Leipzig (pop. 493,000) is one of the few German university cities large enough to have a life outside the academy, but small enough to feel the influence of its students. Every comer is packed with cafes, cabarets, street-musicians, and secondhand stores. Once home to Bach and Mendelssohn, Wagner and Nietzsche, Goethe and Leibniz, central Leipzig is compact and navigable.

TRANSPORTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION. Leipzig lies on the Berlin-Munich line. Trains run to: Berlin (2-3hr. 3 per hr. 26); Dresden (lVhr. 3 per hr. 17); Frankfurt (5hr. 2 per hr. 62); and Munich (7hr. 3 per hr. 68). To find the tourist office, Richard-Wagner-Str. 1, cross Willy-Brandt-Pl. in front of the station and turn left at Richard-Wagner-Str. (710 42 60. Open M-F 9am-7pm, Sa 9am-4pm, Su 9am-2pm.) Postal Code: 04109.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD. To reach Hostel Sleepy Lion , Kathe-Kollwitz-Str. 3, take streetcar #1 (dir.: Lausen) to Gottschedstr. Run by young locals, it draws an international crowd. All rooms have showers and bath. ( 993 94 80. Sheets 2. Internet 2 per hr. Reception 24hr. Dorms 14; singles 24; doubles 36; quads 60.) Kosmos Hotel , Gottschedstr. 1, is a 12min. walk from the train station. Cross the street and turn right onto Richard-Wag-ner-Str.; when it ends, cut left through the parking lot and small park. At the end of the park, keep left on Dittrichring and it’ll be ahead on the right. This funky hotel is part of a larger complex that includes a nightclub and restaurant. I” 233 44 20. Breakfast 5. Reception daily 8am-llpm. Singles from 30; doubles from 50.)

The Innenstadt, especially Grimmaischestrafie, is full of ImbiJS stands, bistros, and bakeries. Outside the city center, Karl-Liebknecht-Strafie (streetcar #10 or 11 to Kochstr.) is packed with cheap Doner stands and cafes that double as bars. Vegetarian HAvocado , Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 79, does big things with goat cheese, forest berries, and its namesake fruit. (Open M-Th and Su ll:30am-lam, F 11:30am-2am, Sa 4pm-2am.) Zur Pleifienburg , Schulstr. 2, down Burgstr. from the Tho-maskirche, serves hearty fare. (Open daily 9am-5am.) There’s a market on Richard-Wagner-Pl. at the end of the Briihl. (Open Tu and F 9am-5pm).

SIGHTS AND NIGHTLIFE. The heart of Leipzig is the Marktplatz, a cobble-stoned square guarded by the slanted 16th-century Altes Rathaus. Head down Grim-maischestr. to the Nikolaikirche, where massive weekly demonstrations led to the fall of the GDR. (Open M-Sa 10am-6pm, Su after services. Free.) Backtrack to the Rathaus and follow Thomasg. to the Thomaskirche; Bach’s grave lies beneath the floor in front of the altar. (Open daily 9am-6pm. Free.) Just behind the church is the Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Museum, Thomaskirchof 16. (Open daily 10am-5pm. 3, students 2. Free English-language audio tours.) Head back to Thomasg. turn left, then turn right on Dittrichring to reach Leipzig’s most fascinating museum, the UMuseum in der “Runden Ecke,” Dittrichring 24, which displays stunningly blunt exhibits on the history, doctrine, and tools of the Stasi (secret police). Ask for an English brochure in the office. (Open daily 10am-6pm. Free.) Outside the city ring, the Volkerschlachtdenkmal memorializes the 1813 Battle of Nations against Napoleon. Climb the 500 steps for a fabulous view. (Streetcar #15 from the train station to Volkerschlachtdenkmal. Open daily Apr.-Oct. 10am-6pm; Nov.-Mar. 10am-5pm. Free. To ascend 3, students 2.)

The Gewandhaus-Orchester, Augustuspl. 8, has been a major international orchestra since 1843. Guest orchestras are sometimes free, ( 127 02 80. 12-40, 20% student discount.) Free magazines Fritz and Blitz and the superior Kreu-zer (1.50 at newsstands) fill you in on nightlife. Barfufigafichen, a street just off the Markt, serves as the see-and-be-seen nightlife area for everyone from students to Schicki-mickis (yuppies). Just across Dittrichring on GottschedstraBe and BosestraBe is a similar scene with a slightly younger crowd and slightly louder music. Leipzig university students spent eight years excavating a series of medieval tunnels so they could get their groove on in the OIMoritzbastei, Univer-sitatsstr. 9, which has multi-level dance floors and relaxed bars in cavernous rooms with vaulted brick ceilings. (Cover 4, students 2.50; higher for concerts. Cafe open daily 2pm-midnight. Disco open W and F until late.)

LEIPZIG MAP Photo Gallery

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