Leipzig was the first place my boyfriend Ger and I visited after the lockdown. After being in Australia for five years, moving back home to the UK, then navigating a long-distance relationship through the pandemic, when we were finally able to travel again, we started with places we hadn’t been before.
That’s how Leipzig came along.
I am blessed to have some really wonderful friends who live there, one of whom is originally from Leipzig. So the magic of exploring the city with our own personal tour guide was in itself an unforgettable experience.
Then thrown into the mix that this was only my second visit to Germany—I am ashamed to admit this, as I like to think of myself as “well-travelled”! It was such a special trip, and I learned so much about Germany’s history wandering through the city and experiencing the food.
We arrived in Leipzig via train from Berlin into the impressive Hauptbaunhof, to discover it is the largest railway station in Europe and well worth the train journey through the German countryside.
On our first night, our friends took us for the most fantastic dinner at Gaststatte Kollektiv, an East German restaurant located on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. It felt like we had taken a trip through time to our grandparents’ houses. Even though the four of us around the table all grew up in different countries, we all instantly felt at home. The tassel lamps, the old-style wooden tables, the chairs with the cushioning . . . the thought put into this place was very much appreciated by us all. Not to mention how amazing the food was!
We had Sächsische Krautrolle, minced meat wrapped in cabbage, with vegetables, potatoes and Rinderroulade, a beef roulade filled with bacon, onions and pickled cucumber, red cabbage and potato dumplings. Trust me, it is worth the visit for simple but delicious food in a beautiful atmosphere.
Leipzig is the perfect city for a wander around.
We stumbled across the hard-to-miss and very impressive Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall). Then we discovered the city’s ties to classical music and Johann Sebastian Bach. We were lucky enough to listen to the Thomanerchor (St. Thomas Boys Choir. It was a beautiful experience I would recommend it to anyone visiting!
I’d go as far to say that the trip to Leipzig was a turning point for me and Ger and a rethink about where we live in the world. The joy of wandering around a beautiful city, with the mix of historical buildings with modern architecture, and finding lots of food and coffee options was something we didn’t realise we missed so much after our time in Australia. Stumbling across excellent cafes (Café Bigoti was a favourite)—or even a very enthusiastically accepted recommendation on where to get a delicious Leipziger Lerche (or four!)—was an absolute joy to experience.
Leipzig will have a place in my heart forever. I got to reunite with one of my best friends, and she and her husband were able to meet my partner for the first time. What a trip. What a city. The walkability, even in not-so-nice weather, was so special. The people! And the chance to learn so much about East Germany and the quirky traffic lights (a favourite of mine!).
I already can’t wait for our next visit—Christmas 2023!