Leipzig New Lakeland : Relaxing at the daylight mine

Windsurfing on the lake, feeding squirrels in the woods, exploring the countryside via Geocaching – New Lakeland outside Leipzig offers a wide variety of activities. The former opencast mining area is now a popular destination for a day trip.

by Sandra Friedrichs

Relaxing at the lake © Friedrichs/DAAD
Relaxing at the lake . © Friedrichs/DAAD

State: Saxony
Ideal for students in: Leipzig, Halle (Saale)
Ticket: Day ticket for public transport, about 7 euros

About the region

New Lakeland is comprised of numerous lakes located around the city of Leipzig in Saxony, the most popular of which is Cospudener Lake. Not only is it closest to Leipzig, but also the easiest to reach by public transportation.

New Lakeland was created after the city of Leipzig closed down its lignite mining facilities. For years the industrial area lay unused and cratered with open-cast mines. City authorities then decided to flood the craters and allow new lakes to form. This return to nature was well received by the residents of Leipzig because it offered them a new place to do water sports, go sunbathing and take walks in the woods.

On the waterfront of the lake © Friedrichs/DAAD
On the waterfront of the lake . © Friedrichs/DAAD

Getting there

Cospudener Lake is well connected to public transportation and is only one hour away from Leipzig. Just take the bus line 65 which stops directly at the lake. Or if you want to take a short detour into the nearby town of Markkleeberg, you can board tram 9 or bus 70 directly from downtown Leipzig. In Markkleeberg, you can buy some food for a small picnic at the lake.

A summertime trip to the lake

The lake and surrounding woods are freely accessible to the public, and that’s why a lot of people like going there. That’s also why you should start your trip in the morning before it gets too crowded at the lake. If you’d like to explore the surroundings, you can take a Geocaching tour. This digital paper chase is a fun away of discovering the highlights of the lake; all you need is a smartphone or other GPS-equipped device. Simply download a Geocaching app onto your smartphone (costs 9 euros) and off you go!

My opinion

Spending time at the water gives me the chance to relax in a beautiful landscape and forget the university and stress. Cospudener Lake offers me everything I imagine a summertime excursion should.

On a walk through the forest, you’re bound to meet any number of wild animals – in most cases, squirrels. You’ll find that they’re quite tame and you can easily feed them.

After that, we recommend renting a paddle boat at the boat rental place and taking a trip around the lake. It gives you the chance to enjoy some beautiful scenery you wouldn’t be able to see on your walk in the woods. Half-submerged trees stretched out of the water as frogs jump from branch to branch along the shore. Keep your eyes open for the wonders of nature in the wooded area, and don’t forget your camera!

After all that exercise and activity, it’s time to do some serious relaxation. Let yourself be mesmerised by the sights and sounds of the lake while you get some sun. How about having a picnic on the shore? If you’re more in the mood for something warm, you can buy a curried sausage, hamburger or French fries at the snack bars nearby. If you need to cool off, you can always treat yourself to a delicious ice-cream. There are ice-cream stands at most of the lakes where you can satisfy your sweet tooth. Later on in the evening, the best way to wrap up your day at the lake is to watch the sun set over the horizon.

View onto the lake © Friedrichs/DAAD
View onto the lake . © Friedrichs/DAAD

Other possibilities

If you’re not so much into sunbathing and are more interested in taking in the landscape, you can visit the lakes on warm, overcast days. Of course, you can do water sports in the rain, but remember to dress appropriately and take your rubber boots and umbrella with you. Otherwise you might catch cold the next day.

You can also play volleyball or table tennis at Cospudener Lake if you bring your own equipment. If you have a valid sailing permit, you can rent a sailboat and spend a day out sailing on the lake.

Playing volleyball at the beach © Friedrichs/DAAD
Playing volleyball at the beach . © Friedrichs/DAAD


The Leipzig New Lakeland is a great meeting place for nature lovers, sport enthusiasts and sun worshippers. Taking a swim in the lake or exploring nature certainly makes a nice end to a hard day at university.

Important information

Try to avoid taking your trip when a festival or other major event is taking place at the lake. Not only will you have to pay admission to reach the lake, but it will also be overcrowded.

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