Leipzig guide: The journey starts right on our doorstep
How are you supposed to know which Leipzig insider tips are so interesting they merit a ‘Wow!’? It’s easy – just follow our Leipzig guide! Because our guide knows precisely what memories of your visit you’ll want to take away with you. Leisure activities related to art and culture are just as popular here as partying or lounging about at the Stadthafen. And you can also enjoy a dose of nostalgia…
Institut für Zukunft: cool music from the cold store
The Institut für Zukunft in Leipzig has been making electronic music since 2014. The progressive techno club is located in the basement of the northern wing of the Kohlrabizirkus, the former market hall of the city of Leipzig.
Its three floors are split into Trakte (wings): Trakt I is the former cold store and largest dance floor, focusing on techno; Trakt II is a small floor with bar where you can primarily listen to house music; Trakt III can be found below the main bar, and ambient and chill-out sounds are pumped out of the sound system. The club came about due to a lack of empty buildings and opportunities for holding parties. The Institut für Zukunft was founded by some of the local crew members to create their own club as a party destination with resident DJs.
elipamanoke: electro beats on two dance floors
Anyone who loves electro beats will feel right at home at elipamanoke. As one of the trendiest sound workshops for this music genre, the Kulturlounge also hosts live acts.
In the west of the city, where the alternative and creative converge, the club is a typical meet-up venue. The premises are characterised by industrial charm and demolished walls coupled with a minimalist interior. You can party on two different floors here, but you can also relax; the outdoor area is perfect for this. It can be found in the inner courtyard and has a small kiosk. The smaller floor is like a techno basement with DJ booth at the centre of the room. The larger floor with industrial design honours local and international live performers.
Peter Pane Burger Grill & Bar: cool and quirky menu
The Leipzig branch of Peter Pane serves up a great combination of burgers and drinks. The cool interior design is the perfect blend of burger restaurant and bar vibes across two floors.
Quality is the top priority in the kitchen, with locally sourced ingredients being transformed into delicious salads and burgers. The dishes even have cool and quirky names on the German menu. There are vegan and vegetarian options alongside a range of beef and chicken burgers. You can even go breadless if you want. Everyone knows that burgers and chips go together, right? Well, here you can choose your favourite chips or go for a mixture. You won’t go thirsty at Peter Pane either thanks to the extensive drinks menu. There are so many cocktails and mocktails to choose from!
Stadthafen Leipzig: Sightseeing from a different perspective
Here’s another of our Leipzig insider tips: the Stadthafen (municipal harbour) is often described as the gateway to the Neuseenland (‘New Lake District’), a geographical feature of the surrounding countryside formed by the lignite mining industry.
Since the closure of the opencast mines in the 1990s, the area has been systematically developed as a water sports and leisure destination. The term ‘Neuseenland’ refers to the newly created lakes in Leipzig and the North Saxony region as well as to the flowing waters in the city itself. From the Stadthafen, you can explore around 180 kilometres of waterways by motorboat as part of a city tour, in kayaks and canoes, in a dragon boat or on a stand-up paddle. If you feel safer on solid ground, rent a bike – apart from the classic Citybike, there are also e-bikes for hire.
The trendy Plagwitz district: a love of creative culture
The trendy Plagwitz district, just a few kilometres south-west of Leipzig city centre, covers an area of 173 hectares – plenty of space for trendy places.
The neighbourhood is also celebrated as a stronghold of creative culture and is home to an intriguing mix of restored buildings and industry, culture, art and cuisine. The former working-class district has experienced something of a renaissance since the 1990s. Thus, the old Baumwollspinnerei (cotton mill) forms the centrepiece of the Leipzig art scene with its galleries, workshops and project rooms. Around Karl-Heine-Strasse and Zschochersche Strasse can be found plenty of restaurants, cafes, boutiques and cultural institutions. You can also explore the district on waterways like the Karl-Heine-Kanal in Venetian gondolas or by boat.
Schlosspark Lützschena: a new chapter in Leipzig’s history
In the northern portion of Leipzig’s alluvial forest and part of the Burgaue conservation area, Schlosspark Lützschena is a historic park complex dating from 1822.
Reference is made to it as early as 1685, but Maximilian Speck von Sternburg was responsible for the nineteenth-century landscape design. At the end of 2021, a number of alterations were made to the park; now when you walk through the 19-hectare complex, you’ll discover a number of (new) highlights: the paths have been cleaned up, a bridge has been reconstructed and the forest chapel has acquired an oak bark trim. Last but not least, the Russischer Garten has been reincorporated into the park. An exhibition in the Auwaldstation cultural site, as well as events, are an additional incentive to visit the conservation area.
City-Hochhaus: university campus with landmarks
Despite the City-Hochhaus Leipzig’s position on the south-west edge of Augustplatz, it is by no means an outsider. With its 34 storeys and 142.5 metres, it is the second-highest building in the new federal states and the highest in the city – everyone agrees on this.
There is some debate, however, when it comes to its name. Officially known as City-Hochhaus, the skyscraper is also referred to as Uni-Riese (uni giant), Weisheitszahn (wisdom tooth) and Panorama-Tower. Visitors, however, are primarily interested in the viewing platform on the 31st floor. From here, you have a fantastic view of the city – and can even see far beyond its limits when the weather is good. If you can’t get enough, the restaurant Panorama Tower – Plate of Art should be your next stop-off on the 29th floor.
Sona Sushi: fusion food in a vibrant district
Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse – or KarLi, as the southern street in Leipzig’s student district of Südvorstadt is lovingly nicknamed – is a hotspot for hip restaurants.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that this is where Sona can be found. The restaurant serves top-rate sushi and modern Asian fusion food. And all this in a sophisticated ambiance – the dark interior lends atmosphere and is perfect for romance or a stylish evening with friends. When it comes to the seating, the outdoor area is almost as extensive as the interior. But as soon as the sushi, creative fusion tapas and fusion bowls arrive at the table, you’ll only have eyes for the aesthetic design of the creations. Sona also has a delicious selection of food for vegetarians and vegans.
Maître: French-style dining
A French corner cafe with bistro furniture inside and out, but always with a view onto the bustling Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse. This is Café Maître, a gem of a coffee house in art nouveau style with more than 100 years of history.
A small coffee house and pastry shop was opened on this exact spot in 1904. To keep up with the times, the interior was altered at the end of the 1930s, but then remained unchanged until 1987 – and at times was only a pastry shop. Nowadays, the cafe has regained its inimitable charm. Maître not only offers exceptional breakfasts, but also croques and quiches, soups and galettes, and salads and crêpes. There is also an evening menu, as well as daily and weekly dishes, stylishly written out on a blackboard.
An Chay – Vegan Diner: 100% vegan and Vietnamese
The dishes on the menu at An Chay don’t need symbols to highlight the vegan dishes. Whatever you order, all the ingredients are free of animal products.
And they are all specialities from Vietnam. Anyone who speaks Vietnamese will recognise that ‘ăn chay’ means precisely that: vegan food or vegan living. The names of the dishes are as affectionate as their preparation: the summer rolls ‘Summerlove’, dumplings called ‘Die innere Ruhe’ (inner calm), fried ribbon noodles named ‘Tanzwunder’ (dance miracle), the ‘Good Life Bowl’ and the ‘Flug nach Kyōto’ (flight to Kyoto) with mochis whet the appetite for the food, which is both delicious and varied. Even those who otherwise ‘only’ eat vegetarian food or who don’t cut out meat or fish at all will enjoy a pleasant time here in a friendly atmosphere.
Monument to the Battle of the Nations: the tallest memorial in Germany
A visit to the Monument to the Battle of the Nations is an absolute must for anyone visiting Leipzig. Erected in 1913 to the south-east of the city for the centenary of the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig’s best-known landmark commemorates the decisive battle in the German campaign of 1813.
The founding stone for the 91-metre-tall, 330,000-tonne monument was laid in 1898 following designs by architect Bruno Schmitz. You need to climb several hundred steps to reach the viewing platform – but the panorama across Leipzig and the surrounding area is worth the effort. The enormous memorial impresses from the ground too, where the FORUM 1813 museum is located, with its colossal approximately ten-metre statues. The domed hall also hosts spectacular concerts.
Kunstkraftwerk: things are hotting up here
The Kunstkraftwerk exhibition and cultural centre is located on the former site of the Grosse Leipziger Strassenbahn and is a perfect example of how to use a location with an industrial past for concerts in a cool, commercial way.
Here art, science and architecture merge. When the time of the Heizwerk Lindenau heating plant on Saalfelder Strasse came to an end in 1992 after more than 25 years, it was all about preserving the character and history of the industrial building, which has been in place since 1900, and giving it a contemporary new purpose. Ulrich Maldinger and Professor Markus Löffler purchased the property in 2012 and gave it its current name in 2015/16. You can find out more about the current programme via the website – or our insider.
Bach Museum Leipzig: a treasure trove
The Bosehaus is a special place. As one of the oldest buildings in Leipzig’s Thomaskirchhof, it has been the home of the Bach Museum Leipzig and the Bach archives since 1985.
Back in Johann Sebastian Bach’s day, the Bose family of merchants lived here. They were friends with the Bach family, who lived in the old St. Thomas School opposite them. With an exhibition space spanning 450 square metres, the museum is divided into twelve themed rooms that tell the story of the composer’s life and work. The most valuable exhibits are kept in the treasure room – these include two authentic portraits of the musician painted by Elias Gottlob Haußmann and original documents that are so fragile they have to be swapped several times a year.