15 Places And Things To Do In Dresden

Dresden, the capital city of Saxony in Germany, is a popular tourist destination with a rich cultural history and a thriving arts scene. The city’s stunning Baroque architecture, magnificent museums, and beautiful parks make it a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world. Here are 15 top-rated tourist attractions in Dresden that you won’t want to miss.

1. Dresden Frauenkirche

Frauenkirche Dresden

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This iconic church was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in the 1990s. Its impressive dome and intricate interior decoration make it a must-see attraction in Dresden.

2. Dresden Royal Palace and Museums

The Royal Palace Dresden

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It should be this and the Frauenkirche if you only have time to see one item in Dresden. The Dresden State Art Collection, located inside the Dresden Royal Palace, is one of Europe’s wealthiest and likely oldest public museums (although the Vatican contests this). It is also one of its most cutting-edge and forward-thinking in terms of how it presents and interprets its masterpieces for visitors.

3. Zwinger and Old Masters Picture Gallery

Zwinger and Old Masters Gallery, R, Dresden, summer, german cities, Europe, Germany, HD wallpaper | Peakpx

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This stunning Baroque palace was built in the 18th century and is home to some of the city’s most impressive museums. The palace features a beautiful courtyard and gardens, as well as a collection of porcelain and other fine art.

4. Semper Opera and Theaterplatz

Contact - Semperoper Dresden

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This historic opera house was built in the 19th century and has hosted some of the world’s most famous operas and ballets. Its ornate interior and beautiful facade make it a popular tourist attraction..

5. The Great Garden and Zoo

Grosser Garten Dresden - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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The lovely Great Garden (Großer Garten) was laid out in the French Baroque style beginning in 1676 and has been open to the public since 1814. TheSommerpalais, built between 1678 and 1683, is one of the earliest Baroque palaces in Germany. Also in the park are the Dresden Zoo and the Dresden Botanical Garden, where more than 10,000 species are arranged geographically for a world tour of plant life.

6. Stroll along Brühl’s Terrace

Brühls Terrace and Dresden Fortress | Landeshauptstadt Dresden

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No trip to Dresden is complete without a stroll along Brühl’s Terrace, or Brühlsche Terrasse, also known as the “Balcony of Europe.” This beautiful terrace overlooks the Elbe River and offers stunning views of the city. It is known as the “Balcony of Europe” and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

7. Pillnitz Palace and Gardens

Pillnitz Palace and Park | Landeshauptstadt Dresden

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This beautiful palace and park complex is located just outside of Dresden and features stunning gardens and architecture. It is a popular spot for picnics and walks.

8. Dresden Kulturpalast

Kulturpalast in Dresden / gmp Architects | ArchDaily

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The pride of GDR architecture when it opened in 1969 as a “House of Socialist Culture” during the Soviet era, the Dresden Kulturpalast was given new life in a complete redesign of its interior as a state-of-the-art home for the Dresden Philharmonic. After some controversy, its overtly Soviet exterior mural “The Red Flag” and the wall fresco “Our Socialist Life” were retained, a rare glimpse of GDR Dresden.

9. The Georgentor and the Procession of Princes

The Georgentor and the Procession of Princes

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This stunning mural depicts the rulers of Saxony on horseback and is made up of over 25,000 porcelain tiles. It is one of the largest porcelain murals in the world and is a must-see attraction in Dresden.

10. The Japanese Palace and the Golden Horseman

Golden Horseman in Innere Neustadt, Dresden, Deutschland | Sygic Travel

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In the Neustädter Markt, across the river in Dresden Neustadt (the city’s newer district) is the statue of Augustus the Strong in the pose of a Caesar, wearing Roman armor and seated on a horse. Made in 1736, it’s commonly known as the Golden Horseman and is one of the city’s most popular landmarks. It sits at the beginning of a long Hauptstrasse, a wide boulevard with a tree-lined promenade at its center, a popular place for an evening stroll.

11. Albertinum

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This beautiful museum features collections of modern art, including works by famous artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh. It is a great place to see some of the city’s best modern art.

12. Cruise the Elbe on a Paddlewheeler

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The Elbe flows through the center of Dresden, and along its shore, under Brühl’s Terrace, are moored a fleet of paddlewheel steamships and other excursion boats of the Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt, Saxon Steamship Company. Cruises range from 90-minute tours of the city and its surroundings, to longer trips that take you beneath the dramatic rock towers of Saxon Switzerland.

13. Hike in Saxon Switzerland

A Guide to Exploring Saxon Switzerland National Park

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A favorite day trip from Dresden is to Saxon Switzerland National Park (Sächsische Schweiz), only 30 kilometers southeast of Dresden, a wild landscape of soaring limestone pillars, with views straight down to the Elbe. Walking trails form a network throughout the park, with paths for all levels of energy, and since 1898, a little tram has carried tourists between the village of Bad Schandau and the waterfall at Lichtenhain.

14. Take a Day Trip to Meissen


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Only 30 kilometers to the west and easy to reach on a day trip from Dresden, Meissen was once the seat of the long-reigning Wettin dynasty. They made their home in the Albrechtsburg Castle, which towers above the town and river atop a high hill (the climb through narrow lanes is picturesque but steep – you can avoid it by riding the funicular).

15. Dresden Transport Museum

Transport Museum Dresden (Dresden) - Visitor Information & Reviews

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The Transport Museum, or Verkehrsmuseum, is located in the Johanneum, one of Dresden’s older structures. Exciting exhibitions feature historical vehicles such as aeroplanes, steam engines, autos, motorcycles, and boats. The navigation exhibition examines 1,000 years of nautical history, its technology, and the people who lived and worked on the rivers and seas. It is accessed through a stylised ship’s hull.