Dresden. The capital of the German state of Saxony – and certainly an art history hub – Dresden offers incredible architecture, completely reconstructed after World War II.
If you are traveling to Dresden, consider our top recommended to-do’s.
Visit the Frauenkirche Dresden Church
This baroque church, also reconstructed being destroyed in WWII, is world-renowned and remarkable. The church was restored using new stones and old remains from the ruins – a beautiful symbol of growth and remembrance.
Visitors can climb to the top of the dome for unparalleled views of the church and the city.
If you plan your trip in advance, you can also attend a concert or event here.
During Sunday Mass, enjoy one of the world’s oldest boys choirs.
Visit the Museums in The Zwinger
The Zwinger is a gorgeous palace surrounded by gardens and galleries.
While here, be sure to consider at least one museum:
- Old Masters Picture Gallery: collection of classic paintings; featuring the works of Raphael, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and more.
- Dresden Porcelain Collection: eclectic collection of porcelain treasures.
- Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments: collection of ancient globes, telescopes, compasses, and more.
- Zoological Museum: collection of animal skeletons and insects
- Historical Museum: collection of ancient weapons
Enjoy the views on Brühl’s Terrace
The Brühl’s Terrace is a must for newcomers in Dresden. This is often called ‘the balcony of Europe’ because of it’s lovely views along the Elbe river.
Until the early 1800’s, this was a private garden.
From here you can also see the wonderful gardens and collection of sculptures in the Albertinum; a modern art museum right on the terrace.
See Dresden Castle
The Royal Palace; or Dresden Castle; is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Once home to electors and kings, the building now holds 5 art museums:
- The Historic Green Vault: collection of ancient treasures
- The New Green Vault: collection of modern treasures
- The Numismatic Cabinet: dynamic, universal collection
- The Collection of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs: collection of drawings, prints, and large range of objects from world-famous artists
- The Dresden Armory with the Turkish Chamber: collection of weapons and armory
Go across the Blue Wonder Bridge
The Blue Wonder Bridge spans across the Elbe River, between Blasewitz and Loschwitz. For a suspension bridge built in the late 1800’s, the Blue Wonder was impressive in its long span.
Enjoy this bridge from either side of the Elbe, or by directly riding the Suspension Railway.
See the Semperoper
Dresden’s opera house is certainly a sight to see; offering ornate, grand Renaissance architecture and fabulous history – plus, it truly glows at night.
Visit the Semperoper for an opera or a ballet, and sit where some of the world’s best conductors, dancers, and singers have performed.
See the Furstenzug
When strolling through the streets of Dresden’s Old Town, stop to absorb the Furstenzug. This porcelain mural is made of over 20,000 porcelain tiles, to show the procession of princes from the House of Wettin since the 1100’s.
This is the world’s largest porcelain mural; standing at roughly 10 meters high and 100 meters long.
Walk through the Neustadt
Neustadt, located on the right bank of the Elbe River, is a hip, modern neighborhood in Dresden with much to offer outside of typical tourism.
A few of our favorites:
- See the Golden Horseman; a gold-leaf statue of Augustus the Strong.
- The singing wall; a house designed and inhabited by designers and sculptors, with a bright blue exterior. The façadeis complete with a draining system that puts on something of a ‘singing show’ every time it rains!
Eat (and Drink)!
Of course, when in Germany you will encounter many beer and breweries. Try Radeberger; started right near Dresden in 1872.
Dresden is also known for its dessert scene; ‘coffee and cake’. Our favorites are the Quarkkäulchen curd and Eierschecke.
Tour The Transparent Factory of Volkswagen
If you like cars – or if you’d just like to learn about the history of Volkswagen – this exhibition is for you.
The factory is made entirely of glass; to promote a welcoming environment – proud of what it manufacturers and with nothing to hide. The facility is highly automated, innovative, and special for visitors and car-shoppers alike. You can test drive Volkswagen cars and learn about the history and technology behind this world-class company.