Described as the “Florence of the North,” the picturesque city of Dresden boasts stunning architecture, a host of world-class museums and the stylish bars, inviting restaurants and bohemian cafes you would expect to find in any bustling commercial centre. The fascinating blend of flavours found in this sprawling metropolis stems from its emergence as a thriving cultural hub at the turn of the 20th century and its creative lure continues to attract and inspire artists, poets, writers and philosophers to this day.
Explore the quaint alleyways and discover the impressive baroque structures that influenced the writings of the Romantic Movement in the latter half of the 18th Century and hang out in the quaint traditional bars once frequented by the likes of Goethe, Schiller and Kleist. The art world has also had an intimate association with Dresden and is reflected in the College of Fine Arts which dates back to the 17th Century. Admire the impressive collections of classical works in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden together with around twenty five private galleries featuring a thriving scene of contemporary art.
Even today, Dresden has not lost touch with its affection for the arts and each year plays host to several important festivals, the most famous of which is the Dresden Music Festival, the largest of its kind in Germany. Dresden is also the setting for the International Film festival celebrating documentaries, short films and animation. The influence of the film festival in Dresden carries so much weight it goes a long way to promoting artists that are largely neglected by cinemas and television networks.
Dresden was virtually flattened during the Second World War, but in the latter half of the 20th century and well into the turn of the Millennium it has been restored to its former glory. Its iconic buildings include the spectacular Zwinger and the Hofkirche, but the jewel in Dresden’s crown is undoubtedly the exquisite Frauenkirche, a potent symbol representing the determination shown by the city folk after the inexplicable destruction caused by Allied forces.
There are no shortage of places to eat in Dresden with a plethora of bars, restaurants and cafés offering sumptuous meals at very reasonable prices. If you are not enamoured by German cuisine there are plenty of recipes from all around the world to tempt your appetite and of course, delicious German ales are on tap just about everywhere you go.
Travelling to Dresden by Ferry
Although Germany does have some coastline, Dresden is a long way away from it, it’s actually the most eastern of all Germany’s major cities and is closer to Poland and the Czech Republic that it any other major German city.
Taking the ferry Dresden will inevitably require some driving or a train journey and since there is no ferries to Germany from the UK, you’ll more than likely need to go via Holland, Denmark, Belgium or France. There is no direct trains to Dresden from any of the ports, though you’ll get from Amsterdam with just one change.