In Goethe’s Faust, a character named Froschcalls Leipzig ‘a little Paris’. He was wrong – Leipzig is more fun and infinitely less self-important than the Gallic capital. It’s an important business and transport centre, a trade-fair mecca, and arguably the most dynamic city in eastern Germany.
Leipzig became known as the Stadt der Helden (City of Heroes) for its leading role in the 1989 democratic revolution. Its residents organised protests against the communist regime in May of that year; by October, hundreds of thousands were taking to the streets, placing candles on the steps of Stasi headquarters and attending peace services at the Nikolaikirche.
By the time the secret police got round to pulping their files, Leipzigers were partying in the streets, and they still haven’t stopped – from late winter street-side cafés open their terraces, and countless bars and nightclubs keep the beat going through the night.
Leipzig also stages some of the finest classical music and opera in the country, and its art and literary scenes are flourishing. It was once home to Bach, Schumann, Wagner and Mendelssohn, and to Goethe, who set a key scene of Faust in the cellar of his favourite watering hole. And the university still attracts students from all over the world. It’s the kind of city you just can’t help liking.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
Tips & articles
(3 star Hotel)
From US$128.54 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$19.11 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$133.60 per night