How to Get From Berlin to Leipzig

...and from Leipzig to Berlin

ICE -Intercity Express

 Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Berlin and Leipzig are only 118 miles apart, which makes them great day trip destinations to each other. Most people settle into the capital and make use of Germany's fabulous transportation system to see more typical German cities like Leipzig or Dresden. Beautiful in summer and particularly at Christmas, this smaller East German city is not to be missed.

Here are the best ways to get from Berlin to Leipzig (and vice versa) by plane, train, car or bus.

Berlin to Leipzig by Train

Going by train is a great way to get around Germany, and especially from Berlin to Leipzig and back again. Trains depart every hour from Berlin and if you opt for the fastest option, the Intercity Express train (ICE), you’ll be in Leipzig in about 70 minutes traveling at speeds up to 300 km/h.

Tickets usually cost about $50, but if you book early enough and check out the website of the German Railway, Deutsche Bahn (site available in English), you can find special deals.

Berlin to Leipzig by Car

Another good option to get from Berlin to Leipzig is by car. This is often the best option for families so they can comfortably travel together and it may be more cost-effective. Or it is a great excuse to drive on the world-famous Autobahn. Let's hit the gas!

To reach Leipzig from Berlin, follow the Autobahn A 10, then continue onto the A 9/E 51 following signs for München/Leipzig. You’ll be in Leipzig in about 2 hours, depending on Stau (traffic).

Renting a Car in Germany

Base rental rates vary wildly depending on the time of year, duration of rental, the age of the driver, destination and location of rental. If you are staying in Germany for more than a month, a lease might be a cheaper option. In any case, shop around to find the best price.  

Note that charges usually do not include the 16% Value Added Tax (VAT), registration fee, or any airport fees, but do include the required third-party liability insurance. These additional fees may equal up to 25% of the daily rental.

As far as timing, try to reserve your car in advance (14 days beforehand ideally) for the best deals. You should also sign up for major company's (such as Hertz, Sixt, etc) newsletter or follow on social media for deals.

The legal driving age in Germany is 18, but drivers may have to be over 21 to rent a car. On top of that and depending on the company, drivers may be required to pay a premium until the age of 25.

German cars usually come with a manual transmission (gear shift). If you prefer an automatic transmission, ask the rental company and most can accommodate you. This may - like so many things - result in an extra charge.

Berlin to Leipzig by Bus

The cheapest option to get from Berlin to Dresden is by​ bus. Tickets may be as little as €8 one-way and the journey takes just over an hour. Bus tickets are definitely a bargain.

And while this is the discount option, comfort levels are boosted by bus services like wifi, air-conditioning, toilets, electrical outlets, free newspaper, sleeper seats, air-conditioning, and - of course - toilets. Coaches are generally clean and arrive on time - again barring issues with traffic.

Berlin Linien Bus is one of the companies which offers daily trips from Berlin to Leipzig’s airport, but not into the center of the city. Other options include Flixbus and GoEuro.

Berlin to Leipzig by Plane

Getting from Berlin to Leipzig by plane is simply not recommended. There are no direct flights between Berlin and Leipzig. Travelers must stop-over in a central German city (such as Düsseldorf) which makes the trip long (between 3 and 5 hours). Also, tickets are quite expensive at $250-300 round trip.

A cheaper and faster option is rail travel or going by car. But if you must, compare ​flight prices from Berlin to Leipzig.

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