Leipzig is extremely bicycle friendly. Unless you’re coming from some place like Copenhagen you’ve probably never seen so many people riding around on bikes. The city is criss-crossed with excellent bike lanes and dedicated routes. And there are great opportunities for leisurely biking day trips.
Leipzigers will use their bicycles year round even during the coldest winter spells. And in the warmer months biking around is an absolute pleasure. You can even take your bike on the trams and trains (subject to space available) and there’s plenty of parking spots and dedicated bike racks for locking up.
RENT A BIKE
NextBike bicycle rental system was founded in 2004 in Leipzig and remains headquartered here. It’s been a great commercial success and has now grown to 10,000 rental bicycles in many countries. Check out their website for the many locations in Leipzig. There are literally dozens of places to pick up and drop off. It’s a really slick way to rent a nice bike for as long as you like. About €9 per day.
WHAT TO BUY
There’s only a few key bits of advice we’d offer when purchasing a main day-to-day Leipzig bike. Get a comfortable seat, avoid narrow tyres and think about a front basket or rear pannier. Oh and a suspension of some sort would be nice too. Our personal favourite is the so-called ‘hybrid cruiser’, this is part-mountain bike part-traditional bike. This seems ideal for Leipzig’s daily commuting, going to appointments, getting groceries etc. as well as for more serious treks on forest paths and for longer day trips.
Don’t bother with a massive super lock. Bike theft happens but the sheer numbers of bikes everywhere means you’ll most often be parked amongst a forest of other bikes.
WHERE TO BUY
Surprisingly for such a bike crazy place Leipzig bike shop prices are steep compared to the UK and some other parts of Europe. Although prices in Berlin and Dresden are similarly high so it must be a German thing. Part of the problem is the general high quality; there doesn’t seem to be a market for under €100 bikes. Realistically, expect to pay between €300 and €400 minimum for a new bike and up to a thousand euros for something fancy.
Some Aldi and Lidl stores occasionally have decent looking bicycles on offer. Every first Saturday of the month Lucky Bike sell good used bikes at very reasonable prices. They have two outlets in Leipzig. Also check out the University of Leipzig Das Schwarze Brett (literally ‘the black boards’) for good used deals.
When you finally have your bike there’s tonnes of really good local bike shops for repair and maintenance. Leipzigers tend to treat their bikes with the same meticulous care as they do their cars. We’ve had great after-sale customer care experiences at RadFreund on Grimmaischer Steinweg 11 (Zentrum-Ost) and Little John Bikes Leipzig-Mitte across from the Neues Rathaus (Zentrum).
It may not be a bad idea to bring your bike with you to Leipzig. Ryanair and other airlines using Leipzig-Halle airport charge around €50 to check-in a bike (one-way, and you’ll need a special bike bag). It’s also possible to take your bike on the trains throughout Germany and Europe.
[page content last updated July 2014]