One-Day Tour of Dresden

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Schloss Pillnitz
Schloss Pillnitz

[ source: Wikipedia]

Dresden (Dresden vacation rentals | Dresden travel guide) - a magical, beautiful city full of art and culture. Today, many Americans may think of Dresden in the context of World War II. They may have seen pictures of what the city looked like after its devastating bombing in February 1945. Inaccessible for many years behind the Iron Curtain, Dresden today is a thriving city which offers much more than can be easily seen in a day, but even a one-day tour of the Florence on the Elbe will simply make you want to come back when you have more time.

Long before World War II, Dresden was the art capital of Germany. It was home to some of the most extensive and valuable art collections anywhere in the country. Thus, a one-day tour of Dresden should begin here. After breakfast, go to the Zwinger, where you can view everything from Raphael's Sistine Madonna to priceless porcelain tea services. Although you won't have enough time to see everything contained in the four galleries at the Zwinger, you should try to see what you can in an hour and a half. From here, walk across the street and take a look at the Court Church on the edge of the Elbe River, before entering the Dresden Castle. This royal residence of the Saxon kings also contains various galleries, but with your limited time, focus on the Green Vault with its dazzling array of bejeweled and glittering artifacts.

Once you have seen enough priceless, breathtaking items, leave the castle and walk up on the Bruehl Terrace to find a place to eat lunch. This prominent terrace along the river bank will give you a wonderful view of the river and activities in this part of the Altstadt. When your lunch is over, walk over to the reconstructed Frauenkirche, the symbol of the city's splendor and its reconstruction after the war. Concerts and services are held here throughout the year.

A ride on a riverboat down the Elbe is just what you will want after all the walking you have done. You will have seen the steamers on the river from the Bruehl Terrace, so return here from the Frauenkirche and take a relaxing boat ride down the river, perhaps as far as Pillnitz, the beautiful, golden, Oriental-inspired palace south of Dresden.

By the time you return, evening will be approaching. Near the Hofkirche, you will have noticed one of Europe's most beautiful bridges, the Augustusbruecke. Although you could take the streetcar across to the New City area, I recommend a leisurely stroll across this lovely bridge. You can find wonderful restaurants here in the New City, so look around and avail yourself of them. As night falls on Dresden, find a way down to the grassy riverbank south of the bridge. Sit here for a few moments, drinking in the glittering lights of this exquisite, Baroque city. It is a view you will never forget, and the perfect way to end your one-day tour of Dresden.

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About this Article

Rachel Hildebrandt

This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.

Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: August-Böckstiegel-Straße 2, Dresden, Germany

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