This was a five day stay. We flew from Stansted Airport, flight time 1 hour 15 minutes. The delays by RyanAir due to the stupid 30 minute turn around rule meant that there is no time to deal with any problems, resulting in delays. On this occasion it was unruly drunk people on the incoming flight where the police had to be called and took 40 minutes to arrive. This compounded due to the rescheduling.
By the time we got to Leipzig Airport at around 00:00 everything was closed. There was a large queue but no taxis. So, we decided to catch a train. German trains are reliable, right? Wrong! We were waiting for the regional train to take us to our destination. The last scheduled train was non-existent. There was a very small notice that it was rescheduled and a replacement bus service would take us to the Leipzig central station. Unfortunately, we don’t speak German so if it wasn’t for some very kind and helpful Germans we would have been none the wiser. We finally got to our hotel at around 02:00. The moral of this story is don’t rely on RyanAir to get you to your destination at a reasonable time with their inconsiderate flight times. Arranging a pre-booked taxi for such a late flight would have been prudent. Usually, at a reasonable time the train S-bahn S5 or S5X would take you direct via the Haptbhanhof to Markt in about 20 minutes. Leipzig is a nice little city of approx 500k people. Not really catering to the tourist. Struggled for things to fill our time.
The hotel was the Steigenburger Grand Hotel. A very nice hotel that in the very centre of the city just off the market square. The TV is not impressive with the only English channels being BBC world news and CNBC. So chilling out in your room is not great. From past experience many of the hotels in Germany have terrible TV so on this occasion I was prepared by bringing my laptop with a couple of films on it and a HDMI cable . Just unplugged the HDMI cable from the back of the TV and pluged in mine connected the other end to the laptop and Robert’s yours mothers brother. Films on TV!
We went to the Tourist Information Office (a contradition in terms). We found the place for the Sightseeing Bus. Yes, there is one! But…does not cater for anyone that deosn’t speak German. Sightseeing office would hand you a booklet with all the sights and an explanation. The only problem was that it was about 20 pages long and quite a lot to read on the bus as you’re trying to look at the sights. At the end of the tour you’re required to return the book.
With the suggestion as of some friends and with the help of Trip Adviser we visited a three Great Restaurants and well worth the visit:
1. Auerbachs Keller – In the restaurant “Großer Keller”, built in 1912 together with the Mädler-Passage, meals served are primarily simple dishes and Saxon specialities.
2. Bayerischer Bahnhof – It was built in 1842 and is the oldest preserved head rail station in the world. Traditional German food with locally brewed beer (not the best I’ve tasted in Germany but had to try it nonetheless).
3. Kartoffelhaus No.1 – Not far off the Market Square. Hadn’t planned on going there but were pleased we did. Potato House with a good variation of traditional meals. English menus supplied in house but no translation on website.
4. Georgio Italian Restaurant – The best Italian food we’ve tasted in a long while. Served the best Tiramisu this side of Europe.
There are a handful of sights in Leipzig.
The Leipzig Zoo
was much better than expected and not very far and easy walking distance from the centre. We intended to spend a couple of hours there but ended up spending most of the day there. It was very well laid out with plenty of animals in great surroundings. Various places to eat too. There is a boat ride which takes through the tropics and very relaxing. We were given a boat that had English commentary. We would say it is one of the best zoos we have been too. Very clean and the animals are all taken care of. London Zoo has a lot to learn by this.