Celtic fans’ guide to Leipzig – the German gem where the club are ready for the next Champions League clash
CELTIC fans planning to travel to the German city of Leipzig to see their team play their next Champions League game are in for a treat.
This cool town packs a lot more punch than its weight and will give Hoops prospects plenty to do before and after the Oct. 5 draw.
Although there are no direct flights, it is still relatively easy to get there from Scotland, either by flying via Frankfurt or Munich from Edinburgh and Glasgow with Lufthansa.com, or via Berlin with easyJet.com or Ryanair.com, then hopping on the train for the 75 minute journey.
Once there, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation, from 5* hotels to B&BS and apartments with prices starting from £53 on the night of the big game at the 2* Hotel Carl von Clausewitz (hotel -carlvonclausewitz.de) to £300 plus at the swanky Steigenberger Grand in Market Square (where Bayern Munich stay when they’re in town) at steigenberger.com and literally hundreds in between.
When it comes to eating and drinking, the city excels. If you like street food, you’ll love it here. Head to Karl-Lienecht Strasse for pocket fillers.
And if food is your thing – aside from the glorious game that is – then if you have time, try the Leipzig Classic Food Tour, where you stroll through the city center trying all the delicacies like the traditional German roast Sauerbraten and potato gnocchi, all washed down with a good German beer or two. (leipziggoofdtours.de)
QUICK SNACKS AND COFFEE BREAK
Get a caffeine fix at one of the city’s many cafes serving artisan coffees and pastries like lark cake, a pastry made with almonds, brandy, and apricot jam. and brunch and lunch to keep you going until kick-off.
There are plenty of beer cellars and pubs in the city, from smoky student hangouts to must-visit minimalist wine bars, including Auerbachs Keller, one of Leipzig’s oldest, dating back to the 15th century. It’s right in the historic city center with its cobbled streets and cool neighborhoods.
Café Puschkin has a terrace overlooking Leipziger Karl-Liebknecht Straße, where you can enjoy shisha and drinks and Killiwily, also on the same street, a killer Irish pub, serving imported Guinness, Heineken , cherry beer and Killlenny.
For anyone wanting to experience a real East German atmosphere, it has to be Frau Krause in Connewitz. Locals enjoy their “Hausebier” here, fresh from the draft and for post-game moves head to Distillery, East Germany’s oldest house and techno club, featuring electronica and from techno to house and minimal.
TO DO AND TO SEE
Leipzig’s communist history is never far from the surface and can be seen from the architecture of many houses and apartment buildings, especially in the old Karl-Marx Platz, renamed Augustusplatz after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Take a dark history lesson at the former Stasi HQ Runde Ecke, with exhibits and an English audio guide telling how the fearsome secret police controlled every aspect of East German society. (runde-ecke-leipzig.de)
Don’t miss the Holocaust memorial at Synagogendenkmal, Zentralstraße. It features 140 empty bronze chairs on a raised platform, representing the 14,000 Jews who once prayed here before the Nazis destroyed their synagogue, rounded them up and sent many to their deaths.
Völkerschlachtdenkmal is a monument to the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 which resulted in one of Napoleon’s last defeats against a coalition of armies from Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden. Over 600,000 fought there, making it the largest battle until World War I.
And if you love your classical music, don’t miss the Bach Museum dedicated to the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach, where handwritten musical manuscripts by him are kept in display cases along with an organ he played .
There’s always something going on at the Markt – or Market Square – so it’s well worth a visit and Altes Rathaus is Leipzig’s finest historical monument.
Considered one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in Germany, under its arcades on the ground floor are all kinds of restaurants, while the building houses the Leipzig City Museum.
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