Dresden is my favourite city in Germany.
The capital of Saxony, Dresden is known as the ‘Florence of the Elbe’ for its beautiful architecture and iconic skyline. But there’s much more to the city than just good looks…
Prepare to fall in love with Germany’s best city.
Ok, so let’s start with the obvious: Dresden’s Altstadt (Old Town). Pretty nice, right?
In fact, pretty nice from any angle, really.
Any angle at all.
But hang on – what’s that church-y thing in the distance?
Oh this? This is just the Frauenkirche.
Not bad, right?
Of course, this church was entirely destroyed during the bombing of Dresden in World War II (along with 90+% of the city centre) and reconstruction was only completed in 2005.
In fact, in 1990, the Frauenkirche looked like this.
Come to think of it, most of Dresden’s old town has been entirely rebuilt since 1945. Below is the Residenzschloss, a former castle.
In 1990, the Residenzschloss looked like this.
The Zwinger, a former palace for the Saxon court, was also rebuilt. Today it looks like this.
But luckily, it’s not hard to imagine what the city looked like back in its heyday…
So is there more to Dresden than just history?
Over in the Neustadt (‘New Town’, though it’s actually now older than the old town), you can find the city’s alternative side.
Check out, for instance, the Kunsthofpassage, a small artistic area filled with murals and public art.
…or the incredibly bohemian Alaunstrasse, the heart of Dresden’s hipster district.
On this street you’ll find Katy’s Garage, one of Dresden’s coolest bars.
The Neustadt has its own annual festival: the Bunte Republik Neustadt (‘the colourful Republic of Neustadt’) to commemorate its tongue-in-cheek declaration of independence during the German reunification.
This is the country’s flag.
But of course, Dresden’s miraculous recovery isn’t over yet. The city is still a work in progress and a little rough around the edges…
…but that’s part of what makes it so great.
Check out my top 10 reasons to visit Saxony here.