I will be traveling to Prague, Dresden, and Berlin in late April. I was wondering if a day trip to Leipzig would be worth the train fare. I have the time as I'll be in Berlin for 5 days. I'm a culture vulture and really love big museums and historical sights and can't decide if I should take a day from seeing them. Thanks!
A day trip to Leipzig would be worthwhile on a Friday or Saturday if you like choral music because Friday night and Saturday afternoon there is usually a concert in the famous old Thomas church, where Johann Sebasian Bach is buried. They used to be free but now they're about 10 Euro. Last time I was there, the entrance was on the side, near the Bach statue. In walking distance is the old city hall (das Alte Rathaus) on the market square, the Auerbach's Keller restaurant, the Alte Boerse (sort of the original Wall Street of Leipzig), a really attractive building, with the Nikolai Church nearby and assorted restaurants and shops. You could also visit the Voelkerschlacht Denkmal (Battle of the Nations Monument) commemorating the battle of Leipzig in 1813, where, among others, Germans, Austrians and Russians defeated Napoleon. The Russian Memorial Church is nearby. These are just a few of the attractions....If you google some of them, you'll get a preview that might help you decide if you want to make the trip. One of my favorite memories is dining at the top of the University Tower and then going up to the roof terrace and getting a birds eye view of Leipzig under a full moon.
Definitely worthwhile! and only one hour by train away. You can take the InterConnex which is even cheaper than DB, especially if booked ahead of time. They only run one train in the morning and one in the evening. If you want to stay longer to be able to take in a concert at the Thomas Church or at the famous concert hall "Gewandhaus" you could get a ticket with InterConnex in the morning and take a later train with DB to get back to Berlin. www.interconnex.de Leipzig has some amazing historical sites and Anna has outlined some of the most well known. The city has also an important place in more recent history as the birthplace of the peaceful revolution that eventually brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989. That's what gave Leipzig the nickname "city of heroes". The Nikolai Church is one site connected to this as is the Museum "Runde Ecke" which focusses more on the Stasi (the Secret Police). The museum is free, English audio guides are available at a nominal fee. www.runde-ecke-leipzig.de One of the museums that I missed at my last visit and really want to catch up on the next time around focusses more on art and design. Leipzig used to be a major centre for graphic design and book design throughout history. Well, the Grassi Museum is actually 3 museums in one but I'm personally more interested in the one about Applied Arts. It also includes one for Musical Instruments and one for Ethnography. www.grassimuseum.de/info_en.html
Emily, If you have 5 full days devoted to Berlin and are a "culture vulture" (nice term), then I say the day trip to Leipzig is defintely worth the train fare. On two different trips I came into Leipzig from Berlin r/t using my Pass. As pointed out accurately above, Leipzig is the place to go for music (Bach, Wagner, Liszt, Mendelsohn and the Gewandhaus) and history. The main problem is you have to set what is top priority to see because there is so much. The tram outside the train station takes you to the Völkerschlachtdenkmal and its museum on the premises, the Prussian monument dedicated to the Allied victory when they caught the Emperor Napoleon in a concentric battle. (I was a bit disappointed in its Museum.) Leipzig's Hauptbahnhof is unique as a train station.
Thank you Anna, Beatrix, and Fred! I think I'll devote a day to Leipzig and perhaps take in one of those pleasant-sounding concerts. Thanks again and happy travels.