Dreamy Dresden, with its magnificent position along the Elbe River, is one of the most breathtaking cities in the region but sadly heavily destroyed during the war. It’s been lovingly re-built which creates an almost movie-like effect as ancient Baroque buildings are actually much younger than they seem. With so much to see, and experience here, the city oozes in culinary, classical and contemporary culture and you’ll be hard pressed to cover it all in a weekend visit.
Schlössernacht Dresden at Albrechtsberg Castle
Along the banks of the Elbe lies a collection of castles including the most famous, Albrechtsberg Castle. These grand buildings with incredible views and well-manicured gardens came alive during my summer visit thanks to the annual event, Schlössernacht Dresden.
The evening which takes place in the grounds of these castles sees musicians, performers, fireworks and plenty of fine wines and snacks lapped up by the residents all looking rather dapper. It was a magical evening as the sunset, and if you can time your visit to include this, I suggest you do.
In a similar vein, many other events were happing throughout the city during my visit including Filmnächte am Elbufer Schaubudensomme, where movies are shown outside along the river before an evening of dancing and entertainment unfolds and the more modern performances in the new town.
Albrechtsberg Castle with the fireworks
Dresden Old Town
The Old Town of Dresden was tragically damaged in the war but thanks to an ongoing restoration process these beautiful Baroque buildings, and there are many of them, are being restored to their former glory. A few must-visits include:
One of the first landmarks in the city, Dresden Cathedral is right in the heart of the historic city and was constructed from 1738. The restoration took two tries after WWII, and in the 20th-century the bridge linking it to the castle was finally restored.
This truly beautiful building which sits alongside Zinger and has its home in the Theatre Square opened to the public in 1841 with a blend of Renaissance and classical styles. With a fire damaging the building heavily less than 20 years later, and then WWII seeing its near destruction, the building has gone through various reconstruction but yet is still regarded as one of Europes most spectacular opera houses.
Dresden by night
This insanely sized Baroque building which houses a giant courtyard, galleries, masterpieces and intricate architecture is one of the absolute must visit in Dresden.
Even just strolling past the fountains inside the courtyard gives you an idea of the scale and number of views inside but if you venture into the gallery spaces you’ll be wowed even further by the world-famous collections.
Perhaps now the most famous building in Dresden, The Frauenkirche with it’s immaculate white and gold interiors, huge dome and incredible views from the tower sits right in the heart of the main square and can be seen from all over the city.
The Dome is perhaps the most famous part and was constructed initially in the 18th century before being damaged in WWII. Thankfully reconstruction took place as the church is probably one of the best pieces of architecture I visited in Germany and although there is a cost attached to see the dome and views from the tower, it’s money well spent in my opinion.
It’s also worth heading out of the city and along the river to Dresden-Loschwitz where some of the oldest, and prettiest houses in the region live. Here you can also get fantastic views of the Elbe and city by taking the historic funicular up the hill.