Dresden, Germany Travel Guide

Visit Dresden, the Capital of the Free State of Saxony

dresden germany map
Dresden Location Map: Location of Dresden, Germany. James Martin

Dresden is a city of about 500,000 population located along the river Elbe in the German state of Saxony, in the southeastern corner of eastern Germany, halfway between the capital Berlin and Prague. Dresden an hour northwest of Leipzig. (See location map of Dresden, Germany on the right.)

Dresden Tourist Office

The Dresden Tourist Office is located at Ostra-Allee 11. Web site: Dresden Tourism.

Dresden Train Stations

Dresden-Hauptbahnhof is the main station. You can reach the old city by short walk. Dresden-Neustadt station is located on the opposite side of the river Elbe and has tram service into the central city.

Dresden Airport

Dresden Airport is located 6 miles (9 km) northeast of the city. The new terminal is connected via a pedestrian bridge and a tunnel from the S-Bahn connection to central Dresden.

Dresden Discount Cards

Dresden City Card - 48 hours of free admission to 12 museums and free transportation on trams, busses and the Elbe ferries in Dresden, plus discounts on other attractions. 19 Euros.

Dresden Regio-Card - 72 hours of free admission to the same 12 museums and free transportation, plus discounts on other attractions. 29 Euros.

Where to Stay

Lodging in Dresden is relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in Germany. For user-rated hotels, see: Dresden Hotels, Germany (book direct). Another option is to rent a vacation house, apartment or cottage in Dresden or in the surrounding countryside. See: Dresden Area Vacation Rentals (book direct).

More on Dresden from Germany Travel

Top Attractions

While Dresden may be best known for the carpet bombing of the old town by allied forces that that left 30,000 dead, Dresden has recovered.

Frauenkirche, the largest Protestant domed building in history, was rebuilt in 2005; 250,000 people, half the population of Dresden, visited it in the three days after opening.

The Altmarkt (old Market Square), first mentioned in documents dating to 1370, with the rebuilt town hall (rathaus) and 18th century Landhaus (housing the state museum) is the heart of Dresden.

Altertinium is Dresden's leading art museum.

Deutsche Hygiene Museum is, as you might expect, about German health. Special exhibitions are held here

Großer Garten Park is the largest central park in Dresden, a green city with 63 per cent of its area devoted to woods and green spaces, probably one of the greenest cities in Europe. Within is the zoo and botanical gardens.

Königstrasse or King Street, on the right banks of the Elbe in the quarter known as Neustadt is a street of patrician houses, hidden restaurants, elegant boutiques and passageways full of stores.

Neustädter Markthalle The covered market hall, which first opened in 1899, was reopened in November 2000. Inside is a museum called Kraftfahrzeuge Ostmobil featuring collector's item vehicles, mostly from Saxony and Thuringia, some four wheeled and 50 two wheeled.

Zwinger is Dresden's baroque showpiece designed as an orangery and a setting for court festivities. Inside is now the Old Masters Picture Gallery, Armoury (Rüstkammer), Porcelain Collection, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon (rare schientific instruments), and the Zoological Museum.

Steamer Trips on the Elbe. The Saxon Steamship Company will take you down the river on eight historic paddle steamers, the oldest and largest fleet of paddle steamers in the world.

Recently Reopened was the Military History Museum, with around 9,000 exhibits. Dresden is loaded with interesting museums. 

Events in Dresden

Plan a Trip to Dresden, Germany: The Travel Planning Toolbox

Learn German - It's always a good idea to learn some of the local language in the places you're going, especially the "polite" expressions and a few words pertaining to food and drink.

German Rail Passes - You can save money on longer rail journeys, but Railpasses aren't guaranteed to save you money, you'll have to plan your trip to use the pass on longer journeys, and pay in cash (or by credit card) for the short runs.

Rent or Lease a Car? If you're going to Germany for three weeks or more, leasing may make more sense.

How Big is Europe? - Taking your own Grand Tour? How big is Europe compared to the US? Here's a map that shows you.

Driving Distances in Germany - Distances between the major cities in Germany.