Want to go to a place where monumental buildings, art, culture mingle with entertainment, pulsating live and the lightness of being that you might find only in the Tuscany City of Florence (Italy)? What about Dresden? The city where cheerful ambience meets magnificent baroque buildings and culture.
Dresden, situated on the river Elbe in the German State of Saxony is the place to go which is what we did for a couple of times. Though, before we start our documentary on Dresden, please find some basic facts on Dresden:
Dresden covers a large area, 328.5 sq km with a population of only 550,000 and ranks 12 on the list of large German cities. The City of Dresden is capital of the German State of Saxony and can also look back on a long history. The visitor can enjoy plenty of green areas, parks and woodlands, which actually cover 62 % of the urban area; besides there are nature reserve and 112 natural landmarks scattered all over the place.
In this article I give a documentary / picture story on my various travels to Dresden and I can tell you that Dresden is a city that requires your attendance.
There are many roads leading to Dresden and also different ways of doing so. Dresden actually has its own airport situated in the north of Dresden and close to the motorway A4, Dresden, Dresden Airport (DRS). Direkt flights to and from Dresden are available from Mallorca, Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC), Heraklion (HER), Amsterdam (AMS), Cologne (CGN), Stuttgart (STR) and Dusseldorf (DUS). International travellers should need an onward flight from Frankfurt or from Amsterdam.
The other, more conventional ways are, driving by car and travelling by train or by coach. Dresden main station is situated close to the city centre and most hotels are close and can easily be reachd by the traveller.
For people travelling on a tight budget it probably a good idea to travel by coach to Dresden. The downside would be that the luggage is confined to an absolut minimum. For photographers certainly quite a challenge. Several coach lines offer connections between Dresden and Cologne, Berlin, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Essen, Karlsruhe, Halle, Duisburg, Mönchengladbach, Flensburg, Klagenfurt, Baden-Baden, Kaiserslautern, Munich, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Prag, Lód´z, Kiew, Brünn, Venice Airport, Maribor, Strassbourg, Paris, Bratislava, Sarajevo, Vienna, Linz, Breslau, Budweis, Prague, Graz, Warsaw, Triest, Györ, Budapest, Kopenhagen, Ljubljana, Schauffhausen and many more. Actually, for someone wanting to tour across Europe, the coach option is indeed an option.
While staying in Dresden it is possible to do daytrips to Vienna and Prag, starting at about 0615h in the morning at the main station and back about 2200h.
This is, of course the most interesting question. It depends what you want to do in Dresden. As usual, the further away the acccommodation is from the city centre, the cheaper it is. It must be said that car parks are available in the city centre. However, if one is interested in taking home loads of holiday pictures, than maybe, a stop closer to or within the city centre might be reccommendable.
From the up-market high-priced hotels to standard accommodation, to guest houses and youth hostels, everything is available in Dresden. As usual, good planning is necessary and booking through the usual booking sites is certainly a good thing to do. Of course, for the spontaneous traveller booking upon arrival should be possible.
Actually, it is possible to travel throughout Dresden by using tram and bus. Connections to the city centre are available and, on average, there is a bus or tram going every ten minutes. Dresden people like their bikes and Dresden ownes a large network of cycle lanes; meaning exploring the city by bike is quite an option.
Having said that, car drivers can leave their cars at the hotel. The closer your stop is to the city centre, the more you can do your sightseeing by walking about town.
Besides, Dresden offers sightseeing tours to its visitors.
Of course, German is the main language. There are still people around who might speak a bit of Russian but on average hotels, restaurants, bar, pubs bistros' do manage some sort of English to keep the conversation flowing and the traveller have a good in Dresden speaking English.
The currency is EURO. No need to travel with too much cash if someone come from countries outside the EURO-zone. ATMs accept all bank cards and credit cards.
The national dialling code is 0049 or +49. The LTE net is mostly available at it is easy to telephone within Germany or to destinations abroad.
As could be expected, Dresden is a busy place with plenty of traffic, which comes across in quite a variety of different types of vehicles. Tram, bus, sightseeing double-decker bus, horse-drawn sightseeing carriage, classic cars, you name it and it is actually there. See for yourself.
The Zwinger in Dresden is a palatial complex situated next to the Semper Opera House and to the banks of the river Elbe. Without doubt the Zwinger is by far the most famous baroque palace in Dresden.
Why is the place called Zwinger? In the middle ages large defence constructions consisted of a double line of defence with a lower first wall and a higher and larger second wall. The space between both walls was called Zwinger because, in case of the enemy breaking into the first wall, the attackers wered somehow trapped between the walls and could be easily fought off. At the end of the 17th century, obviously, the old defence walls were no longer needed and the Prince Elect August the Strong of Saxony decided to use the place in a way more appropriate to support his idea of holding court. A new maison de plaisance with baroque gardens was planned.