NEW YORK (MainStreet) — An improving economy, ever better air connections, and, suddenly, foreign destinations that seemed unattainable are looming large for some travelers in 2015. Don’t think about Vietnam, Cuba, Morocco, India, China, Russia: been there, done it, even sent the postcard. Besides, where’s the value? Ditto Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and the other esoteric destinations. They may intrigue but at what price? Today’s savvy travelers want a mix of great value, they want the road less traveled, they want bragging rights, but they also want a terrific place to visit.
Everybody goes to Berlin, almost as often as many head to Dresden, but Leipzig - also in eastern Germany - now is winning notice as “the new Berlin,” because Germany’s capital already is overrun with international hipsters. Leipzig -- not so much. But this ancient city - it dates back around 1,000 years - is alive with startups, culture, history. Eat in Auerbach’s Cellar, where a young Goethe ate (and where so does his Faust). Visit St. Thomas Church where J.S. Bach worked for a quarter century. And do it all on the cheap, because Leipzig remains off the main tourist charts. A night at the Westin Leipzig in January runs around $95. A similar night in Berlin is $231, according to travel booking site Kayak.com.