Leipzig - The Green Trade Fair and Cultural City
Leipzig is an exciting modern city, which is not only famous for its many trade fairs but also for its vibrant party scene. The fantastic cultural attractions and events, the great shopping facilities and the excellent gastronomy make this city an extraordinary destination.
Geography - A city in accordance with nature
Leipzig is a big city in the north-west of Saxony and has about 551,000 inhabitants. Together with the neighbouring city of Halle, it forms the metropolitan area of Leipzig-Halle. In addition, it forms the region of Mitteldeutschland ("Central Germany") with other cities in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The city has an area of 297.6 km² and is crossed by a blue and a green belt. The Auenwald crosses the city from north to south and covers about seven percent of Leipzig's area. It has preserved a rare fauna and flora. The close connection between nature and city development is a unique characteristic of Leipzig in Europe. Counting all parks and the city forest, green spaces make up 50 percent of Leipzig's area. This makes Leipzig one of the greenest cities in Germany. Its proportion of water is high as well. This is due to the many artificial lakes which constitute the Leipziger Neuseenland and the waterways, which are 141 kilometres long and are formed by the branches of rivers like the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe. Leipzig lies in the temperate climate zone in the transition zone between the western European oceanic climate and the eastern European continental climate.
Culture - Experiencing tradition and history at first hand
The city's name is derived from the Slavic word "Lipsk" and means "settlement where the linden trees stand" because this type of tree has been prevalent in the city's area since its first settlement in the year 900. Leipzig was first mentioned in writing around 1015 but its official year of foundation is 1165. Leipzig has been a reputable trade fair city since 1190 and was soon the forerunner of the Mustermesse (Leipzig Trade Fair). The Leipzig Book Fair, for example, takes place in March every year because Leipzig was an important historical centre for book printing and trade. In addition, Leipzig has a long tradition as a university and music city. St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig (Thomanerchor) and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Gewandhausorchester) enjoy a worldwide reputation. Great artists such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy have worked here. The city's university, which was founded in 1409, and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Handelshochschule) are among the oldest study facilities in the whole of Germany. Today, Leipzig is full of sights which are reminiscent of these traditions and reflect the history of Saxony and Prussia. One great example is the Hauptbahnhof (terminal station), whose building has a Saxon and a Prussian part. The well-preserved historical old town with its magnificent architecture and several elegant quarters with buildings from the Gründerzeit makes a stay in the city seem like a journey through time. Popular attractions are St. Tomas Church and St. Nicholas Church, the Schiller House, the Gohliser Schlösschen (Gohlis Castle) and the Monument of the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal), which was built in 1913. On the market place, you see the beautiful old city hall in Renaissance style. It is not far away from the New City Hall, which is one of the greatest city halls in the world with its 600 rooms. The Bayerischer Bahnhof (Bavarian station) is definitely worth a visit. Culture enthusiasts find a number of museums here. Interesting examples are the Museum of Fine Arts (Museum der bildenden Künste), the Egyptian Museum (Ägyptisches Museum), the Grassi Museum, the Museum of Natural Science (Naturkundemuseum), the Haus der Geschichte – Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (a historical museum) and the Runde Ecke Memorial Museum.
Experience - Leipzig Christmas market and shopping in the Promenaden
Travellers who come to Leipzig should not miss out on seeing the world-famous, 800-year-old St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig perform. The voices of the boys in sailor suits and the atmosphere in St. Thomas Church make their concerts a moving experience. Events with national and international artists take place in the Arena Leipzig, Gewandhaus, Opera House or in Haus Auensee. Leipzig offers a variety of shopping facilities. The Promenaden in its main station, the Höfe am Brühl and the passages in the old town cater for all tastes. The best-known passage is the Mädlerpassage with the Auerbach's Cellar. If you get hungry, you should have a Leipziger Lerche (a small short bread stuffed with marzipan) and a cold Leipziger Gose (a beer). The best-known dish, however, is Leipziger Allerlei (a vegetable dish). There are numerous delicious restaurants in the Barfußgässchen ("barefoot alley") next to the market place, which is a popular meeting place in the evening. Karl-Liebknecht-Straße (short "Karli") is equally popular with its many pubs, bars and cafes. Holidaymakers have the perfect view of the city from the Panoramaturm (142 m) at Augustusplatz. It is Leipzig's highest building. Zoo Leipzig with the rainforest house called "Gondwanaland", the wildlife park in Markkleeberg and the leisure park Belantis are great family destinations. If you visit the city at Christmas, you will see the Christmas market, which is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany next to the Bautzner Wenzelsmarkt and the Strietzelmarkt in Dresden.
Activities - Relaxing in the park or action on the water
There are many ways of being active in Leipzig. While the lakes, especially Cospudener See (short "Cosi") and Kulkwitzer See (short "Kulki"), and the rivers invite you to do water sports and go bathing, the land area offers great conditions for going cycling and hiking. The Auenwald in the centre of the city is particularly suited. The lakes are local recreation areas. In summer, the city's many parks such as Johannapark, Clara-Zetkin Park and the Rosental are popular locations for meeting friends, relaxing and having a barbecue. Travellers who are interested in equestrian sports can go on a ride through the Auenwald or watch a horse race on the Scheibenholz race course. If you are looking for a rush of adrenaline, you should visit the Kanupark (canoe park), the Sax Racing go-kart track in Dölzig (west of Leipzig) or go panorama climbing at Markkleeberger See.
Leipzig has Leipzig-Halle Airport and has excellent connections to the Autobahn network (A9 and A14), which makes it an important traffic hub in Central Germany. This makes travelling to the city very easy. Leipzig Hauptbahnhof (terminal station) is located in the city centre. From there, you can continue your journey using the well-developed public transport.
A city trip to Leipzig is perfect for all travellers who are interested in culture, history, shopping and parties. Thanks to the many green spaces and long waterways, there are countless opportunities for active or recreational holidays. It is the city's diversity which makes it so popular.