Germany is part of the Schengen Area, a group of 26 countries that have waived border control and passport requirements for citizens travelling between the member countries. If you are a citizen of the 25 countries that are also part of the agreement, you won’t need a visa. There are other countries that do not require a visa for visiting Germany, including: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are not sure you need a visa, take a look at the german Auswaertige Amt list: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/EinreiseUndAufenthalt/StaatenlisteVisumpflicht_node.html
If you need a visa, you’ll have to apply for it at your local German embassy or general consulate. You will find a list with the embassies and consulates here: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/AAmt/Auslandsvertretungen/Botschaften_node.html You should apply for the visa at least 6 weeks before entering the country. It takes 2-10 days for visas to be processed.
You must meet the following requirements:
- The purpose of the trip to Germany must be plausible and comprehensible.
- The applicant must be in a position to finance his/her living and travel costs from his/her own funds or income.
- The visa holder must be prepared to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.
- Documentary evidence must be provided of travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 € valid for the entire Schengen area.
The visa application fee is 60 €.
Leipzig has its own airport: Leipzig/Halle Airport (IATA: LEJ). It is located 22 km northwest of Leipzig’s city centre. During the day it offers connections to several other destinations in Germany. The airport has its own train station and the trains run every 30 minutes during the day. The fare to Leipzig’s central station is around 5 €. For a cab from the airport to central Leipzig, you will pay around 35 €. Taxis are available directly in front of Terminal B.
Leipzig can easily be reached by car, as it is very well connected with the Autobahn (motorway) system. The nearest motorways are A14 (North, Northeast), A9 (West) and A38 (South).
Several bus companies are offering connections to and from Leipzig, like, e.g., http://meinfernbus.de. Travelling by bus is generally cheaper, but also slower. Here are some example fares: Berlin—Leipzig, 10 €; Frankfurt/Main—Leipzig, 19 €; Munich—Leipzig, 19 €. You can book tickets online, but unfortunately most websites are only available in German. To find the cheapest connection, you can alternatively use http://www.fromatob.com/
Leipzig’s Hauptbahnhof (central station) is the largest terminal railway station in Europe. It also has a large shopping mall, where you can easily spend 2 hours during connections. There are many high speed rail connections to cities like Frankfurt/Main (3.5 hours), Munich (4.5 hours), Hamburg (3 hours), or Berlin (1.5 hours).
If you’re considering flying to another airport and taking the train to Leipzig, be aware that the Deutsche Bahn fare system is based on booking time (the earlier the cheaper). Thus, a domestic flight connection may be cheaper than a train ticket. Please ask your local travel agency for advice.
Buses and trams in Leipzig are run by Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB). They are part of a regional integrated transport network called MDV. This means that tickets are valid in trams and buses, but also in trains and the S-Bahn which are run by Deutsche Bahn AG. A single zone covers the entire city of Leipzig, and a ticket is valid for one hour, during which you can switch your mode of transportation as you like, easily reaching any target in the city.
You may consider buying a so-called ‘Leipzig Card’, which is available for 1–3 days for one or two persons (9 €–35 €). This card also offers discounts for a lot of museums and shops. If you don’t plan to visit a museum or something like this, LVB also offers tourist cards as day tickets for groups up to 5 persons. You can also buy a seven-day ticket for 21 €.
Be aware the automats inside trams and buses accept only coins or cash cards, no ATM or credit cards.
If you are travelling to Leipzig via an intercity highspeed rail connection (Deutsche Bahn or one of its European partners), your ticket is valid without extra costs in all public transport systems mentioned above.
Leipzig offers many hotels, hostels and youth hostels in all categories.
- Motel One (360 meters from the venue, price single 59€)
- Radisson Blue (200 meters, price single 90€)
- arcona LIVING BACH14 (700 meters, single, 109€)
- Abito Suites (200 meters, double 125€)
- A&O Hostels (850 meters, price single categorie hotel 40€)
- Sleepy Lion Hostel (1400 meters, price single 35€)
- Say Cheese Hostel (800 meters, price single 33€)
- Central Globetrotter Hostel (1100 meters, price single 32€)
Private rooms and apartments are, of course, also available. You can try a service like airbnb or wimdu to find one. If you don’t want to spend much money, you can also consider couchsurfing.
Since the main buildings of the University of Leipzig are located directly in the city centre, there are restaurants and snack bars aplenty.
We will arrange for a coffee cart at the venue, where coffee, drinks, and snacks will be available at a reasonable price. If you prefer to go outside, there are some famous places like Auerbachs Keller or Germany’s oldest coffee house Zum Arabische Coffe Baum (The Arabic Coffee Tree, 650 meters from the venue).
There are a couple of local foods you should try while in Leipzig. First, consider Leipziger Lerchen (Leipzig Larks). You may also want to try the famous Leipziger Allerlei (Leipzig Potpourri) — it’s a stew prepared from peas, carrots, asparagus, and morels.