Often called “Florence on the Elbe” or the Jewel Box City, for its magnificent Baroque and Rococo architecture, Dresden has been beautifully reinstated after suffering major damage in World War II. The capital of the province of Saxony, Dresden has an artistic ambience, which gives it a dreamy quality. Known for its fine craftsmanship, particularly the Meissen porcelain, which is made here, Dresden China was once a tradition in many aristocratic homes.
Inspired by Versailles, the Zwinger Palace is a highlight. The Green Vault within the palace has an impressive art collection, and the city’s historical sites are worth exploring. Take a leisurely stroll through its thoroughfares, and experience a more personal side of Dresden.
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Dresden is a year-round destination, but it is at its best during the late spring and summer months, as well as during Christmas time. The city is made to be enjoyed outside, admiring the architecture and strolling along the shores of the Elbe River. The Christmas market is the oldest and one of the largest in Germany, dating back to the 1400s, and it takes place in the main square – Altmarkt, between the last Thursday of November and December 24.
The world-class museums and historical buildings make Dresden one of the most interesting cities in the country, culturally and artistically speaking. At least 2 full days are necessary to cover all the Saxon capital has to offer, but it is also possible to visit it as a day trip from Berlin (for those interested in just a short overview).
Some of its priceless art treasures are the Green Vault (featuring the largest treasure collection in Europe), the Baroque complex Zwinger, the Semper Opera and the Frauenkirche. Even though most of the city was decimated after the Allied bombing during WWII, the restoration works are exquisite and brought back the full splendor of the former “Florence of the North”.
The best way to cover Dresden is to do it as part of a private custom program, including the nearby cities of Berlin and Prague. Dresden can also be added as a stop between Berlin and Munich, and it can also be accessed by train. Some self-drive programs linking German cities and areas like Nuremberg, Würzburg, the Romantic Road, Leipzig… would work perfectly for Dresden as well.
Two experiences top our unmissable section. The first one is a visit to the Albertinum, which has on display an outstanding exhibition on German Romanticism and East German Art; and the second one is boarding one of the private (or public) boats on the Elbe to navigate along the vineyards, stopping at different wineries perched on the hills. May, June and September are spectacular months to take advantage of this exclusive visit.
To make the most of a culinary evening, every visitor should pay a visit to Molkerei Pfund, the most beautiful dairy shop in the world! The interior is full of tile paintings in a Neo-Renaissance style, and it is the perfect stop for a snack before heading to Neustadt, the younger and hip area in the city, with some of the most popular restaurants, such as Lila Sosse, a chic yet casual dining spot offering German tapas in a hidden courtyard.
The famous Royal Porcelain Factory of Meissen is near Dresden, and most of the artworks can be found in specialty stores in the city. If you are in Dresden during Christmas, you should definitely plan on taking back home some Dresdner Christstollen – a traditional bread made with nuts, spices, and candied fruits.