Leipzig makes for a great day trip from the German capital of Berlin, being only 118 miles (190 kilometers) away. This country has a very convenient public transportation system, making train travel between the two quick, easy, and cheap. There are no direct flights connecting the two, but with most people happy to travel by ground, there isn't really a need. Beautiful during the summer, when its Renaissance buildings are flanked by expansive greenery, and particularly during Christmas (an authentic weihnachtsmarkt, anyone?), this small East German city is worth a side trip.
|Train||1 hour, 15 minutes||from $20||Arriving on a time crunch|
|Bus||2 hours||from $6||Budget traveling|
|Car||2 hours||118 miles (190 kilometers)||Exploring the local area|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Berlin to Leipzig?
The cheapest way to travel from the capital to Leipzig is by bus. FlixBus and Blablabus both travel this route, the former departing from Berlin Central Bus Station every 30 minutes and the latter departing four times per day. They take between two hours and 2 hours, 20 minutes, and tickets cost between $6 and $15. Most one-way tickets go for $10. Buses arrive at Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, the primary station, located right in the center.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Berlin to Leipzig?
Germany's InterCity Express Train (ICE), operated by Deutsche Bahn, travels at speeds of up to 186 miles (300 kilometers) per hour. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get from Berlin to Leipzig, beating a car by almost an hour.
Featuring reclining chairs, built-in tables, video screens, and free WiFi, these trains are as comfortable as they are fast. Tickets cost about $45 on the day of travel, but they're much cheaper if you book in advance via the Deutsche Bahn website. You can even get tickets for $20 if you reserve them two weeks beforehand.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
If you're traveling in a group, it might be more cost-effective to drive. If nothing else, driving will give you an excuse to cruise along the world-famous Autobahn, where there's no speed limit (the government recommends a maximum speed of 80 miles (129 kilometers) per hour). To reach Leipzig from Berlin, follow the A-10, then continue onto the A-9/E-51, following signs for München/Leipzig. The drive should take about two hours.
If you plan to hire a car, base rental rates vary wildly—starting around $20 per day—depending on the time of year, duration of rental, the age of the driver, destination, and location of rental. The legal driving age in Germany is 18, but only drivers over 21 may rent cars (some companies also charge a premium for under-25 drivers). German cars usually come with a manual transmission, but most companies can accommodate preferences for an automatic. Try to reserve your car two weeks in advance for the best deals.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Leipzig?
Leipzig's peak travel season is summertime, between mid-May and mid-September. Highs during the summer months linger at a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and lows tend to hover around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), but you should expect a healthy dose of rain no matter what time of year you visit. The city might be especially busy during Bachfest, a famous celebration of the late composer that takes place every June.
What’s the Most Scenic Route to Leipzig?
If you want to take the long way around, you'll be treated to some stunning scenery and attractions aplenty en route to Leipzig. Instead of taking the A-10, take the A-13 out of Berlin and follow it to Dresden. This city, the capital of Saxony, is full of heritage buildings, art, and culture itself, but just outside of it is the elaborate, moated Moritzburg Castle, a Baroque-style 16th-century palace. Don't leave this region without stopping to pick up a bottle of wine from Radebeul, a town known for its viticulture, then finally, travel on to Leipzig. This trip is 211 miles (340 kilometers) long and takes a little over four hours, double the time it would take on the A-10.
What Is There to Do in Leipzig?
Leipzig, like many European cities, is deeply rooted in art, history, and culture. One of the most famous landmarks is the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, a towering structure commemorating Napoleon's defeat. The city is full of elaborate churches, including St. Thomas Church, where Bach used to play, and St. Nicholas Church. And although the Leipzig Market Square is worth a visit any time of year, it really comes to life in December, when the Christmas market comes to town.