What was a city of kings and dukes for 700 years, was destroyed over two days and two nights and then rebuilt stone by stone over 70 years. This remarkable construction work earned the city UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004.
The old town contains the majority of the city’s attractions and historical monuments, including several Baroque and Renaissance jewels which the rebuilding of was completed as recently as the last decade. The immaculate and orderly Altstadt stands in contrast to other side of the river where Neustadt offers a more lively, trendy, and night-owl friendly feel. It’s in Altstadt that our hoteliers recommend soaking in the history and in Neustadt that they recommend getting lost in the streets to take the pulse of the neighbourhood and appreciate that street art is an essential element of this half of the city’s décor.
Old or new, original or rebuilt, our local experts and their hotels welcome you to discover both faces of the Florence of the Elbe, a city with a history like no other.
Getting to Dresden
Direct flights to Dresden aren’t available from everywhere, but connections through Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich or Berlin make Dresden an easy-to-arrive internationally friendly destination. You could also opt for the train to reach the capital of Saxony, particularly simple if you are coming from the direction of Leipzig or Prague. Car or bus arrivals make for pleasant scenery as you travel through Europe, but its location in the far east of Germany does mean a long drive for visitors travelling from France or Southern Europe. Once you’ve arrived, the city is perfect for leaving the car behind. In Dresden the bike is king, and the transport system of trains, trams and buses makes it easy to explore both sides of the Elbe.
When to Visit Dresden?
To make the most of Dresden, the best season is undoubtedly summer. The area has a continental climate with big temperature differences between winter and summer, but the city itself benefits from its own microclimate. The Elbe helps shape the weather to give an average of 22°C in the summer and 0°C in the winter. June and July are often rainy, but autumn in Dresden often delivers splendid (if a little cool) weather. Want to experience a unique side of Dresden? Then our hoteliers invite you to visit in winter, where the snow covered Altstadt is a true thing of beauty.
Listen to the advice of our hoteliers and bring your walking shoes when you visit Dresden. The history of the city and its many attractions are best discovered along its long pedestrian streets. When the walking gets too much, take a break in the Großer Garten, the green lung of the city, which also houses the city’s zoo and botanical gardens. Swap the baroque for bohemian and head to Neustadt where you’ll fall in love with the narrow alleys, hidden boutiques, trendy eating spots and vibey nightlife that encourages you to stay out longer than you intended. Discover easily the main attractions, things to do and visits thanks to our top hotels in Dresden.
Emblematic of the city, this 18th century Protestant church dramatically captures attention with its baroque architecture. Destroyed in 1945, it was rebuilt identically between 1994 and 2005. A tour of the church’s interior has to include a visit to the viewing platform 67meters up. Good news, there is an elevator. Bad news, it doesn’t go all the way to the top. Spend 10 minutes navigating your way through the narrow staircases and you’ll be treated to the best view of the Dresden skyline.
One of Dresden’s oldest buildings, Resdienzschloss was castle of the electors and kings of Saxony for almost four centuries and continues to enchant visitors with its architectural and historical splendour. Almost completely destroyed at the end of the Second World War, it once again proudly shows off its architectural styles ranging from Neo-renaissance to Baroque. Don’t miss the collection of Ottoman art in the Turkish Chamber, the more than 500,000 works of art in the Collection of Prints, the outstanding collection in the Coin Cabinet, and especially the Green Vault with its stunning collection of historic jewellery and treasure.
The Zwinger Palace
Built for Auguste II, the "Fort" is a masterpiece of German Baroque art that now houses three of Dresden’s museums (the Old Masters Painting Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments). If you have time, and perhaps more importantly the energy after walking the museum floors, take a walk in the palace’s gardens.
Head to Görlitzer street, n° 25 in Neustadt to see (and hear) this artistic neighbourhood for yourself. The entrance is unassuming, but the design inside is anything but. The colourful walls are much more than just perfect Instagram backdrops, but works of art by local artists. And take the advice of our hoteliers and wait for the rain to experience this Dresden highlight. You might get wet, but as the rain falls through the intricate gutter system of the blue house, you’ll understand why as the home turns into a piece of music.
We’re guessing the idea of visiting a large gas tank on your city break might not be top of your list. Dresden’s Panometer will likely change your opinion. Converted from a disused gas holder that dates back to the late 1800’s, The Panometer now houses two exceptional panoramic paintings by Yadegar Asisi. The one shows Dresden at its heights in 1756, the other Dresden in the aftermath of the 1945 bombing raids. The scale of the art and the message it contains is impressive, immersive and essential during your visit.
Even if more restaurants in Dresden have ‘converted’ to vegan dining spots, traditional hearty Saxon cuisine still has a bright future. Among the must-haves: Saurebraten (marinated beef served with sauerkraut), Klöße and Knödell (dumplings made from potatoes or bread, filled or not). If you want to eat on the go, don’t miss the currywurst, a must in Germany! Dessert side, the Eierschecke is a pastry made with apples, cottage cheese and poppy seeds that looks a bit like a custard. And if you’re visiting during Christmas make space for some Christstollen, a favourite seasonal cake with dried fruits, candied citrus, nuts and spices. Guten Appetit!
Housed in the Kunsthofpassage, this small, cozy, bohemian restaurant revisits traditional Saxon recipes with a touch of modernity. Expect dishes served in jars, a relaxed vibe and lots of locals.
Find the Frauenkirche and you’ll find this atypical restaurant. On the menu, traditional cuisine, served under the vaults of a historic cellar or on the terrace. Relive the regal baroque history of the city while being served by waiters in period costume.
Housed in the cellar of an elegant 19th century house, this gourmet restaurant is worth a visit for its modern, creative and seasonal cuisine that revisits the Saxon culinary tradition. Quality products, finesse of execution, defined flavours. This 1 Michelin star restaurant is very popular, so booking is recommended.
The setting is the magnificent Zwinger palace. The menu is an international selection perfectly executed. The address promises gastronomic delight in a setting to match.
Located in the east of the city, this minimalist restaurant offers simple lunches and fine dinners. A menu that evolves according to the arrivals of local producers, Chef Daniel shows respect for the product, respect for its flavours and respect for the season.