It will be alternative, it will be for kids, it will be colorful, it will be active – you will find so many different options in the following post about Leipzig! This time, exceptionally few monuments and museums, and exceptionally many activities and less popular places.
The number of interesting places and the range of possibilities in Leipzig makes even us dizzy. A city of commerce, a city of music, a center of art and culture, a city of peaceful revolution – these are just a few terms for Leipzig. And we could walk around the city for hours, looking into museums and admiring the architecture, but this time will be different. We will show you places both in the center as well as those far away, definitely less popular with tourists.
During our stay of several days in Leipzig we had the opportunity to see something for children and something for adults, we saw historic buildings and those revitalized, transformed into art and cultural centers, beautiful arcades and courtyards, charming cafes and modern buildings. Initially, we planned to explore alternative art, street art and atmospheric streets, but the end result was Leipzig’s mishmash! By exploring the different faces of the city, we are sure that almost everyone will find something for themselves here!
Because Leipzig is not only monuments and fixed points on the map. It is a city of culture, events and concerts. Here, something is happening every now and then, so be sure to check out what’s in the grass before visiting Leipzig.
In the meantime, see our idea, for this city, and let us know if you like it. At the very bottom of the post you will find a map with all the places described.
Table of contents
Panometer in Leipzig
Carolas Garten exhibition – a giant 360-degree panorama that allows you to feel like that little beetle in the grass and see everything from a new perspective. But before about the panorama itself, just outside the entrance is a gallery with photos of plants, animals, gardens – more than 100 photographs, paintings and drawings in all, which allowed the author to delve into the subject, before creating the panorama.
The panorama is incredibly impressive – it is a huge image that can be admired from a multi-level platform. In addition, lights and sounds show the garden at different times of the day. The garden, which we view from the perspective of a small worm, is divided into several sections like seasons, compost and animals,
The author is Yadegar Asisi, and his other panoramic works are shown in various corners of Germany and even abroad. The exhibition itself changes from time to time and you can admire different paintings here. Definitely worth it!
A normal ticket costs 11.5 euros, and for children 6 euros (children under 6 enter for free).
Staying on the topic of interesting visual effects, we went to the Kunstkraftwerk – cultural center with exhibitions, shows, conference rooms, etc. And don’t let the exterior and the entrance through the pink container scare you – the old heating plant buildings have been newly adapted for cultural events, and although the appearance has remained rather austere, nothing from the outside foreshadows the magic that is happening inside.
We marveled at the light shows and mappings in the local interiors. We attend the Light Move Festival in Lodz every year, so we absolutely wanted to see how the mappings look indoors. And there was a WOW effect! The shows are held in two rooms, at specific times. Themes range from the Great Renaissance, through the fairy tale Alice or the working heating hall to images familiar to us from everyday life. Some shows are also presented on the floor! One minute we are at the bottom of the ocean and a few minutes later we are on the railroad tracks.
These shows are perfectly crafted – beautiful visuals and graphics, appropriate background music. They attract and magnetize.
In addition, elements remain in the interiors to remind us of the original function of the buildings, we can also see permanent light installations, and finally sit in the local café.
A normal ticket costs 11 euros, and for children 8.5 euros (children under 6 enter for free).
Is it unique? Because here you can get a feel for different corners of the world. It’s not just a garden where you come to peep at the animals – it’s a space divided into regions of the world, each arranged and detailed to transport visitors to a different place. There’s a reason it’s one of the top-rated zoos in Germany.
At first, however, the garden does not impress – we end up in a place where smaller animals are caged, there is a squeeze, but fortunately it gets better with each step. There is more and more space, visitors are spreading out in different directions, and the catwalks are getting bigger and better. Among the most interesting is an enclosure for African animals – a large one, and right next to it a restaurant terrace with a view of giraffes and zebras.
Interestingly, the biggest attraction is the relatively new Gondwanaland pavilion, where you can get a similar feel to the Afrykarium in Wroclaw, only here the space is many times bigger! While in Poland we only have a separate space with a tropical forest, in Leipzig the entire pavilion is one big, green and moist forest with 24,000 plants and 300 animals! Here you can take a boat ride with multimedia shows, look for sloths, walk along a path among the tree tops.
The food offerings are also a positive surprise – there are several restaurants with a very large selection of dishes, including freshly prepared exotic food. This is important because you can easily spend a whole day at the zoo, so you need to throw something on the grill.
A regular ticket costs 21 euros, and for children 13 euros (children under 6 enter for free). We wrote more about the Leipzig Zoo here.
Old Town Hall
While visiting Leipzig, a stroll through the old town was not to be missed.
The beating heart of the city is the square with the Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus), built in the mid-16th century. In the rectangular market square, it is worth noting the other surrounding buildings, including. The Royal House with its bay window and the Old Scales Building (Alte Waage), and in close proximity are the Museum of Fine Arts, the Historical Forum and the Old Stock Exchange.
St. Peter’s Church. St. Nicholas Church and the Peace Column
One of the more distinctive places in Leipzig is the church of St. Peter and Paul. There is also a white column of St. Nicholas and a white column with leaves on top standing right next to it, looking a bit like a palm tree.
The Monday demonstrations and prayers that eventually led to the fall of the Berlin Wall were held here. If you are interested in this history, it is worth getting special map leaflets that will give you the history of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 and lead you to other sites related to these events (such as the Historical Forum).
Lanes, courtyards, arcades and beautiful townhouses form a permanent part of the historic part of Leipzig. The city developed as a market and commercial city, hence the large number of shopping arcades in the inner city.
What’s more, within this part of the city we can see not only historic courtyards and arcades, but also brand new ones, built in the same spirit to maintain and relate to the historic appearance.
One of the most famous and impressive passages is the Mädler Passage (Mädler-Passage), located just off the market square.
As you stroll through the center of Leipzig, you can either look for specific courtyards and arcades (you can find special maps at the tourist information) or simply walk in and look into various nooks and crannies, and you are sure to find more than one historical place connected with the commercial face of the city.
… and look down
Look for steel symbols on the streets of Leipzig that will lead you along the musical trail! No one who is even slightly interested in classical music will surely not be surprised by the fact that we can follow the musical trail here. After all, this is where artists such as Bach, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Wagner lived and created. Here, too, we encourage you to get a map outlining a 5-kilometer trail showing places associated with famous composers.
And staying in the musical climate – in June, Leipzig hosts the famous Leipzig Bach Fest, or Leipzig Bach Festival, during which famous composers and musicians come to Leipzig and the city turns into a huge concert stage.
University of Leipzig
A gem as far as modern architecture is concerned – the building of the University of Leipzig together with the Paulinum, i.e. the assembly hall and the university church. The university, with 610 years of history, is the second oldest university in Germany.
The university church in question survived World War II, but was destroyed by East German authorities in 1968. The modern building we see was built based on a design by the Dutchman Erick van Egeraat (an architectural competition for the new building was announced in 2004).
You can enter the university building, and inside you can see the surviving plaques. Unfortunately, the church was closed during our visit.
The Paulinum is located on Augustusplatz, and two important buildings, the Leipzig Philharmonic and the Leipzig Opera, can be seen opposite each other on the same square.
Gourmet coffee paradise
It came as a surprise to us how important the tradition of coffee drinking is in Leipzig and what unique coffee shops there are in the city.
An example of such a café is Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum, one of the oldest café-restaurants in the world and the oldest in Germany. Unfortunately, it is currently closed, but work is underway to reopen it. And we strongly hope for it!
If you are looking for a unique place to have coffee then head to Riquet. You will easily find the place – there are two elephant heads hanging above the entrance. Inside, stylish interiors and even not so high prices (for Germany, of course) await you ;)
Belantis amusement park
Time for more adrenaline! Near Leipzig is Belantis, the largest amusement park in eastern Germany. After passing through the blue fairy-tale castle, we enter a huge area where…. is quiet and peaceful! :)
The hustle and bustle, crowds and noise known from other amusement parks are not present here. And this is something that surprised us most at first. We expected queues to the attractions, squeezing and a river of people, yet nothing like that happened. We were afraid of the noise and happy songs rumbling through the speakers at full volume. Songs were, but definitely played more quietly than in other places of this type.
This year we got lucky with amusement parks, because just like at Energylandia, there were no queues at all! We went everywhere with a walk, and Olive could ride the children’s carousels endlessly. The staff even encouraged them to go several times at a time and have entire carousels or queues to themselves. Believe us – the joy of a child in such moments is priceless! :)
All the attractions in Belantis Park are located around the lake, so there are really only two directions to go. They are accumulated into small themed lands, such as Indian Prairie, Knight’s Island and Pharaoh’s Valley. In each of them you’ll find some stronger rides, something lighter, and food and beverage facilities.
What kind of attractions await the eager thrill-seekers? For example, the Huracan rollercoaster, with a drop of 32 meters, a carousel where you control the flight yourself, huge rocking boats, slides, a maze, an Indian village and much, much more. There are attractions for the hard-nosed and those looking for maximum adrenaline, as well as peaceful boat cruises or slow carousels. What who likes, but we definitely bet on the stronger ones.
There are plenty of smaller and quieter attractions for toddlers. There are merry-go-rounds, a choo-choo, toy cars, playgrounds. We were particularly captivated by the mini version of the biggest rollecoaster in Belantis (Huracan). Ostensibly for children, yet the wagon is moving quite fast.
How much does such a pleasure cost? A regular ticket costs 37.5 euros, and for a child aged 4-10 it costs 32.5 euros. You can save a few euros by buying family tickets, which also include meals in the price. It is also cheaper to buy tickets online, several days ahead.
Neuseenland – the land of lakes
Who would have thought that in Saxony, near Leipzig, German Masuria is forming? A short distance from the city you will find 20 lakes, which are created in places where there used to be open-pit mines. Well, we are witnessing the creation of a new landscape – once destroyed by the mining industry and now built anew, with forests, meadows, lakes, beaches and hills. And in all of this there is plenty of room for a person who wants a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Neuseenland is a place of relaxation, but also sports opportunities, concerts and festivals are held here, and numerous restaurants, cafes and campgrounds await visitors. We were in several corners and the number of attractions made us eager to come back here for longer, because we ran out of time to relax ;) We could sit for several hours whether on the beach or in one of the coastal cafes and enjoy the peace and quiet only about 10 km from the city center!
In addition to beaches and places for typical recreation, there is a great infrastructure for activities: bicycle paths, a rope park, you can kayak, boat, along specially prepared water routes (the lakes will eventually be connected by canals!), surf, sail, dive, and even try your hand at kayaking or rafting along a specially prepared route.
Here you can see the VINETA Church on the Water commemorating the history of the region, especially the villages that gave way to the mines. This interesting object is located on Lake Störmthaler; you can swim to it, and if you want to spot it from the shore it is worth getting binoculars.
Bergbau Technik Park
This is just a unique place, and a treat for photographers! Because where else can you watch giant mining machines up close and without a helmet on your head? :) You can walk up to them, learn how they worked, what they were used for.
Now, of course, they no longer work, but instead of disassembling them and transporting them, it was decided to put them close together and make them accessible to visitors. And that’s how Bergbau Technik Park came into being.
The site can be seen from afar – the structures immediately catch the eye when entering Leipzig from the south.
At the entrance you can get an audio guide with which you navigate the area on your own. As you walk around, you get a sense of the open-pit mine site, and only up close do you feel the enormity and power of the machines that once operated here.
The park is part of a project we have already written about above, which is aimed at developing post-mining areas. As you can see, it’s not only reforestation and the creation of recreational sites, but also the creation of educational sites.
An adult ticket costs 7 euros, and a discounted ticket costs 4 euros. Children under 6 years of age enter for free.
A moment ago it was about giant machines, and now, for contrast, we take you to the miniature park! This time a real treat for lovers of trains and mock-ups.
Modellbaupark is located on a hill, on Lake Markkleeberger, next to a rope park and campgrounds.
It is a small, fenced-off area with both real train cars and a locomotive, as well as small scale models of buildings and vehicles. The biggest attraction is undoubtedly the tiny carriage rides throughout the park (note, there is even a special carriage for a wheelchair or baby carriage!)
Immediately you can see that this is a place created out of passion … no commercial, crowded. We had the impression that everything is operated by one person, but maybe this was due to the fact that we were already under the evening.
An adult ticket costs 6 euros on weekends and holidays, and a discounted ticket costs 3 euros (children under 3 get in for free). Included in the ticket price, everyone can ride the train once, and if you liked it, an additional ride costs 1 Euro.
Map of attractions in Leipzig
Below you will find a map with all the above-described attractions in and around Leipzig marked:
Our opinion about Leipzig
Leipzig, we liked you and we liked you a lot! :)
We have shown you some interesting places that we hope will interest you and encourage you to visit Saxony. As you have read above, the city has many faces and we are sure you will find something for yourself here, whether you are traveling alone, with two or with children.
We also recommend our other posts about Saxony:
- Dresden for the weekend – what is worth seeing?
- Elbe Valley – interesting places near Dresden
- Tierpark-Zoo Gorlitz – a zoo unlike any other
- Saxony – Upper Lusatia not only for the weekend!
- Saxony with a child – suggestions for a family trip
- Dresden and surroundings – attractions for children
The material was created in cooperation with the German Tourism Board, at whose invitation we toured Saxony.