Explore Germany: Leipzig for the Arts and Culture Junkie

Explore Germany: Leipzig for the Arts and Culture Junkie

Fancy a trip to Germany? Don't miss out on the charming little city of Leipzig. Delve into its rich historical sites and immerse yourself in surrounding nature and wildlife.

Leipzig Fountain

Continuing my “Explore Germany” project, after discovering the Beautiful Hidden Gem Dresden, I landed in Leipzig. The city, which lies at the confluence of three rivers, does not disappoint. Located about 150 kilometres away from Berlin, it is nicknamed ‘The New Berlin’ and ‘Hypezig’ because of the creative and ‘hipster’ local population. Leipzig stands testimony to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, and the fact that Leipzig was an important city in the medieval trade route is visible in its history and culture.

Begin in the City Centre

Altes Rathaus

The City Centre, or Markt as they call it, is where the life of the city is. This area features beautiful restaurants, cafes, clubs. souvenir shops and a museum. It is at the centre of Leipzig’s Old Town that you can find the historic Altes Rathaus (Old Town Administration Building) standing tall and proud.



In close proximity to the Markt is the famous Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church) which has a very colourful history. The peaceful revolt against the Communist rule of German Democratic Republic happened here in the late 80’s. It gave rise to the famous Monday Demonstrations, which are political protests against social evils and delayed administrational initiatives, and is still active in Germany to date. I was lucky enough to be present in Leipzig at the time of the International Degrowth Conference, which meant pseudo participation in a rally alongside a thousand protestors against global economic growth. Yes, the protest procession route was carefully selected to include the Nikolaikirche.

Explore the plethora of museums

There is an overwhelming choice of museums available to visitors, but be warned that the options might become limited if you take into account language constraints. I recommend a visit to the Museum der bildenden Kunste which has an impressive collection of sculptures and paintings. It is located right next to the City Centre, which makes it very convenient for a first-time visitor to locate. I walked into the Naturkunde Museum by mistake after being lured in by the sight of a hug tarantula model outside! Quite appropriately, the museum offers visitors a creepy yet unique, exciting array of insect collection.

Grassi Museum

The Grassi Museum is a cluster of three museums, namely the Applied Art Museum, Ethnography Museum and the Musical Instrument Museum. I found the Musical Instrument Museum very interesting because I had the chance for hands-on experimentation with some really obscure instruments in a specific section dedicated to entertainment for visitors. If you are lucky, or careful to time your visit well, you will get a chance to witness a vocal harmony performance inside the museum.

Grassi Museum Cafe

If you choose to visit all three museums, you will easily spend close to 3 hours wandering around inside, after which you may start craving for a couch and some coffee. This is probably why they have the museum café in place, which I loved. I highly recommend the Tiramisu cake.

Climb the Panorama Tower in Augustusplatz


A great place to visit nearby is the city’s largest square, Augustusplatz, which is a 5 minutes walk from the Grassi Museum at the east end of the city centre. You can climb up the Panorama Tower here for some breathtaking views.

Immerse yourself in nature and wildlife

When the museums get too boring and you feel like you need some fresh air, make your way to the Leipzig Zoological Garden. The University of Leipzig maintains the Leipzig Botanical Garden, which is a popular hang out place for young students. Leipzig also has the famous Red Bull Arena and a number of lakes, few of which are at an elevation (Schladitzer See, Kulkwitzer See and Werbeliner See). If you want to enjoy sandy beaches and saunas, you can head to the Cospudener See. There is also a small sailing harbour located there.

A good option to avoid crowds and tourists is to pick up some beers and snacks and just spend the day sitting in a park (I loved the one close to the Leipzig Hauptbahnof and the Volkerschlachtdenkmal) or by the lakeside and watch the sky turn dark and the stars come alive.

Ascend to the summit of Volkerschlachtdenkmal




My favourite tourist attraction in Leipzig is the Volkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument to the Battle of the Nations). I had a tough time pronouncing ‘Volkerschlachtdenkmal’ and asking for directions because the Germans could not recall its English name. It is an easy 20 minute train ride from the Leipzig Hauptbahnof (Main Station).


The monument was built to commemorate Napoleon’s defeat. Keeping with the mood, the ascent to the top is an effort of more of than 500 steep steps. The spectacular views from the platform at the top of the 91 metre structure, however, makes it worth the climb. I loved taking photographs of the cemetery and taking panorama shots of Leipzig in the midst of a thousand bees from some random beehive up there, all just itching to sting me!

Catch a performance at Oper Leipzig

With this, you would have seen, eaten and experienced some interesting new things and covered most of Leipzig. It’s been a long day and you’re probably looking to chill out now. If you’re the sort that’s deeply into, or even just mildly curious about the opera, then you should head down to Leipzig Opera. The Leipzig Opera is the third oldest opera venue in Europe after the one in Venice, Italy and Hamburg, Germany. Their website has an English version and their event plan stretches on 6 months forward.

Unleash your party animal

As the sun goes down, the nightlife is Leipzig is full of wildly exciting options. Let your hair down and unleash that party animal inside you. Nachtcafe, Spizz Keller and Dark Flower (alternative music) were my favourite places to party in Leipzig.

So don’t miss out on Leipzig!

Though not as well-known as cities like Berlin or Munich, Leipzig definitely has something for everyone. Well-connected to other major German cities by buses and trains, Leipzig is one cultural world in Germany you have no reason to miss out on!

Start planning your Europe trip and who knows, you may just be in time to find your perfect travel package to Germany.

About Author

Avigyan Dutta

Avigyan is a photographer, foodie, blogger and techie, whose love for photography is only surpassed by his love for travel and extreme metal music. His work has appeared in numerous websites / publications like The Bricolage Magazine, Empty Rucksack Traveller's Club, Epiclist recommended Medium Blog etc. and he has won several photography awards as well. He has worked as a photographer with Magic Bus Entertainment, Hochschule Pforzheim and Empty Rucksack Traveller's Club. He currently lives and works in Germany.