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Best things to do in Leipzig

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Germany  /  Saxony  /  Leipzig

Top 15 things to do in Leipzig

1. Volkerschlachtdenkmal

The 500-step, 91 m (299 ft) tall Volkerschlachtdenkmal commemorates the 1813 Battle of Leipzig. You can take breaks at various spots on the way up to the viewing platform. Alternatively, you can take the elevator all or some of the way. You'll be reminded of this bloody battle's fatalities at the crypt, which is adorned by eight large statues of fallen warriors. Continue upward to the hall of fame. The four statues here represent historic qualities ascribed to the German people: bravery, faith, sacrifice, and fertility. Once you reach the viewing platform, you will be rewarded with spectacular views across the city.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Zoo Leipzig

One of the world's elite parks, Zoo Leipzig opened in 1878 and now has nearly 850 different animal species. The zoo prides itself on its collection of big cats and its enormously successful breeding program. The internationally renowned enclosures and exhibits resemble real, wild habitats. Wind your way through six different regions: the Founder's Garden, Gondwanaland, Asia, Pongoland, Africa, and South America. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. The 22.7 hectare (56 acre) zoo's efforts toward authenticity mean the walking paths are often made of sand or soil.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. The Dresden Zwinger, Dresden

Explore one of eastern Germany's most impressive examples of Rococo architecture at The Dresden Zwinger. Originally part of the Dresden fortress, the palace is one of the city's most important historical landmarks. It now houses several museums and galleries. Visit the Old Master's Gallery to admire fine works by artists like Rafael and Van Dyck. Or head to the complex's historical museum to peruse weaponry and military artifacts from the 15th through 18th centuries. You can pick up an audio guide at the entrance for full information on each collection, as well as the history of the grounds.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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4. St. Thomas Church

St. Thomas Church is most famous for being the resting place of composer Johann Sebastian Bach. It's also where he worked as a choir director. Reformer Martin Luther preached here on Pentecost Sunday in 1539. Today, it is a Lutheran church. In the sanctuary, study the portraits of superintendents of Leipzig. The oldest dates back to 1614. Note the stained-glass windows. One is a portrait of Bach, and another is Felix Mendelssohn. Outside the church, look for the statue of Bach.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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5. St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche)

Admire a late Romanesque wooden crucifix, the oldest piece of art in the city, at St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche). Built in the 12th century and enlarged in the 16th, the church blends Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Marvel at the interior's mighty columns (designed to resemble palms) and ornamental ceiling. Admire the 30 paintings by Leipzig local Adam Friedrich Oeser. The church rose to fame in 1989 during the Monday Demonstrations' peaceful protests against communist rule.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Bach Museum

Bach Museum celebrates the life and works of German classical music legend Johann Sebastian Bach. Pick up an audio guide and immerse yourself in the interactive exhibits. Sit at the various listening stations to hear your choice of Bach compositions. In one room, you can pick out particular instruments you'd like to highlight. Study Bach's genealogy and listen to the music that his family made. Although few of Bach's personal items still exist today, this museum showcases his manuscripts, family Bibles, and his organ. The onsite cafe comes well-recommended.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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7. Hauptbahnhof Leipzig

Train enthusiasts will enjoy Hauptbahnhof Leipzig, the world's largest railway station (by floor area). Its 24 platforms are the hub of the Central German S-Bahn-system. Railroad buffs and those with an interest in Cold War Germany should head for the display of DR locomotives. Pick up some gifts or a treat for yourself at one of the station's many stores. You'll find plenty of places to get a bite to eat in this architecturally impressive building.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Frauenkirche Dresden, Dresden

Experience the fruits of postwar reconstruction at Frauenkirche Dresden. Although destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II, the rebuilt church recreates the original structure's imposing 18th-century Baroque architecture. Enter to see the grand hall, and head up to the dome (one of Europe's largest) for fantastic views and photo ops of the city. Before your trip to Dresden, make sure to check the cathedral’s website as they frequently hold concerts.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Neues Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden

Discover thousands of Europe's finest treasures at Neues Grünes Gewölbe. Housed in the historic Dresden Castle, the museum features more than 4,000 treasures ranging from Baroque to Classicism styles. Tour the nine chambers of the Historic Green Vault exhibit to see an array of crown jewels, bronze and ivory statues, and amber artwork. You can head to the New Green Vault to admire beautiful works of Baroque jewelry. You'll also see an extensive collection of pieces by one of Europe's most famous goldsmiths, Johann Melchior Dinglinger. Make a reservation online to ensure entry to the two exhibits.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Tropical Islands, Halbe

Immerse yourself in the tropical paradise of Tropical Islands, featuring one of the world's largest pool complexes. Housed in a former airship hangar, the park offers an all-encompassing vacation retreat. It features tropical pools and rainforests, a spa, accommodations, and several dining and entertainment options. You can lounge on the sandy shores of the Tropical Sea. Or try venturing into the rainforest to discover more than 600 species of tropical plants. Visit at night to avoid crowds. You can even think about a midnight swim. The pool facilities are open 24 hours a day.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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11. Panometer

Panometer displays a visual panorama of changing themes inside a former gasometer. Past themes have included Mount Everest, Ancient Rome, Amazonia, and Leipzig 1813. Immerse yourself in 360 degrees of 30 m (98 ft) high images accompanied by the use of perspective distortion, light, and sound. Take time to appreciate the details in the images and the story that they tell. Afterward, head to the theme's exhibition to learn even more. For an additional fee, you can take a guided tour.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Market Square (Markt)

Market Square (Markt), considered the heart of Leipzig, is popular with locals and tourists alike. Grab a beer and some snacks from one of the restaurants that line square, and take in the sights and sounds. The old town hall building is a particularly striking and is home to the city museum. The square's many charming shops are a good place to pick up souvenirs. If you come in the morning, you may find a market underway.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister displays works by many of Europe's most famous artists--including Raphael's famous, 500-year old "Sistine Madonna." The museum's nearly 750 paintings date from the 15th through 18th centuries. As you explore the gallery's extensive collection, you'll see Baroque and Renaissance masterpieces. Look for works by Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Rubens, and other European masters. As you wander, you may notice that the wall colors change to distinguish artwork from different regions.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Potsdam's Gardens, Potsdam

Churchill, Stalin, and Truman met at Potsdam's Gardens to decide how to establish post-war order at the end of the World War II. This area is renowned as a stellar example of design that combines fine architecture with a respect for the existing natural landscapes. Palaces and parks line the banks of the Havel river. The gardens often host important cultural, social, and political events. Covering more than 500 hectares (1,235 acres), this World Heritage site's 150 buildings were constructed between 1730 and 1916. Explore the vast green areas and architectural structures on foot or by bicycle. You can pick up a map at the visitor center.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Room Escape Games, Dresden

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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