Leipzig is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. More than half a million people live there, and the population is growing steadily. Often referred to as the new German Berlin, Leipzig has shaken off its traditional roots as a commercial city and is now better known as one of Europe’s major regional economic centres.
Leipzig is a culturally significant city, with its own zoo and opera house, making it one of the most livable cities in Germany. In addition, Leipzig has been ranked as a ‘Gamma’ world city, meaning that it is in the third tier of world cities, judged on a number of factors, alongside Krakow, Seville and Turin.
Due to its location, Leipzig has always played an important role as a regional transport hub. The city’s transport infrastructure is fantastic and the traffic system has been designed to be cycle friendly.
Leipzig/Halle Airport, formerly called Leipzig-Altenburg, is the region’s main airport and is only half an hour’s drive from the city centre. More than two million people use the airport each year, the majority of whom are leisure passengers travelling to other destinations in Europe. Berlin’s airports are two hours away by train.
The city’s main train station is Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, which is located at the intersection of important north-south and west-east railway lines. This makes it possible to reach Berlin in one hour by ICE train and Munich in five hours.
Leipzig is also known for its extensive public transport network, operated by the Leipzig Transport Association. In the Leipzig/Halle metropolitan area, around 1.2 million inhabitants use public transport.
Culture is becoming increasingly important in Leipzig, which in recent years has led to the city often being referred to as the new Berlin. Leipzig is perhaps best known as the place where Johann Sebastian Bach worked, and composer Richard Wagner was also born in this city. Today, Leipzig is home to an excellent opera house, which is popular with both locals and expats living in Leipzig.
Although Leipzig is primarily famous for its classical music, it also has a strong local independent music scene, and the city hosts the world’s largest gothic festival. Leipzig’s nightlife is thriving, and one of Germany’s oldest techno clubs is the Distillery.
Football is the main sport in Leipzig, and the German Football Association was founded in the city in 1900. RB Leipzig, owned by drinks giant Red Bull, is the top local football club, and fencing, rugby and handball are also popular sports in the city.
The city is considered very safe for foreigners living in Leipzig, as is most of Germany in the 21st century. Crime in Leipzig is generally low, but there is some drug activity in the city, which is largely centred around Leipzig’s very active club scene.
Leipzig is even considered a safe place to walk alone at night, although expats living in Leipzig should take every precaution to avoid being targeted by criminals, such as keeping valuables out of sight and not flaunting their wealth.