Tue. Sep 27th, 2022
CELTIC fans planning on heading to the German city of Leipzig to catch their team play their next Champions League fixture are in for a treat.

This cool city packs a punch much bigger than its weight and will give the Hoops hopefuls plenty to do before and after the October 5 draw.

The lively Markt (Market Square) in Leipzig
Celtic take on RB Leipzig at their next Champions league clash on October 5
RB Leipzig

Despite having no direct flights, it is still relatively easy to get there from Scotland, either by flying via Frankfurt or Munich from both Edinburgh and Glasgow with Lufthansa.com or going via Berlin with easyJet.com or Ryanair.com and then jumping on the train for the 75 minute journey.

Once there, there’s plenty of choice on where to stay, from 5* hotels to B&BS and apartments with prices from as little as £53 on the night of the big game at the 2* Hotel Carl von Clausewitz (hotel-carlvonclausewitz.de) to £300 plus at the swanky Steigenberger Grand in Market Square (where Bayern Munich stay when they are in town) at steigenberger.com and literally hundreds in between.

Steigenberger Grand Hotel in Leipzig is a footballers favourite


When it comes to eating and drinking the city excels. If you like Street Food you’ll love it here. Head to Karl-Lienecht Strasse for pocket-friendly fillers.

And if food is your thing – apart from the glorious game that is – then if you’ve time try the Leipzig Classic Food Tour, where you walk the city centre trying all the specialities like the traditional German pot roast Sauerbraten and potato gnocchi, all washed down with a good German beer or two. (leipziggoofdtours.de)

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Get a caffeine hit at one of the city’s many cafe’s serving up artisan coffees and pastries like lark cake, a pastry made with almonds, brandy and apricot jam. and brunch and lunch to keep you going until kick-off.

There are plenty of beer caverns and pubs in the city, from smoky student hangouts to minimalist must-do wine bars including Auerbachs Keller, one of the oldest in Leipzig, dating back to the 15th century. It is slap bang in the historic city centre with it’s cobbled-streets and cool neighbourhoods.

Café Puschkinhas a terrace overlooking Leipziger Karl-Liebknecht Straße, where shisha and drinks can be had and Killiwily, also on the same street, a killer Irish pub, serving up imported Guinness, Heineken, cherry beer and Killlenny.

For anyone wanting to experience some true east German atmosphere, it has to be Frau Krause in Connewitz. Locals enjoy their “Hausebier” here, fresh from draft and for after match moves, head to Distillery, the oldest house and techno club in the east part of Germany, featuring electronic and techno to house and minimal.

Leipzig’s communist history is never far from the surface and can be seen from the architecture of many of the houses and apartment buildings, especially in the former Karl-Marx Platz, renamed Augustusplatz after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Get a grim history lesson at the former Stasi HQ Runde Ecke, with exhibits and an English audio-guide telling how the feared secret police controlled ever aspect of East German society. (runde-ecke-leipzig.de)

Don’t miss the Holocaust memorial in Synagogendenkmal, Zentralstraße. It features 140 empty bronze chairs on a raised platform, representing the 14,000 Jews who once prayed in this spot before the Nazis destroyed their synagogue, rounded them up and sent many to their deaths.

Völkerschlachtdenkmal is a monument to the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 which brought one of Napoleon’s final defeats, against a coalition of armies from Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden. Over 600,000 fought there, making it the largest battle until the First World War.

And if you like your music classical then don’t miss the Bach Museum dedicated to the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach, where music manuscripts hand-written by him are kept in glass cases along with an organ he played.

The Volkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig

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There’s always something going on at Markt – or Market Square – so it is well worth a visit and Altes Rathaus is the most beautiful historical landmark in Leipzig.

Considered one of Germany’s best examples of Renaissance architecture under its arcades on the ground floor are all kinds of restaurants, while the building hosts the Leipzig city museum.

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