It is no secret, that Dresden, in the valley of the river Elbe, belongs to the most beautiful cities in Germany. Despite that it often looses out against its bigger siblings Munich, Hamburg or Berlin. Back in the days, it gained importance in the 18th century, when most of the city’s most iconic buildings were built, like Frauenkirche (Women’s Church) or Zwinger.

In 1945 the city was bombed severly, which left most of the old town in ruins. Most buildings were re-built true to their original state, but the mix of old and new is very present. It is as if Dresden has two faces: impressive historic architecture and great museums on the one hand. A younger, hipper side on the other. No wonder this city should be on your itinerary! Here are five things you should see when you are in Dresden.

5 Things to see in Dresden Court of Elements

1. Neustadt Quarter

Although most of Dresden’s historic sights are located in the Old Town, there is a lot to see in Neustadt (New Town) on the opposite side of the river Elbe too! There you will find street art and graffitis on almost every corner. Make sure to check out Kunsthofpassage, one of Neustadt’s tucked away gems. Kunsthofpassage (Art Courtyards) is made up of five courtyards, each decorated in a different way by some of Dresden’s finest artists. My favourite is the Courtyard of Elements, particularly when it’s raining – then the pipes running down along the facade put on a spectacular show of sounds and fountains.

Neustandt is buzzing with night life as well. 150 bars, pubs and restaurants (!) make it the best place to experience Dresden by night. It is also good to know that it is no problem to find restaurants that serve breakfast until 4pm – just in case you’re game for a lazy morning!

5 Things to see in Dresden Neustadt 5 Things to see in Dresden Panometer

2. Panometer

Is there a better way to learn about crucial historical moments, than witnessing them yourself? Panometer exhibits panoramic views of Dresden inside a former gasometer. The exhibition Dresden 1945, will give you an idea of what the city looked like after the bombing.

As part of the exhibition, you climb an artificial tower (in the location of the Town Hall), which gives you an impressive 360 degrees view of the ruins – it’s a really strong experience. All around, you can read stories of several Dresden citizens and how their lives changed after the city was bombed.

5 Things to see in Dresden Procession of princess

3. The Procession of Princes

Fürstenzug (‘The Procession of Princes’) is the largest porcelain mural in the world – it consists of approximately 25,000 ceramic tiles made in the Meissen workshop. Originally, the display looked quite different, as it was an actual painting. The tile mosaic was put in place between 1904 and 1907 to preserve the artwork.

It is located on a wall at Schlossplatz square and depicts the 35 rulers of Saxony that were in power between 1127 and 1904. The mural is 101 meters long, so take plenty of time to check out all the details.

5 Things to see in Dresden Stilbruch 4

4. Stilbruch

Stilbruch is one of the Neustadt’s coolest bars, which stands out thanks to its funky interior. The pub is dedicated to surrealist artists of the 1930s and 40s – along with all their craziness! It is the only place in Dresden where you can learn how to play “golliard” – which is basically golf played on a billiard table. No idea who came up with that…

Stilbruch is particularly popular for its large variety of board games: you can borrow and play 50 different games including Monopoly and Activity. One hour of gaming costs 2 Euro. Stilbruch also frequently hosts concerts and pub quizzes.

5 Things to see in Dresden Stilbruch 3

5. The Tower of Dreikönigskirche

Dreikönigskirche (Church of the Three Kings) was built in the 18th century by George Bähr and Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann. It’s located in the Inner New City (Innere Neustadt) near Albertplatz square. The church was destroyed during the 1945 bombing and reconstructed in the old style. Even if you are not into churches that much, you should come here and climb its tower! From up there you’ll get great views over Neustadt quarter.

5 Things to see in Dresden Three kings church

As you can see, Dresden is a lot more than just the historical buildings in the Old Town – the city has a younger side as well, and I hope my list inspires you to explore this side on your next visit. Do you have any other recommendations for the city?

 

*This guest post was written by Veronika Tomanova, whose blog you can find here.
All photos by Veronika Tomanova, except Stilbruch via, Court of Elements via.
Veronika visited Dreden supported by Dresden Marketing board and took part in the #youngDresden campaign.