The Top 10 Things To See And Do In Dresden

Photo of Eliza Marin
28 November 2016

Eulogized by Canaletto and revered by travelers who’ve passed its way for decades, the exquisite city of Dresden, sprawled out over the banks of the Elbe, rarely fails to impress. Rebuilt following the destruction of WWII, this city now rises as one of Germany‘s finest. Let’s find out why.

Zwinger | © Karsten Planz/ Flickr

Zwinger Palace

An exemplary Baroque piece of architecture from the beginning of the 19th century, the Zwinger Palace offers a glimpse of the high life, court festivities and tournaments of the age. It’s a spectacular and very German complex of art, pavilions, galleries, museums and courtyards, housing an impressive collection of porcelain and a museum of mathematical and physical instruments.

Zwinger Palace, Sophienstraße, Dresden, Germany, +49 0351 49142000

Katy’s Garage Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe)

The royal treasury is where visitors can find one of Europe’s most guarded chambers gilded in exuberant art, coins, diamonds and other priceless treasures. The green vault was first opened in the 18th century by August the Strong and suffered great losses in subsequent times. It was finally reopened in 2004 following reconstruction, risen from the ashes of the former site.

Green Vault, Taschenberg 2, Dresden, Germany, + 49 0351 49142000

Elbe River Banks

The famous river valley is one of the most serene and complex recreational areas in Dresden, known to locals and visitors alike. The area is open and surrounds the beautiful old and new towns of the city, with spectacular bridges leading away from it and a plethora of green spaces for barbecues, sports, and relaxation. Used for fishing, al fresco theater performances, and much more, the Elbe River banks are a fine spot to explore while in town.

Filmnächte Elbe River | © Netguru/ WikiCommons

Procession of Princes

Dedicated to the Wettin dynasty of Saxony, Fürstenzug or the ‘Procession of Princes’ is a 330-foot-long porcelain mural, commissioned in the year 1870. Displaying the long reign of the famous family line that dominated the region for over eight centuries, the portraits depict dukes and kings, scientists, artisans, craftsmen, and other leading German figures of the age.

Fürstenzug, Schloßstraße 1, Dresden, Germany

Theaterplatz and the Semperoper

Map View
Theaterplatz | © Jacopo/ WikiCommons
Located in the core of the old town of Dresden, the Theaterplatz is one extraordinary market plaza designed in the Italian high Renaissance style, built by Hans Erlwein. Although it is among the younger structures in the area, the Semper Opera house is also worth a look: a magnificent structure built between 1838 and 1841, mixing the two major architectural currents of classicism and the neo-Renaissance.

Dresden Transport Museum

This 5,000 square-meter museum accommodates an impressive collection of the first vehicles used for transportation across history. From steam engine trains to aircrafts, ships, motorbikes, and more, the Transport Museum of Dresden is a journey through motoring time. A real highlight is the 325 square-meter exhibition of computer controlled locomotives.

Dresden Transport Museum, Augustusstraße 1, Dresden, Germany, +49 0351 86440

The Cafe Schinkelwache

Cafe, German, European, Pastries, Tea
Map View
An historic spot, Cafe Schinkelwache is special in Dresden for its authentic Saxon coffee house vibe. Housed in a neoclassical building, the cafe is extravagant to the hilt, and offers a spectacular panorama over the Semper Opera and Royal Palaces. In the summer it houses concerts and events, and the open terrace attracts bigger crowds. The menu offers special chardonnay wines with salted herring fillet bedded on creamed buttermilk sauce and apples.

Brühl’s Terrace

Located near the banks of the Elbe and known as the ‘Balcony of Europe,’ Brühl’s Terrace is a panoramic architectural ensemble that stretches above the river and houses one of the favorite places for locals and visitors alike. The great entrance in the Schlossplatz, or the Castle Square, plays host to four magnificent sculptures, while the view over the Academy of Fine Arts and Albertinum is incredible.

Brühl’s Terrace, Georg-Treu-Platz 1, 01067 Dresden, Germany, +49 0351 501501

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