Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.14 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £1.22 | 1.39 €

One-way ticket £2.02 | 2.30 €

Beer £2.64 | 3.00 €

Main Course £5.27 | 6.00 €

About Dresden

With sweeping Baroque architecture punctuating the skyline from every angle, it’s easy to see why Dresden was once known as the Jewel Box of Europe.

Dresden is the traditional capital of Saxony and the third largest city in eastern Germany after Berlin and Leipzig. Gracefully falling bestride the Elbe River between Meissen and Pirna, it lies 19 miles north of the Czech border and 100 miles (160 km) south of Berlin.

Once declared the ‘Florence on the Elbe’ by Italian master Canaletto, Dresden is a place that has since had to fight for its very existence. While Berlin and Hamburg were struck with more force during the air raids of World War II, Dresden had more to lose with its many grandiose Baroque buildings destroyed.

Yet today, Dresden is best epitomised by regeneration, with the ongoing process of urban renewal successfully restoring this wounded city’s distinctively stunning silhouette to the spellbinding pre-war standards famously captured by iconic painters Bernardo Bellotto Johan Christian Dahl.

Dresden is the perfect tale of two cities, with a fervent commitment to the past now balanced with a thriving and trendy youth culture. This truly is a Jewel Box full of hidden gems.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

The largest migration of eager tourists lasts from May to late October, although the generally mild climate won’t spoil any plans, regardless of the time of year. Each season is marked with its own festivities though, so plan your Dresden stay around one of the town’s many charming seasonal fetes. During the Dresden Museum Summer Night in July, many of the local museums will stay open all night and host a wide range of exciting events.

Dresden has a fairly typical continental climate, characterised by hot summers and slightly colder winters than the German average. The weather in Dresden is probably best described as frustratingly contradictory. February is the coldest month when temperatures plummet to -1.7 degrees Celsius, but also the driest. Conversely, while July is one of the warmest month enjoying averages of 18 degrees Celsius, it’s also the wettest.

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Travioor top tips

Opera Deals
Pop Up Photos
City Card

Insider Info

  • One of Dresden’s proudest attractions is undoubtedly the awe-inspiring Semper Opera. If you’re not lucky enough to be a student under the age of 27 (and nab the cheap €10 tickets), then it can be a pricey night out. Fortunately, cut-price rates are normally offered 30 minutes before the show, for any musical aficionado who lives life with fingers crossed.

  • If you find yourself passing through Pirnaer Landstraße keep an eye out for the Photokiste, an old analogue photo booth which unexpectedly pops up on this main street. For the extremely reasonable €2 for four photos, what better way to encapsulate a great trip?

  • Get a Dresden City Card for discounted entrance fees and transport links.

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Food and drink

Main Course £5.27 | 6.00 €

3-Course Meal £32.97 | 37.50 €

Cappuccino £2.24 | 2.55 €

Beer £2.64 | 3.00 €

The Scene

A very important tradition in Dresden (and Saxony in general) is coffee and cake. Interesting factoid is the Saxons were actually the first in Germany to add cake to their coffee drinking - a tradition that has since filtered through to the whole country.

Germany is serious about beer, demonstrated by the almost 500 year-old purity law which honourably safeguards the quality of the any beer sold. Every region has its own special beers, all claiming to be the best. In Dresden, you’re spoiled for choice - Radeberger, Feldschlösschen and Freiberger; all are favourites with the local enthusiasts – Prost!

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History

Dresden’s Story

Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour.

During the Napoleonic Wars the French emperor made it a base of operations, winning the famous Battle of Dresden on 27 August 1813 in the city. Furthermore, Dresden was a focal point of the German Revolutions in 1848 and was home to the May Uprising.

The city also has a long history of manufacturing, known for motor car production, food processing and banking. It's also famed for the production of medical equipment in the 19th century and cameras and cigarettes in the early 20th.

During the foundation of the German Empire in 1871, a large military facility called Albertstadt was built in Dresden. The garrison was only sparsely used between 1918 and 1934, but became a pivotal stronghold during the Second World War.

The city was decimated during the final months of the Second World War, first through several attacks by the Red Army, and subsequently through the devastating air raids by Allied forces. The city still bears many wounds from the bombing raids of 1945, but many of the historical buildings have been successfully restored. This process of urban restoration is still ongoing today and is backed by fervent public support.

Language

Hallo | Hello
Danke | Thank you

German

German is the official language of Dresden, and it’s fair to say that English is not as widely spoken as in Munich or Berlin. As a former city of the old German Democratic Republic, many of the older people are more likely to speak Russian, but many of the younger folk are likely to understand English if you get stuck.

It’s polite to at least begin with a German phrase, so keep the following close to hand;

  • Good day - Guten Tag
  • Excuse me - Entschuldigen Sie bitte
  • Goodbye/Bye - Auf Widersehen/Tschuss
  • Good Morning - Guten Morgen
  • Good Evening - Guten Abend
  • Good Night - Guten Nacht
  • Do you speak English? - Sprechen Sie Englisch?
  • Yes/No - Ja/Nein
  • Please – Bitte

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Need to know

+49 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Dresden is just a 2.5 hour ride from Berlin and booking via Bahn.de you can get fares as low as €35.
  • From the airport, reaching Dresden's city centre is fairly simple - take the S-Bahn commuter train to the Hauptbahnhof, or main railroad station. You can buy a ticket at the vending machines on the airport station platform and the trip takes a speedy 23 minutes.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Germany here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Baroque Buildings

Swing by the Zwinger mit Semperbau (Zwinger and Semper Building) to and marvel at the stately Baroque architecture of these two wonderfully ornate constructions.

2. Royal Palace

Located in the very heart of the city centre, the Residenzschloss (Royal Palace) is home to one of Europe’s greatest collections of art.

3. Pillnitz Castle

Decorating the banks of the Elbe is the scenic Pillnitz Castle and Park. Lap up the ambience at this stunning palace with its botanical house and decorative arts museum.

4. Murals

Marvel at the spectacularly detailed Procession of Princes - a 201 metre long mural which depicts a parade of (the many) rules of the House of Wettin since 1127.

5. Quirky Museums

Ask the locals and they’ll send you to the intriguingly named Deutsches Hygiene-Museum. More laid back than its Baroque neighbours, this certainly is a museum with a twist.


See What's On In Dresden