Dresden, Germany is one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally rich cities. From its stunning architecture to its world-class museums, Dresden is sure to enchant visitors worldwide. This guide showcases the 15 best attractions and things to do in Dresden, Germany so you can make the most of your visit. Whether you’re looking to explore Dresden’s centuries-old cultural heritage or simply soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget to share your experience with Framey App – you can post your vacation photos and be inspired by your friends’ trips!
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1) Semperoper – Things to Do in Dresden
Dresden’s renowned Semperoper is a masterpiece of German architecture and an icon of the city. The opera house was designed by Gottfried Semper in 1841 and has been standing ever since. The grand auditorium features elaborate chandeliers and intricate stucco ceilings, while the acoustics are exceptional. Here, you can attend performances of operas, ballets, and classical music, as well as explore its historic rooms. Make sure to check out the Semperoper’s restaurant and bar on the first floor, which offer a delightful atmosphere for pre-performance dinners and drinks.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Dresden, Frauenkirche is a beautiful Baroque church that was once a symbol of Protestantism in Germany. It was heavily damaged during World War II and its ruins remained for almost 60 years until it was rebuilt and reopened to the public in 2005. Its striking dome is unmistakable and its interior is adorned with golden reliefs and frescoes. Visitors can take a tour of the interior to learn about the history of the church and its importance in the city. The surrounding area is also a popular spot to admire views of the Elbe Valley and Old Town.
3) The Green Vault – Things to Do in Dresden
The Green Vault is one of Dresden’s most famous attractions. Located in the former royal palace, the Historic Royal Palace, the vault holds some of Europe’s most exquisite treasures and is one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. The museum was founded by Augustus the Strong, the elector of Saxony in 1723 and features various artifacts from different periods of art history such as Baroque, Renaissance, and Rococo styles.
Visitors to the Green Vault can admire the impressive jewelry, sculptures, clocks, and other objects from different eras. One of the highlights of the museum is the Japanese Palace, which houses a collection of more than 3,000 items from Japan including beautiful lacquer boxes and swords. The museum also houses an array of different precious stones including sapphires, diamonds, and rubies as well as a vast selection of gold pieces.
The Green Vault is open to visitors throughout the year and offers a unique experience for those interested in learning about art history and European culture.
4) Zwinger Palace
Situated in the heart of Dresden, Zwinger Palace is one of the most iconic attractions in the city. It was built between 1709 and 1732 by Augustus the Strong and is a magnificent example of Baroque architecture. Today it houses four museums, including the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Porcelain Collection, and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon.
The palace is also surrounded by stunning gardens which are open to the public, making it a great spot for a stroll. The main attraction within the palace is the inner courtyard, featuring impressive sculptures and ornate fountains. Other highlights include the Pavilion, with its iconic cupola and a golden statue of Apollo; the Semper Gallery, showcasing 18th-century paintings and sculptures; and the Pavilion Hall, an impressive hall filled with frescoes depicting the history of Saxony.
Visitors can also explore the Palace Church and its collections of rare artifacts. Zwinger Palace is a must-see for any traveler to Dresden, offering a glimpse into the city’s cultural heritage.
5) Fürstenzug – Things to Do in Dresden
The Fürstenzug, or Procession of Princes, is a spectacular mural in Dresden. It stretches along the city’s outer wall and was painted between 1871 and 1876. It’s composed of over 23,000 tiles, each one depicting a portrait of a Saxon ruler from the House of Wettin, who ruled the region for centuries. The whole mural is 102 meters long, making it the world’s longest porcelain artwork. Onlookers can stand on a bridge and take in the entire mural, or get up close to inspect each tile individually. The colors and details of the mural are incredibly vivid and make for an incredible sight.
6) Dresdner Residenzschloss
Dresdner Residenzschloss, or Dresden Royal Palace, is a beautiful palace situated in the city center of Dresden, Germany. This Baroque-style building dates back to the 16th century and was used as the home of many of Dresden’s rulers until the early 19th century.
Today, the palace serves as a museum and cultural center, where visitors can explore the history of this area and discover its rich culture. Inside, you’ll find several interesting exhibits, including The Procession of Princes, which is an impressive 60-meter-long mural that features more than 100 figures. You’ll also be able to explore the Armoury and Armoury Courtyard, with its huge selection of weapons, armor, and other war relics.
The palace gardens are particularly stunning and feature various sculptures, fountains, ponds, and terraces. They’re ideal for taking a peaceful stroll and admiring the beauty of this place.
If you’re looking for a great day out in Dresden, then make sure to visit Dresdner Residenzschloss. It’s a great way to experience the city’s fascinating past and explore one of its most iconic buildings.
7) Albertinum – Things to Do in Dresden
Located along the banks of the Elbe River in Dresden, Germany, Albertinum is an art museum and gallery that is part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. This museum is dedicated to the display and preservation of 19th and 20th-century artworks.
At Albertinum, visitors can find collections from painters such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Max Liebermann, and Emil Nolde. Additionally, there are several sculptures including works by Auguste Rodin and Ernst Barlach. The museum also houses some works from the German Expressionism movement as well as other modern art from around the world.
The museum hosts regular exhibitions and educational programs, such as lectures and workshops. Visitors can also enjoy activities like guided tours, special events, and live music performances throughout the year.
Albertinum offers something for everyone who loves art and culture. It’s an essential part of a visit to Dresden and a must-see when in the city.
8) Dresden Cathedral
Dresden Cathedral is one of the most important churches in Germany and a major attraction in Dresden. This impressive baroque church was built in the early 1700s and stands in the center of Dresden. It is the burial place of several famous Saxon rulers, including King Augustus the Strong and his son, King Augustus III.
Visitors will find a beautiful interior decorated with frescoes, sculptures, and ornate carvings. The main altar and pulpit are especially noteworthy, as is the 13th-century statue of the Virgin Mary. The cathedral also houses a library, containing many rare and ancient manuscripts.
Outside the cathedral, visitors can enjoy the wonderful views of the old town and the Elbe River. There are also several cafes and restaurants nearby, making it a great spot to grab a bite after admiring this magnificent structure.
9) Dresden Porcelain Collection – Things to Do in Dresden
If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the history of Dresden, then a visit to the Dresden Porcelain Collection is a must. Located in the Zwinger Palace, the collection contains some of the finest examples of European porcelain from the 18th century. The collection includes over 2,500 pieces, many of which have been made in the Meissen factory, Germany’s oldest porcelain manufacturer.
Visitors can explore the various types of porcelain on display, including figures, vases, and tableware. Many of the pieces have intricate details and stunning designs, making it an excellent opportunity to learn about the artistry behind porcelain production.
The Dresden Porcelain Collection also offers visitors a glimpse into the history of porcelain manufacturing in the city. There are historical artifacts such as porcelain molds and tools that were used in the 18th century for making pieces in the Meissen factory.
If you’re a fan of fine porcelain, then the Dresden Porcelain Collection is a must-see during your time in Dresden. With its detailed and exquisite pieces, this museum allows visitors to explore one of Europe’s most famous porcelain collections.
10) Pillnitz Palace & Park
The Pillnitz Palace & Park is a must-see attraction located near the Elbe River in Dresden. Originally built in 1720, this breathtaking palace was designed by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and his student, Gottfried Schulz. The palace and its gardens are an example of perfect Baroque architecture, making it a popular spot for tourists to explore. The Pillnitz Palace & Park features three main areas including the Upper Palace, the Lower Palace, and the extensive gardens.
The Upper Palace is the original part of the building, which includes several stunning rooms filled with furniture and artwork from the 18th century. The main salon and the main stairway are highlights of the palace, while the small gallery offers views of the surrounding gardens and river.
The Lower Palace was added in 1839 as an extension to the Upper Palace and was designed by Johann Friedrich Armand. It houses several museums such as the porcelain museum, the natural history museum, and the zoological museum.
Finally, the extensive gardens surrounding the palace feature a mix of French, English, and Italian styles. They include a variety of sculptures, ponds, and fountains as well as impressive flowerbeds. Visitors can explore the gardens at their leisure or take a guided tour of the area.
Overall, the Pillnitz Palace & Park is a great destination for those looking to explore one of Germany’s most iconic historical sites. The palace itself is filled with beautiful artwork and furniture from centuries past, while the gardens provide a stunning backdrop to enjoy a day outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a quick tour or a full day out, make sure you check out the Pillnitz Palace & Park!
11) Panometer – Things to Do in Dresden
Located just outside of the city center in the Leipziger Strasse, Panometer is a giant 360-degree multimedia panorama exhibition. The theme changes every year, so visitors can get an entirely new experience. In 2019, the theme was “Dresden 1945” which commemorated the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden. It featured a 20-meter-high painting and video footage that explored the events leading up to and during the bombing, as well as the resulting aftermath. The exhibition also included artifacts, sculptures, and even a life-size replica of the destroyed Frauenkirche, allowing visitors to gain a better understanding of the events that occurred in 1945. Panometer is a great place to learn about the history of Dresden and its citizens.
Kunsthofpassage is one of the most unique attractions in Dresden. It is located in the city’s Neustadt district and consists of five connected courtyards designed in different artistic styles. The entrance to the passage is marked by a whimsical clock tower that plays different tunes throughout the day.
Inside, visitors can explore an eclectic mix of art installations and sculptures, including a massive monkey swinging from the ceiling of one of the courtyards. There is also a copper fountain in the middle of the complex that was inspired by a 19th-century painting by artist Caspar David Friedrich.
The passage is home to a variety of shops and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts or just want to take in an incredible atmosphere, Kunsthofpassage is worth a visit.
13) Neustadt – Things to Do in Dresden
Neustadt is a great area to explore for both locals and visitors alike. It is the area of Dresden that stretches from the Elbe River and Dresden Neustadt station to the north and the Prager Strasse to the south. The area is known for its unique mix of modern architecture and historical sights.
The main highlight of Neustadt is undoubtedly Königstrasse, which is one of the most popular streets in Dresden. This street has been completely transformed and now features trendy cafés, restaurants, and bars. There are also some cool stores to check out, and it’s a great place to just wander around and take in the atmosphere.
Another great place to visit in Neustadt is the Kulturhof, an old courtyard complex converted into a cultural hub featuring bars, art galleries, and music venues. It’s a great spot for checking out some live music or grabbing a bite to eat.
The city’s Jewish history is also on display in Neustadt with the Jewish Cemetery, which dates back to 1786. This cemetery is still active today, and it is a great place to pay your respects and learn about Dresden’s Jewish history.
Neustadt is a vibrant area of Dresden that should be at the top of your list when you visit the city. Whether you’re looking for a great nightlife scene or want to explore some of the city’s history, there’s something for everyone in Neustadt!
14) Brühl’s Terrace
Located near the Elbe River in Dresden, Germany, Brühl’s Terrace is a stunning Baroque-style terrace known for its elaborate architecture and breathtaking views of the city. Constructed between 1739 and 1748, the terrace was named after Count Heinrich von Brühl, who served as Saxon’s Prime Minister from 1733 to 1763.
Today, visitors can admire the terrace’s impressive architecture and enjoy the picturesque views it offers. With its imposing statues, ornamental fountains, and sculptures, the terrace is one of the most popular attractions in Dresden. Additionally, visitors can explore the terrace’s gardens, which contain more than 5,000 different plants.
In addition to admiring the stunning architecture and enjoying the views, visitors can also attend special events throughout the year. From concerts to performances, there is always something going on at Brühl’s Terrace. If you’re looking for a unique place to explore while in Dresden, then Brühl’s Terrace is worth a visit!
15) Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister – Things to Do in Dresden
Located in the heart of Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Gallery) is a must-visit for any art lover. Housing the most impressive collection of German and European artwork from the 15th to 19th centuries, the gallery features works by renowned artists such as Raphael, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Dürer. Visitors can explore more than 700 works on display, with special exhibitions taking place throughout the year. There are also guided tours available in English and German, which provide an in-depth look at the artworks and their history. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for something new to explore, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Dresden, Germany is an enchanting city, full of beautiful architecture and interesting attractions. From the Semperoper to the Frauenkirche, Dresden is packed with cultural heritage that offers visitors plenty to explore and experience. The Green Vault, Zwinger Palace, Fürstenzug, Dresdner Residenzschloss, Albertinum, Dresden Cathedral, Dresden Porcelain Collection, Pillnitz Palace & Park, Panometer, Kunsthofpassage, Neustadt, Brühl’s Terrace, and Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister all provide fascinating insights into the history of the city and its people.
Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, Dresden has something for everyone. With so much to see and do in such a short space of time, it’s hard to fit everything into one trip! But don’t worry – with Framey App, you can capture your special moments and share them with your friends. Framey is the perfect way to remember your trip and be inspired by what other travelers are doing in Dresden.