Oct 14, 2022
Picturesque and steeped in history and culture, Leipzig is one of the best cities in which to experience the delights of autumn in Germany. Local traditions, seasonal activities, and exciting events come to the fore during the season of falling leaves. Use our ultimate guide to visiting Leipzig in autumn to learn more about these opportunities to make lasting memories, we cover:
While many other cities start winding down their social calendars for a brief, quieter period between the end of summer and the beginning of the festive season, Leipzig comes alive with an array of fairs and festivals. The city’s reputation for offering plenty of things to do in autumn goes back to the Middle Ages when the first fair was held in 1165. In 1190, Otto the Rich and margrave of Saxony, established two annual fairs, one at Easter, and the other at Michaelmas (29 September). Leipzig has been a place of autumnal festivities ever since. Here are some of the best things to do and things to see during your stay in Leipzig this autumn:
Leipzig Lichtfest – Every October: Commemorating a peaceful, candle-lit march for greater freedom and democracy under the former GDR in 1989, the Festival of Lights begins with prayer for peace and a speech on democracy at St Nicholas Church, before moving to Augustusplatz and other venues for a sea of candles and performances by international artists. It’s one of the most beautiful events in autumn in Germany.
Leipzig Lachmesse - 16-23 October: The European Festival for Humour and Satire offers a mix of political satire, high-brow comedy, cabaret, and music at venues around the city.
DOK Leipzig - 17-23 October: One of the leading international festivals for documentaries and animated films, DOK Leipzig returns to participating cinemas around the city. Take your pick of more than 300 films from 60 countries.
Leipziger Jazztager - 22-29 October: The Leipzig Jazz festival is back. Enjoy toe-tapping sounds of more than 100 jazz heavyweights, musical pioneers, and innovative newcomers at venues around the city.
Grassimesse Leipzig - 21-23 October: The renowned international fair for applied art and design presents the latest trends in jewellery, furniture, toys, and much more.
Euro-Scene Leipzig - 8-13 November: Be spellbound by one of Europe’s most significant festivals of experimental theatre and innovative dance.
Nikolaikirche: Open all year round, Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas Church) played an important role in the nonviolent movement that ultimately led to the falling of the Berlin Wall. Marvel at the church’s 18th-century interior.
Old Town Hall: Leipzig’s landmark Old Town Hall is one of Germany’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings. The hall houses the Museum of City History Leipzig, offering a fascinating glimpse into city life from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Völkerschlachtdenkmal: The Monument to the Battle of the Nations commemorates the 1813 battle that led to Prussian, Austrian and Russian victory over Napoleon. The views from the top are spectacular.
Panorama Tower: Housed in City-Hochhaus, the tower offers you the option of simply enjoying panoramic views over the city or indulging in good food in the high-quality restaurant at the top.
Autumn in Germany can be unseasonably warm in September before becoming cold and grey in October and November. Dress for the season, and you’ll be able to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities in Leipzig. The city also hosts its share of thrilling sporting events at this time of year. Some of the best options include:
Hike Near Leipzig: The cool autumn weather is perfect for getting out into the fresh air. Choose from plenty of hikes in the countryside around Leipzig. Some options take a couple of hours to complete, while others take a couple of days. A few popular trails include the route around the Cospudener See, Durch die Parthendörfer bei Leipzig, the loop around Waldheim, and the trail from Bad Lausick to the source of the Parthe river.
Football Games at Red Bull Arena: A number of exciting football games will take place at the city’s Red Bull Arena over the autumn months. Among them is RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League) on 25 October, and RB Leipzig vs SC Freiburg on 9 November.
Bicycle Tours of the City: You’ll have no trouble finding bicycle tours of Leipzig. See the sights while enjoying a leisurely ride along cycle lanes and through parks..
Explore Leipzig Zoo: This world-renowned 27-hectare zoo is home to more than 850 species. Follow the winding paths to see animals from around the world, wander through the world’s largest indoor rainforest atrium, and see ancient creatures in the volcano tunnel.
Autumn in Germany can bring rainy days but boredom is one thing you won’t need to worry about while in Leipzig. Take a look at a few of our favourite indoor things to do in the city.
Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts: Explore the history of art from the 15th century to the present day with the impressive permanent and interesting rolling exhibitions at the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts.
Museum in der ‘Runden Ecke’/Stasi Museum: Learn about the history of the GDR in a fascinating museum housed in the former East German police headquarters. You’ll see propaganda, surveillance equipment, and other elements that formed part of the GDR’s oppressive regime.
Bach-Museum: No visit to Leipzig is complete without paying homage to one of the city’s most famous residents, Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Delve into all things Bach at this interactive museum.
Alte Börse: The Old Stock Exchange is Leipzig’s oldest Baroque building. The venue has a museum and hosts concerts and theatrical performances. Check the events calendar before going and see if you can catch a performance in this beautiful and unique setting.
Shop at Mädler Passage: One of Germany’s best preserved old shopping arcades, Mädler Passage brings together history and modernity. You’ll find an extensive selection of exclusive shops as well as cafes and restaurants.
Shop at Spinnerei: Looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs? Head to Spinnerei, where you’ll find art galleries and artists and crafts people’s workshops in the industrial building that once housed a wool factory.
Discover Leipzig’s Markets: Leipzig boasts numerous markets. Stroll among the stalls at Marktplatz and Augustusplatz (Tuesdays to Fridays) and Bayerischer Bahnhof (Wednesdays and Fridays).
Conne Island: Indie, pop, experimental, hardcore, and metal gigs are regular events at Conne Island, a cultural centre and skate park in Connewitz, a part of Leipzig famous for alternative lifestyles.
Music at St Thomas Church: A historic church in the city centre, St Thomas Church is famous for its choir. Check the calendar of events for concerts and performances during your visit to the city.
Residents and visitors to Leipzig enjoy an array of open-air events in summer, but when the season changes to autumn in Germany, the nightlife tends to happen indoors. Thankfully, there are much smaller crowds at this time of year than there are in summer, and restaurants and bars don’t vary their closing hours much, if at all. While most restaurants close between 10pm and 11pm, many bars and clubs stay open until as late as 2am or even 5am.
Some of the most popular areas for Leipzig nightlife, including restaurants, bars, theatres, and clubs, are Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse south of the city centre, Connewitzer Kreuz, the Drallewatsch area around Barfußgässchen alley, Münzgasse around the Schauspiel theatre and along Karl-Heine-Strasse in the trendy district of Plagwitz. Looking for top bars and some of the best restaurants in Leipzig? Check out:
Zills Tunnel: This historic restaurant in a restored 18th-century house offers delectable dishes and drinks such as beef fillet stroganoff and the Schöfferhofer Grape beer.
Ratskeller: Located in a Mediaeval wine and beer cellar, Ratskeller sprawls through seven chambers and serves up dishes such as potato soup and fried lamb hip, with sides of beans, smoked bacon, and creamy polenta.
Max Enk: Enjoy cosmopolitan dishes and fine wines in a chic atmosphere at Max Enk.
Frieda: You’ll find Michelin-starred dining in a chic and uncomplicated bistro environment at Frieda.
Auerbachs Keller: A wine bar since the 15th century, Auerbachs Keller is mentioned in Goethe’s Faust. If there’s one bar you must visit in Leipzig, this is it.
Barfusz: Enjoy German treats, American cocktails and more in this modern, cosmopolitan bar.
Brick’s der Cocktail: Choose from more than 200 cocktails at this fabulous mixology lab.
Distillery: East Germany’s oldest house and techno club, Distillery is a Leipzig institution serving up all manner of classic and modern drinks.
Autumn in Germany brings cooler weather and shorter days to Leipzig. Atlantic fronts become more frequent, although there may still be periods of good, warm weather in September and even October. October and November usually are cold, grey, and wet, with the latter month often bringing the first snowfalls.
When packing for your trip to Leipzig in autumn, include clothing that makes it easy to layer, just in case you have a few days of warmer weather (especially if you’re travelling in early autumn). Long-sleeve shirts, light cardigans, a scarf or two, a coat or blazer, a thicker sweater, a thick jacket, and a good raincoat and/or umbrella should be on your packing list. You’ll also want to include thick socks and closed shoes, such as a good pair of walking shoes and ankle boots.
The vast difference between long, warm summer days and the cooler temperatures and wet weather of autumn in Germany mean there are a few summery activities you can’t do in Leipzig at this time of year. Among them are the many open-air events that take place in the city’s squares and parks, as well as sunbathing in the parks and around lakes, and taking a dip in the area’s popular swimming lakes.
Most of Leipzig’s best attractions and autumn activities are in and around the city centre, so it makes sense to stay where you’ll be within easy reach of them. Choose Capri by Fraser Leipzig. Our location in the city centre makes us the perfect base to experience the very best that Leipzig has to offer.