Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

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Hey there! Thanks for stopping by to read about our fantastic weekend in Dresden! Here are all the most important points of interest in Dresden Germany, and your Guide on What to do and see! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Points of Interest in Dresden, Germany

A Guide on Things To Do & See

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

The History of Dresden

Dresden is the capital of the state of Saxony. It was once one of the most important and gorgeous cities in Germany. Sadly, in February of 1945, it was bombed, and 90% of the historic city center was destroyed. For years the town remained in ruins. It took over 50 years for the city to begin rebuilding; now, it is an amazing and gorgeous place.

 

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

By Deutsche Fotothek‎, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org

Many of the buildings have been rebuilt to match the original, spectacular, Baroque style and elegance. Not only is this city romantic and gorgeous, but it also has brains! It houses a huge technical university and is the home to one of the world’s tech giants who manufactures microchips. This city is one of my top five most amazing and spectacular cities in Europe and should not be missed if you are in the area!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

How to Get to Dresden

The nearest airport is Dresden International Airport. You can find flights with JetRadar, from anywhere in the world.  Compare the best flight deals Here

You can also fly into Berlin, rent a car and drive over to Dresden, its only a few hours.   

compare all the best prices here

Where to Stay in Dresden

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Photo provided by Aparthotel Schloss

I stayed at the Aparthotel Schloss in the historic center of Dresden! There are a few things I look for when I book an apartment. In Europe, parking is super important, and this hotel has paid parking.  Free WiFi and a kitchen or kitchenette are all super important to me, too. This gorgeous hotel has it all and more. The rooms are big and gorgeous with wooden floors and huge bathrooms… plus a washing machine! Last, I wanted to walk to all points of interest in Dresden. 

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Photo provided by Aparthotel Schloss

There are two sitting areas, each with little tables, a super comfy bed and a work space for me to write at during my stay. They have lots of options to choose from! So book Aparthotel Schloss when coming to Dresden!  compare the best prices here

Tours to Take in Dresden

Okay, so I have been on a lot of tours in my ten years overseas, but the walking tour of Dresden is going in at an all-time fave! I took a walking tour to see all the incredible points of interest in Dresden, with Walks of Dresden and the amazing tour guide, Katharina Michael. She rocked! You can always tell when someone loves what they do, and she loves Dresden with all her heart.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

She was born and raised in Dresden, living behind the wall for some of her life. She walked in the ruins of her city for years until they decided to rebuild the city’s ancient buildings that had been destroyed in WWII. She has amazing stories to tell and so much knowledge of the town – you won’t want the tour to end. I booked it with Viator.com, the price was only 13.00 euros – the best money I have ever spent!   Check prices of tours in Dresden here

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Day Trips from Dresden

Another amazing tour and one-of-a-kind sight you should see if you are in the area is the Saxony National Park that sits between the border of Germany and Czech. You can see the amazing Bastei Bridge, or the Koenigstein Fortress, with a tour and audio guide. If you are a hiker or rock climber, the park has over 700 summits that you can climb, hike, or wander through. It is a one-of-a-kind place… and coming from Colorado, that means a lot when I say it! You will not be disappointed!

Compare prices of all tours here

Points of Interest in Dresden

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See


Brühl’s Terrace

Bruhl’s Terrace is named for the man who once owned the land there. It is now a beautiful balcony, overlooking the Elbe River, perched on the ancient city wall of Dresden. From here you can see across the river to the Golden Reiter. You can gaze at the Augustus Bridge, stare in amazement at the steamboats as they churn down the river, or walk by the Academy of Fine Arts at the end of the terrace.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Not only is this gorgeous, but this point of interest in Dresden, also has a dark side (regarding the mistress of Mr. Bruhl.) The story goes… Bruhl was not so nice to his mistress. Eventually, she was so heartbroken that she jumped from the terrace, to her death, into the river below. Many locals say if you walk the terrace around midnight you will run into the mistress who is searching for revenge in the dark of night!

Katholische Hofkirche Dresden

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

 

The Dresden Cathedral; for those who know any history about German religion, you will be super surprised to see a giant Catholic Church here! Why? Well, this is Protestant territory and full of followers of Martin Luther and the Reformation movement! That being said, most people were not believers in the Catholic Church! So, why is a church here? Interestingly enough – and a wonderful story told by our guide Katharina (among the 30 other amazing stories she told us on our walk) – the story goes like this:

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

August the Strong, as he was called by his people, wanted to be a king. Sadly, Saxony did not have kings. They had high-ranking princes and elected government officials who ruled the land, but not the title of king. So, he set out to become a king.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

His neighbors in Poland had kings, however, in order to become a king in Poland, you had to be Catholic. August the Strong was a Protestant; like many others in the area, he denounced the Catholic Church, too. However, he so badly wanted to be a king. So in order to get the “designation” of king, he bribed his way into government circles and secretly converted to Catholicism (unbeknownst to the people of Dresden.)

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Later, he secretly started construction of this Catholic Church where the people of the town only knew of a building being built yet had no idea it would be a Catholic Church. If they had, there would have been outrage! How did he do this? He hired an architect, Gaetano Chiaveri, and builders directly from Italy, so the people of Dresden would not know what was going on. It took 17 years to construct, between 1726-1743, and was built as his own private church! During the process he also changed the law that stated the people had to follow the ruler’s religion (to make sure the people of Dresden didn’t freak out.) So although he became Catholic, he assured his people they could keep their Protestant religion.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

 

When he died, although he was a king of Poland, he asked for his heart to remain in Dresden. His body was sent to be buried in Poland, but his heart stayed in Dresden and remains in the crypt of the church today. Some say when a pretty girl walks by, the heart starts to beat again. He loved the ladies – in life and in death.

Semperoper Opera House

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

This architectural beauty was originally built in 1841, and the building you are looking at now is the third rebuild. There was a devastating fire in 1869 which destroyed the building. It was rebuilt only to be destroyed on that fateful night in February of 1945. Now you see the gorgeous rebuild standing proudly in the square. This is a working opera house and people come from all over the world to see operas performed here. If you are not an opera fan, you can still take a tour of the building just to marvel at the gorgeous architecture. You can find all the info on the opera house here

Other Things to do and see in Dresden

Zwinger Gallery of Dresden

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

I have to tell you – when you walk through any of the arches into the courtyard, you are going to be blown away – I am not kidding! This place is magnificent and the photos do not do it justice. The courtyard was once a playground for royalty – they held festivals and games there. It was also once full of exotic orange trees from around the world.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

You will just stare in amazement at the architecture and sheer beauty of this courtyard. Since you are here, there are a few points of interest you should not miss. One, look to the gate with the white porcelain bells; yes, they are porcelain and will chime every 15 minutes.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

See the Porcelain Museum

Housed to the right of the chimes is the Porcelain Museum, or Porzellansammlung, with the largest collection of porcelain artifacts in the world. It has oriental porcelain from the Ming Dynasty, dating back to the 16th century, and the famous Meissen porcelain which was invented in Dresden in 1708 under the supervision of August the Strong! You will be in awe. Take a virtual tour of the gallery here! 

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Walk Through the Crown Gate

In the middle of the buildings you will see the Crown Gate or Kronentor. Is this not the most gorgeous thing you have ever seen?! I mean, wow! Now that you know about August the Strong, also know that he built this to remind everyone he was a king, even if it was in Poland!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Visit the Museum of Mathematics

Over to the corner of the courtyard houses, another museum of mathematics and physics was founded under August the Strong in 1728. Today, this continues to be one of the most important museums for physics and mathematical instruments. If you are a math or physics person, you will want to roll around on the floor! It has clocks, globes, instruments, and artwork that was used to gather information about math and physics. You can take a virtual tour here!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

See the Fountain of Nymphs

Moving again to the right you will see a coffee shop, and if you walk through the shop and out the back door, you will find the Fountain of Nymphs; take a breath of fresh air and prepare to be amazed at this gorgeous fountain.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

By Raphael – Google Art Project: Home – pic Maximum resolution., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19991622

Visit the Gallery of Masters

Last in this impressive complex, is the gallery of the old masters, one of the most impressive groups of artwork in the world. It houses originals such as masterworks including Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” and Giorgione’s “Sleeping Venus.” If you are an art lover, this is your gig!

Many of the originals were fought over by the Red Army but are now safe and sound in the museum. If you have your kids with you, they even do tours for kids to make art and history interesting, or you can wander through on your own with an audio guide.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

The complex and exhibits are open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. with an admission price of 10€ per person (kids under 17 are free.) You can buy a ticket for entrance to all the exhibits or you can purchase certain galleries separately. All the info on the Zwinger Museum and courtyard is here.

Visit the Dresden Palace

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

There was a time when this castle was the grandest and most important place in Saxony! This is where all the royal family lived! Sadly, it was also gutted in the February bombing night of WWII. The people of Dresden fought to keep it from being totally demolished and it has since been rebuilt in its original style. Today, it is a museum that houses many different exhibits.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Walk though the Green Vault

One being the Gruenes Gewoelbe or the Green Vault. This is an exhibit of all the amazing and ancient treasures of the royal family. It has everything from jeweled mirrors and shells to coconuts and ostrich eggs, all of which are bedazzled and fit for a prince! Seriously, this place is amazing!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

The entrance to the museum was once an open-aired courtyard for the palace. It has since been covered with silicon-heated windows (um, Germany – you are always ahead of the game.) You can buy tickets for one exhibit, or all of them, at the door or online. There are exhibits of prints and photographs and an ancient war room depicting all the gear and weapons used to defend Dresden. There is even an exhibit of the history of money and coins in the area. The museum is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Saturday (closed on Sunday.) You can find all the info about the place and its exhibits here! 

The Fürstenzup Wall Dresden (Procession of Princes)

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

This amazing wall is composed of 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles, all put together to make this beautiful mural. It is the largest piece of porcelain art in the world and was designed in 1904. Luckily, this beauty escaped damage in the war. It starts from the beginning of Dresden’s history and portrays 35 of the most important people – all the rulers of Saxony. True to art, each portrait tells something interesting or funny about the ruler.

Verkehrsmuseum Dresden

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

This is a beautiful Renaissance building and it houses a collection of transportation relics. If you are a transportation geek, or have kids who love trains, planes, and automobiles, this should be on your list. It has some amazing old cars that any car buff will drool over! The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (except Easter and Christmas.) It is 9€ for adults/kids (anyone under five is free.)

 Frauenkirche Dresden

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

By Bundesarchiv, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5473572 7.7.1991
Stadtansichten Dresden Ruine der Frauenkirche

This gorgeous, round church sits in the middle of the old town. It was bombed in WWII, almost totally destroyed, and remained in ruins for over 50 years. All that was left was the one pillar you see in the photo above. It was recently rebuilt, and while you are looking at it you can see the dark black bricks speckled throughout the exterior of the church. These dark bricks are the original bricks and one standing pillar that was the original building. The stones were picked from the rubble and used to rebuild the church as a sign of healing and forgiveness for the Dresden people. Look below and you can see the black dots throughout the exterior; those dots are the original pieces of the church!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

 

The price to rebuild the church was over 180 million euro. The city of Dresden wanted to rebuild but needed the money, so they sent out a call for help, worldwide, asking for funds to rebuild the church. The world answered and 75% of the money needed to rebuild was donated from around the world! The church was rebuilt as a symbol of peace, hope, and forgiveness.

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

The inside of the church is uniquely round and pink in color. It is round because they had limited space to build. To the right of the altar is a black burnt cross – this is the original cross that was charred and melted in the rubble of the church. It has been replaced by a gold cross from a manufacturer in the UK. Interestingly enough, a man at this UK company was one of the men who flew the planes that dropped the fire bombs on the church that fateful night in February of 1945! Wow, right?! This church is the ultimate symbol of forgiveness, rebuilding, and peace that the whole world should learn about!

Shopping and Food

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Altmarkt-Galerie

This is a great mall called the Galerie (if you need to get a little shopping in or forgot something in your luggage.) There is also a Starbucks nearby if you are like me and collect mugs!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

Photo via Visit Dresden

Pfunds Molkerei

The Guinness Book of World Records calls it the world’s most beautiful dairy shop. It is full of cheese! Yes, so much cheese you won’t know what to do with yourself! There is a coffee shop and cafe upstairs, and you will love how gorgeous this place is! Cheese paradise!

Points of Interest in Dresden Germany | A Guide on Things to Do and See

1900 Museumsgastronomie

This too cute little place is directly across from the most famous point of interest in Dresden, the Fraunkirche in the square. The waiters are all dressed as train conductors from the 1900’s, and in the back is an old tram-car from the early 1900’s. It was actually crane-lifted through the glass ceiling. You can reserve to eat in it or just take a photo if you are there. In the back there is a section for kids with toys and books so mom and dad can enjoy some food and a drink. They have a signature raspberry Sekt cocktail, and their soups are served in upside-down conductor hats. So cute.

I hope you enjoyed this amazing town as much as I did! Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions about Dresden? If so, drop a comment below!

 

– Stacey

 

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  1. Spectacular photos. I've only been to Munich so far and it was a huge surprise. Very serene, castles, parks. Dresden through your photos looks pretty nice.
  2. Pingback: A Visitors Guide for the Best Local Food to Eat in the Czech Republic

  3. I didn't know that Dresden is such a beautiful destination. Thanks for sharing the complete comprehensive guide. The architecture looks quite fascinating and the national park with the rocks looks splendid!
  4. I had never heard about Dresden in Germany but your post clearly told me how awesome it is and why it is in your favorite list. I felt so happy reading that they had tried to rebuild the whole city.The story of Catholic Church is so interesting and the palace looks gorgeous. Dresden goes to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing. Suruchi recently posted...We have been Nominated!! The Liebster Award 2017My Profile
  5. While I know the name Dresden I really didn't know much about the place before reading your article. I can see why you like it so much. It is really a beautiful city with lots of places to see and things to do. The architecture is amazing as can be seen in the buildings of the Dresden Palace, Cathedral and the Semperoper Opera House. Travelwith2ofus recently posted...Explore Lisbon for free and save big timeMy Profile
  6. A fantastic job has been done to restore this city! The architecture is just spectacular and the details on The Fürstenzup Wall Dresden look amazing. I would love to check it out in person someday.
  7. It's nice that Dresden was rebuilt in the same style as it was before it was bombed and destroyed. What a horrible things. That photo is haunting. I'd love to check it out now and see how it's rebuilt itself. The cheese shop sounds amazing.
  8. This is definitely a complete guide to Dresden which I'm going to use while there. Your photos add that charm and are inviting. I'll check Katharina Michael's site right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful gem.
  9. That is the most comprehensive guide of Dresden I have seen. I haven't been there but the city is gorgeous. Love the view from Bruhl’s Terrace. I will definitelly visit.
  10. Dresen sounds fantastic too explore and very exciting with historic buildings. Too bad it was 90% which was bombed, pretty sad that so much history disappeared.
  11. I can't believe twice we've been to Europe and both times we've missed an opportunity to see this gorgeous city. It is so beautiful and I have no idea why we never got there, but thank you for this inspiring post, reminding me that we MUST get there next time.
    • Maybe it is the same city from the Czech - half of the park is in the Czech and the other in Germany. It sits right on the boarder. :)