The 25 best sights in Leipzig – descriptions and photos

Leipzig sights in one day. Walking itinerary with map

Category: Germany ” Leipzig 3 395 1

We and you are lucky: almost all the main sights of Leipzig are located in the center and you can walk around them in one day. Which we did, and took our time, strolling around the city at our pleasure. In today’s article we’ll tell you briefly about the main sights of Leipzig and write up a walking itinerary that will allow you to see everything in one day. Just open our article on your phone and walk around Leipzig with it – it will be your guide and guide.

All sights in Leipzig in one day: article content

  • Leipzig sights map
  • Walking itinerary with descriptions and photos of sights
  • How to use public transport in Leipzig
  • Where to stay in Leipzig for the common (and not so common) tourist

Leipzig map with sights in Russian

In blue on the map are the places that we will bypass on foot. They are marked with numbers in chronological order, from first to last. Green indicates sights of Leipzig located away from the city center – you may have to go to them by public transport.

Leipzig sights in one day: itinerary for a walk

So, we are in Leipzig! It is the 600,000-strong city in East Germany, the capital of Saxony. The route of our walk “All the sights of Leipzig in one day” starts from the main railway station (Leipzig Hauptbahnhof). All tourists arrive here by trains and electric trains from the airport; most of Leipzig’s hotels are located around the station, and it’s also the city center and the most convenient starting point for exploring the city. Here are some good hotels near the train station in downtown Leipzig that are often chosen by tourists:

Hotels in downtown Leipzig on Booking.com

Leipzig’s main train station is also a real landmark. Built in 1915, it ranks first in Europe in terms of area (83,640 square meters)! But it’s true that when you exit the station onto the square you end up in Asia or Africa rather than Europe.

Leipzig sights, Germany. In the photo: Leipzig's main railway station.

The Leipzig Sights in a Day tour route begins at the main railway station, which is the largest in Europe.

It doesn’t take long to get there, so we turn left and walk through the shady park Schwanentheich to the main square – Augustusplatz. By the way, it is only 600 meters from the train station. Let’s sit down on a bench near the fountain and look at the beautiful buildings around us.

The sights of Leipzig on Augustusplatz

The Leipzig Opera (building with columns by the fountain) is one of the oldest opera houses in Europe, founded in 1693. Older only the Venice and Hamburg Opera. However, the building you are admiring now was built in 1960: the old opera house was destroyed by bombing in 1943.

The Egyptian Museum is a collection of about 7,000 unique exhibits (figurines, jewelry, sarcophagi, mummies, etc.). It is located in the “Kroch Heights”, Leipzig’s first multi-story building, built in 1928 by banker Hans Kroch for the office of his Privatbank Kroch.

The Gewandhaus is the building of the Leipzig Regional Philharmonic. It is the only concert hall in Germany built under the GDR (opened in 1981).

The skyscraper City-Hochhaus height of 155.4 m. Built in the 1970s for the University of Leipzig, which later sold it to an investment company that turned it into an office building. It has been compared to a flag waving in the wind, or an open book, or the letter Y cut in half.

The main building of the University of Leipzig. The most beautiful building at Augustusplatz and in all of Leipzig, built in 2009. The University of Leipzig is the oldest university in Germany. It was founded in 1409 and many famous Germans studied there, including Goethe, Leibniz, Nietzsche and Merkel. In GDR times, the university (as well as the square on which it is located) was named after Karl Marx. The main university building on Augustusplatz is called the Paulinum, and not only by its name but also by its architecture it reminds us of the Gothic St. Paul Church, which stood here in the Middle Ages.

Leipzig's main sights: Germany's oldest university.

Leipzig’s main attractions: the oldest university in Germany.

Leipzig sights. The photo: Augustusplatz.

The two main buildings of the University of Leipzig: the present one (right) and the former one, the skyscraper City-Hochhaus.

Leipzig sights in one day. Walking route with map. In the photo: Gewandhaus.

The Gewandhaus, the concert hall of the Leipzig Philharmonic.

You’d be surprised, but there are sights in Leipzig beyond Augustusplatz as well. Had a good rest? Let’s get a move on, time is of the essence.

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A stroll through the streets of Leipzig.

From Augustusplatz we enter the pedestrianized Grimmaische Strasse . It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll: there are lots of benches and fountains, sculptures of varying degrees of absurdity, and street performers, magicians, and musicians. And from this street we turn to the Church of St. Nicholas, the oldest church in the city, built in the 12th century. That’s what I love about Catholic churches, it’s for the benches, where you can sit and relax. We sit, relax, admire the Gothic architecture, and after leaving the church, do not forget to take pictures against the beautiful buildings of the Nikolaikirchhof. For example, like this:

Leipzig sights in one day. Leipzig's sights in one day.

Behind the Nikolaikirchirche church hides a very beautiful street.

Further our way goes past the Old Stock Exchange (an elegant yellow and white building of the XVIII century) to the Market Square . It’s the most beautiful square in the city (Augustusplatz forgive me), surrounded by ancient houses. Leipzig’s most interesting sights on the Market Square are the Old City Hall (now the Leipzig History Museum) and the Old Weighhouse, where products were formerly weighed for the market. Both buildings were built in the 16th century.

By the way, there’s a cozy little Thomaswiese park near the Market Square, where the citizens love to relax. If the sightseeing in Leipzig tires you out, you can rest in the shade of trees and eat a traditional German sausage currywurst with traditional Indian curry sauce. Where to get it, you ask? Right there, at the Curry Cult snack bar at the Market Square entrance to the park. I’ll be honest – I don’t like curry sausages, but the Germans love them, so it’s worth a try.

Leipzig sights, photos with descriptions. Leipzig's market square.

With your permission, me again. Behind me is Market Square, the white building on the right is the Old Weighhouse.

Leipzig sights, photos with descriptions. Leipzig's market square.

Leipzig’s market square tempts Russian tourists with sanctioned products on a fair day.

Since we walked to the Market Square, we can’t ignore the trade as part of Leipzig’s culture. The city is famous for its arcades (covered shopping galleries), which are the highlights of Leipzig and there are quite a few of them. The most beautiful one is the Maller Passage, which, lucky for us, is located right next to the Thomaswiese Park. Here you can find the legendary “Cellar of Auerbach” – according to the legend, here Goethe first heard the legend of Dr. Faust, who got mixed up with the devil. A monument to Mephistopheles and Faust stands in the Madler Passage near the entrance to Auerbach’s Cellar.

Leipzig sights in one day, walking route with map. Monument to Faust and Mephistopheles.

Mephistopheles (left) explains to Faust how to get around the sights of Leipzig in one day. Before the advent of Went.com, one had to give one’s soul for this information.

Leipzig is a city where not only great writers, but also famous composers have worked. And of course, many of Leipzig’s landmarks are connected with their names. Near the Thomaswiese Park and Madler Passage is the ancient (14th century) St. Thomas Church, where from 1723 to 1750 the boys’ choir was directed by none other than Johann Sebastian Bach. Opposite the church is the Bach Museum, and at the southern wall of the church is a monument to the great composer. And in the church itself, at the altar, Bach’s remains rest. After his death, the composer was buried in the city cemetery, and in the church of St. Thomas he was reburied in 1949.

Sights of Leipzig. Church of St. Thomas.

View of the church of St. Thomas from the Thomasvise Park.

Sights of Leipzig. Church of St. Thomas and Bach tomb.

The bronze tombstone under which Bach is buried.

Now let’s put Leipzig’s hyped-up sights aside and simply take a stroll in the shade of the century-old Martin Luther Ring, surrounded by beautiful (and not so beautiful) old (and not so old) buildings. And then we turn off to the New Town Hall (1905) – one of the largest city administrations in the world, it covers more than 10 thousand square meters. The building is indeed very interesting, you can wander around it for a long time, noting the unusual details.

City of Leipzig sights. Photo: New City Hall.

The New City Hall in Leipzig is a beautiful and monumental building that is not even embarrassing to work in.

Sights in Leipzig, Germany. In the photo: New City Hall.

Sightseeing in Leipzig. The New City Hall in front of the graffiti depicting the New City Hall.

You’ll be surprised, but we have already seen all the main sights of Leipzig located in the city center . Next I offer three options to choose from, depending on how much time you have to spare.

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Leipzig’s three sights in the middle of the city

1. Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse. If you’re looking for a fun night out in Leipzig or just a bite to eat somewhere interesting, feel free to head to Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse (or simply “Kali,” as the locals call it for short). This is the city’s most party street, full of clubs, pubs, and restaurants of all cuisines of the world (including the famous “Pushkin”). Kilometers of graffiti of dubious artistic value, street exhibitions and concert venues – you certainly won’t get bored here.

Leipzig sights in one day. Karl Liebknecht Strasse.

Such interesting establishments can be found on Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse.

Leipzig sights in a day.

On the day of our visit Karl-Liebknecht Strasse was showing masterpieces of modern European cinema, but we found more interesting things to do.

2. The “Battle of Nations” monument. This is the largest monument in Europe, its height – 91 meters. Installed in 1913 in honor of the centennial battle of Leipzig, when a coalition of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden defeated the army of Napoleon.

Many of the sights of Leipzig can be walked around in one day, but the monument “Battle of the Nations” must be reached by streetcar.

3. Leipzig Zoo. If you come with children or if you simply love animals, you have no right to miss this attraction in Leipzig. The Leipzig menagerie is the largest in Germany and the second largest in Europe after Vienna, and you will see almost 10,000 animals of 800 species here. The entrance ticket costs 21 euros for adults, 13 euros for children from 6 to 16 years old. But if you arrive 3 hours before closing time, the price drops to 15 and 11 euros respectively. Check the zoo’s official website for details.

Let’s face it: if you only have one day to spare, you probably won’t have time to see Leipzig’s last two attractions. Besides, if you can do everything else on foot, you have to drive to the Battle of Nations Monument (and, in some places, to the zoo). But if you do decide to visit these sights in Leipzig, I will briefly tell you about the local public transport.

How to use public transport in Leipzig

Leipzig has flat-rate tickets for all public transportation: streetcars, buses and local trains. You can purchase tickets from ticket machines at many bus stops. Here are three types of tickets that are suitable for tourists:

  • The Kurzstreckenfahrkarte costs €1.90 and entitles you to travel four stops.
  • The Einzelfahrkarte costs 2.7 euros and is valid for 1 hour after punching.
  • The 24-Stunden-Karte costs 7.6 euros and is valid for 24 hours.

You can use Leipzig’s public transport website to calculate your route around the city. Do not forget to punch your ticket!

Leipzig sights in a day. Leipzig sights in one day.

The yellow box in the photo to the right of the streetcar is the ticket vending machine.

Where to stay in Leipzig

The best place to see the sights in Leipzig, especially if you have only one or two days, is from the city center – around the Main Station or Augustusplatz. Most hotels in Leipzig are there, but those on the outskirts are not as plentiful and will not be cheaper. Here are some great hotels near the train station that we (and even you) could stay in.

Hotels in the center of Leipzig
    in Leipzig: cheap, right in the center : swimming pool, rooms with kitchen facilities : budget, comfortable, no extravagances : new building, big rooms : not expensive, rooms with kitchen facilities : opposite Karl Marx University

This completes the walking route “All sights of Leipzig in one day”. More things to do in Leipzig (and in general about this city) you can read in our useful articles:

Leipzig’s top 24 sights

Leipzig is a concentration of German culture. This city broadens the horizons by introducing its guests to unique ancient architecture, music and unusual museums.

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Who should visit Leipzig and why?

Life in Leipzig is quiet and serene. That might sound boring to some, but not to the locals. They think that Leipzig is the ideal place for talents and talents to blossom. They may be right, since it was in Leipzig that the composers Wagner, Mendelssohn and Bach lived and worked. The enlightener and reformer Martin Luther was also inspired by the local ambience.

The sights of Leipzig are picturesque architecture. Its houses, squares and streets can hardly fail to impress aesthetes and lovers of beautiful pictures. Churches and cathedrals, built at the dawn of the Middle Ages, have survived to this day. They impress with their monumentality.

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The museum collections, though not the largest, are definitely worth a visit for tourists of all ages.

Religious attractions

Church of St. Nicholas

cerkov st nikol

This is the oldest church in Leipzig, built in the 12th century. It was actively rebuilt in the XV-XVI centuries, so its architecture can be traced Gothic, Romanesque and even Baroque features.

It was in this church that Johann Sebastian Bach first performed his musical masterpiece, The Passion According to Matthew. And in 1989, activists who called for the demolition of the Berlin Wall began to gather in the church.

Church of St. Thomas

cerkov st fomi

The church in Neo-Gothic style was built in the 13th century. As a result of later reconstructions the church acquired an eight-cornered tower with a height of 68 metres. The facade was finally shaped in the 19th century. The interior is decorated with Gothic paintings, white columns and colorful stained-glass windows.

The temple has a rich musical and religious history. Bach served here as a cantor, as well. The tomb of the composer is situated inside the building under a bronze plate, and at the entrance there is a monument to the musical genius. The church is also famous for the oldest choir of boys’ novices in the country, which has existed since 1242.

St. Peter’s Church

cerkov st petra

The Gothic church is impressive with a lot of statues, bas-reliefs and carved elements on the facade. The 88 m high tower is visible from afar, making it the tallest bell tower in Leipzig. It is decorated by a clock which was installed in 2009.

The first church was built in the 16th century. At the time of the Reformation it was rebuilt as a warehouse and then completely destroyed.

The new church building was built in 1882, when 80 architects took part in the design competition. Khatrell and Lipsis won. They erected a monumental building, based on its history and original exterior.

Architecture

Old Town Hall

old ratusha

The red and white town hall building was built in the 16th century on Market Square and is considered the oldest in the city. It has been reconstructed several times, so the facade shows clear traces of Gothic and Renaissance features. The town hall was closed in 1909.

Today there is a restaurant on the first floor and a museum devoted to the history of the town occupies the rest. Every Sunday from the tower of the former magistrate trumpeters play the city’s anthem live. This action gathers many tourists on the square.

New Town Hall

nova ratusha

The white-washed building in eclectic style was built in 1904 on the site of the demolished castle. Its facade is richly decorated with large windows, sculptures, bas-reliefs and turrets.

The New town hall was solemnly opened in the presence of the king Friedrich August III. It was the biggest town hall not only in Leipzig, but also in the whole of Germany – its height is approx. 115 m.

When the local authorities were working on the appearance of the administrative complex, a prerequisite was to preserve the recognizable features of the demolished castle. The architect succeeded in achieving this aim.

Golisa Palace

goliski dvorec

The rococo mansion of the country house was built in 1756 for the city councilor Johann Richter. Because of the Seven Years’ War and the death of the official, finishing work on the building had to be put on hold. Richter’s widow Christine and her new husband completed the work.

The building is decorated with large windows, a semi-circular tower with a clock and a golden spire. Artists, philosophers and writers, including Schiller, used to love to visit the palace. Today, the building belongs to the city. It houses a restaurant and free-standing halls where temporary exhibitions and conferences are held.

“Gewandhaus.”

gevandhaus

This is the concert hall that became home to the symphony orchestra and chorus of the same name, founded in 1781. It was famous for its stunning acoustics, and premiere works by Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Wagner were played here.

When the building could no longer accommodate all comers, a second Gewandhaus was built. The old building was dismantled, partially integrating its architectural elements into the city buildings. During World War II, the concert hall was destroyed.

Its third incarnation appeared only in 1981. Through the huge glass facade you can see the lush foyer, decorated with frescoes and huge chandeliers. And in front of the entrance there is a fountain.

City-Hochhaus Skyscraper

neboskreb

Built in 1975 for the University of Leipzig, the skyscraper is still an architectural landmark. It is almost 143 m high and has 30 floors. The cyclopean building was intended to demonstrate the socialist achievements of the GDR to its neighbors.

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After the reunification of the two German states, in 2000, the university handed over the skyscraper to the city. Today it houses offices, restaurants, a bar and an observation deck under the very roof.

Kroh-Haus

krohhaus

This is the first high-rise building in Leipzig. It was commissioned by the banker Hans Kroh on Augustusplatz. The building was 43 meters high (11 floors).

The reinforced concrete construction is clad in gray limestone. Above the second floor is a frieze, depicting heroes of peaceful labor: a shepherd, a reaper, a blacksmith and a fisherman in a boat. Farther up is a vine representing fertility and a falcon symbolizing wisdom. Above the entrance is the winged helmet of Mercury, the god of trade and commerce.

Crowning the tower is a clock 4.3 m in diameter with an additional moon phase calendar above the dial. On the roof of the Kroh House are bells and the motto in Latin, “Work conquers all”.

Zum Arabischen Coffee Baum

kofeinia

The oldest coffee house not only in Leipzig, but in all of Germany, was opened in 1717 and hasn’t stopped working since. Epochs, owners and interiors have changed, but the smell of coffee and the taste of the drink have remained the same.

On the top floor of the building is a museum. It occupies 15 rooms, where are exhibited items related to coffee: its cultivation, production and culture of consumption. In total, the collection includes more than 500 artifacts. Entrance to the museum is free, but you can hardly resist the temptation of buying a cup of coffee on the way out. There are more than 20 varieties of coffee, and desserts are a gourmet addition.

“Auerbach’s Cellar

pogreb aurbaha

The epic restaurant is located in the heart of the historic center. It was first mentioned in 1428 – back then it was a small cellar, where they fed simple but hearty food and treated you to heady drinks. It was here that Goethe’s book characters Faust and Mephistopheles met. It is said that the reformer Martin Luther liked to visit here.

The Old Stock Exchange

old birga

Once upon a time the stock exchange, located on the Naschmarkt, was buzzing with commercial life: traders concluded profitable deals, lost millions and regained lost capital. This went on for 200 years, and when the auctions stopped, the building became the property of the city.

The baroque facade, richly decorated with stucco, now hosts cultural events, theatrical performances and lectures.

Medler’s Mall

torgovi passag

The shopping mall is located in the center of Leipzig. It grew out of a small wine cellar when a trading hall was added to it in 1525. Over the years the place grew and changed over time.

In the 20th century, a grand reconstruction was carried out, but the historic cellar described by Goethe himself was not touched and was transformed into a fashionable restaurant. Today the passage houses offices, boutiques, and cafes.

Leipzig main station

gd liepcig

The station building was built at the beginning of the twentieth century, and so far it is considered the largest in Europe. The length of the front façade is almost 300 m. The last general reconstruction conducted in the mid-1990s, increasing the capacity of the station to 160 people per day. In addition part of the building was converted into a luxury shopping complex.

The station has 26 platforms, some of them were turned into a museum – there are real rare steam locomotives, diesel locomotives and locomotives.

Museums and exhibitions

“Panometer”.

panometr

This is a circular panorama that occupies the building of the former gas storage station, built in 1909. The walls of the former gas storage facility are adorned with panoramic paintings created on fabric by high-resolution digital printing. The single canvas reaches about 100 meters in length and 30 meters in height.

Visitors view the epic masterpieces from a platform mounted 15 meters above the floor. The effect of being present and immersed in the plot of the painting is stunning.

The exhibitions change regularly. Visitors to the Panometer have already had the pleasure of enjoying the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, the majesty of Everest, and a virtual dive on the seabed to view the Titanic.

Johann Sebastian Bach Museum

The museum, located in the house where the composer lived for 25 years – until his death in 1750. On display here are personal items, handwritten scores, letters, and notes that belonged to Bach.

In a separate room, there is an exhibit of old instruments, including parts of the organ on which the genius played. The creators of the exhibition have tried to recreate as accurately as possible the interior in which the composer lived.

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F. Mendelssohn Museum

musei mendelsona

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy is a key figure of the Romantic era. In 1853 he served as director of the Gewandhaus Symphony Orchestra. The author of the most famous marches spent the last years of his life in Leipzig. The house where he stayed with his family was turned into a museum by the local authorities.

In the rooms with the original furnishings of those years are stored books, notes, letters and other personal belongings of the composer. On Sundays, concerts are held in the chamber hall of the museum.

Grassi Museum.

musei grassi

A large exhibition complex combines three museums under one roof:

  • The Ethnographic Museum introduces the cultures of different countries. Here you can see the costumes, jewelry, religious objects and everyday objects of different peoples.
  • The Museum of Applied Arts has porcelain, antique furniture and other artifacts from different eras.
  • The Music Museum is famous for its interactive sound laboratory, allowing visitors to hear what any instrument sounds like. Guests don’t even know many of them exist.

The pink brick building itself was erected in the early 20th century. It is considered the epitome of Art Deco style in architecture.

Museum of Fine Arts

musei iso

The museum was founded in the late 19th century. The basis for the first exhibitions were private collections of citizens and donations of patrons. The first building was destroyed during the Second World War, and for more than 60 years, the museum wandered in makeshift shelters.

In 2004 a bright, spacious and modern cube-shaped building was built for it. On an area of more than 7000 square meters are stored collections of sculpture, paintings and graphics. Works by Flemish and German masters of the 15th-16th centuries, Italian masterpieces of the 18th century, as well as more recent paintings by French artists form the core of the exhibition.

Contemporary History Forum

forum sovr ist

The museum is devoted to the political history of the GDR – since the founding of the Republic in 1945 up to 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell.

The exhibition includes more than 3000 exhibits. These are documents, photos, newspaper articles, installations with the participation of former heads of state. A separate room is devoted to the attempts of ordinary citizens of the GDR to get into neighboring Germany.

Museum at the Round Corner

The museum is for lovers of the spy world, full of secrets, incredible operations and adventures. The inconspicuous building with a rounded corner on Dietrichring Street housed the headquarters of the Stasi intelligence agency for more than 40 years.

The museum occupies 5 floors. The furnishings have been left unchanged. Among the old furniture, faded linoleum and dusty documents, there are real “gems”: surveillance devices, CCTV cameras, makeup room to change the appearance, orders, reports and documents marked “secret”. All in all more than 40 thousand items are stored here.

Interesting places

Botanical Garden

bot sad

The garden was opened in 1877 at the University of Leipzig. Before World War II it was considered one of the largest nurseries of medicinal plants in Germany. Bombings destroyed almost all the botanical collections. It took more than a year to restore and increase the floral diversity.

Today the botanical garden occupies an area of over 3 hectares. There are over 7,000 species of plants from all over the world. Be sure to visit the greenhouse with cacti and tropical flowers.

market square

rin ploshad

Once the main square of Leipzig has not lost its importance to this day. From a political place where important laws and decisions were announced, it has become a tourist attraction.

Situated opposite the Old Town Hall, the Market Square is a popular place for walks. There are cafes, restaurants and small stores. Twice a week there is a farmer’s market where you can buy homemade products.

During major holidays, such as Easter or Christmas, the market square is the center of the festivities – it hosts themed fairs.

Zoo

zoo

The zoo in Leipzig opened in 1878 at a restaurant – just to attract the public. The marketing ploy worked – the place became popular and the animals were no longer needed. Gradually the zoological garden has become an independent unit and has expanded to almost 30 hectares.

Now it is home to representatives of more than 800 species of fauna. Very popular is the aquarium, which has about 2000 fish and the tropical park Gondwana Land with exotic plants.

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