FROM THE OLD...
Set off – preferably on foot – on a classic city tour of the Innere Altstadt. Here, you’ll find most of Dresden’s well-known landmarks: the Frauenkirche, Dresden Castle, the Stallhof and the Fürstenzug, a 101-metre mural depicting the history of the rulers of Saxony, the Neumarkt, the Semperoper, one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, the Zwinger, which is home to the famous Old Masters Picture Gallery and the Dresden Porcelain Collection.
...TO THE NEW(ISH)
If you cross the Augustus Bridge, you’ll find yourself in the trendy district of Neustadt, a charming combination of old and restored buildings, narrow alleys and crooked courtyards full of cafés, bars and shops that range from stylish and sophisticated to showy and extravagant. Granted, not everything here is brand new. As soon as you arrive, you’re greeted by the Golden Rider, a statue of Augustus the Strong, who was Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. It was actually Augustus and his son who built the magnificent baroque buildings and amassed the great art collections that earned Dresden the moniker of ‘Florence on the Elbe’.
Around the corner, near Königsstraße, you will find the Baroque District, which happens to be one of the most beautiful areas of the city. You can also visit the four-floor Neustädter Markthalle, regarded as the most beautiful market hall in Germany, and enjoy a modern shopping experience in a historic setting. And if you like wandering around and browsing, it’s also worth paying a visit to the Kunsthofpassage and exploring its little restaurants and craft shops, which were opened more than 20 years ago to revive the disused courtyards.
A little further east, but still strictly speaking on this side of the Elbe, you’ll find the Blue Wonder – or the Loschwitz Bridge, which has connected the affluent districts of Loschwitz and Blasewitz since 1893. When it was built, it was considered an astounding technological feat – and was named the ‘Blue Wonder’ because despite having been painted green, its colour changed to blue a few weeks later.
Funicular Railway: the Dresden Funicular Railway has been running since 1895 from Körnerplatz in the higher-lying, upmarket district of Weißer Hirsch, which not only boasts impressive architecture but also a stunning view of the city.
Suspension Railway: near Körnerplatz, you’ll also find the lower station of the world’s oldest suspension railway, which has been transporting passengers on a four-and-a-half-minute ride up to the upper station ‘Schönen Aussicht’ since 1901.
Trabi Safari: want to jet through Dresden behind the wheel of a Trabant on a nostalgic city tour? Then step on it – click here to find out more!
Want to look at a brilliant view of the city from above? Here’s just a few of the panoramic views Dresden has to offer:
Tower of the Frauenkirche: the classic option, at 67 metres high
Tower of the Dreikönigskirche, 87 metres with a view of the opposite bank of the Elbe
Tower of the Kreuzkirche, which has already been destroyed five times, 92 metres