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With 571,000 inhabitants, Leipzig is the largest town in the German state of Saxony. It was originally a Slavic settlement called Lipsk but quickly developed into a commercial centre, located at the intersection of several major trade routes. In the 16th century, it turned into one of the major cultural centres in Europe, while in the 18th century, it became a major literary centre, with young Goethe studying at its renowned university. The composers Mendelssohn and Wagner both are connected to the city, although it is Bach who has had the biggest impact on Leipzig, having served as cantor in the famous Thomaskirche. After the end of the Cold War, Leipzig has staged an amazing turnaround to become one of Germany’s most popular tourism destinations. Today, Leipzig is a lively, open and multi-faceted city, with an abundance of attractions on offer. As having been a trade centre for centuries, the shopping opportunities are fantastic, while the opera house, the museums and art institutions provide activities galore for those with a cultural taste. As being an university town, the nightlife is of course buzzing too, especially in the Drallewatsch pub area, which is a must see for incoming party animals.
Today, Leipzig is a lively, open and multi-faceted city with an abundance of attractions on offer. Having been a trade centre for centuries, the shopping opportunities are fantastic, while the opera house, museums and art institutions provide activities galore for those with a cultural taste.
Leipzig offers a wide variety of great restaurants, serving both international food and traditional Saxon dishes such as Schnitzel, dumplings and roast pork. The Leipziger also have a passionate love for coffee: as coffee houses became the most popular meeting places as early as in 1695, it therefore comes as no surprise that the city also has a wide range of cosy cafés, one of them ranking among the most famous in the world.
Leipzig has several pub districts, one of the most popular being the Drallewatsch, which runs from the Bruehl precinct along Fleischergasse to the New Town Hall. Many of the city’s pubs have beer gardens, which are incredibly popular in the summer. A must for beer lovers when in Leipzig is to try the locally brewed Leipzig Gose, a top-fermented beer that can be enjoyed at the Gose brewery Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof or at the pub Gosenschenke. The people of Leipzig sure know how to party, particularly the city’s university crowd, and there is a wide variety of funky clubs where you can put your legs up and let your hair down.
Visitors with a taste for shopping need no despair when coming to Leipzig, as the city boasts of great shopping facilities, ranging from exclusive boutiques and beautiful shopping arcades to traditional food and antiques markets. Head to the Mädler Passage, which leads on to Königshaus and Messehofspassage, for luxury shops and boutiques, and to the arcades of the Old Town Hall for Leipzig souvenirs and books. The recently refurbished shopping arcades in Specks Hof and Barthels Hof and the city’s latest and most modern additions in Städtisches Kaufhaus, Strohsack-Passage and Petersbogen, are also well worth a visit. For fresh food and agricultural products from the region itself, visit the market near the Leipzig Central Stadium on Saturdays.
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