As the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, Dresen is an ancient German town with enough culture and legend to keep explorers busy for days.
Once known as the Jewel Box, the capital of the Free State of Saxony is located near the Czech Republic border. Its baroque and rococo city centre buildings make it aesthetically pleasing, with its wartime past adding to the antiquity of the place.
Although the majority of the city centre was destroyed in WWII, a massive restoration project has helped reclaim Dresden’s many treasures, helping forge a city of educational, political and cultural significance.
Forget the party towns of Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg, gay travellers will be pleasantly surprised with the small but impressive Dresden gay scene.
The annual Dresden Gay Pride (CSD) takes place towards the end of May – one of the earlier pride events in Europe – and is growing in popularity each year.
Dresden Airport is served by plenty of domestic routes and some international flights too, including direct connections to Switzerland, Russia and the UK. Fly into Frankfurt or Munich and catch a domestic connection if you’re travelling from further afield. A local bus will bring you into the city centre.
Dresden is an important railway junction for German trains, meaning you can connect to Dresden from most German cities. There are also direct connections to international cities including Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.
Inter-city trains are well-run in Dresden, as is the large tramway operated by Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG/DVB, which operates 12 routes. There are also 29 bus routes running across the city.
Buy the Dresden-City-Card or the Dresden-Regio-Card to use on public transport. Bonus: the card also gives you free admission to selected museums and reductions on other attractions. Prices start €10 per day.
There are several accommodation options available in Dresden, from cosy B&Bs to luxury hotels. For ease of travel, opt for a city centre location. To wake up to spectacular landscapes, opt for a hotel on the outskirts of the centre.
Book affordable hotels through our Gay Dresden Hotels page.
Frauenkirche and Neumarkt Square – the symbol of old Dresden, the stunning Frauenkirche Protestant church and surrounding square is a masterpeice in restoration.
Originally built in the 18th century but destroyed during WWII, it took over 50 years to restore, finishing in 2005. The steeple on top of the church is now an iconic landmark of Dresden’s skyline, a memory of old and new.
Royal Palace – this Renaissance building constructed in the 15th century represents the power and authority of the Saxon electoral princes and kings of yesteryear. Recently restored, the Palace is now home to several world-class museums and splendid rooms. Closed Tuesdays.
Procession of Princes – behind the Royal Palace lies this breathtaking mural. Stretching an impressive 101-metres, the Meissen porcelain tiles depict the rulers of the House of Wettin in a mounted procession. Free.
Sanctissimae Trinitatis Cathedral – another spectacular religious building, the Catholic Court Church is Saxony’s largest ecclesiastical building; a fine example of Baroque architecture.
Pfunds Dairy – described as the “most beautiful dairy shop in the world”, this quaint building still serves delicious delicacies amidst the hand-painted majolica tiles that decorate the walls, floor and sales counter.
Golden Horseman – Dresden’s most famous statue, the Statue of Augustus the Strong glistens as the sun shines off from the gold leaf exterior. Located near the Palace.
The Garden City of Hellerau – for a trip outside the city centre, visit Hellerau, Germany’s first ‘garden city’. Established more than 100 years ago, the trees and flowers are still blooming here. Great place to come for a day out.
The weather in Dresden is typical of most European cities; it’s warm and sunny in the summer months of June, July and August, and cold during the winter. February, March and April are often cool and dry, and are usually the cheaper times to visit the city.
From early May for one month, Dresden hosts a massive music festival, featuring local and international artists. Always a big draw. Dresden Jazz Days in mid-November is another popular music festival.
Germany is famed for its Christmas markets, and Dresden perhaps offers one of the best, for the Striezelmarkt is Germany’s oldest Christmas market, celebrating its 581st anniversary in 2015.
Germany is within the European Schengen visa area. If travelling from outside Europe, check to see if you require a Schengen visa.
Germany is a member of the Eurozone. Cash dispensers are widely available. You may be asked for photo ID if paying with a credit or debit card in a shop
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