Leipzig tips for anyone who wants to visit
Are you into the more bohemian side of city tripping? Flea markets, quirky art galleries, converted factories, beer gardens, parks, cycling, funky shops? This is my map and list of tips for such places in Leipzig, Germany. You can open it in your smartphone and use it while in Leipzig.
– Get away from the center. There are a few nice sights and shops but otherwise it’s very touristy, mainstream and crowded.
– Use the site and app Verborgenes Leipzig / Hidden Leipzig! www.verborgenes-leipzig.de, and its app. In the app, a lot of things work offline, except the map. But many cafes have free wifi (they call wifi, “W-lan”, pronounce [way-lahn]). It helps you find hidden gems like beer gardens, cute cafes that you would otherwise never find, nice sights etc.
– Explore the city by bike! It is flat, easy to navigate, and there are many separate bike lanes. Failing those you can ride on the road, or (carefully) on the sidewalks. Before you go, arrange a membership with the practical bike system Nextbike, and read up how it works. Its app shows you where you can find bikes, and you can park them in other locations (the app tells you where).
You do need to phone to collect or park a bike, so make sure you know the cost. Info and registration: http://www.nextbike.de/en/
Nextbike is a better option than ordinary rental bikes because the rental shops are often closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday! Nextbike is any day, any time.
– Or in case you don’t want to bike around, download the app Easy.GO, a public transport planner (internet required for planning a trip; after that it works offline and the map shows you where you are)
– In case you go by car: note that you will need an environment sticker (Umweltplakette) if you want to drive within the environmental zone. You can park for free and without such a sticker at any of the P+R sites at the edges of the city.
For accommodation, if you are anything like me and you like street art, industrial design and a bohemian, lefty vibe you will love Meisterzimmer apartments in the former cotton factory Spinnerei: http://www.meisterzimmer.de/rooms.html
Book well in advance!
But McDreams Hotel is also a very convenient hotel on Zschochersche Strasse in that same Plagwitz area (west Leipzig), with fine quality beds and bathroom, and good price, and near many restaurants and cafes (for example on Karl-Heine-Strasse). You can leave luggage after check-out, but only after 10am when reception opens.
– (Baumwoll)Spinnerei, old cotton factory, now full of art galleries and creative companies and a cinema (and it looks like they also do open air movies).
The cafe has a nice garden but is closed on Sundays.
– Karl Heinestrasse for bars and cafes, amongst others “Albert cafe” for good breakfast (also on Sundays), and “La Cantina” for good Spanish tapas (food available until 10:30 pm).
– The bridge over the Elsterfluttbett river, called Anton Brucknerallee. Lots of people sitting drinking beers and coffees, artists performing, locals cycling and inline skating by…
– Karl Liebknechtstrasse (also known as ‘Karli’), especially the Flohmarkt / Flea Market that is held every now and then. The icecream shop on nearby Kochstrasse 20 is a gem from the past.
– Bayerische Bahnhof beer garden / restaurant. They have a good selection of beers, and affordable meals which you can have in their lovely garden.
– Fleischerei cafe for good pie (for example rhubarb cheesecake) and coffee
– all the many parks
– the bike lane below by the little stream (Karl Heinekanal) in Plagwitz / Lindenau
– Schlöschenweg and Menckestrasse, very posh neighborhood with a tiny palace
– The lovely beer garden on Lützowstrasse 19. They also have lovely food, I had bruschetta and my friend had sausage on bread, but also saw people eating pasta and other meals. You can borrow games like chess or backgammon.
– Ossiladen shop (in Höfe am Brühl mall) for some quirky items from the past.
– Hauptbahnhof, always nice to see railway stations, and it has an old steam locomotive inside.
– the street art everywhere, and for example the large mural at Plauenschestrasse
– Augustplatz and all its remarkable buildings.
– the Völkerslachtdenkmal is quite bombastic… but didn’t charm us for long.
– all the cool communist architecture along roads like Strasse des 18 Oktober, Goethestrasse, Arno Nitschestrasse etc…
– the restaurant and bowling alley inside an airplane on Arno Nitschestrasse
– many more places that you will find through www.verborgenes-leipzig.de , and its app.
– … and all the surprising fun places you bump into when you ride your bike 🙂
In case you go by car and drive from the Netherlands to Leipzig, medieval hansa town Rinteln could make for a good stopover.