Even after living in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, for over 25 years I still find new places and unknown spots which surprise me every single time.
There are so many places to see during a city trip that it’s hard for me to put them all in one blogpost. But here are some spots you really have to visit:
The Historic Old Town of Dresden
The center of Dresden was mainly shaped during the regency of Augustus the Strong from 1694-1733. He loved all forms of art, the Baroque architecture style and to show off his wealth. Augustus has been the king of Poland but also the Elector of Saxony and fell in love with Dresden. That’s why his body is buried in Warsaw but his heart lies in Dresden.
A huge part of the old town got destroyed during the bombing in World War II at the 13th of February in 1945. But especially during the last years most of the buildings have been rebuilt in their original form.
The Neumarkt in Dresden
You can easily walk around the old town and one of the best places to start your tour is the Neumarkt.
Here you can find the Frauenkirche (Church of our Ladies) which is probably the most famous sight in Dresden. Since it’s one of the highest buildings in the city the dome offers an amazing view over the old town.
Entering the church is free of charge but if you want to visit the dome you have to pay 8 Euros – which is definitely worth the money.
The Frauenkirche by night
Overlooking the Palace and the Schlosskirche from the dome.
The river Elbe
To shoot a nice picture of the famous building you have to come to the Neumarkt early in the morning to find it empty.
But there is one secret spot which doesn’t look very special from the outside but offers an amazing perspective: It’s the entrance of the Verkehrsmuseum (Museum of transportation)
You will find a small staircase and a small pillar to sit on. Especially during the Golden Hour the Frauenkirche will get wonderfully illuminated by the setting sun which looks amazing in pictures!
From the Neumarkt you only need to walk a few minutes to the Brühlsche Terrasse (Brühl’s Terrace). The best way is to go along the Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes) which is a large mural of the rulers of Saxony.
You will reach a square right in front of the Schlosskirche (palace church) where some steps lead up to the terrace.
You find the first spot over the Münzgasse. The little street leads directly to the Frauenkirche, so you have an amazing view from the top of it.
If you follow Brühl’s Terrace till the end you will find a small park right in front of the Albertinum. This is another wonderful place to see the Frauenkirche between the surrounding buildings together with the glass dome & the golden angel of the Academy of Arts.
The view point over the Münzgasse
Amazing views with the Frauenkirche and the academy of Arts.
The Semper Opera House
To reach the famous opera house of Dresden simply head back to the Schlosskirche. If you walk by the huge church you will instantly see the Semperoper (Semper Opera House).
It’s a massive & beautiful building which is covered with paintings and statues. The inside of the building is even more impressive so I can highly recommend you to visit the opera!
From the Theaterplatz right in front of the Semperoper you have an amazing view over the Schlosskirche and the Zwinger.
The Zwinger is a complex from the 18. century which is an interaction of architecture, art and a park in the middle of it. It was used as a pleasure garden or to celebrate special festivities back in the days.
Today the Zwinger is home of museums like the impressive Picture Gallery with the Sistine Madonna by Raphael.
My favorite place to overlook the Zwinger are the galleries.There are two staircases outside the complex which lead up to them. The galleries surround the whole complex and you can find artworks like statues, frescoes and fountains everywhere.
The dome above the entrance (at the opposite side of the Semper Opera House) is one of my favorite places to take pictures cause it makes a beautiful motive or background for pictures.
At the other side of the Zwinger is the Palace of Dresden located, which got completely restored. Today you can visit the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) inside which is a museum that contains the largest collection of treasures in Europe.
From the Hausmannsturm – the tower of the castle – you have another spectacular view over the old town including the Frauenkirche. It’s one of the most beautiful silhouettes of the city.
Restaurant Tips for Dresden Old Town:
The old town of Dresden is full of restaurants, bars and cafés but here are some of my favorites:
Located in the “Haus am Zwinger” (House at the Zwinger) are two of my favorite spots. At the ground floor you find the “Codo” which is a really nice place for Sushi and Vietnamese cuisine. It’s usually full in the evening but during lunch time you will easily get a table.
At the highest floor of the same building is the Restaurant & Rooftop Bar “Felix” located. It offers one of the best views over the Zwinger. The best is to come during sunset time to enjoy a nice cocktail with an amazing view 🙂
Another place for good food is the little street called “Weiße Gasse” with many delicious food & bar options. The Italian Restaurant “Mamma Mia” is my favorite place with homemade pasta & tiramisu!
Outside the Old Town of Dresden:
The mentioned places above have just been a few of my highlights in the old town which you can see during one day. But of course there is way more to see.
Some other parts of Dresden are really beautiful too like the Neustadt with the Golden Rider, the Japanese Palais and a lot of nice restaurants.
The ‘Großer Garten’ (The ‘Big Garden’) is a wonderful park to enjoy a sunny day, the meadows at the Elbe river are offering views over the vineyards and many other places are really worth a visit.
SCHLÖSSERLAND SACHSEN – SAXONY: LAND OF THE CASTLES
There are 821 palaces and castles is Saxony which is the reason why it’s called the “Land of Castles” – of course it’s not possible to visit all of them but here are some highlights:
THE ELBE RIVER CASTLES
Three wonderful castles are located on the hill along the river Elbe: The castles Albrechtsberg, Eckberg and the Lingner castle.
They offer an amazing view over the silhouette of the city. We even celebrated our wedding in the Lingner castle in october 2018 🙂 It’s a famous place to enjoy a glass of wine with a view.
Every year in July there is a huge party of all three castles with amazing fireworks, Bands, Shows and so much more.
The Lingner castle & Eckberg castle seen from the banks of the Elbe river
Our wedding at the Lingner castle
The Pillnitz Castle
The Pillnitz castle is my favorite one in Dresden and you can easily reach it by boat starting from the old town or by car.
In the 17. century the royal family used it as an amusement palace and summer residence.
The style of the architecture is completely different from what you may have seen before in Europe. There are several Asian designs and everything is covered with Tropical, Oriental & Asian motives. The king wanted to have “something different” for himself to enjoy the summer days.
Back in the days they put a lot of potted plants from all around the world in the garden, which have been imported from colonies or during travels. It’s crazy to think that a lot of the plants you see today are still from these times. The most famous one is the huge camellia. During the blooming season you can walk up & around the tree on stairways to see the huge blossoms.
To visit the inside of the castle is also really recommendable since you will feel like you’re back in those pompous days.
SOME BEAUTIFUL CASTLES IN DRESDENS SURROUNDINGS
THE ALBRECHTSBURG CASTLE
Meißen is not only famous for being the place where the porcelain was discovered during the times of Augustus the Strong but is also home of the oldest palace in Germany. The Albrechtsburg castle ( not to be confused with the Albrechtsberg castle in Dresden) has been built in 1470 and with it’s gothic architectural style it feels like traveling back in time to the late middle age.
Small markets & other events are often located at the square in front of the castle. The Restaurant right next to it (called Domkeller) is amazing if you wanna enjoy some typical food from Saxony.
Inside the castle feels like stepping back in time..
A wonderful view over the roofs of Meißen
THE HUBERTUSBURG CASTLE
The Hubertusburg castle is located in the small village Wermsdorf around 1 hour away from Dresden. Due to this location there aren’t really a lot of tourists even so it’s the biggest hunting lodge in Germany.
Augustus the Strong and later his son have been using this castle as a residence during the haunting season.
Inside they created a wonderful exhibition which shows how the rulers lived here until the looting of the Prussians during the Seven Year War in the 18. century. The only room which stayed untouched by the destruction of the Prussians is the castle chapel which still looks the same like back in the days.
STILL SO MUCH MORE TO SEE…
There are several other palaces & castles in and around Dresden which are definitely worth a visit. Like the Moritzburg Castle which is famous from the movie “Three Wishes for Cinderella”, the fortress of Königstein which is surrounded by impressive rock formations in the Saxony Switzerland or the Wackerbarth castle in the wine region Radebeul.
I hope with this post I was able to show you a little bit of my home and if you ever plan a trip to Dresden please hit me up for more recommendations or if you have any questions 🙂
The Moritzburg castle