Dear Doctor Amorous,
I mostly meet guys here who are new to the city and don’t know their way around. I have been here a few years already. So when we go out, they want me to choose the place and what to do. That makes sense, in a way, but I am not into it. In my culture, the guy is supposed to do the work of planning and organizing a date.
Can you give the guys of Leipzig some good date ideas? Then they can ask you and not me. I want to just be the girl sometimes, to be picked up and taken out and not have to do all the planning myself.
Thanks a million,
Here are date ideas for all those, of any gender, not sure where to take someone. I’m assuming that people can find one-time events on kreuzer’s calendar or on Facebook, so I’m only presenting things you can do at any time.
As a more mild-mannered person, I don’t know anything about clubs or parties to go to, so these are going to be dates for calm people. What noisy people would enjoy on dates, I cannot say.
The date intineraries are categorized according to 10 different situations, so there is hopefully something for everybody at some point.
1. Anybody, whenever: “We should hang out sometime.”
This is the date when you’re obviously-not-obviously asking them out, trying to ensure against future awkwardness by not calling it a date. Given that you do not yet know much about the person, you need to do something that most people like.
Most people opt for a coffee or drinks date here. Which is OK if you already know you can comfortably talk to the person, but let’s elevate it a little. You want a place that is nice, and which offers an opportunity for a walk afterwards if you are having fun. So I suggest going to places near Leipzig’s many parks.
For example, you can get a coffee and cake at Maître in the Karli, then walk up the Arndstraße into Clara Park, going right across the park to walk north along the canal. You could go to B10 or the cafe attached to the GfZK (Gallery of Modern Art).
Near the Rosental, a less-busy park with woods surrounding it, you could meet at the Mückenschlösschen (nice outdoor terrace). Or you could go straight into Rosental and get a coffee from the very charming Latin man who parks his cart near the part where you can see into the zoo, or at the less charming coffee place near the southeast entrance to the park.
A secret tip, as to parks: the Palmengarten is gorgeous and big and never crowded because everybody is in the Clara Park. There is a romantic bridge and steps down to the water.
For a coffee or drink on the way, you can cross the bridge at the Jahnallee and bear left up the canal and get something from the posh sandwich truck to enjoy on the lawn while you look out at the water. If you really like this person, I suggest bringing a little present along to give the person when you say good-bye. This is super sweet and not a big investment, and elevates the date beyond the level of “hanging out.” Good ideas here are a tiny potted plant that you can have in your bag, nice chocolate, or a mini bottle of wine.
2. I am broke but I really want her/him.
Everyone in Leipzig is broke, don’t worry! In this situation, I would suggest a picnic. You can get away with a bottle of wine and baguette with cheese, but you can still demonstrate care and respect by bringing a proper picnic blanket, some music to listen to (put your phone in a glass and you’re good), books to read to each other from, pillows, a blanket or jumper for your date for when it gets cold later.
Showing that you have thought ahead and made an effort makes a very good impression, even if you can’t afford to go out for dinner.
Bike rides are also good for broke people; just follow the paths along the canal. The nicest bike or walking path in the city is along the Karl-Heine-Canal. You can access it near the corner of Weissenfelserstraße and Nonnenstraße (green dotted line on Google Maps).
3. I have a car and money.
In this situation, you can take advantage of the many cultural offerings in Leipzig. The Gewandhaus Orchestra is excellent and the Opera is solid. The Musikalische Komödie is fair to middling but also a good date. So go see a show. If you speak German, you could go to the theater (Schauspiel Leipzig). For dinner, I recommend Macis, Kaiserbad, Drogerie, Telegraph, or Shady’s. Use that car for a day out at the lakes.
4. I love the outdoors.
Besides walks, parks, and lakes, I recommend hopping on a train to Dresden, shifting to the S-Bahn and going 15 to 20 minutes further east. This puts you in a region known as Saxon Switzerland, which is near enough for a day hike. You will find yourself in the mountains, all of a sudden, but the trails are well marked, and you can get a map at the tourist information office.
A person in average shape with sneakers can handle the trails. Pack snacks and water and tell each other stories on the way like you’re in a medieval myth and you will have a great time. If you can stop away for a weekend, I recommend the Villa Weissig: all organic and vegetarian, fantastic enormous breakfasts, no WiFi.
5. I am stressed out and don’t have any time but I want to see her/him.
Busy schedules can easily lead to dating only in the bedroom, but you want to still make a decent effort. You don’t want to fall into the trap of inviting someone over to watch TV with you. That is too lame. If you really are exhausted and brain-dead but you want to get time together during the week, book a couples massage after work.
You yourself do not have to do anything harder than picking up the phone, and you are giving your dear one and yourself something nice rather than asking that they function as a teddy bear while you stare at a screen.
Meine Massage is a good option, and there are Thai massage places all over. You can also check out the movie showtimes on LeipGlo so you can be brain-dead and stare at a screen but at least out and making an effort. Basically anything is better than watching TV together at your place.
Go to the sauna, or if you can’t face leaving the house, clear up your room a little, put music and incense on, make a little coziness-pod around you and just snooze together or listen to an audiobook together.
6. I am into art and history and want to learn about the city.
Then you are in the right place. Go to the Grassimuseum, which has three different types of exhibits at all times and a nice cafe attached to it. They have hot chocolate with lavender syrup and cakes which are gorgeous. The Bildermuseum (fine arts gallery) is right downtown and while its cafe is dreadful, it is near the Telegraph, the Alex, Pascucci’s, and Cafe Central.
If you’d like to see local history, try the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum or the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (which is free). A lot of Leipzig’s history revolves around Bach and book-making, so you could check out the Bach Museum (and hear a Motette on Friday or Saturday afternoons in the Thomaskirche) and the Haus des Buches, or do a guided tour of the city, many of which are available in English.
7. We want to have a spa day.
For this, the nearest option is the Sachsen Therme. For a little treat like manicure and pedicure or massage without making a whole day of it, try Senzera or Beauty Inn, in downtown.
8. We want to get involved in the community and contribute.
It is a very good idea to be with someone who shares your values. Volunteering is not as big here as it is in the US or UK, because the government covers a lot of the services that volunteers and civic organizations in some of our home countries have to cover. You can find something through an agency like this one, or you can use your language skills from your home countries to support refugees, for example here.
9. He/she is artsy and likes to try new things.
You could try an ArtNight. You can see which style of painting is going to be practiced on each night and book ahead. It is good fun and you end up with something you can keep or give to someone as a gift.
10. Advanced level.
To step away for a moment from these more general tips, as you get to know your special person, look for activities that they, as an individual, would really enjoy. That is even nicer than being invited to do something that basically anyone would like, and I personally would turn to mush for someone who really “got” me and found things to do that allowed me to express myself.
I, in particular, love learning, being creative, making stuff, and getting things done. Is there a lecture on? Can you teach me how to do something I don’t know yet? Is there a project that people are getting together on? An open theater group? A work day to fix the garden for the women’s shelter or orphanage? Making a day of it to do our food-prep for the week and set us each up with easy and healthy lunches for work? Working together to fix up my place?
Figure out your person and what really nourishes that innate, little-kid part of them, that part of their personality that was there when they were four years old and will always be there.
If you learn how to nourish that part, that goes beyond whether they are a man or a woman or whatever age or culture they have, they will be happy staying close to you.