The Best Things to See and Do in Leipzig

St Thomas Church is one of the most beautiful, historic buildings in Leipzig
St Thomas Church is one of the most beautiful, historic buildings in Leipzig | © imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
Evelyn Smallwood

Berlin, Cologne and Munich may draw more crowds, but there are plenty of hidden gems to discover in Leipzig – one of Germany’s most liveable cities. Nicknamed ‘Hypezig’ due its great nightlife, plus a thriving art and music scene, it’s also easy on the eye with its beautiful old buildings, three rivers and many bridges. Follow the footsteps of Johann Sebastian Bach at St Thomas Church, ponder art in the Museum der bildenden Künste and dance to techno in the infamous Distillery nightclub – here’s our round up of the best places to spend your time while in the city.

Loved by over 40s

Visit Leipzig’s beautiful St Thomas Church

With Johann Sebastian Bach as its choirmaster for 27 years, it’s easy to see why St Thomas Church has a special place in Leipzig’s history. The 600-year-old gothic church now serves as the composer’s final resting place, but it’s also home to the celebrated St Thomas Choir – you can catch performances on Fridays and Saturdays. Other famous figures have frequented its walls – see where Martin Luther gave sermons and Mozart played the church organ.

Catch a show at Oper Leipzig

Leipzig has a rich history of musical theatre. The opera house, on the Augustusplatz, is home to opera, musical comedy and the Leipzig ballet company. Try and grab a ticket for a performance by the renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra, you’ll soon see why – they are highly regarded on the world stage. If it’s the impressive 1960s building itself that draws your eye, then the guided tour is well worth your time.

Party ‘til the early hours at Distillery

Affectionately known as the ‘Tille’, the Distillery nightclub, on the bustling Kurt-Eisner Strasse, is the oldest and one of the most influential techno clubs in Germany. But don’t worry if techno isn’t your scene – there are two floors pumping out everything from reggae and soul to house and drum ‘n’ bass in various corners. Plus, there are frequent live acts with previous sets from Ellen Allien and Carl Craig – book tickets early.

Stroll through Leipzig Market Square

You’ll undoubtedly pass through Leipzig Market Square. It’s enormous and surrounded by a hodge-podge of traditional German architecture and glistening steel-and-glass buildings. The old city hall is particularly impressive with its mint domed clock tower, dating back to the 16th century. Snap a photo before sidling off to Café Bigoti around the corner for one of the best coffees in town.

Marvel at the Monument to the Battle of the Nations

Leipzig’s Monument to the Battle of the Nations was erected in 1913, in celebration of 100 years since Napoleon’s defeat and retreat from Germany. Standing at 91m tall, you can climb 500 stairs to the top where a splendid view of the city awaits. Inside, there is also an abundance of historical information regarding the 1813 battle that finally excised Napoleon from the city. Hitler himself was known to frequent the towering structure, and he even housed his meetings in the city here. It was one of the final strongholds in the city left when the Allies captured Leipzig at the end of the war.

Sip wine in Auerbach’s Cellar

Bach and Martin Luther weren’t the only German historical figures with important connections to Leipzig. Goethe – often regarded as Germany’s Shakespeare – also spent time in the city, as he studied at Leipzig University. Goethe loved to eat and drink at Auerbach’s Cellar, which also happens to be the second oldest restaurant in the city. The wine bar has existed since 1438, making this is an excellent spot to enjoy a drink whilst steeped in the city’s rich history. Despite the fact that this place airs on the touristy side of things, the atmosphere is cosy, and the food is still quite good.

Browse artworks at Museum der Bildenden Künste

Often regarded as an up-and-coming city with an emerging arts scene, no trip to Leipzig would be complete without a look around its art galleries. Swing by Leipzig’s museum of fine arts, Museum der Bildenden Künste. The vast glass building itself is worth marvelling at. Inside, it holds a large collection of paintings, ranging from the 15th century to the present, with notable works by Monet and Munch.

Spot wildlife at Leipzig Zoo

Take a break from the urban landscape and pop into Leipzig Zoo. Spanning across 27ha of land, it’s home to over 850 different species – hailing from Africa, South America and Asia. Notably, Pongoland is a real highlight where a multitude of different primates live, including chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and more. Explore the world’s largest indoor rainforest atrium – a great place to hang out when it rains. Bonus for English speakers: nearly every plaque is translated.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.