Dresden is not particularly well known among the tourist trail of European cities, but it definitely should be on your list. With gorgeous baroque stylings, delicious food and incredible national parks to explore, there’s enough to fill 48 hours and then some! So dust your sneakers off, get your snacks ready and open your camera because you’ll be scrolling through photos of Dresden long after you’ve left.
Bratwurst & Brekkie
Let’s get right to the business end of things because I don’t want you getting hangry on me. If you haven’t yet sampled some genuine German cuisine, never fear! Head first to Curry & Co for some on-the-go sausage and fries or alternatively grab brekkie at Plan Wirtschaft and its sumptuous buffet. If you get there before the crowds you may even snag a seat in the backyard! For those herbivores out there who still want to try some German staples, head to Falscher Hase for some vegan pasta, hearty veggie stews and soy burgers.
Adventure time! Head out using public transport to the Saxon Switzerland National Park for the quickest way to fill up your photo stream and breathe in some fresh air. If you’ve been hitting the major cities, be prepared to stretch your legs and hit the Bastei Bridge… an incredible structure connecting towering sandstone plinths and allowing perfect panoramas.
From different spots within the park you have options to be over/beside or even IN the Elbe River! The sheer magnificence of the wilderness here will have you gasping and reaching for your phone for the next ‘gram. Make sure you take your passport, as some areas actually cross over into the Czech Republic – the Pravcicka Gate is particularly impressive and weighs in with the title of largest sandstone arch in Europe!
Dresden is known as the Jewel Box of Europe and you’re about to find out why. It’s a city that is often remembered for the allied bombings that flattened it in 1945 during WW2, however the rebuilding is just as significant. The most symbolic rebuild happened right in the centre of the old town with the Frauenkirche. Left as rubble for 50 years under the East German Government, the church was finally completed in 2005 after the reunification of Germany with assistance from international organisations.
Let’s get to the bling… the Green Vault! Inside the Dresden Castle lies Grunes Gewolbe where the treasures of Europe reside. Gemstones, ivory, gold, amber, diamonds, rock crystals! Basically all that is intricate, beautiful and expensive. If you’re all about that luxe life, it’s definitely something to check out. Another building to explore is the Zwinger; some galleries and courtyards are free but if you want to see big guns such as Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyck and Botticelli, you’ll have to fork out an extra €10.
After all that urban and into the wild exploring, you’ll be looking for a place to relax and sample some of the local beer. Luckily there are some garden bars a quick walk away from the recommended Hostel Mondpalast. Kick back in Louisengarten with some local drops and even grilled meats to tide you over. This bohemian style relaxed outdoor atmosphere is perfect in the mild summer afternoons. To crack on, have a wander to Katy’s Garage for more of the chill vibes. As the name suggests, there’s old car parts lying about, appropriately named drinks and a space that acts as a garden bar/cinema/night club/eatery all in one!