Kempinski Blog Article
There are few cities in Germany as culturally or architecturally striking as Dresden. Located in the state of Saxony on the banks of the beautiful River Elbe, the city is a marvel, and a place that is perfectly suited to the wants and needs of a wide range of visitors. If you're looking to enjoy an exceptional city break, Dresden is an excellent place to do so.
Despite the heavy damage endured during the bombing of 1945, Dresden's aesthetic beauty has remained – a true testament to the inhabitants' amazing restoration efforts. Across the length and breadth of the city, visitors are met by an exceptional view of the many domes and rooftops that sit atop the elegant baroque structures, many of which are covered in a characteristic layer of bright green patina.
Dresden's baroque architecture and ancient, winding streets are complimented and made all the more special by the grand boulevards and squares found across the city, and even more so by the communist structures that date back to the German Democratic Republic.
If you are not so swayed by architectural marvels, there is no need to worry: Dresden has devoted vast areas to nature, be it carefully curated, as is the case with the Großer Garten, or left wild, as in the massive Dresden Heath. The city is also home to all varieties of bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
Food that is just as exquisite as the surroundings can easily be found in Dresden, which could certainly be considered a paradise for lovers of German and European dishes.
If you are looking for Michelin-starred dishes that don't have the accompanying price tag, the Restaurant Genuss-Atelier is a perfect choice. Located slightly outside of the main city, but easily accessible via the 11 tram, this exceptional, family-owned eatery provides amazing meals and wines that simply cannot be experienced elsewhere. Be sure to book in advance, however.
For fresh, impeccably German dishes, the Restaurant Daniel should certainly be sampled. Family-owned and only serving foods that are in-season, the menu and cavern-like surrounds may be small, but the quality of the dishes is superb.
Looking for more international flavours? The minimalist Little India serves some of the best Asian food in the city (and for a very low price), and the Restaurant Stresa has a menu containing some of the best Mediterranean meals around.
There are a huge number and variety of sights to see in Dresden – here are some of the most unmissable.
Destroyed in the 1945 bombings, the original 1743 Lutheran church was absent from maps until 2005, when it was rebuilt and re-opened to the public after a 15-year reconstruction effort. The baroque structure is effortlessly beautiful, crafted with 4,000 of the original building's bricks, hosting a large number of concerts and events throughout the year.
The Zwinger and Semper Building
If you swoon over Baroque architecture, visit the Zwinger and Semper Building – together one of the most beautiful spaces in Germany. Grand structures, housing some of Germany's best sculptures, artworks, scientific instruments and porcelain make this a wonderful must-visit.
The pretty verges, grand statues and manicured flowerbeds of Dresden's Theaterplatz public square are definitely beautiful, yet pale in comparison to the surrounding buildings. The awesome Semperoper opera house and the Taschenbergpalais – a palace dating back to 1711 – can be found there, allowing visitors to spend a sunny afternoon in the shadows of Dresden's epic baroque past.
There are few cities in the world that can claim to border a protected forest, and Dresden is one of them. The city's Heath is 61km² in size, featuring a mixture of forests, glades, plains and tracks – perfect for a day spent rambling or cycling – that stretch from close to the city centre, out to the farmlands to the city's northwest.
Easy to visit from practically all European locations, visitors to Dresden can arrive via Dresden Klotzsche Airport, located in the north of the city. A host of destinations - from London to Moscow – are connected to the airport, and most large German cities are similarly linked by Germanwings, Air Berlin, Lufthansa and KLM.
In terms of trains, travellers can use the Dresden Neustadt and Dresden Hauptbahnhof stations, located on the northern and southern sides of the Elbe respectively. Trains run across the rest of Germany, as well as to Prague, Wroclaw and Budapest. Within the city, the tram service is particularly useful, bolstered by buses and taxis, although hiring a bicycle is also a good choice – prices with sz-bike are as low as €1 per hour, or €9 per day.
A trip to the city would not be complete without an accompanying stay at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden, one of the city's finest retreats. Housed in the restored 18th century palace, visitors can enjoy delicious meals at the hotel's five restaurants, before enjoying a fine cocktail in the renowned Karl May Bar.