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6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Leipzig

6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Leipzig

I had the chance to spend a few days in Leipzig, Germany. I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint the city on a map of Europe until I started looking at plane schedules. The bottom line – I knew next to nothing about the city before I arrived by train from the Frankfurt airport.

Here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about Leipzig.

The train station in Leipzig is magnificent – and big

The Leipzig train station is the largest in Europe – or the largest “head” train station. It’s a magnificent structure inside – and Raildude calls it the most beautiful station in all of Germany. But be warned. You need one Euro to use the washrooms.

 Europe's largest train station is in LeipzigEurope’s largest train station is in Leipzig

There’s a lot of water around Leipzig 

Leipzig is surrounded by water. Located at the confluence of three rivers – the Parthe, Pleisse and the White Elster, it’s also home to many small rivers and canals that are connected. It’s possible to get around parts of Leipzig by boat.

In addition former open pit mines have been flooded to create a number of seas including the most famous one – the Cospudener See. Interestingly Leipzig has more bridges than Venice – 457 versus 400 in Venice.

"One of Leipzig's canals"
One of Leipzig’s canals – Photo credit: Alistair Young on Flickr

The end of the Berlin Wall started here

The peaceful revolution – that eventually brought down the Berlin Wall, started in Leipzig on September 4, 1989 at the St. Nicholas Church. In 2014, they celebrated the 30th anniversary of the revolution.

"St. Nicholas Church - where the Peaceful Revolution started"
St. Nicholas Church – where the Peaceful Revolution started

Leipzig is Europe’s hipster capital

Leipzig has been called Europe’s new hipster capital – and with that statement the city got a new nicknameHypezig. The fact that the city is still affordable – compared to Munich where one reporter states that you’d have to sell a kidney to pay rent is part of the appeal.

Culturally, though the city has a lot going for it – with lots of art, amazing music and the conversion of old buildings into art spaces. The food scene too is moving along and I can personally recommend the part food, part walking tour with Eat theWorld.com.

"Our guide Dorothea from Eat the World.com"
Our guide Dorothea from Eat the World.com
"Cupcakes from Minastique in Leipzig"
Cupcakes from Minastique
The Leipzig food tour takes you through colourful neighbourhoods in Leipzig
The food tour takes you through colourful neighbourhoods

The most livable city in Germany

One third of Leipzig is covered by green parks and forests. I noticed this within minutes of leaving the train station when I heard birdsong in an oasis of green.

One look at a map of Leipzig and you’ll see what a role the parks play in the city. That’s probably part of the reason that the city has been ranked the most livable city in Germany.

Green space within sight of the Leipzig train station
Green space within sight of the train station

I also learned that famed German composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig.

Famed composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig
Famed composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig

The city is home to a Porsche factory and you can take a test drive

Leipzig is one of the few cities in Germany where Porsche are built. Not only can you take a factory tour, but you can go for a test drive. Imagine being thrown back in your seat as you rocket from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in under four seconds.

On the course where there are plenty of sharp turns, you can hit speeds of 200 kilometres per hour. For more information on this unique experience click here

The test track at Porsche Leipzig with plenty of sharp turns
The test track at Porsche Leipzig with plenty of sharp turns
I had to put my life in this fellow's hands who looked 21
I had to put my life in this fellow’s hands who looked 21
The final easy stretch of the Porsche test drive in Leipzig
The final easy stretch of the Porsche test drive

If you’re looking for another great German city experience check out the Hamburg Schanzenviertel neighbourhood – just over a four hour drive away.

More reading about things to do in Europe

Click on the photo below to save to your Pinterest board.

5 Things you Probably Didn't Know About Leipzig, Germany

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 23 Comments
  1. We just ‘visited’ Germany and I use that term loosely. We flew from Seattle to Istanbul via Frankfurt and back via Munich on Lufthansa. We spent a couple hours at the Frankfurt airport and had such a tight connection in Munich we jogged from one plane to the other. The countryside that we saw on approaches and takeoffs made us think it may be time to go back for longer than hours or minutes. This post makes that desire to return even stronger.

    1. Oh DO! And I’m biased, living in Munich, but the Bavarian countryside is so spectacular, you must must must come back and see it close up.

  2. I didn’t know any of those facts about Leipzig, Leigh, so it’s been a very interesting post for me. I’ve enjoyed viewing the photo series, too, and I’m particularly drawn to the first photo with that striking piece of architecture, and the contrast provided by the tram.

    To answer the question, I’d go for Berlin. It would be a logical starting point for me, as I haven’t yet been to Germany.

    1. @Andrew Leipzig was a total delight – and not what I expected at all. Berlin has been on my wish list for a very long time and I hope to get there soon. Dresden was also a delight.

  3. Great timing! I am flying to Dusseldorf in 8 weeks and I’m going to spend most of my summer in Germany. I’ve already added Leipzig to my list of cities I must explore and knowing it’s Europe’s new hipster capital makes me wanna see it so bad! Can’t wait. And these cupcakes…. Omomomomo!

  4. Honestly, I’ve never heard of Leipzig until you went there and started posting about it 🙂 Who knew it was so interesting and beautiful. Great things to know and the fact that it’s considered the most livable just makes me want to visit even more. I’ve only been to Munich and the surrounding Bavarian region and loved it.

    1. @Mary I had heard the name before I visited but that was it. That’s one of teh things I like about travel blogs is that you do learn about places you otherwise would never have heard of before.

  5. If I may add a little bit 🙂
    The main story behind Leipzig is that it was once germanys intellectual centre with a big economic impact (4th biggest city in 1930 as well). During the 19th century Leipzig was by far the biggest book publishing city in the german speaking world and It also housed the largest trade fairs of central europe being called germany’s “trade fair city” and “city of books”. This gradually collapsed first after WWII and then even more after the fall of the wall. So after 1990 this was a city with a huge heritage, grand architecture from these times and little to no economy. This enabled a flair of cheap and creative living resulting, 20 years later, in todays hipster status…

    1. @Jorg Thank you so much for your insight. I’m very happy you stopped by. I do wonder how gentrified Leipzig will end up getting over time. Leipzig seems to be able to reinvent itself – and I was certainly impressed with what I saw.

    1. @Elaine I never associate Germany and cupcakes so they were a real treat. The city itself was an unexpected delight – and just wish I’d had a few more days to fully explore it.

    1. @Victor I loved them both and if push came to shove I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite. I had such a great day on the bike in Dresden that it makes me want to explore a whole lot more of Germany.

  6. I’ve heard lots of good things about Leipzig recently, like you said, I think it’s an up and coming hipster destination. The culture scene there looks brilliant.

  7. I’m glad I found this! I had no idea I was living in Germany’s most livable city! Were you able to book the Eat the World tour in English? I tried to go this winter while the Christmas Markets were open, and they were only offering German tours. Maybe I should try again!

  8. I’m not a fan of any of the media you mentioned on the bottom of your website and have no active profile. So I’m asking the question here. Hope you don’t mind answering: How big is the group that you normally travel with?

  9. I saw the football match of leipzig and the bayern munich. Once I was in the berlin, After reading your article I really thinking about to go back and explore this amazing city. thanks for your great info.

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