Trendy and a little eccentric. The neighbourhoods to the south of Leipzig’s centre have a reputation for being quirky and colourful, with bar-lined streets stuffed with students. As ever, the truth is a little more complicated...
Culturally, the northern part of this district is dominated by Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, known to all as KarLi. Stretching from the city centre all the way through the neighbourhoods of Südvorstadt and Connewitz, KarLi is the epicentre of student and expat life in Leipzig, a thriving boulevard of cool bars and interesting restaurants, many with outside terraces. Summer evenings will see the street thronged with people enjoying a drink in the open air, outside some of the city’s most iconic bars.
The streets running off KarLi are more residential, but still with plenty of entertaining and idiosyncratic shops and cafés. The residents here are a curious and colourful mix of students and local workers, hippies and the elderly, though this is slowly changing with the evolving character of Leipzig.
The repurposed industrial spaces that you can find in some other neighbourhoods, predominantly Plagwitz and Lindenau, are fewer here. Yet there are still some around, such as Werk 2, a socio-cultural centre housed in a former factory, at the southernmost tip of KarLi.
Despite being one of the city’s smallest districts, Leipzig-Süd has more than its fair share of nature. In the north of the district, Clara-Zetkin-Park, is a hidden gem considered by many to be Leipzig’s prettiest park. With open spaces, shaded woods, and even boating on the river, this is where many of the city’s inhabitants come to while away a summer’s day.
Venture south from here and you will find yourself in the Pleisse-Auewald, one of the largest alluvial forest areas in Central Europe. Situated in the floodplain from the Elster and Pleisse rivers, it connects the city centre with the lake Cospudener See in the south of Leipzig, and is a hugely popular cycling route during summer.
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