15 BEST Things To Do In Dresden, Germany

By Before You Go / January 4, 2024

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to walk in the footsteps of kings and queens, surrounded by opulent palaces and grand architecture? In Dresden, you can do just that. Here are the best things to do in Dresden, Germany.

Number 15: Dresden Church of Our Lady (Dresden Frauenkirche)

The Church of Our Lady is a captivating symbol of the city’s rich Baroque history and cultural legacy. This Lutheran church, constructed between 1726 and 1743, boasts breathtaking architectural features that draw visitors from across the globe.

Despite being destroyed during the Allied firebombing in World War II, the church stood as a ruin for many years. Today, a visit to the Church provides a glimpse into Germany’s religious past and serves as a powerful testament to human resilience and hope.

For the best views of Dresden’s skyline, climb up the dome. And if you’re lucky, catch one of their organ concerts. The acoustics will blow you away.

Number 14: Dresden Zwinger

Get ready to be amazed by the Dresden Zwinger! This architectural wonder is a true gem of Baroque design, showcasing the rich history of Dresden. Established in 1728, it has become a hub of artistic and intellectual exploration.

Inside, you’ll find world-renowned museums like the Old Masters Picture Gallery and the Porcelain Collection. But before you step through the doors, take a moment to admire the intricate details adorning the Zwinger’s exterior. Every nook and cranny tells a story of masterful craftsmanship.

Number 13: Dresden Panometer

When you find yourself in Dresden, make sure to visit the Dresden Panometer. It’s not your average museum, but a place that offers a one-of-a-kind experience. There are many astonishing panoramic paintings that will leave you breathless. 

Step back in time from 1695 to 1760 and witness the historical scenes of this beautiful city come to life. The attention to detail in the artwork is astounding, and the sheer scale of the paintings is truly impressive. The Dresden Panometer stands apart from other German museums because of its innovative approach to preserving history through art.

Number 12: Brühl’s Terrace

Go on a delightful adventure as you visit Dresden by strolling along the famous Brühl’s Terrace, lovingly known as “The Balcony of Europe”. This impressive promenade stretches gracefully between the Elbe river and the Old Town, offering an array of enchanting experiences. 

Get ready to feast your eyes on Dresden’s architectural wonders as you amble along the terrace, treating yourself to picturesque views of the flowing river. Pause to enjoy the soul-stirring melodies of street musicians or find respite at one of the cozy cafes nestled along the way.

Number 11: Day Trip to Saxon Switzerland National Park

Don’t visit Dresden without experiencing the stunning beauty of Saxon Switzerland National Park. And guess what? Hiking across the Bastei Bridge is an adventure you absolutely need to have on your travel agenda. It’s one of the best hikes in all of Germany!

The best part is that the trails cater to everyone. Whether you’re a hiking newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s a path for you. Picture this: majestic sandstone rock formations towering over the winding Elbe River. It’s like something out of a fairy tale. But wait, there’s more! This place is steeped in history, adding an extra layer of fascination to your journey.

Number 10: Procession Of Princes (Fürstenzug)

If you’re into history or art, you’ve got to check out the Procession of Princes. It’s a mind-blowing mural that tells the story of Saxony’s incredible history spanning over 800 years. 

Imagine a gigantic artwork stretching over 328 feet (100 m), depicting the mounted procession of Saxony’s rulers. These rulers are portrayed as towering figures, giving you a glimpse into how they were seen by their people back in the day. 

Originally created to honor the Wettin Dynasty, the ruling family of Saxony, this mural has become one of Dresden’s hottest tourist spots.

Number 9: Kunsthofpassage Singing Drain Pipes

Get ready to be amazed by the Singing Drain Pipes. This fantastic attraction is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Located in the lively student district, it’s a building adorned with a series of drain pipes that transform into a gripping musical instrument when it rains. 

The sounds they create are simply magical. If you’re tired of the usual touristy stuff, this place is a breath of fresh air. The Singing Drain Pipes showcase Dresden’s creative side and offer a fun and memorable experience.

Number 8: Dresden Elbe River Cruise

Hop aboard a Dresden Elbe River cruise and get ready for a truly thrilling experience. Imagine yourself gliding along the tranquil waters, marveling at the majestic cityscape and iconic landmarks that unfold before your eyes. 

The Elbe River acts as a natural boundary, dividing the Old Town and New Town, each boasting its own distinct charm. Delight in the architectural wonders that line the riverbanks, showcasing the attractive beauty of Baroque design.

By the way, check the links in the description for recommended tour operators that will enhance your Dresden experience, and save you valuable time and effort.

Number 7: Dresden Transport Museum

Welcome to the Dresden Transport Museum, a paradise for families and transport enthusiasts alike! Prepare to dive into the amazing world of transportation history. Immerse yourself in a remarkable collection featuring vintage cars, motorcycles, railway exhibits, and aviation displays. 

But it doesn’t stop there! You’ll be amazed by interactive displays that let you explore the inner workings of trains and even hop behind the wheel of a classic car.

Don’t miss the chance to join a museum tour and learn about public transport systems or check out the educational exhibits showcasing cutting-edge technology. From locomotives to automobiles and planes, this museum is a thrilling journey through time for everyone to enjoy.

Number 6: Dresden Cathedral (Katholische Hofkirche)

Dresden Cathedral, or the Cathedral of Holy Trinity, stands tall as a powerful symbol of resilience and strength. This reconstructed Lutheran church is an integral part of the city’s history. Nestled in Dresden’s charming old town, its Baroque architecture is a visual delight for history enthusiasts. 

Stepping inside, you’ll be impressed by the Cathedral’s remarkable art collections and intricate stone carvings, showcasing the rich heritage of Germany. Take your time to admire the craftsmanship and enjoy the stories these masterpieces tell.

Number 5: Semper Opera House (Semperoper)

Step into a realm of elegance and artistic brilliance at the Semper Opera House. It’s the country’s most renowned opera house, and for good reason. The Saxon State Orchestra, one of the world’s oldest and most esteemed orchestras, calls this place home. 

After the restoration efforts following World War II, it’s back and better than ever. The performances here are top-notch, showcasing the beauty and power of classical music. The architecture is stunning, and the acoustics are simply incredible. Prepare to be transported to a world of artistic brilliance as you enjoy the entertaining shows at the Semper Opera House.

Number 4: Old Masters Picture Gallery

If you’re an art lover, you can’t miss the Old Masters Picture Gallery. This adorable treasure holds a massive array of European paintings, showcasing the works of renowned artists like Titian, Van Dyck, Rubens, and Jordaens. Step into this remarkable gallery and you’ll be transported through the captivating history of art, from the Renaissance to Baroque periods. 

Housed within the grand Zwinger Palace in Dresden, the museum boasts three floors brimming with historical artifacts and fine art collections that exemplify the perfect museum experience. To delve deeper into this place, take a self-guided tour and be captivated by the gallery’s masterpieces, while gaining valuable insights into the modern techniques of curating art.

Number 3: Dresden Castle (Residenzschloss)

When you’re in Dresden, don’t forget to swing by the spectacular Dresden Castle. This place has seen countless rulers come and go, and it’s packed with charming museums. One highlight is the famous Green Vault, boasting an impressive collection of jewelry, gemstones, and decorative art from all over Europe. 

It’s like stepping into the extravagant world of Augustus II “the Strong”, who aimed to leave a lasting legacy with these stunning pieces. Check out the delicate snuffboxes adorned with precious stones and the intricate amber figurines—they’re truly remarkable.

Number 2: Dresden New Town (Neustadt)

Dresden New Town is the perfect destination for travelers who crave a blend of contemporary and vintage charm. This vibrant neighborhood has something for everyone, from hip street art to buzzing nightlife. When the sun goes down, the clubs, bars, and restaurants with their inviting outdoor seating areas come alive, promising an unforgettable night out.

Make sure to check out Pfund’s Dairy, a true Dresden icon since way back in 1880. It’s one of the oldest dairy shops in Europe and definitely worth a visit. And while you’re here, take a relaxed stroll around Albertplatz Square and admire the unique sculptures on display.

Number 1: Dresden Grand Garden (Palais Großer Garten) 

Make the most of your Dresden adventure with a trip to the Palace Grand Garden and Dresden Zoo. This expansive park, spanning 500 acres (2 sq km), is a favorite among families and nature enthusiasts. Its French Baroque-style design adds a touch of elegance to your outdoor experience. 

Take a stroll or rent a bike to explore its vast beauty. Inside the Grand Garden, you’ll find the Dresden Zoo, home to a diverse range of animals from around the world. Discover over 300 species and engage in exciting activities tailored for families. To maximize your visit, consider getting bundled tickets that cover both the Grand Garden and Zoo, ensuring a memorable day in Dresden.

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