Dresden is not one of Germany’s top cities for non-Germans, but its charms are becoming more well known every year. Nearly destroyed in World War II, Dresden has been steadily rebuilding the most important buildings and monuments and is now more than just a convenient stopover between Berlin and Prague. The city is filled with history, as the current capital of the state of Saxony, as well as the home to Saxony’s kings for many centuries. But Dresden has a modern edge as well.

What To Do

Dresden’s most famous landmark is the imposing Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady). It was demolished during the war, but is now completely restored and reopened. You can and should climb the tower for excellent views of the city. The Old Center itself is a highlight. It’s compact and easily walkable and is a favorite place among the locals for a leisurely stroll.

The Semperoper is one of Europe’s most famous opera houses and one of Dresden’s most famous landmarks. Many classic operas premiered here and it’s possible to see a performance here still, but the better ones book way in advance. Tours are given during the day so even if you aren’t interested in seeing an opera it’s a worthwhile attraction. The Schwebebahn-Dresden is a unique suspended tram/funicular that connects two districts and is worth a look and a ride.

Getting There

Dresden is a popular stop for Eurail Pass holders and all riders of the rails with its location between Berlin and Prague. But if you are coming from more than one country away you’ll want to book a flight into Dresden-Klotzshe Airport (code: DRS) or if you are coming from even further away it might be best to book a flight into Berlin or Frankfurt and come to Dresden by train. The Dresden Airport is served by regional airlines and some discount carriers, but prices into the larger airports are usually low enough to warrant the train trip.

Where To Stay

Dresden is not a huge city so no places to stay should be too far out, but at the same time the center is very charming and maybe worth spending a bit extra for that central location. There are several hostels in Dresden and of course quite a few hotels in Dresden as well. During busy times the better ones can book up well in advance so plan ahead.