What better way to embrace the icy temperatures of Winter than a short weekend away to Leipzig! Step foot into the old town square to find a bustling Christmas market surrounded by pine trees. Vendors sell their fine wooden handicrafts, from little tree decorations and smoking Räuchermännchen to colourful Nutcrackers. Steam rises from the many varieties of Glühwein. This warm fruity wine served in traditional mugs is the best way to warm up your hands on a cold December day. It will go cold quickly, so be prepared to refill!
If you’re hungry, there is no shortage of temptation! After a bratwurst in brötchen or a hearty Germany stew, take your pick of sweets – waffles filled with apple sauce and cream, sugar and cinnamon crepes, lebkuchen (a kind of gingerbread) or warm roasted almonds served in a paper cone. Trumpeters play favourite christmas carols and, if you’re lucky, you might even get to experience a sprinkling of snow. It is just like a fairy tale and totally worth all the dark, cold mornings.
Aside from the markets, there is more to Leipzig than meets the eye. Did you know that John Sebastian Bach, the famous composer and musician, lived in Leipzig for 27 years? You can learn all about his life and works, listen to his music and admire some of his well-preserved sheet music at the Bach Museum. Opposite the museum, enter St. Thomas’ Church, where Bach worked as a director of music for many years, until his death in 1750.
You won’t want to miss out out on a good night of food and beer, so head to one of the many restaurants, before hitting the bars. Kartoffel Haus No. 1 will supply you with many traditional german meals at a reasonable cost – just make sure you like potatoes! For some cheap drinks, the Five Elements Hostel has a decent happy hour (not to mention central cheap accommodation) and, you can always find a place to dance later on if you fancy, though on these frosty nights, a cosy night in often feels more appealing!
Of course, this Eastern German town has a lot more history to explore. It will just have to wait for another day…
Have you been to Leipzig? What did you get up to?