Dresden, in eastern Germany, has a name synonymous with fine china and porcelain. With its buildings destroyed during WWII, it has transformed itself into an elegant city with open plazas and buildings reconstructed in classical styles and in Baroque fashion. Visitors can travel by train to Dresden from Berlin in 1h46mins, although the average journey time is 3h09mins. From Leipzig, a train journey to Dresden would take 1h06mins on the Inter-City service. The largest passenger station here is Dresden Hauptbahnhof and visitors arriving at this station by train should head north to visit the Old Town. That is where many of Dresden’s most popular sights are situated, and getting there involves just a 24-minute walk from the train station via Prager Straße.
The first stop for many is the lovely Frauenkirche, a church that has been rebuilt as a war memorial. From its dome, visitors can admire panoramic views of the city. A 12-minute walk west from there, via Augustusstraße, brings visitors to Theaterstraße, where many of the city’s most-visited sites are clustered together. These include the Residenzschloss, which is the castle or royal palace that was the place of residence for Saxony kings for 400 years! Just behind it, the Zwinger, a Rococo-style palace, sits proudly as a vast complex of buildings with extensive formal gardens. The most popular exhibition here is the classical art gallery, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, which has a collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, as well as important Dutch and Flemish pieces.
Just behind the Zwinger, the gardens of the Semperoper concert hall are a lovely place to take a break and enjoy watching the world go by. When hunger calls, heading back to the Old Town, around the Theaterstraße, is a good bet. There are plenty of restaurants, bistros and bars for visitors to sample Saxony cuisine specialties, with many dishes based on crab, or other meats, with a variety of rich sauces. Saxony also has a huge beer tradition, and those visiting the city should not miss trying the Radeberger and Wernesgrüner beers of the region. These delicious beverages are sure to delight anyone stopping for a tipple in Dresden!