Things To Do In Leipzig
Leipzig is a city with great creative potential and produced the best artists and musicians in the early times. It is recognized as “The City of Music” in the Saxony region and it is here where the famous classical music virtuosos like; Mendelssohn, Wagner, and Bach spent the rest of their lives sharing their love and passion for their chosen craft. Even during the modern times, there are lots of creative young people here who are getting unbelievably diverse things and exhibits about music and art up and running. It is precisely for this reason why numerous art galleries and museums continue to flourish and highlight the creative geniuses produced on this side of Germany.
Only about 25-30 minutes away and accessible via bike path from the center of Leipzig is the Cospudener See, also called as the Cossi. It is equipped with sandy beaches, volleyball, nets and beach bars that give the feeling of being on a Mediterranean holiday in the middle of Saxony. The artificial lake is also easily accessible by car, preceded by very beautiful tree-lined avenue and surrounded by sand, restaurant, parking and a huge space for recreational activities like canoeing, sailing, surfing, skating and cycling. It can also be a very romantic place to enjoy the sunset view on the lake.
When To Go:
Travelers will be delighted to realize that, in correlation with the numerous holiday and sightseeing destinations around Germany, Leipzig has a generally agreeable atmosphere and anytime of the year makes it an ideal place to visit. In fact, even during the winter season (December to February) rarely reaches below freezing point and exploring the parks and outdoor areas are still pretty much tolerable despite the cold atmosphere all around.
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The normal temperature amid the summer season (July and August) is only about 18° C, making this a phenomenal getaway spot for those who love the lakes and going around the historic landmarks of the city. It is also during the summer time when the famous Street Music Festival is held and gathers more than a million visitors and music lovers from all around the world.
Leipzig is a spot which is known for its passion for classical and contemporary music. Therefore, a large portion of the occasions which happen in the region all year round are mostly identified with music. Another music festival that is highly attended is the Leipziger Jazz Days Festival. It is a week long festivity that is usually held in October where there are jazz music celebrations and performances in every events place and busy corners of the city.
These are the main attractions and things to do in the city of Leipzig:
St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche)
The history of the building is impressive and connected forever with the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. In this church, Johann Sebastian Bach spent 27 years of his life, played the organ and composed many classical pieces. The St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche) has beautiful stained glass windows and two organs both of which were played by Bach. You'll also find in this church the tomb of Johann Sebastian Bach. Be sure to have a ticket for the explanation of the story about the huge organ in this church (established since the 12th century).
Once a day, there is a demonstration done by the official organist of the church. The Lutheran church is located in the heart of the city. It is simple, but the ambience becomes exciting once the Holy Mass begins and the school choir performs. In the museum, you can find letters and musical instruments at the time of Bach and when he served as the musical director of the school. Because of his remarkable achievements, myriad of musical works, and legacy; the church became a living atmosphere of his immortality. Today, people come here from around the world to attend the church service, listen to the chants of the choirboys, see the Gewandhaus Orchestra, or attend the concert of organ music.
St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche)
Established since 1165, it is one of the most prominent churches in Leipzig and became famous in the late 80s due to the movement of protest against the ruling power. It is right in the heart of Leipzig near the railway station in the square where local events are often held. The St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) delights guests with its surprising interior decoration. The columns are made in the form of palm trees, and everything inside is decorated with pictures of tropical fruits. It turns out bright and beautiful and always worth a visit, especially that attendance is free.
However, do refrain from taking pictures because it is not allowed. In addition to the beautiful interior decoration, it is notable for the fact that every Saturday at 17:00 PM there is a concert of organ music that lasts up to 45 minutes and costs only 3 Euros. If you take the tour, it is possible to climb to the balconies of the second and third floor. The unusual acoustics of the hall gives the unique sound when there is a choral group singing.
The Bach Museum is a must for fans of this genius of classical music because it was here where he began the main phase of his artistic life by; composing, singing and teaching at the school in front of the museum. It is a biographical museum that is both explanatory and interactive. The museum is not limited to present Bach's career, but also shows the operation of some musical instruments that he used. It's not very big, but enough to present the work and the artist's life. It has interactive parts where you can listen to part of the work.
It's a sensational place for those who like music and history. The presentation is done in chronological order and didactic. It is a compulsory stop for those who love art, history, and music. The building has an amazing collection of personal items and various instruments he invented for his orchestra. The museum is located in the central area, easy to access, and you can do everything on foot. The museum is well structured and with the audio guide, you can follow the explanation of the exhibited items. It is a very interactive museum and also has a room where you can listen to Bach's work. Do not miss this attraction when in Leipzig.
Gewandhaus zu Leipzig
The Gewandhaus zu Leipzig is an interesting monument in the city center, just opposite the Opera and Leipzig University (a peculiar looking building). It is a concert hall with excellent symphonic or instrumental solo programming (mostly organ) shows. It is where the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra presents a rich program of symphonic works, including musical compositions created by Gustav Mahler.
It is a mandatory attraction, especially if you're an orchestra musician. Gewandhaus has one of the best orchestras in the world, and hearing them play defines the purpose of why you're in Leipzig. The building is very beautiful, with interesting architecture and several works of art on display, but not makes much sense to visit if you do not attend a concert. Tickets are sold on their official website, and it is recommended that you buy or reserve online because the best shows sell out months in advance.
Old City Hall
The building of the Old City Hall is located in the historic part of Leipzig, on the Market Square. It was erected in the mid-16th century, on the initiative of the mayor and with the participation of the best Saxon architects. The architecture of the Town Hall combines late Gothic and Renaissance architecture. From the interior decoration of the City Hall, you can find a ballroom and some rooms designed in the late Baroque style.
The passage under the tower connects the Town Hall, Market Square, and Naschmarkt. Since the early 20th century, there is a museum exposition about the history of the city of Leipzig. The former Town Hall is a museum where you can see the old facilities and different meeting rooms. You can see a vintage huge sooty fireplace with wrought iron grilles, antique furniture, and many portraits of noble citizens who lived here during the colonization era.
New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus)
The majestic and beautiful building of the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus)is located in the historic part of Leipzig City. Before that, the site of the New Town Hall was located in the old castle, which was then demolished. The original architecture presents a mix of Gothic and Art Nouveau. The building is framed by figures, turrets, reliefs and sculptures.
The construction of the building took more than 12 years: it was started in the late 19th century and completed in the early 20th century. The tower serves as a reference point and can be seen from all parts of the city. The government of Leipzig is located in this building since 1905. The tower was built on the foundations of an old castle tower. Climbing the tower is made possible from Monday to Friday twice a day at 11 hours and 14 hours for 3 Euros per person.
The Volkerschlachtdenkmal is a giant monument in Leipzig. It is a little far from the city and other tourist spots, but it is worth knowing for its size and significance to the city. It is one of the main tourist sights of Leipzig that has turned very controversial. Considered by some as ugly and rough, and handsome or imposing by the others; this iconic landmark is a memorial of an important battle that took place in the region where the Napoleonic troops were defeated in 1813.
This is the exact location for the few episodes in European history that marked the end of the Napoleonic Empire and its First Exile. Besides the beautiful architecture, it highlights the great work of the Wilhelmine period. It is a place where you can have a view of almost the entire city of Leipzig. If you do not enter the museum, the tour is totally free. The monument was constructed in honor of the warriors who fought in this battle almost 100 years later.
The Hauptbahnhof Leipzig is the largest train station in all of Europe and worth a visit. From there, you can take a part of the bullet train ride that will take you to Frankfurt or Berlin. This is the main railway station in Leipzig with an integrated shopping center. It is worth visiting even if you do not use the station. On cold days this place is super nice, you will love the cafes and the opportunity to see the old trains.
The Leipzig train station is very modern and beautiful architecture which includes a shopping complex with several stalls and wide choice of restaurants, which offers plenty of comfort in waiting and is still an option for shopping or food on a daily basis. It has easy access to the tourist areas in Leipzig. The train movement is not as great like the one in Frankfurt, but the construction is very worthwhile and beneficial to the city.
Leipzig Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Leipzig)
The Leipzig Zoo (Zoologischer Garten Leipzig) is divided according to the continents of animal origin, which is very educational for children and curious adults. You will enjoy the Gondwanaland, a sort of "greenhouse" in which tropical pets are kept. This section of the zoo is always maintained at 26° C, which relieves the humid air if it is hot outside. Not to mention the boat ride on the artificial small river where you have to pay, but it’s fun.
One day is not enough to really enjoy, but the zoo offers tickets for those interested in visiting more than once. For exchange students and residents you can also purchase monthly and annual tickets and visit as many times as you want for a friendlier price.
You can see that the animals are well looked after, especially during winter, where the harsh German winter does require larger care. Just take the tram 12 leaving the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) and gets off two points later, or even walk, as it is easily accessible. It is a ride suitable for families, lovers, or even yourself!
Asisi Panometer Leipzig
The Asisi Panometer Leipzig is an interesting exhibition facility where you can also see a truly impressive panorama of the city and how it symbolizes the end of the battle between Napoleon and the Allies in October 1813. It is really something special for the people of this city. There is a movie afterwards about how it was created.
The impressive artist canvas of Asisi has a length of about 111 meters in Leipzig and shows the day after the Battle of the Nations. This created a huge panorama where viewers are treated with a high platform, located in the middle of a 30-meter height panometer. The audience seems to fall into the rain forest around them with hanging vines and the sounds of the jungle creating an excellent sense of presence!
The Karl-Heine-Kanal was built in the mid 19th century, on the initiative of the Saxon landowner and lawyer Karl Heine. Now the channel is a three and a half kilometre area of water projects, bridges, and factories. The channel connects the city's numerous bridges, among which are the King Augustus and the bridge of the nuns of King Albert.
The length of the channel extends up to the Lindenau harbor. It is one of the most picturesque places in Leipzig. You can rent a bike and observe the views along the bike path. There are beautiful views of the bridge near the Westwerk'a (and indeed Weswerk is an interesting place), on Industriestrasse (near Schleussig), and near the restaurant Stelzenhaus.
The Zeitgeschichtliches Forum is a cognitive and totally free museum about the history of the GDR or the German Democratic Republic. If you read all the information available at the museum, you can spend the whole day there understanding Germany’s colorful past.
The museum is mandatory for those who are interested in German history. Several floors of the museum in the details tell the story of the 20th century. The presentation extends up to the third floor of the museum's temporary exhibitions. You will see exhibits about the German national holiday, a photo exhibition and of the German media.
While in Leipzig, it is impossible not to visit the places associated with the great composer, Felix Mendelssohn. The Mendelssohn Haus Leipzig is a little away from the center. The museum contains information about the life and work of the composer, presents his personal belongings, scores of documents. Periodically, the museum hosts concerts (on certain days at an additional cost) and just like most of the museums here in Leipzig, there is a gift shop. Remarkably, the stored objects actually belonged to the family. The museum combines traditional and interactive exhibition, which is particularly important for the education of children and students. The room in which he died, is now a place of sorrow and still looks the same way that he left it.
Most of the people in the city travels mostly by bicycle and this is what makes the city amusing; you can easily get anywhere by bike. It is an ideal activity for anyone who enjoys being outdoors. The all green meadow beside the road invites everyone to hang around, play games, or simply to lie down and look at the clouds. If you like a vacation with a good walk down the history of Germany, learn the life of the classical musicians, and explore impressive landmarks, the city of Leipzig is one exciting ride that you will treasure.
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