4 hours in…Leipzig, Germany

Once East Germany's hotbed of culture and resistance, this eclectic and energetic city is worth a look, however brief.

Listen to the 800-year-old Thomanerchor boys' choir in the St. Thomas Lutheran Church, where Bach spent the last 27 years of his life as cantor (Thomaskirchhof 18).

Visit the Museum in der"Runden Ecke," the eerie Stasi museum housed in the former East German state security ministry's district headquarters. The sophisticated tools of state surveillance on display are chilling (Dittrichring 24).

Stroll through Mädler-passage, the most famous (and gorgeous) of Leipzig's historic shopping arcades, built around Auerbachs Keller, a 1525 restaurant that features in Goethe's "Faust" (Grimmaische Strasse 2-4).

Eat hilariously elaborate ice-cream sundaes on the shady terrace of the old-school EiscaféSan Remo. Great for people-watching, too (Nikolaistrasse 1).