicholas church, the University of Leipzig Germany, the City centre, the Coffee house culture Museum etc.
By the year 1700, Leipzig had developed into a significant commercial hub with an extensive road system. While Leipzig’s geographic location had been crucial to its development, it also had drawbacks, since various battles.
Leipzig’s economic expansion coincided with cultural expansion; the city is particularly well-known for its design industry and musical heritage, owed in large part to Johann Sebastian Bach.