The largest district by area and yet one of the least densely populated, Leipzig-Südwest has variety to match its size. The north of the district is dominated by the two neighbourhoods of Plagwitz and Schleussig, which offer different yet equally attractive styles of life. Here are some of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city, and as you walk the pretty cobbled streets and feel the atmosphere, you understand why.
Leipzig’s renaissance has in large part been driven by its youthful art scene, and nowhere embodies this quite like Plagwitz. The city’s hippest neighbourhood by far, this former working-class area is characterised by the transformation of its decaying factories and industrial spaces into artists’ studios, galleries, bars and restaurants.
Perhaps nowhere typifies this transformation better than the Baumwollspinnerei, a complex of 19th century red-brick factories, now converted into galleries, studios, offices and more. Here is the creative driving force behind Leipzig’s reinvention.
Just next door to Plagwitz, Schleussig offers much more of a neighbourhood feel. Family-oriented, with its organic cafés and beautiful green spaces, this is much more of a low-key, insider’s tip, with a self-contained, friendly, local vibe.
The further south you travel, the landscape becomes increasingly suburban. Apartments buildings are replaced by detached, single-family homes, and everything feels less crowded. Travel even further and you find yourself surrounded by open green spaces and fields.
Even by Leipzig’s standards, this district enjoys more than its share of nature. The White Elster river, which splits the city in two, runs through here and offers plenty of chances to picnic along its banks.
Clara-Zetkin-Park, considered by many to be Leipzig’s prettiest park, is a hidden gem in the middle of the city. 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.
Described as a “jewellery box for west Leipzig” upon its opening in 1928, the Volkspark Kleinzschocher has lost none of its charm in the intervening years. The park has something for everyone, with a summer swimming pool, sports fields, flower beds, rare trees, and even grass meadows.
During the heat of the summer months, many of Leipzig’s residents make their way by bicycle to the lakes in the south of the city, the most popular of which is Cospudener See. Surrounded by forest, the lake itself has long stretches of sandy beaches, and plenty of opportunities for water sports.