Dresden is the epitome of beauty and culture. This magnificent city lies on both sides of the Elbe River and is often called the Florence of the East and the state capital of Saxony. From baroque buildings to gleaming gardens to museums and other tourist attractions, there are many things to do in Dresden. Let me help you discover Dresden as I list down some of the best places to see in this glorious city.
1. Explore the Residenzschloss Dresden Castle (or Royal Palace)
The Dresden Castle of Royal Palace is one of the oldest buildings in the city. One of the most popular castles in the European continent, it served as the residence of the electors and kings since the 15th century. Today, the Residenzschloss Dresden Castle contains an array of museums. You can find here the Historic Green Vault, which is known as one of the richest treasure chambers in Europe. Another museum is The Dresden Armory, which houses valuable collections of weapons and costumes.
The Coin Cabinet is where you can see the oldest and most renowned collections of coins, medals and banknotes, and the Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, where you will get to appreciate 515,000 works representing eight centuries of over 20,000 artists.
2. Visit the Frauenkirche Dresden
Dresden’s Frauenkirche, which translates to Church of Our Lady, is one of the city’s most important edifices. This Lutheran church was designed by the architect George Bähr. However, he did not even live that long to see its completion. It was completed in 1743 but was later destroyed during the Allied bombings in World War II.
The church ruins had been put together as a war memorial. Then in the 1980s, plans for reconstruction started, and its reestablishment was completed in 2005. You can still find the old damaged cross at the church’s new altar. The reconstruction of Frauenkirche Dresden symbolizes the international reconciliation after World War II.
This church is truly something you can’t miss when you go to discover Dresden. Remember to check out the fantastic view over the city of Dresden and its surroundings. The viewing platform is open to visitors all year round.
3. Wander Around the Zwinger
The Zwinger in Dresden is a baroque palace situated in the old town. It is very grand, and you will be mesmerized by its beauty. Wandering outside the building is worth your time because of its unique and intricate architecture. Zwinger was meant to stand as a testament to the glory of Augustus the Strong’s time in power. It was later developed into a cluster of cultural venues till its destruction in World War II.
The reconstruction began in 1945 with the help of the Soviet military. It was later restored to its pre-war condition in 1963. The exterior and the surrounding views of this palace are enough to feast your eyes on. But if you want to explore the museum complex, head inside the Porcelain museum, which features 20,000 porcelain artefacts.
4. Relax and Enjoy the Views at Brühl’s Terrace
If you want to see the scenic and wide-ranging view of the Elbe River, then head out to Bruhl’s Terrace. Bruhl’s Terrace is where you can also find the 400-year-old Brick Gate, the only surviving original city gate in Dresden. Furthermore, you can also see the relics of the old town bridge, the medieval defence system, the casements and the bastion.
Bruhl’s Terrace, also known as the balcony of Europe, is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the stunning view of the Elbe and the other side of the city.
5. Discover Dresden and Stay at Taschenbergpalais
If you are looking for a great hotel in Dresden, then Taschenbergpalais should be at the top of your list. Taschenbergpalais is a palace hotel that is just in front of the Zwinger and beside Dresden Castle. This hotel was built in the 18th century by Augustus the Strong. Some famous past guests of this grand hotel include President Jacques Chirac of France, Prince Albert II of Monaco, and designer Karl Lagerfeld.
It features 213 rooms and suites. Dine in the Palais Bistro or have a coffee break at the Cafe Vestibul. Other amenities of this historic hotel include a spa area with a sauna, a pool, a steam bath, massage treatments and a fitness centre.
6. Enjoy Your Time at the Großer Garten or the Grand Garden
Spending quiet time in a garden is something I love to do. That’s why this park is one of the things that I had to include on the list. The Großer Garten is a Baroque-style park in central Dresden. This huge park was established in 1676 on the instruction of John George III, Elector of Saxony. The rectangular-shaped park has been open to the public since 1814. A miniature railway runs in the park from April to October.
Other features of the park include a souvenir shop at the main station where you can also buy refreshments, The Summer Café which is located at the Palace Pond, and The Boat Hire and its Beer Garden, which is located on the western shore of Lake Carolasee.
This is truly a great place for walking, jogging, skating and riding a bike—a perfect place to spend time with friends and family.
7. Shopping in the New Town
Dresden won’t disappoint when it comes to shopping. You can either go to Innere Neustadt, the Baroque Quarter or go to a much hipper place at Äußere Neustadt.
The Baroque Quarter welcomes guests with galleries, museums, and boutiques. In contrast, the trendy Äußere Neustadt offers its visitors with various bars, restaurants, cafes, music hubs and chic shops. Dresden’s two shopping secrets are must-visit places when you travel to Dresden.
Dresden is an incredibly beautiful city. I was mesmerized by its rich history and architecture. Though it was heavily destroyed during WW II, it has recovered quite well and is now one of Germany’s most beautiful historic cities. The combination of baroque architecture and romantic landscapes makes Dresden stand out from other German cities. Plan your trip now and discover Dresden this year!