Leipzig's main form of public transport is the tram, supplemented by several bus routes. In addition, night buses run throughout the night.
If you are new to Leipzig you might need a bit of help with the tramways how-tos:
The Tramway Straßenbahn circulation is managed by the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB) (Leipzig transport services) which has a new English version of an interactive time-table (der Fahrplan) allowing to plan your itinerary and visualize it on the map.
Tipp: if you do not have yet a ticket and are not sure to get a ticket once inside the tram, do not climb on board. Not all trams have machines on board, and the penalty for fare-dodgers (der Schwarzfahrer) is around 40€.
If you are a car driver, even not a new comer, you might sometimes wonder, as we do, about the traffic directions sudden changes and road works situations. The school itself is witnessing major improvements to the street outside, with work planned to continue to September 2016.
A very useful site, the Verkehrsinformationssystem (traffic information system) as an interactive English map of Leipzig with current road works (die Baustelle, der Straßenbau), what is being done and how long it is supposed to last.
Now, you might also trade your usual mode of transport and do as the Leipzigers do: ride a bike. Whether it rains or snows, you will always see people on bicycles. Many shops offer a wide range of bicycles for all price and all trends. So just hop on and enjoy the ride on the many bike paths in the city.
If your driving license has been issued in a non-EU country and you plan on living in Germany longer than a year, you will need a German driver's license (Führerschein). Whether you can simply exchange yours or take a part or all of the driving exam, only depends on where your driving license was acquired.
If you have a US driving license you might want to check the How to Germany website for details, as it depends on the state in which your license has been issued and the actual German regulation.
In Leipzig the motor vehicle registrar is the Ordnungsamt Kfz-Zulassungs-, Führerschein-, Melde- und Passbehörde (Abteilung). A motor vehicle, or car/auto is das Kraftfahrzeug, Kfz in short. It is now located on Prager Str as mentioned on the above website. On that internet page you can find numerous documents necessary for you car registration to download.
And the last link of that page leads you to the online reservation system of the motor vehicle registrar... very practical to avoid very long queuing time!
- Get a third party liability coverage (Haftpflichtversicherung).
- If you are involved in an accident never leave the scene but stay calm, exchange personal and insurance information, call for the Police if you do not understand what is happening - this can also help in case the other driver is exaggerating the incident.
- You are required to stop and help if you are the first to arrive at the scene of an accident. Pay any your traffic fines immediately: indeed these may sometimes be levied on the spot.
- Be aware of the speed limits in town and on access ramps to the highway.
Going by Bike
If you are new to Germany you will find that a lot of people ride their bikes in the big cities, and it is a very nice way to get around. There are however few things to know, beside riding on the right-hand side of the road, and obeying all traffic laws as if you were driving a car.
The basic traffic laws applied to bike riding imply:
- Do not turn right on a red light, wait until it turns green
- Cyclists must stop at a stop sign
- Emergency vehicles have the right of way
- Yield to traffic on the right, unless you are on a priority street (yellow diamond)
- If you are riding with traffic, turn out of the proper traffic turn lane
- Pedestrians always have the right of way
When on a bike:
- Riding side by side is forbidden on streets and roads, you must ride inline…
- …but riding side by side is allowed on bicycle paths
- All turns must be indicated with arm signals
- Bicycles must be on the street with traffic riding in the direction of traffic
- If you are on a red bike path on the side of a road, you should follow the direction of the traffic
- If riding at night, all bike types are required to have lights and reflectors
Going by Bike … with your children
- Children up to age 9 must be on the sidewalk, or bike lanes, not in traffic. Children may ride on the sidewalk up to age 10
- If you are biking with children who must or may be on the sidewalk, you may make an exception and ride on the sidewalk with your children
- If you are on the sidewalk you have to cross intersections with a walk signal. Get off and walk your bicycle across
- On a pedestrian only zone, unless you see a bicycle "Frei" sign below it, you should get down and push your bicycle
- Helmets are recommended, not mandatory; however check with your insurance the specifics of your coverage and that of your children in case of accident
Biking in and around Leipzig
The City of Leipzig offers information about riding a bike in and around Leipzig with up to 15 routes and a calendar of events. (in German)
Leipziger Notenrad If you would like to go on a musical historical tour of the city by bicycle, the Notenrad combines a tour of artistic and historical landmarks of the Leipzig's musical tradition. It takes about 3hours. (in German)
In the city center most of the streets are accessible to bikes, excepted for some pedestrian streets only allowed to bikes at certain times; outside these time frames, get off and walk your bike.
Bikes on Public Transport
- If you happen to have to get on a bus or tram (Straßenbahn) with your bike, you must pay with a child ticket (Kinderfahrschein) for your bike
- When using the suburban train services (Nahverkehrszüge des MDV and Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn) the transport of your bike is free if you hold a valid transport ticket.
- If you travel with private train companies the transport of your bike on the train will cost an additional amount.