Hello - I arrive by train at 0945 and depart 1730 on a Friday in March. 'Any suggestions on what to see, do, eat? Not a huge classical music lover. Thanks!
The Bach museum should be worth a visit even if you are not huge classical music lover. Otherwise you can visit the Völkerschlachtdenkmal.
The Panometer Leipzig museum is excellent and also a trip to Volkerschlachtdenkmal is a must. You can include a pub experience and grab a bite to eat after your excursions at Auerbachs Keller Pub.
Want to read about Leipzig's role in the fall of the Berlin Wall? Read "The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall" by Mary Elise Sarotte. It will give you lots of places to see... like Nikolaikirche, the church where prayers for peace led to Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig, which led to Monday Demonstrations across the former East Germany, which led to the events that resulted in the opening of the wall on Nov 9, 1989.
Gisa Schönfeld is an excellent local guide (one of the best I have encountered!) with reasonable fees who can show you around town... contact info is in the Rick Steves Germany book.
I suggest too the Völkerschlachtdenkmal, finished in 1913 to commemorate the centennial of the Allied victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig, that event called as such in anglophone historiography. There is also the battlefield museum on the premises.
You have ample time and more to see this. Take the S-Bahn from Leipzig Hbf, which stops across the street from the huge memorial.
The Runde Ecke museum is a good place to find out about the darker side of East Germany. Make sure you get an English guide at the ticket office, as the labelling is all in German.
Thanks to all for replying. I'll definitely visit Völkerschlachtdenkmal. I'll also explore the sites pertaining to the city's role in the big changes of the late 1980's.
With the exception of the Völkerschlacht Monument, Leipzig has most of its major attractions right in the city centre which is very walkable. I'd suggest to first take the elevator up the "Hohler Zahn", i.e. the City Hochhaus (highrise) at Alexanderplatz. It gives you a nice overview of the city.
As mentioned, sites associated with the Fall of the Wall would be recommended, e.g. Nikolai Church and Museum Runde Ecke. I would also spend some time in the many "Passagen" - shopping centres but they have nothing in common with the malls you know from North America, the "Mädler Passage", in particular, is stunningly beautiful.
What days exactly will you be there? From March 21-24 the Book Fair takes place in Leipzig - the largest readers' festival in all of Europe! The city and street cars will be crowded but there will also be lots of extra activities, like buskers in the street. If you are a reader yourself, you may find some English language events open to the public. "Leipzig liest" (Leipzig reads) takes place outside the fair grounds with events all over the city centre in some very interesting venues. The schedule of events is usually published about a week prior to the Book Fair.
I enjoyed just spending time in the historic center wandering, shopping, get some lunch.
If you are interested in beer, Leipzig is home to a specific Gose beer, a tangy, sour beer, available from an old historic bar, or from a newer brewpub in a renovated train station ( I could provide more information if needed). For beer geeks, this would be a bucket list type of stop.
Hi Beatrix - I'll definitely check out the passegens, but will miss the Book Fair. Thanks for tips.
Paul - I'll be sure to have a gose beer! Thanks!