Leipzig: Kayaking Summer

Tour name: Leipzig (Weiße Elster)
Degree of difficulty: easy
Tour length: 13km
Alignment: South
GPS: route and track as GPX

City tours are not really ours – at least when it comes to my friend Christian. He is more of the adventurous type. He can not stroll … and being dragged past shopping windows on his long arm … hm … that’s not for me.

But on this sunny Saturday, we want to combine action and city feeling in a micro-adventure. How? With a paddle tour in the middle of Leipzig!

discovering Leipzig on a Kayak
discovering Leipzig on a Kayak ©Christian Hein

We go by car to the Leipzig city harbor. Here there is a car park (charge), a snack bar with sun loungers, a kayak and boat rentals and – last but not least – toilets. The water of the Weiße Elster glistens in the sun as we get our folding kayaks out of the car. The river moves slowly here, since it is a tributary (the Elstermühlgraben). From the city harbor on the water it goes in one direction only. We are looking for a quiet place to start building. Getting the kayak into the water is no problem: the river is easily accessible. And so we starting relaxed our little paddle trip. First, we are following the narrow Elstermühlgraben along the Schreberbad. The banks are densely overgrown. Actually very idyllic … would not there be the big state tour boats, which we have to avoid in the narrow channel. But whatever? We also wanted a little big city feeling!

After 15 minutes of relaxed paddling we finally come to the Elsterflussbett. To the right there is the Palmengartenwehr. On the left is the broad riverbed that goes across the Clara Zetkin Park. We decide to continue paddling on the Weiße Elster. The river here is a bit wider than on the Mühlgraben, but still narrower than on the riverbed, which means there are fewer boats on the way.

restaurants​ close to the water
restaurants close to the water ©Christian Hein

The Weiße Elster is lined with chic residences and small gardens. We admire the chic facades from the unfamiliar perspective. Despite being in the middle of the city, it is surprisingly quiet. It is also surprising how many green spots open up on the way. We follow the Weißen Elster until just before the partition weir. Here, the flow is just too strong. We turn back and paddle back slowly. The river section is so varied that there are still plenty of new things to discover. About one kilometer before the Palmenwehr we turn through a bottleneck into the Karl-Heine-Kanal direction Plagwitz. Again, the riverbank is green or with beautiful houses. Time just flies while we absorb the city in us!

With a heavy heart, we finally make our way back to the city harbor – we have to go home. Once there, we treat ourselves to a little ice cream before we disassemble the boats and make our way to our ‘home port’.

Link to German Canoe Association (in German)
Link to City harbor Leipzig (in German)

One Comment Add yours

  1. The pictures look soooo good! I would have to try this tour :))

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