While Leipzig is worthy of a short break itself, a little over an hour by train, it is also a managable day trip from Berlin. Plenty to do day and night, it's a city full of history, proud of it's leading role in the 1989 revolution. There's an interesting array of museums, including the former Stasi headquarters, now documenting the history of the Stasi. It also has some great nightlife with fab cafes and bars to kick back with a beer or cocktail.
A cafe, bar and restaurant tucked just 50 metres away from the maddening crowd and central city tourist mayhem. It’s a hangout for students, artists and writers... with a sprinkling of business people lunching together.
Read newspapers in any language, or work on your laptop. They have free WLAN, so it's deal for hanging out while working online, just surfing, or even reading the Guardian! The menu is good and reasonably priced. Breakfasts are excellent, however the coffee is the typical German barely-tolerable lukewarm stuff… try to think of it as something else and put up with it. Having said that, it’s still one of the city’s top (secret) locations.
It's between the end of Barfussgässchen (where all the tourists and village Germans go) and the main ring road. Walk towards the Stasi Museum (worth visiting!) and you´ll find Telegraph on the right.
tel: 0341.149 49 90;
A semi-underground bar/cafe/venue/club with plenty going on from lunchtime until the early hours. It’s built from an old fortress on the south-east corner of the city centre. During Euro '96 the Leipzig Brits always watched the big screen TV there. Southgate broke our hearts...
Get the tram to Augustusplatz or Leuschnerplatz, or walk 10 mins south and then east from Marktplatz. Lots of steps - so access may be a problem;
tel: 341 702590;
German coffee is generally weak, tepid and bland, but this has the BEST coffee by a loooong shot (pun intended) in Leipzig. Coolest atmosphere, staff, music and in-crowd (who will kill me for telling you their secrets), top food and drinks and very reasonable prices. Warning - it opens at 6pm, but by 9pm it's standing room only. They will have a couple of big screens up during the World Cup for the fans.
Gottschedstrasse 12, on the west side of the central ring, 300 metres from Markt Platz, and just around the corner from the Sleepy Lion Hostel
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