Spring is just around the corner, and not a moment too soon. Clara Zetkin park (or simply ‘Clara park’) is by far the nicest park in Leipzig and Leipzigers and visitors flock here in the warmer months. It’s easy to see why. Only about 1000 meters from Markt Square in the Zentrum, Clara park is a hidden gem that is all but unknown to people outside the city of Leipzig. It would not be an exaggeration to compare it to other wonderful urban parks such as Central Park in New York, Hyde Park in London or the Tiergarten in Berlin.
Clara park is perfect for getting outside and enjoying the fresh air of Spring. There are forest trails, boating on the Elster river, and feeding the ducks, as well as kid-friendly play areas. You can grab a bite to eat or drink at several full-service restaurants inside the park including an outdoor beer garden (this is Germany after all). There are miles of paved and unpaved paths for bicycling or jogging or just a good long walk. There’s a small concert venue and even a horse racing course should you feel lucky.
Some of the oldest trees in Leipzig live in the park and you’ll find plenty of nice shady spots to lay out a picnic or just chillax with a book. Even on busy days the 125 hectare park is spacious enough to accommodate everyone.
On the Zentrum side there is a small but very pretty extension to Clara park called ‘Johannapark’. Named after the daughter of a rich landowner who donated the land to the city in 1863. Johanna park is laid out in classic English garden style. The historic Luther Church which Napoleon used as a stables and warehouse during the 1812 Battle of Nations can be found here.
Last but not least, you should check out the random goings on at the Sachsenbrücke (Saxony Bridge). This is the big pedestrianised bridge that connects the Zentrum and Schleußig sides of Clara park. On a warm sunny day you’ll often find a band playing, an ice cream van and it’s a great spot to watch the boats and canoeists go up and down the river (and drink a beer!).