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Our Four Favourite Lakes Near Leipzig

Icy waters in former quarries, expansive lakes, shady green oases that evoke a South Sea flair—the landscapes around Leipzig reveal a string of breathtaking bathing spots. Here are our four favourites!

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1 EAST

Kirchbruch

Leipzig city centre 17 km
Car <30 min
PT <30 min

Kirchbruch Leipzig Osten Take Me to the Lakes

Swimming in a wildly romantic stone pool’s deep blue waters at the foot of a historic church—all the makings of a summer fairy tale reveal themselves just half an hour from Leipzig. This former quarry is encircled by rugged granite rocks. Beucha Church overlooks its waters from the comfort of a jagged hilltop. The quarry was flooded in the late 1950s’ after the church was closed its doors. Because Kirchbruch is up to 38 metres deep in some places, it remains pleasantly cool even at the height of summer. If you dip your toes into the water, you’ll find two easily accessible entry points on the quarry’s southeastern and northern shores. Climbing enthusiasts and thrill-seekers can also jump directly from the cliffs or scuba dive in these chilly waters.

Leipzig Edition
p. 74

Directions Bergkirche Beucha Parking Lot

2 WEST

Wallendorfer See

Leipzig city centre 31 km
Car <45 min
PR <75 min

Wallendorfer See Leipzig Westen Take Me to the Lakes

This 300-hectare lake is tucked away amidst wetlands, riverscapes and pilgrimage trails. Wallendorfer See was transformed from a former open-cast mine into a lake in the early 2000s’. It has been open to the public for bathing since 2018. Bathers are invited to spread out their towels on three designated beaches. They share these shorelines with birds that nest on the islands in the south. Whilst the large sunbathing lawn, with its sandy beach and volleyball court on the lake’s northern shore, attracts flocks of visitors, you’ll come across quieter and more solitary places to recline nearby in the small reed-lined bays. The water here is so clear you can spend hours watching schools of fish from the pier. If you fancy a hike or cycle, we recommend exploring the numerous trails that lead through the surrounding wetlands.

Leipzig Edition
p. 210

Directions Wallendorfer See Parking Lot

3 SOUTH

Waldsee Lauer

Leipzig city centre 9 km
Car <15 min
PT <45 min

Waldsee Lauer Leipzig Süden Take Me to the Lakes

If you find yourself caught in a stream of bathers heading for Cospudener See and Markkleeberger See on a hot summer’s day, we recommend venturing off the beaten path a little earlier than your fellow sun-seekers. This will guide you to the lesser-known gem called Waldsee. Only a handful of people make their way along these narrow paths, searching for this peaceful lake’s pristine waters, surrounded by trees and reeds. A series of small access points are dotted along the shoreline, making it easy to find a secluded spot to call your own for the day. Recline in the shade under willow branches on Waldsee’s eastern shore, glide into the water from sandy bays that make up its western shore, and watch the passing canoeists from its northern shore.

Leipzig Edition
p. 156

Directions Cospudener See Parking Lot

4 EAST

Grillensee

Leipzig city centre 22km
Car <30 min
PT <45 min

Grillensee Leipzig Osten Take Me to the Lakes
Whenever we feel a strong sense of wanderlust, we soothe our sense of longing at Grillensee. As we stand on this white pebble beach and look out over these turquoise blue waters, the South Seas feel closer than ever. Leave familiar cityscapes behind and head towards Leipzig’s southeastern district. Cycle past the Monument to the Battle of the Nations and let the fresh scent of woodlands guide you to the idyllic forest that encircles the lake. Take a break in the shade along the promenade before making your way towards the beach on the lake’s southern shore or birch groves on its eastern shore. The atmosphere around the lake is always relaxed. Divers and anglers are just as happy unwinding in these waters as nudists and dog owners.

Leipzig Edition
p. 60

Directions Wurzener Straße Parking Lot

From Barren Quarries to Stunning Nature Reserves

It’s hard to imagine that just 30 years ago, heavy machinery tore through Leipzig’s foothills as far as the eye could see to mine lignite and excavate coal. Today, nature takes centre stage in these pristine landscapes. North, south, east and west of Leipzig, flora and fauna are rapidly reclaiming their territories, giving way to places of refuge and wild landscapes en route. We’re captivated by Leipziger Neuseenland’s countless bathing spots. A short trip to take a quick dip in former quarries promises a unique sense of adventure as we set out to track down these open-air pools. Dive from jagged rocks into deep blue waters and hike through wetland reserves to discover secluded shorelines. An abundance of beauty is just waiting to be explored beyond the city’s borders.

Discover more recommendations for pristine lakes in the region in our Take Me to the Lakes – Leipzig Edition. We bring you 50 wondrous lakes and 120 bathing spots near the city. In addition to some of the more renowned lakes in the region, such as Cospudener See, Markkleeberger See und Störmthaler See, you’ll also find smaller, lesser-known bodies of water.

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