1 Radiating from Leipzig’s city centre is not one, but three pub miles (four if you include the smaller area developing around the street of Muenzgasse). There’s Drallewatsch – in the city centre, the theatre district of Schauspielviertel and Suedmeile (or Southern mile). Most of these thoroughfares have alfresco dining/ drinking, making Leipzig one of the most convivial cities around.

2 Given its communist past, Leipzig should resemble an archictectural wasteland of boxy buildings and Stalinist Baroque. That it doesn’t is testament to the spirit of Leipzigers and their ability to embrace change and new ideas. There are still a handful of communist monstrosities but, all told, Leipzig has some innovative constructions. Most exciting is the former industrial area of Plagwitz, home to the MDR television station which is shaped like a giant TV screen.

3 Leipzig’s Zoo of the Future should please even the most extreme animal libber – well almost. Many of the animals are housed in cage-less natural habitats. Moats and electric fences keep lions and tigers from escaping and devouring the paying customers.

4 Although the Berlin Wall got most of the media’s attention as the communist bloc dissolved in 1989, it was Leipzig that actually kickstarted the movement against oppression in the former GDR. It all began with church services at the beautiful St Nicholas Church in the heart of Leipzig.

5 An hour by bus from Leipzig is Colditz Castle, where hundreds of Allied soldiers were interned during World War II. It doesn’t hold much interest for German tourists, which probably explains why it’s in such a derelict state. It’s a riveting day trip, however, for anyone remotely interested in recent history.

The essentials

Time from London 1.5 hours
Getting there Air Berlin fly from London Stansted to Leipzig-Halle three times a week. One-way tickets start at £19 including taxes.
What to say Ich bin ein Leipziger.” – I am a Leipziger.
Price of a beer: €2.30 for your standard 0.33 litre bottle.