Leipzig was incredible! I truly enjoyed my second visit.
I was here 6 years ago in April timeframe so seeing it again in December was completely different. Especially with all the Christmas markets!
I heard about them last year, but was not able to go and they did not disappoint.
What I did miss about April is that it is warmer than December. Leipzig was extremely cold for me and in fact, it snowed quite a bit on the Sunday we were there. I was wearing 4 layers and still quite chilly.
I was there with a friend from home, J, and we had a nice time walking around though we slipped and almost fell a few times on the ice cobblestones.
The markets had some different foods that I had not seen before in my other market experiences:
As I worked Friday, I didn’t see any point getting an evening bus to Leipzig just to arrive to the hostel and sleep. So we got an early morning bus on Saturday and had the whole day.
I also didn’t think we would see almost everything on Saturday and so booked our return bus for Sunday evening (11:55pm). This was a mistake, which I will cover later.
We managed to find a 24 hour pass that works for 2 people (so just one piece of paper ticket), which was the cheapest option. We used it to the full extent.
After going to the hostel and dropping off our bags, we ventured to Werk 2- an alternative Christmas market, and for sure it was, but I think it might be my favorite! It was so cool. On the outside it doesn’t look like much, but as you venture down this alley type street and start seeing all the stalls, you get into the alternative feel.
Most of it is in the inside of a warehouse- these stalls were more artisanal while the outside were more foods.
We then went to a monument for a battle in the 1800s. It was pretty tall. We climbed the stairs of the free part for some view of the town. Inside was the museum and better views, but we didn’t want to pay for it.
Near it was a cemetery that was one of the newer cemeteries and is the largest in Leipzig and was a memorial to those who died in the bombings during WW2.
Finally, we headed into town.
There was a church, Nikolaikirche, I saw last time that I absolutely fell in love with because it is so different than the standard European cathedral/churches. Inside, the pillars look like palm trees. This church also held peace meetings that eventually lead to the fall of the Berlin wall.
We were able to go into it on Sunday (as it closed early Saturday). In April, I was only able to visit for 5 minutes before it closed, this time, I was able to sit and look around a bit longer.
There is also another famous, well worth seeing church, Thomaskirche, in Leipzig, that Bach performed in and is supposedly buried in. The little description I read in the church said that scientists believe that that is his body, but can’t confirm 100%.
These two churches are on the opposite sides of the city center. Near Nikolai, is Augustusplatz, which holds one of the Christmas markets and we decided it was more carnival like with more carnival type foods and actual rides like a ferris wheel.
We liked how Leipzig’s market stalls have different decorations versus Prague has the same style throughout pretty much.
I was very much in the Christmas season with the snow fall and the markets with a mulled wine in my hand.
Saturday night, we were told that there was a light show near our hostel. It was the first year they were doing it according to the receptionist. We went and it ended up being a type of parade of a giant light puppet moving up and down the street with music. Families were following it around. It was a bit strange; even though I’m glad I saw some of it, but I didn’t understand the point of it.
Sunday, we went to a museum on the Stasi, secret East German police. It is free, but all the signage is in German. They do sell audio guides in any language for 5 euros, but we skipped on that and just looked through the display cases.
We had dinner Sunday night at the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig. It was really delicious, though a bit expensive. The staff was quite friendly and didn’t mind our backpacks nor charging our phones.
Both our meals came with Potato dumplings and they were different than the ones I have eaten in Czech. They were more of a ball and more of a side dish, while those in Czech are meant more to sop up the sauces. Definitely worth trying just to compare the two.
Due to finishing the major attractions that interested us early, we decided to kill some time by watching a movie. The only English movie (not dubbed into German) playing in Leipzig was The Mountain Between Us.
The movie was alright and was mainly about survival on being plane wrecked on a snowy mountain. I mainly kept thinking that’s how I felt walking outside Leipzig in the snow (haha). There is a bit of romance, but more at the end and I think it takes away from the movie.
We still had an hour till our bus was to depart, but we waited by the bus stop.
On the walk, I got a notification from Flixbus that they were 45 minutes late. This ended up being almost 2 hours late.
Because we weren’t sure when the bus was arriving we stood outside in the snow the whole time until 1:30am when the bus finally arrived.
Much to my amazement, we were only an hour late arriving into Prague.
I have heard that Flix is late often, but this has been my first experience of a delay. Perhaps it was due to all the snow?
I truly enjoyed my time in Leipzig and wish you all the best when you go- for sure, make your way over when it is the Christmas season!
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More photos of my adventures here.