Your Essential Travel Guide To Dresden
Discover Things To Do In Dresden
Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony. Located on the river Elbe, near the border with Poland, the city is a center of culture, local authorities and industry. The city is famous for the Brühl Terrace, the promenade and historic old town.
In terms of architecture, the most interesting residential area is the slightly mountainous Blasewitz. As city is located in the former German Democratic Republic, architecture from this period is still visible. You can also see concrete blocks, similar to those known from countries in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Dresden is one of the greenest cities in Europe with 63% of the city being green areas and forests. City has four nature reserves and the Dresdener Heide forest. The Elbe Valley is an important part of the urban landscape. To the southeast of the city there is Saxon Switzerland, a region often visited for active recreation.
History of the city
The earliest traces of settlement in today's city date back to 7,500 BC. Throughout the centuries, the city belonged to Saxony and Holy Roman Empire.
The city was called the treasure house or the Florence of the North because of the beautiful city centre built in the Baroque and Rococo style. Unfortunately, significant part of it was destroyed in the bombing of the city. After the war, during restorations, the rebuilt Frauenkirche (The Church of Our Lady) became an international symbol of reconciliation. Most of the city has returned to its pre-war splendor.
Since the reunification of Germany in 1990, Dresden has become a centre of culture, education, politics and economics.
Moving around Dresden
It is very easy to get to Dresden by car as the city is located along the E40 highway. However, it’s better to use alternative means of transport during rush hour in the city centre.
In Dresden, there is an integrated system of trams, buses and trains. Night connections are available but might be not very frequent.
The fastest type of transport for short and medium distances is bicycles. City has designated bicycle lanes and some are separated from motorised traffic. There even are bicycle taxis that mainly move around the centre of the old town.
What to see in Dresden?
Frauenkirche was originally built as a Roman Catholic, but became a Protestant church during the reformation. The temple is considered to be a perfect example of Protestant architecture and has one of the largest domes in Europe. It is also worth paying attention to the Baroque buildings surrounding the Neumarkt square.
The New Synagogue was built on the site of the former Semper Synagogue, which was destroyed in 1938 during the Crystal Night. The walls surrounding the New Synagogue are the remains of the original synagogue.
Discover Zwinger Palace, one of the best-known baroque palaces in Germany. In the palace you can admire the second largest porcelain collections in the world, a collections of scientific instruments, and numerous clocks. There is also a zoological museum, an exhibition about animals in art and the Art Gallery.
The Great Garden is a beautiful place to spend some time outdoors. Here you can enjoy picturesque alleys, Baroque sculptures and botanical garden. The park also has a small palace, one of the earliest examples of Baroque architecture in Germany. It is also worth going over the banks of the Elbe where residents of the city often organise barbecues or play sports.
Discover Schwebebahn, the oldest suspended railway in the world. The line is 274 metres long and there is a viewpoint at the upper station.
Kunsthofpassage is the hidden treasure of the city, a passage in the centre of Neustadt, where there are small shops, cafes and bars.