A place where cathedrals echo with the gorgeous harmonies of J.S. Bach, modern art spaces open every week, and elegant passageways are full of intriguing stores, Leipzig is one of Germany (and Europe's) most exciting cities.
Leipzig has had a large impact on global culture thanks to famous sons like J.S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, and Richard Wagner. Annual festivals commemorate all three musical geniuses.
See wondrous paintings from the 15th to the 20th centuries at the Museum of Fine Arts, or dive into modern galleries like Spinnerei - home to the New Leipzig School.
Aside from the galleries, Leipzig hosts other must-see attractions, like the stuffed creatures at the Naturkundemuseum and the quirky Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum - Europe's oldest coffee house.
Central Leipzig is criss-crossed by covered arcades like Mädler-Passage and Jägerhof-Passage, where shopping is a magical experience.
Within a few miles of Leipzig, you'll find some breathtaking scenery, particularly near Kulkwitzer See (where you'll also encounter swimming beaches). The baroque city of Halle is also just a short drive away.
The Völkerschlachtdenkmal, or Monument to the Battle of the Nations, is a Leipzig monument commemorating the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. It was completed in 1913 and celebrates the defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig. The impressive structure is 299 feet tall with 500 steps up to the viewing platform. There you can enjoy panoramic views across the city and surrounding area. After the battle, Napoleon was forced to return to France and the following year he was exiled to Elba. Visiting the Völkerschlachtdenkmal is a great way to understand more about this pivotal moment in European history.
To learn about this fascinating city, you can't do better than a visit to the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum. This is a museum dedicated to the history of Leipzig, tracing its progress from the Middle Ages to the present. It is actually a collection of different museums, each focusing on a different aspect of the city. It's a comprehensive, imaginative and frank collection that does justice to the city's long and eventful history.
The Nikolaikirche, or St Nicholas Church, was built over an astonishingly long period. Construction started in 1165 but it was not finished until the 18th century. During this time it developed from the Romanesque style through Gothic influences and finally adopted Baroque touches. The architectural cocktail is completed by a Neoclassical interior, resulting in a unique building that neatly sums up the various periods in the city's history. More recently, it became famous as the focus for the 1989 demonstrations against communist rule in East Germany.
The Grassimuseum is one of the world's great craft museums. It has more than 90,000 pieces in its collections covering everything from ceramics and porcelain to fabrics, textiles, jewelry, metal work, sculpture and wood carvings. It is particularly strong in Art Deco and Art Nouveau objects and has an important photography collection. This is an excellent place to go to gain a more practical perspective on Leipzig's culture and history.
The Museum der bildenden Künste, or Museum of Fine Arts, houses a vast array of artworks from the Middle Ages to modern times. The original building was destroyed in WWII but in 2004 the city gave the collection a stunning new home in the form of a vast modernist rectangular structure on Augustusplatz. The museum is recognized in the Blue Book as one of Germany's most important cultural institutions. It has more than 60,000 exhibits including paintings by the Old Masters, Modern Art, sculpture and graphics. The Museum der bildenden Künste is a must for any visitor to the city with an interest in the arts.
Generally, the city's music festivals start around March and run through the summer, so visit them if you want to catch a concert. Otherwise, there's no bad time to visit.
Most people fly into Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ), which is 15 miles northwest of the center of town. From there, take the train into Leipzig for EUR4.
Leipzig's mammoth Hauptbahnhof has connections to all corners of Germany, as well as Prague and Vienna. Berlin is only 80 minutes away.
Take the A9 from Berlin, the A14 from Dresden, or the A5 then the A4 if you are driving from Frankfurt.
Flixbus and Eurolines provide bus connections to most German cities, offering a cheaper alternative to the train.
High-class accommodation options in Leipzig include the opulent Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof and the Radisson Blu.
Zentrum - the heart of Leipzig and home to most of the museums and galleries, Zentrum features the city's iconic shopping arcades and the main city market.
Musikviertel - what other city has a "music district"? This upscale area south of the center is home to many great bars and restaurants like Killiwilly, an excellent Irish pub.
Zentrum-Ost - just east of the center, Zentrum-Ost is more diverse and a good place to grab a bite to eat, with places like Zunftkeller and Chinas Welt.
Trams and S-Bahn trains are run by LVB and charge EUR2.50 for a single ticket.
Taxis in Leipzig should charge no more than EUR3.50 for the flag drop, followed by around EUR2.50 per mile.
You can rent a car from companies like Hertz, Europcar, and Avis for around EUR15-20 per day.
Zentrum is the city's shopping hub. The passageways are the most atmospheric places to shop (and host a Passagenfest every fall), but Augustusplatz also hosts regular markets, including a Christmas spectacular.
Leipzig's supermarket selection includes REWE and Lidl, and 12 eggs should cost around EUR1.50.
Check out foodie highlights like Auerbachs Keller (which dates back to 1525), and Cafe Puschkin on Karli (Karl-Liebknecht Strasse) - the city's best street to grab a beer. Expect meals to come to around EUR20-25 per head.