Dresden is the capital of Saxony in the east of Germany. Berlin and Prague are both about two hours away by car or train.
Most attractions and sights are within a few minutes’ walk of each other in the compact old town. The main railway station is a good kilometre south of the old town. Between the main station and the Old Town is Dresden’s largest pedestrian zone including shopping centre, department stores and so on.
The Old Town is directly on the southern bank of the Elbe.
If you cross the Elbe, over the historic Augustus Bridge, you are in Neustadt. There is also a large railway station here, the Dresden Neustadt station.
Overview of Dresden sights
Dresden is one of the most interesting and most visited cities in Germany. This is mainly due to the many interesting sights, especially in the Old Town of Dresden. This article gives an overview of the important sights in Dresden.
Many of the major attractions in Dresden are located in the centre of the old town on the Elbe. Quasi next to each other are the famous Zwinger with many museums, the most famous opera in Germany Semperoper and the castle of Dresden with Hofkirche.
The most popular tour in Dresden: Guided tour of the
From the Bruhl Terrace you have a great view over the Elbe and parts of the city. The Furstenzug, over 100 metres long, is one of the largest paintings in the world. The Augustus Bridge is the old bridge over the Elbe into the New Town. All these sights are only a few metres apart. This is where all the tourists come, to the old town centre south of the Elbe.
Also in the old town is the world-famous Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), which lay in ruins for decades after World War 2.
The ruins were an anti-war monument in the GDR for decades, and after the fall of communism the Frauenkirche was rebuilt. This church is also in the Old Town, a few hundred metres from the sights above. In front of the church is the Altmarkt, the largest and oldest square in the city. Among other things, this is where Dresden’s famous Christmas market (Striezelmarkt) is held every year.
You should also visit some of the sights in Dresden outside the Old Town. One of these is the famous old Pfunds dairy. It is one of the most beautiful shops we have ever seen. It’s about half an hour’s walk from the old town or you can take the tram.
A lot of tourists also visit the modern VW factory Gläserne Manufaktur. E-cars are produced in the hypermodern car factory, right in the middle of Dresden. It is also only a few tram stops from Dresden’s old town. You go on a guided tour of the car factory. Behind the VW factory is the city’s largest park, the Großer Garten. Here you will also find the zoo and the botanical garden.
The Elbe valley in the city with castles above the river east of the city centre is also very interesting. The Blaues Wunder bridge over the Elbe is great.
Many visitors to the city take a trip on one of the many excursion boats on the Elbe. There you can see these sights very well. The tourist boats leave directly from the old town centre.
There are also world-famous art museums in Dresden. The most famous is the Old Masters Museum in the Zwinger, right in the old town centre. The Albertinum on the edge of the Old Town is also one of the top museums. Almost all visitors to Dresden also go to the grandiose Porcelain Museum in the Zwinger and the famous museums in Dresden Castle.
Many historic buildings are built in the Baroque style. Sandstone from nearby Franconian Switzerland was used for many buildings.
Most of the sights mentioned in this article are in the Old Town, only a maximum of 10 minutes walk from each other. The others (Blaues Wunder bridge, Pfunds dairy, Großer Garten with zoo and the VW factory) can be reached quickly by public transport. In Dresden, this is mainly the very well-developed tram network.