In recent years, the German hot spot was Berlin, an affordable, edgy center for the avant-garde arts set. Today that torch is being passed to Leipzig, a low-cost Berlin alternative conveniently filled with old, abandoned factory spaces primed for conversion into creative hubs.
One former industrial complex, the Spinnerei, has been developed into a sprawling compound of artists' studios, galleries and performance spaces. Each night, the complex and its environs morph into an informal arts crawl and outdoor party. The city also enjoys an eclectic after-dark scene, with hot spots that include Conne Island, a grafitti-covered former squat house turned electronica, punk, ska and hip-hop venue.