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Living in Leipzig?

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Leipzig at a Glance

Living in Leipzig

Leipzig is one of Europe's rising cities, with over 500,000 living in Leipzig and the population growing all the time. Often described as Germany's new Berlin, Leipzig has shaken off its traditional roots as a trade city and is now better known as one of the main regional economic centers in Europe.

Leipzig is culturally important, with its own zoo and opera house, helping to make it one of Germany’s most livable city. Leipzig has also been listed as a 'Gamma-' world city, meaning it is among the likes of Krakow, Seville and Turin in the third tier of world cities judged on a number of factors.

Transportation in Leipzig

The location of Leipzig means it has always been important as a regional transportation hub. The city's transportation infrastructure is fantastic, with a traffic layout that has been specifically designed to be friendly to cyclists.

Leipzig/Halle Airport, which used to be called Leipzig-Altenburg Airport, is the main airport serving the area and is based just half an hour's drive outside the city center. More than two million people use the airport every year, with most of them being leisure passengers traveling to other European destinations. Berlin's airports are two hours away by train.

The main railway station in the city is Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, which is located at a junction of important north-to-south and west-to-east railway lines. This means it is possible to reach Berlin in just an hour on the ICE train, while Munich is five hours away.

Leipzig is also well known for its extensive public transportation system, with the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe operating the local bus and tram network. Some 1.2 million people in the Leipzig/Halle metropolitan area use the city's public transportation.

Culture and Leisure

Culture is becoming increasingly significant in Leipzig, which has led to the city often being described as the new Berlin during recent years. Leipzig is perhaps most famous as the place where Johann Sebastian Bach worked, while the composer Richard Wagner was also born in the city. Today, Leipzig is home to an excellent opera house that is popular with both locals and expatriates living in Leipzig.

Although most famous for classical music, Leipzig also has a strong local independent music scene, with the world's largest Gothic festival taking place in the city. Leipzig has a burgeoning nightlife and is home to Distillery, which is one of Germany's oldest techno clubs.

Football is the main sport in Leipzig, and the German Football Association was founded in the city in 1900. RB Leipzig, owned by the drinks giant Red Bull, is the top local football club, while fencing, rugby and handball are all also popular sports to watch in the city.

Leipzig has a stunning range of architecture on show throughout the city that makes it the envy of much of Europe. The downtown area has a Renaissance-style ensemble of buildings that date back to the 16th century, while there are also a lot of baroque-period trading houses and many people live in apartments that were built in the historicist style representative of the Gründerzeit era.

Some of the main sights to explore for foreigners living in Leipzig include St. Thomas Church, the Leipzig Botanical Garden, the Monument to the Battle of the Nations and the Leipzig Zoological Garden, which has the largest monkey house in the world. During the summer, a number of festivals take place in Leipzig, drawing people from all over Europe and even further afield.

Safety and Security

The city is considered to be a very safe place for foreigners living in Leipzig, just as most of Germany is in the 21st century. Crime levels are generally low in Leipzig, but there is some drug-related activity in the city, much of which is centered around the very active clubbing scene in Leipzig.

Leipzig is even thought of as a safe place to walk alone at night, although expats living in Leipzig should take all of the usual precautions to avoid being targeted by criminals, such as keeping valuables out of view and not flashing their wealth.

InterNations Expat Magazine