Summers in Leipzig are hot and humid. It’s not uncommon to have weeks of gorgeous un-interrupted sunshine. Thankfully, there’s plenty of options to cool off in the many shady parks and outdoor public swimming pools. However, the Neuseenland lakes around Leipzig are our absolute favourite way to chill out on those dog days of summer.
Leipziger Neuseenland is a network of lakes (‘See’s’) and connecting rivers and canals in and around Leipzig developed specifically for leisure and relaxation. Activities include sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, boating and swimming. There’s even an artificial whitewater slalom course!
The two most accessible and popular swimming lakes are the Cospudener See and the Markkleeberger See to the south of central Leipzig, both of which have lovely sandy beaches. The smaller Kulkwitz See to the west has a more limited beach area but is close enough to central Leipzig. Kulkwitz is a popular scuba diving spot.
Our recommendation has to the Cospudener See. The North Beach is 2km long and sandy, perfect for sunbathing or swimming. There’s beachside cafes here. You can bicycle or walk around the entire Cospuden on an absolutely beautiful 11km lakeshore trail. There’s lots to see on this trail including a big boat marina (called Pier 1) with restaurants and services, paddocks with herds of Buffalo and deer, several different beaches, the tall viewing tower at Belantis, and several docks where the lake’s passenger ferry stops at.
Most importantly we think, most of the trail is forested so there’s loads of secret little access points to the lakeshore. Highly recommended for finding your own secluded spot for a bit of skinny-dipping!
The beaches can get very busy on hot weekends and holidays, but like most things in Leipzig it never gets too uncomfortable.
For Cospuden buses 65 and 79 (summer only) shuttle between the main tram lines and stop right beside the NordStrand (‘North Beach’) at Cospudener See. If you have a bicycle we recommend biking down via the Leipziger Ratsholz forest that stretches from Clara Zetkin park down to Elster und Pleiße-Auewald, past the Wildpark and all the way down to the Cospudener See. The only cars you see on this route will be the ones in the car park by the lake!
For Markkleeberger See tram 11 terminates very close to the lake. Check out this network map for more public transport details.