Visit Dresden: Your Travel Guide

Dresden’s destruction by Allied bombs in 1945 is well known – its phoenix-like rebirth less so. See how far it’s come as you roam the charmingly rebuilt Baroque old town. Delve into a wealth of salvaged art and treasure at the Zwinger Gallery. No wonder they call it “Florence on the Elbe”!

Things to Do in Dresden

Frauenkirche
The “Church of our Lady” watched over Dresden for two centuries. Gutted by bombs in 1945, it lay in ruin for fifty years. Then, the city rebuilt its fallen icon, brick by charred brick. The blackened north face is the only original part that survives, flanked by fresh stone and speckles of old ones. Inside, witness the altar that was pieced back together from 2,000 fragments.
Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden
Open Monday-Friday 10:00-12:00 and 13:00-18:00. Check website for details.
Brühl's Terrace
Locals call it the “Balcony of Europe”. This raised walkway runs along the River Elbe and serves up unrivalled city vistas. Stroll from the Schlossplatz staircase to the Academy of Fine Arts – the former is flanked by bronze statues that depict the seasons, while the latter’s dome looks like a giant lemon squeezer! Then, catch a steamboat to capture the terrace’s full sweep.
Georg-Treu-Platz 1, 01067 Dresden
Zwinger Gallery
This Rococo palace was once the playground of Saxon royalty. Today, it’s an art lover’s paradise. Swing by the Old Masters Gallery to glimpse its flagship paintings – Raphael’s tender “Sistine Madonna” and Vermeer’s delicate “Girl Reading a Letter”. Both were saved (or stolen) by the Red Army in 1945 and fought over for years. Now, their presence makes Zwinger a real humdinger!
Theaterplatz 1, 01067 Dresden
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00. Check website for details.
Gruenes Gewoelbe
Dresden’s “Green Vault” is the envy of Europe. Quite literally a treasure trove, this museum’s nine halls glitter with jewels, gemstones and silver. The Hall of Precious Objects dazzles with quartz crystal artwork, gold-tinged ostrich eggs and ornate sea shells. In the gilt-mirrored Jewel Room, behold the 18th-century Saxon crown of Augustus the Strong, the museum’s founder.
Taschenberg 2, 10167 Dresden
Open Monday 10:00-18:00, Wednesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Altmarkt Square
A square for all seasons. In autumn, Altmarkt goes rural, as Herbstfest’s pumpkin carvers, vegetable stalls and vintage tractors take over. From late November, the Christmassy twinkle of Striezelmarkt lights up the plaza. Sip a glass of “Glühwein” and mull over candles and hand-painted nutcrackers. In spring and summer, classical music and dance festivals take centre stage.
Altmarkt, 10167 Dresden
Semperoper
This historic opera house has premiered the work of Germany’s finest composers. Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” and Strauss’s “Salome” were first aired here. As night falls, the building’s deftly lit Neo-Renaissance façade primes you for a dramatic evening. Inside, slip into a velvety red seat and admire the theatre’s grand frescoed ceiling until the overture sounds. Bravo!
Theaterplatz 2, 10167 Dresden
Check website for details
Pragerstrasse
After World War II ended, this street was rebuilt in typically Communist fashion: blocky, grey and high-rise. Yet when the hip cats slink in for the annual Dixieland Festival, this straight-edged street becomes “Jazz Mile”. Join the parping parade of trumpets and clarinets! At any other time of year, just stroll the plaza for its curious mix of discount shops and modern malls.
Prager Straße, 01069 Dresden
Großer Garten
They weren’t kidding – the “Great Garden” is huge! Luckily, there’s a mini-steam train to “choo-choo” you around the park. First stop, Dresden Zoo: globe-trot through an animal kingdom of Australian kangaroos, African meerkats and South American penguins. Chug along to Wachstube restaurant for a sausage lunch, then wander the sculpture gardens of the Baroque summer palace.
Altstadt, 01219 Dresden
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-22:00
Blaues Wunder Bridge
Dinky by modern standards, the “Blue Wonder” bridge was a peerless engineering feat in 1893. It spans the River Elbe – a full 150 metres – without the aid of pillars. Locals stopped the SS from blowing it up at the end of World War II, and Dresdners still cherish this city symbol today. Admire its wavy, webby form from Schillerplatz square, or gaze up at it from a riverboat.
Angelsteg 5, 01309 Dresden
Pillnitz Castle and Park
Picturesque Pillnitz is a day tripper’s delight. Saxon royalty used to summer here, until World War I put an end to the fun in the sun. Relive the old-time pomp with a tour, when costume-clad staff greet you with champagne before showing off the three-palace complex. Amble around the English and Chinese-style gardens, where the 200-year-old camellia has pride of place.
August-Böckstiegel-Straße 2, 01236 Dresden
Open Monday-Sunday 06:00-18:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Neumarkt Square
Back from the brink. After the devastation of WWII, Neumarkt gradually returned to its grander self, with the fully restored Frauenkirche taking the spotlight of the cobblestone square in 2005. The best way to take in the Old Town is to find a shaded café terrace and admire the colorful reconstructions of Baroque buildings lining the plaza.
Royal Palace
Towering over the Old Town, the spires of the Royal Palace naturally draw sightseers to one of Dresden’s oldest buildings. Inside, the castle chambers are home to a vast collection of art and treasure, from quartz crystal jewels to ancient Ottoman armory. After browsing the palace’s precious stashes, climb the Hausmann Tower to capture unforgettable city views.
Stallhof and Procession of Princes
A who’s who of Wettins. In the 1870s, Saxony’s ruling family commissioned artist Wilhelm Walther to lavishly depict the House of Wettin’s esteemed lineage. He came up with this alluring procession of porcelain tiles that counts princes, scientists and artisans as some of its main characters. Where better to show it off than the Royal Palace’s stately Stallhof courtyard?
Zwinger Palace
This Rococo palace was once the playground of Saxon royalty. Today, it’s an art lover’s paradise. Swing by the Old Masters Gallery to glimpse its flagship paintings – Raphael’s tender “Sistine Madonna” and Vermeer’s delicate “Girl Reading a Letter”. Both were saved (or stolen) by the Red Army in 1945 and fought over for years. Now, their presence makes Zwinger a real humdinger!
Semper Opera House
This historic opera house has premiered the work of Germany’s finest composers. Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” and Strauss’s “Salome” were first aired here. As night falls, the building’s deftly lit Neo-Renaissance façade primes you for a dramatic evening. Inside, slip into a velvety red seat and admire the theatre’s grand frescoed ceiling until the overture sounds. Bravo!

When to Go to Dresden

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
36 ℉ 29 ℉
36 ℉ 26 ℉
48 ℉ 33 ℉
57 ℉ 40 ℉
64 ℉ 47 ℉
70 ℉ 53 ℉
76 ℉ 58 ℉
75 ℉ 57 ℉
64 ℉ 50 ℉
54 ℉ 43 ℉
45 ℉ 38 ℉
39 ℉ 32 ℉
16 %
13 %
14 %
13 %
14 %
14 %
15 %
14 %
13 %
14 %
15 %
16 %

Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
Dresden is very nice city with historical atmosphere, calm and pleasant environment, a lot of historical must-see spots and nice cafes and restaurants.
Martina
Slovakia
April 18, 2017
10
Exceptional
Dresden is a wonderfull city...Neustadt the area to go out...But most surprising to us was the wonderfull Sächsische Schweiz and the wine villages on the wine road along the Elbe. Rent yourself also a bike for one day!
Ronny
Belgium
April 18, 2017
10
Exceptional
Wow... old town and museums are really something ... good service.. good prices ... and then large walking areas and cities to see around like Bastei and others ...
Przemyslaw
Poland
April 18, 2017
10
Exceptional
The architecture in the city is amazing, especially since the craftmanship of centuries had to be recreated to rebuild the heavily destroyed city after WWII and the communist era. The Frauenkirche, the Zwinger and other historic buildings are all worth a visit.
Aaron
United States of America
April 23, 2017
10
Exceptional
Museums,monuments,concerts,the V.W factory a bicycle trip back and fourth to bad Schandau to the Swiss Saxxony on haulage way of the Elbe was superwith electric bike . You need four day's for Dresden
herman
France
April 19, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Dresden

Holiday Inn Express Dresden City Centre

8.4 Very Good

Score from 9,539 reviews

$73

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    348 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    146 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    126 related reviews
Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe

9 Wonderful

Score from 3,015 reviews

$101

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    104 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    65 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    41 related reviews
Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski

9.3 Wonderful

Score from 2,572 reviews

$140

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    87 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    60 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    54 related reviews
Motel One Dresden am Zwinger

8.8 Excellent

Score from 3,137 reviews

$75

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    96 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    44 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    33 related reviews
Motel One Dresden - Palaisplatz

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2,779 reviews

$64

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    53 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    42 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    29 related reviews
The Westin Bellevue Dresden

8.4 Very Good

Score from 3,569 reviews

$97

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    70 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    43 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    24 related reviews
Innside by Meliá Dresden

9.2 Wonderful

Score from 3,074 reviews

$93

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    80 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    35 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    31 related reviews
NH Collection Dresden Altmarkt

9 Wonderful

Score from 2,923 reviews

$77

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    110 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    47 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    46 related reviews
Star Inn Hotel Premium Dresden im Haus Altmarkt, by Quality

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 4,674 reviews

$73

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    177 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    88 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    76 related reviews
Discover Dresden

Popular Neighborhoods in Dresden

Neustadt

64 properties

Neustadt’s all about living in the now. In the upscale inner zone, locals splurge like there’s no tomorrow in Königstrasse’s classy boutiques and eateries. At Wenzel’s, spoil yourself with a sour pork supper and fluffy “Eierschecke” dessert. Then, ramble down Louisenstrasse to the quirky outskirts, a haven of shabby-chic bars and second-hand shops.

Altstadt

24 properties

Tchik, tchik, tchik. Dresden’s old town is a ready-made photo op. Most of its grand Baroque buildings were destroyed during World War II and rebuilt from scratch. Climb the Frauenkirche bell tower to snap city panoramas and catch your breath in the fancy, fountained courtyard of Zwinger Palace – both buildings bear the black battle scars of war.

Local Tips for Dresden

Gläserne Manufaktur/the Transparent Factory
Ryan by Ryan

California native Ryan used to lead international student groups on trips to Dresden.

The Transparent Factory takes you on a fascinating journey through the intricate yet transparent production process of the Volkswagen luxury car sedan, the Phaeton.

  • Lennéstraße 1, 01069 Dresden
  • www.glaesernemanufaktur.de
  • Open Monday-Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-18:00, Sunday 11:00-18:00.
Sächsische Schweiz (Saxon Switzerland National Park)
Alan by Alan

Alan's from scenic Northern Ireland but went "Deutsche" 15 years ago. He loves Saxony’s nature.

I like to don my hiking boots from time to time and get out of the city to explore the stunning sandstone rock formations and imposing fortresses of the Saxon Switzerland National Park.

Karl May Museum, Radebeul
Nicole by Nicole

Nicole lives in Hamburg but "home" will always be Radebeul, by the banks of the Elbe.

Only 15 minutes' drive from Dresden, Radebeul is set amid vineyards in the scenic Elbe Valley. The fascinating Karl May Museum is dedicated to the writer of Native American stories that have enthralled generations. Also nearby is Schloss Wackerbarth, a winery on a lovely Baroque estate.

Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery)
Silvia by Silvia

Silvia's roots are in Dresden. She often comes back to visit family and enjoy all things cultural.

The world-famous painting of the Sistine Madonna by the artist Raphael is definitely a highlight! There are only two such paintings worldwide, and one of them can be seen at the Old Masters Gallery.

  • Theaterplatz 1, 01067 Dresden
  • www.skd.museum
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00.
Moritzburg Castle
Ulli by Ulli

Ulli lived in Dresden as a child and remembers seeing her first tiger in the city zoo.

I love to watch the famous Czech children’s film “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella” every Christmas. The film was shot at Moritzburg Castle, which is a fantastic backdrop for any occasion.

  • Schloßallee, 01468 Moritzburg
  • www.schloss-moritzburg.de
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-16:30. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Pfunds Molkerei
Anja by Anja

A hard-working mum from western Germany, Anja loves to explore new places.

In the Neustadt district, Pfunds Molkerei is a real gem - the Guinness Book of Records calls it the world’s most beautiful dairy shop. Choose from a vast selection of cheeses, visit the upstairs café or admire the unique décor that includes a myriad of colourful, hand-painted tiles.

  • Bautzner Str. 79, 01099 Dresden
  • www.pfunds.de
  • Open Monday-Saturday 10:00-18:00, Sunday 10:00-15:00.
Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt (Saxon Steamboat)
Tobias by Tobias

Berliner Tobi fondly recalls taking a steamboat tour on the Elbe when he was seven.

The steamboats operate from the Old Town and run via the Elbe's castles, the Blue Wonder bridge, Saxon Switzerland park and even as far as Prague!

Panometer Dresden
Paul by Paul

Vinyl record collector Paul loves to travel – and to muse about the possibility of time-travel!

Opened in 2004, Yadegar Asisi’s unique Panometer attraction uses cutting edge technology to plunge visitors into the past. Monumental panoramic views dramatically immerse visitors in historical events.

  • Gasanstaltstraße 8B, 01237 Dresden
  • www.asisi.de
  • Open Tuesday-Friday 10:00-17:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-18:00.
Weesenstein Castle
Ina by Ina

Ina might live in Munich, but she's a proud Dresdner who visits home as often as she can.

Weesenstein Castle is a spectacular estate just 20 km outside Dresden. It housed various royals over the centuries, including Prince Johann – a future King of Saxony – in 1838. It became a holiday camp in the former East Germany, but it remains a popular place to get married to this day!

  • Am Schloßberg 1, 01809 Müglitztal
  • www.schloss-weesenstein.de
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-16:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Barockgarten Großsedlitz (Großsedlitz Baroque Garden)
Nadja by Nadja

Nadja's a bit of a culture vulture, so Dresden is her favourite place for a city break.

Located south-east of Dresden in Heidenau, the immaculately landscaped Großseditz Baroque Garden was commissioned by August the Strong in 1723. Visit the Baroque palace, and wander between French-style gardens, fine sandstone sculptures and exotic orangeries.

Conservation worker made unbelievable and amazing contribution for this old city. When I stood in front of the church, I even wanted to cry. Crying for all the brave and industrious people rebuilt their home on the ruins.

At the oldest market it was the attention to detail by each stallholder in presenting their cabins. The market had been going for 580years and the best we seen out of many visited. Lovely atmosphere

The Gemaldegalerie is a great museum with a number of real treasures, notably the Sistine Madonna by Raphael, worth a trip to Dresden to experience. The Albertina has some very good modern art.

Frauenkirche, only recently rebuild (finished in 2009) after being destroyed in WWII.

It isn't too packed in Dresden and we went at the weekend. No queues.

Walk around Altstadt, visit the churches and museums

The squares and in particular the Frauenkirche.

Frauen Kirche

Transportation

Dresden Transportation

Air - Dresden Airport

Dresden-Klotzsche Airport is 9 km north of Dresden. The cheapest, quickest route to town is via S2 train. It runs half-hourly from the station under the terminal, and a single fare is EUR 2.30! Dresden-Neustadt Station and Dresden Hauptbahnhof (main station) are 12-25 minutes away. You can also take bus 77 or 80 from the airport and change to tram 7 at Infineon Nord. A car or taxi journey to/from the city takes 25 minutes – a taxi costs EUR 30 one way.

Train

Dresden has 2 major stations – Dresden Hauptbahnhof (main station) lies south of the Old Town, and Dresden-Neustadt is found north of the River Elbe. The red, double-decker suburban trains are referred to locally as S-Bahn. The S1 line runs between Meißen and the Saxon Switzerland region via both main stations, as does the S2 line that serves Dresden Airport. The S3 line runs out to the forested city suburbs and onwards to Freiberg and Tharandt.

Car

Traffic jams here are no worse than in other similarly sized cities. The fine public transport system makes driving an option rather than a necessity. City parking is paid for at parking meters. There are also many multi-storey car parks (“Parkhaus”) around. Car rentals are readily available, especially at Dresden Airport. From here, drivers can connect to the A4 motorway, and in turn, the A13 (to Berlin), the A9 (to Nuremberg and Munich) and the A17 (to Prague).

Tram

The yellow cars of the Straßenbahn are hard to miss. To reach cultural attractions and shopping, take lines 4 and 9, respectively. You can purchase hourly tickets from EUR 2.20 or daily tickets from EUR 6. A one-day family ticket starts from EUR 9. Tickets can be bought in advance on the platform or in one of the yellow vending machines on board. Ticketing is integrated with all other DVB-run public transport.

Bus

Like its trams, Dresden's buses are distinctively yellow. The city provides 28 regular routes as well as special night services. You can purchase hourly tickets from EUR 2.20 or daily tickets from EUR 6. A one-day family ticket starts from EUR 9. Tickets can be bought in advance on the platform or in one of the yellow vending machines on board. Ticketing is integrated with all other DVB-run public transport.

Ferry

Within Dresden, DVB operates 3 ferry services across the Elbe. The Johannstadt-Neustadt and Kleinzschachwitz-Pillnitz lines are pedestrian only. The service between Niederpoyritz-Laubegast serves pedestrians and cars. Ferries are yellow and can be used as part of the regular DVB network.

Cable Car

There are 2 separate cable car systems that go up the Loschwitz hill from Körnerplatz. The 500-metre long Standseilbahn (funicular railway) serves Weißer Hirsch, while the shorter Schwebebahn (suspension railway/monorail) goes to/from Oberloschwitz.

Bicycle

Dresden offers lots of bike taxis and rickschaws, especially in the Old Town. These are useful for short rides or city tours. Bicycle rentals are available from many small private providers, like Nextbike (known as SZ-bike in Dresden). People can register using a telephone hotline, the website or an app. The registration is also valid for Nextbike in many other cities in Germany and worldwide.

Food in Dresden

Top Restaurants in Dresden

Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Coselpalais
Mid-Range Fare
Australian
Ayers Rock
  • Munzgasse 8 01067 Dresden
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-03:00.
  • 0049 3514901188
Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Restaurant Genuss Atelier
Mid-Range Fare
German
Sophienkeller
Mid-Range Fare
International
Schillergarten
Mid-Range Fare
International
Karl May Bar
  • Taschenberg 3, 01067 Dresden
  • Open Monday-Sunday 18:00-02:00.
  • 0049 3518108610
Upscale Dining
Seafood
Kastenmeiers
Upscale Dining
Italian
Kahnaletto Schiffsbar
Cheap Eats
German
Altmarkt Keller
Upscale Dining
German
Alte Meister
Mid-Range Fare
Cafe
Erdgeschoss Kaffeekultur
Mid-Range Fare
Bakery
Cafe Schinkelwache
Cheap Eats
Local
Wenzel Prager Bierstuben
Cheap Eats
Local
Zum Atrium
Mid-Range Fare
South African
Mama Africa
Upscale Dining
European
Lesage
  • Lennestrasse 1 in der Glaeserneen Manufaktur von Volkswagen 01069 Dresden
  • Open Monday 12:00-15:00, Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-22:00, Sunday 11:00-15:00.
  • www.lesage.de
  • 0049 3514204250
Mid-Range Fare
German
Stillbruch
Cheap Eats
Chinese
China-Thai-Schnellrestaurant Duong Ngoc Tien
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Katy's Garage
Upscale Dining
French
Palais Bistro
  • Taschenberg 3 Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden 01067
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-00:00.
  • 0049 3514912710
Cheap Eats
Indian
Little India Restaurant
Cheap Eats
Middle Eastern
Couscous Haus
  • Louisenstraße 28 01099 Dresden
  • Open Monday-Sunday 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-23:00.
  • 0049 15204329227
Cheap Eats
Local
PlanWirtschaft
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Pfunds Molkerei
Cheap Eats
Korean
Maru
Find accommodations in Dresden

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