Sometimes it is possible to combine business with pleasure. One of us had to go on a business trip so we used that to attach a weekend city trip. That way we ended up in the beautiful city Leipzig in the state of Saxony.
Coming to Leipzig by train, you are already astonished because you will find yourself in the biggest railhead in Europe (in terms of surface area). The main train station is a real showpiece after all the reconstruction and expansion that was going on in the past years.
From there we could reach our hotel by foot. Because of a high demand for hotels that weekend (because of the Passagen festival) we were kind of forced to take a little more expansive hotel that time. We decided on the INNSIDE Leipzig on Gottschedstraße and in hindsight we have to admit that this hotel was worth every single cent. Great rooms and an awesome breakfast buffet as well as the perfect location in town made the INNSIDE the ideal hotel for that weekend.
After we checked in we quickly looked at our room and left our bags so we could finally start our tour. First, we walked by the impressive new townhall (Neues Rathaus) where the municipal administration of Leipzig is located since 1905. You will find the old townhall not far from the new one on the Marktplatz just a little north of the downtown center.
South-west of the new townhall you cannot oversee the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) since the building is rather imposing. It is one of the five Supreme Courts and was established in 1997. More details on that you can find on wikipedia. We were content with taking a picture and moved on.
To get a good view over Leipzig and the surrounding area we recommend the City-Tower (Panorama Tower) that is located next to the University of Leipzig. The platform on top is relatively small but the entrance fee is only 3,- € and you have a nice panoramic view from up there. Only two things can ruin your time up there: It either starts to rain or the guests of a wedding party start to climb up there to take pictures. Since both things happened that day we moved on to the next sight.
On Augustusplatz we waited for the tram and, from there, could look at the Opera and the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, a concert hall. Afterwards we took the tram to the Monument to the Battle of the Nation (Völkerschlachtdenkmal). This was the highlight of our trip to Leipzig! A colossus awaits the visitors and offers a lot to discover once you climb countless stairs high up into that building. Entrance fee is 8,- € per person which was more than acceptable. You should plan in at least an hour for the monument, and that does not include the museum. It was a great experience for us to visit that monument.
It was time to eat something so we went to the Karl-Liebknecht-Street (locals tenderly call that street “Karli”). Walking up Karli we chose tiefblau for dinner. We took advantage of the cocktail happy hour and also enjoyed some great food. The weather was great so we were able to sit outside and therefore could conclude the evening enjoying cocktails and burgers.
The next day, it was a Sunday, we strolled through downtown and stopped at the Coffe Baum, which is, by their own statement, the oldest, continuously operated café-restaurant in Europe. After having a cappuccino or a nice cold beer along with Quarkkäulchen (a sweet dish made from potatoes and quark) you can take a free tour through the lovely decorated coffee museum that is located above the café. A really nice thing to do.
Before heading towards the train station, we went back to “Karli” and to the Olive Tree. This was not just a recommendation, it was a “must” as a Leipzig-local that moved to Australia told us. This doner kebab restaurant seems pretty alternative on first sight because it offers vegetarian and vegan dishes. But my fear was blown away when I held my doner kebab in my own hands – lots of meat, just how I like it! It was delicious.
For the romantic ones amongst you we found something special. Where Braustraße and “Karli” cross (next to the bar Volkshaus) you will find a photo booth that takes black and white pictures. For 2,-€ and 5 minutes of waiting time you get 4 pictures. Don’t be startled by the extremely bright flash. Your girlfriend will be thanking you later. We also say thanks for a great visit to this lovely town.