Leipzig, one of Germany’s most interesting and vibrant cities, is the coolest destination in Saxony, seen by many as the new Berlin. Considered the music capital of the country, it’s the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the names of Mendelssohn and Wagner are also indelibly linked to Leipzig. Culture is also at the forefront here, thanks to the extremely old university, dating back to 1409, and to internationally renowned museums and academies of art. Historically speaking, Leipzig is known as the “city of heroes”, for having played a key role during the Revolution of 1989, which led to the reunification of Germany.
As this is one of the most interesting major cities in Germany, it’s a good idea to spend at least a couple of days here. You can start your visit in the old town, namely in the Marktplatz (Market Square), the venue for an outdoor market at weekends and a lively Christmas market during the festive season. Your eyes will be drawn here to the large Old Town Hall, dating back to the 16th century and now home to Leipzig City History Museum.
In the old town you’ll see buildings from different eras, such as the Old Stock Exchange from the 17th century, and the imposing Gothic and Romanesque church of St. Thomas, famous because Bach was the musical director of the parish for 27 years, and his remains are buried here. And if you’re a huge fan of Bach, you can also visit the museum dedicated to him in the city!
The other major square in Leipzig is Augustusplatz, featuring the Leipzig Opera, the old clocktower of the Egyptian Museum, the splendid Mende Fountain, the Gewandhaus concert hall and the futuristic University Church of St. Paul.
If you can’t wait to explore the alternative side of Leipzig, make your way to the Plagwitz quarter and in particular to the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, an imposing industrial site which now houses creative workshops and art galleries of every kind. And if in the meantime you’ve worked up an appetite, you may be interested to know that Leipzig has its own typical dish: it’s called Leipziger Allerlei and is made with vegetables, crayfish and bread dumplings. And don’t forget to wash it down with the local beer, Gose!