Three matches in the preliminary round and one match in the round of 16 of the European Championship will be played in Leipzig, the home of the Red Bull empire. Although the club has only existed since 2009, it has long been a factor both in the Bundesliga and internationally. Soccer enthusiasm has a much longer tradition in Leipzig. And so it will be a pleasure to welcome fans from Croatia and Italy, Portugal and the Czech Republic as well as Holland and France to the city. Leipzig is prepared! 

Day 1

10 am. Even if ordinary soccer fans rarely have an eye for the historical beauties of a city - at the Old Town Hall and the market square in front of it. The square is a Leipzig landmark and the ensemble is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Germany. This place is also the meeting point for Leipzigers who want to shop in the neighboring Mädler Passage or dine in one of the bourgeois restaurants in the area. To get a first taste of Leipzig, a visit to the Old Town Hall would certainly be a good idea for fans from Europe. Especially as the place is also big enough to easily separate rival fan groups. 

12 o'clock. Leipzig has a lot (of its own) to offer in terms of gastronomy. Portuguese or Dutch people probably don't know what Leipziger Allerlei is all about. (We are talking about a traditional vegetable dish that is usually served as a side dish). Saxon sauerbraten with red cabbage and dumplings is also a popular dish in Leipzig. You can combine this very smartly with a visit to the Gosenschenke Without hesitation in the north of Leipzig. The classic Leipzig beer, top-fermented Gose, is served here. A sour and salty wheat beer that has been successful in Leipzig since the 19th century. Not everyone knows why ... But since the hip craft beer scene rediscovered it, it has become more popular again. At the Gosenschenke Ohne Bedenken in Menckestraße, it is served with homemade brawn or Rostbrätl. Also in the craft beer bar Dr. Hops the Gose is available, along with more than 100 other beers. 

3 p.m. Five different watercourses run through the water city of Leipzig, more than 150 kilometers of which can theoretically be crossed by canoe. However, the most popular body of water is not the Pleiße, Weiße Elster, Luppe, Parthe or Nahle. No, it is the Karl Heine Canalwhich the people of Leipzig use like a magnificent boulevard. Originally, the artificial waterway was supposed to run all the way to the Saale, but the three kilometers that the canal runs under 15 bridges through the west of Leipzig are already a feast for the eyes. And to motivate lazy paddlers to tackle this wonderful excursion by boat (available to hire everywhere), we can tell you this: Many idyllic cafés await thirsty water lovers along the way. 

6 pm. In terms of architecture and art history, Leipzig simply doesn't do it any lower: Augustusplatz on the eastern inner city ring road is one of the largest city squares in Germany, covering an impressive 40,000 square meters. With the Gewandhaus, the Opera House and the Paulinum, three of Leipzig's most important sights are gathered around Augustusplatz. Soccer fans from all over Europe will be in awe, as Augustusplatz is also the place where Leipzig's Fan Zone of Euro 24. The city of Leipzig promises an attractive program of sport and culture, with all European Championship matches being shown on two screens. Admission is also free here, with space for up to 15,000 soccer fans. 

8 pm. It is not uncommon to hear from young Leipzigers that their city has long since overtaken Berlin, just an hour away, in terms of party strongholds and club quality. A visit to the Täubchenthal in Plagwitz in the west of Leipzig at least provides no arguments against this thesis. An original and very spacious club area has been created in an old spinning mill. You can lounge on deckchairs outside under fairy lights or have a dance party in the old factory. Culinary delights such as chips and similar culinary specialties are on offer to combat the simple lack of supply, but who wants fine dining when you only want a 10-minute dance break? Fine place. 

Day 2

10 am. After a long night of partying yesterday, a leisurely stroll with a solid breakfast is probably the best way to start another day in Leipzig today. The Waldstraßenviertel, Germany's largest contiguous Wilhelminian-style district, is an obvious choice. You can see the oldest preserved residential building in Leipzig, various Art Nouveau buildings and a natural history museum. There is also a historic location for the promised breakfast: the Mosquito castle is a well-preserved restaurant with a beer garden, with Saxon and Bavarian dishes on the menu. Those who prefer something more modern will find the Café Grateful an original place that used to be a butcher's shop. The pretty Art Deco ceiling dates back to that time.  

1 p.m. Cossi is what the people of Leipzig affectionately call their most popular bathing lake. Lake Cospuden is around 400 hectares in size and is located on the southern outskirts of Leipzig. In warm weather in summer, it is the place of longing for young and old in Leipzig. You can get there quickly, and the maritime feeling of life at Cossi can be felt after just a few minutes on the shores of the lake. If you want to get some exercise, you can jog or cycle along the 10-kilometre paved circular route around the lake. Or, a crazy idea: paddle the six kilometers from the center of Leipzig to the Cossi in a canoe. But that would be a tricky decision, because after a longer stay at the lake and some cool refreshments in the cafés, you might not like the idea of paddling the six kilometers back. 

3 p.m. That fits. Right next to Leipzig's South Cemetery stands the most impressive monument in Leipzig, the Monument to the Battle of the Nations. Soccer fans from all over Europe rarely feel the need to visit monuments, especially as they would have to invest some time and distance in this case. But the Völkerschlachtdenkmal, which was inaugurated in 1913, is well worth a visit. At 91 meters high, it is the tallest monument in the whole of Europe, a massive building that is probably the city's most famous landmark alongside the Old Town Hall. It is definitely the most visited. There is a viewing platform on the monument, and the panoramic view of Leipzig is overwhelming. The bad news: there are 364 steps to climb. This path will not be an easy one ...

6 pm. Creative Leipzig. Further proof of how well and effectively the city deals with its old industrial facilities is the Westwerk in the trendy district of Plagwitz. The former industrial site has been revitalized for years by all kinds of artists, craftspeople, media professionals and restaurants. It's a bit like a Taka Tuka land for adults, with an excellent restaurant in the form of the Imperial bath also. Unplastered brick walls like in New York, cozy indirect lighting, small but fine kitchen. Highly recommended.

8 pm. You won't find another place this colorful anytime soon. In Leipzig's Südvorstadt district, young students, middle-aged creatives and occasionally even staunch scene gods meet up in the evening. Südvorstadt is the place to be when it comes to stable partying, good food and culture that is not found in large halls. The air here shimmers on a beautiful summer evening, NaTo or Delicatessen are the most popular stores, although the annual summer cinema is also part of the delicatessen. Basically, you don't have to search long for your store. Just follow the Karl-Liebknecht-Straße (known to locals as Karli) and at some point decide which establishment you would like to go to today. No room for error. 

Copyright cover picture: Leipzig is Saxony's largest city and has a lively art and culture scene © Philipp Kirschner

Geschrieben von Harald Brown

Travel and culture journalist Harald Braun, a native of the Rhineland, lives in the countryside of Schleswig-Holstein, regularly escapes to Australia in winter, likes FC St. Pauli, South Tyrol and, increasingly, selected corners of Germany that he has recently discovered - such as the "Greif" harbor crane in front of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, where you can spend an excellent night.

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