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Dresden

4.3 /5 24 votes

Weather:

Best Time: May - October Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Dresden Check Flights

"Dresden - Baroque Splendour on the Elbe"

Dresden Tourism

After decades of postwar reconstruction, the city has restored its classic baroque skyline while also adding newly renovated museums, edgy architecture, and innovative restaurants. Music, food, porcelain, the 'world's most beautiful dairy' and the Blue Wonder, the Saxon capital is packed with a punch.

Many would say Dresden was devastated after World War II, with no hope at recovery, so much so that levelling out the war torn city was considered. But Dresden resurrected, like a Phoenix from its own ashes. Particularly during the last decade, since the end of the Cold War, Saxony's historic capital has been meticulously restored. The 'Baroque Florence' might not exist anymore, but what remains is enough to stand witness to Dresden's once stature. A first class Opera House, some of the finest collection of Renaissance art and even some sublime baroque architecture, the city still remains East Germany's pride. Dresden is an intermingling of the past, present and future - an eclectic mix of art, culture, history, tradition as well as technology. The Frauenkirche and the Zwinger stand on the banks of Elbe in perfect harmony with Volkswagen's Die Glaserne Manufaktur. For over centuries, Dresden has been renowned for its music. It is not only the Opera House that captivates the audience, but there is the State Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Kreuzchor boys' choir. The city is host to a plethora of international festivals, theatre and dance productions and the very popular Semper Opera Ball, all year round. Synonymous to the music scene here is the Jazz form, the Dixieland Festival being Europe's oldest and biggest Jazz festivals, reverberates through the city during May. Dresden is a treat all year round. In the winter month of December, when the Elbe is frozen, the snow covered city prepares to make merry in the Striezelmarkt, Germany's oldest and gorgeous Christmas market. If three words had to be chosen for the city - an exceptional travel experience!

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Currency in Dresden

Credit Cards, although acceptable, do not have widespread acceptability. The use of Cash Cards, which are similar to Debit Cards is more prevalent here. Traveler cheques are seldom used in Germany and often incur hefty service fees. Carrying Euros in smaller denominations is always advisable, since change is not easily tendered.

Exchanging Money in Dresden

Exchanging other currency for Euros in banks is usually difficult and a time consuming process. Reisebank, a bank for travelers permits easy instanteous exchange. Exchange bureaus are located only in the airport and stations. ATMs are the most economical ways to exchange currency given the additional fees on each transaction is lower.

Religion of Dresden

Christianity

Dresden Customs

Shaking hands is customary, and it is considered rude to address people by their first name unless invited to do so. Normal courtesies should be observed. Before eating, say –guten Appetit” to the other people at the table. If youêve been invited to dine at a German house, it is customary to present the hostess with an uneven number of unwrapped flowers. In shops, courtesy dictates that visitors should use greeting such as –guten tag” before asking for what they want; don't leave without saying –auf wiedersehen” or –tschôss”. Similarly, when making a telephone call, it is impolite to ask for the person you want to speak to without stating first who you are. Casual attire is widely acceptable, but more formal wear is required for some restaurants, the opera, theatre, casinos and important social functions. Try not to dress sloppy in such places.

Language of Dresden

German Hi - Hello Danke - Thank You Bitte - Please Ich spreche kein Deutsch - I don't speak German

History of Dresden

Founded on the site of a Slavonic fishing village as a merchants' settlement, the city was then known as Drezdzany (Forest Dwellers on the Plain) and only on the north bank of Elbe. Eventually the German town that blossomed on the south bank, became a part of Dresden. The seat of the local rulers - King of Bohemia to the Margraves of Brandenburg and then the Margraves of Meissen. After the division of Saxony in 1485 Dresden became the capital of of the Albertine line of Wettin rulers, later electors and kings of Saxony. Devastated by fire in a few years time, the city was rebuilt and fortified thereafter. The 17th and 18th century, saw the flourish of Baroque and Rococo architecture under the reign of Augustus I and II. In 1813 Napoleon made the town a centre of military operations. Dresden prospered rapidly over the 19th century, accelerated by completion of railways and growth of industrial suburbs. Known as the "Florence on the Elbe", the capital city was considered one of the world's most beautiful cities owing to its architecture and art. However, during the World War II, the massive bombings by the Allied Forces almost obliterated most of the city. Extensive restoration and renovation was taken up subsequently, to preserve the character of the old city as far as possible. Post war Dresden was a hub for manufacturing, with the European porcelain industry emerging from here.

Nightlife in Dresden

Dresden is Saxony's cultural centre, hence there is no dearth of nightlife options. If you are looking for classical concerts, rocks shows, dancing or just a good old pub, Dresden has it all. Downtown and Groovestation in Katharinenstrasse are Dresden's every 20 somethings go to dance club. Friday and Saturday witness the highest footfall, while Mondays are gay and lesbian nights. Clubs open at 9 till 'everybody leaves'! Projekttheater Dresden, has live jazz nights from Tuesday to Sunday. Las Tapas, modelled like a wine tavern, brings alive the Spanish tapas experience with finger food displayed behind the glass. Kunsthof, in an Alaunstrasse is crowded with hip cafes, pubs and restaurants, some of the city's best. So if you want to go pub crawling you know your destination.

Shopping in Dresden

Dresden is not all art and culture only, shopping in the Saxon capital will leave you spoilt for choice. Alstadt - Prager Strasse is one of the best shopping halts, in Germany for that matter, with a diverse range of retail outlets selling confectionary to fashion and everything in between. Top quality shopping experience continues even as the Prager Strasse ends, the Altmarkt Galerie is a four level shopping centre with over 200 retail outlets including international labels. The Altmarkt Square itself is lined by smaller boutiques. The Striezelmarkt , Germany's oldest Christmas market is a perennial attraction for locals and tourists alike. You can venture ahead to the Seestrasse and Wilsdruffer Stra_e as well. Neustadt - The most striking feature of the New Town is the Kunsthofpassage, a labyrinth of small alleys and courtyards, with quaint shops in vivid hues, awaiting visitors. The Pfund Dairy shop is located here. Do not miss the Elbe Flea Market if you are in the city during the weekend. On the banks of Elbe, farmers and locals bring together their produce for a true Dresdener experience. And ofcourse, you cannot go home without some porcelain beauties!

Restaurants and Local Food in Dresden

Dresden has something for diners of all palates and pockets. Cuisines served are from around the globe - Far East to typical Saxon specialities. Neustadt is home to speciality restaurants serving European, Italian, Meditarranean, Turkish and so much more! Dresden cuisine has a tinge of Bohemian influence, owing to the physical location of the city. Meat, particularly in the form of pork and sometimes poultry along with a whole lot of vegetables constitute essential Saxony cuisine. The meat is usually well marinated with vinegar and spices, so that it retains a certain aroma. Saxon Sauerbraten, is a regional speciality, beef braised after marination. Most of the main course meat dishes are served with sides of potato or bread dumplings. Assortment of cabbage like red cabbage, sauerkrat are also served. Pork sausages, wurst, are the ever popular fast food as well as wholesome meal options. Curry & Co, is one of the most sought after currywurst establishment, with their own home made sauces. The Kartoffelsupp, a delicious thick creamy potato soup usually served with shrimps is a must try. Desserts in Saxony are not the usual chocolate or fresh fruit based fare, rather they are quite unique. Dresdner Stollen, a rich sweet cake filled with fruits and nuts and topped with icing sugar hails from this region, but has worldwide acclaim. The Eierschnecke is a 3 layer cake with a Vanilla Quark filling, while the Quarkkeulchen, are sweet flat dumplings of potato and quark, topped with cinnamon sugar and apple sauce. The tradition of kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) originated in Saxony and you must savour some in the Dresden cafes. Germany is the land of beer. Each region brews their own special beer and every city will have atleast one local beer. Dresden boasts of Radeberger, Feldschl_sschenâ and Freiberger.
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