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25+ Best Things to Do in Dresden in 2 Days: Itinerary + Guide

So you’re planning a trip to Germany and wondering about visiting Dresden.

Great choice!

Nestled on the banks of the Elbe River, Dresden is a beautiful city in Europe, packed with amazing museums and gorgeous Baroque buildings.

Now, what if you only have 2 days in Dresden?

Is that enough time to do the city justice? What are the best things to do in Dresden in 2 days?

Read on! We’ve visited Dresden and we’ve got you covered with our itinerary below.

There are many beautiful places to see in Dresden in 2 days!
There are many beautiful places in Dresden to see!

2 Days in Dresden, Germany

Dresden 2-day itinerary

Is 2 days in Dresden enough?

Bombing of Dresden

So, is Dresden worth visiting?

Day 1: Castles, Museums, Churches and the Old Town

Morning of Day 1

Dresden Castle

Historic Green Vault

New Green Vault

Procession of Princes

Afternoon of Day 1

Semperoper

Zwinger Palace

Frauenkirche

Dresden Cathedral

Dresden Altstadt (Old Town)

Shops in Dresden

Bruhl’s Terrace

Dinner and nightlife in Dresden

Sophienkeller

Genus-Atelier

Dresden nightlife

Day 2: Bicycling and Beer

Bicycling the Elbe Cycle Path

Radeberger Brewery

Other attractions and top things to do in Dresden

Albertinum

Pillnitz Palace

Kunsthofpassage

3 More museums

Pfunds Molkerei

Dresden Christmas Market

Dresden hotels

Where to Stay in Dresden

More Dresden visitor information

Guided Dresden tours

Dresden in 2 days: Enough time?

There are lots of beautiful buildings in Dresden, Germany.
You’ll find beautiful buildings galore in Dresden

How many days in Dresden should you stay? Is a couple of days enough to visit all the must-see sights?

Short answer, yes.

Consider that two days in Dresden doesn’t actually mean just 48 hours in Dresden.

It really means a three-night stay in Dresden (with travel on either side) – at least the way we calculate trip time.

And in this time-span you can see all the best places to visit in Dresden quite comfortably. 

You probably want to see other top cities in Germany too, right? For sure, you should include a visit to Berlin (one day at least!) in your Germany itinerary.

There are interesting things to do in Bonn too (like visiting Beethoven’s house). And you don’t want to miss the spa town of Baden-Baden and bathing at the Friedrichsbad.

And maybe you also want to go to Munich (3 days)?

So you have to be practical about budgeting your holiday time.

Colorful buildings in Dresden, Germany
Yes, you can hit the major highlights of Dresden in two days!

Not to worry though.

It will be a busy (though exhilarating) Dresden visit. But as we’ve hinted at, you can certainly experience the best of Dresden in 2 days.

Here’s our guide on what to do in Dresden in 48 hours.

You can adapt it if time is short and you only have one day in Dresden.

And if you can spend 3 days in Dresden, so much the better! (See the additional fun things to do in Dresden at the end of our 2-day Dresden itinerary.)

Beautiful Baroque architecture in Dresden, Germany
Dresden is famous for its old-new Baroque buildings

Dresden bombing

First, before we get into the top Dresden activities, let’s wind the clock back to 1945 so you can put the city in perspective.

The capital of the state of Saxony, Dresden is located in eastern Germany (close to the city of Leipzig).

You probably know that near the end of WWII, Dresden was virtually reduced to rubble by an Allied fire-bombing campaign.

People still debate whether the Dresden bombing raid was justified, coming so late in the war.

The German city was one of Europe’s most beautiful – dubbed “Florence on the Elbe” for its lovely Baroque architecture.

In the raid, more than 75,000 buildings were destroyed and over 25,000 people killed.

Is Dresden worth visiting today?

Dresden architecture: Dresden is famous for its old-new Baroque buildings.
The Baroque buildings that were destroyed in the war have pretty well been rebuilt

Today, Dresden has been nearly completely rebuilt.

Most buildings have been reconstructed to look the way they did before the fire-bombing.

Everything looks old, but shiny and “new” old.

If you didn’t know, you’d think you’re looking at palaces, churches and other historic sites that have withstood centuries of time (but cleaner ones).

The city is once again beautiful.

Very beautiful.

Dresden sculptures of cherubs
These cherubs are just some of the charming sculptures you see in Dresden

And it’s not just its Baroque skyline that is beautiful.

In addition to the Baroque architecture, other Dresden attractions include its setting on the leafy green banks of the Elbe River.

It’s one of the most tranquil and scenic settings anywhere.

One of the major rivers in Central Europe, the Elbe River rolls through Dresden.
One of the major rivers in Central Europe, the Elbe rolls through Dresden

So, just in case we haven’t been clear enough, Dresden is absolutely worth visiting!

Okay, let’s get on with this 2-day itinerary and guide.

You’ll discover at least 25 fabulous things to do in Dresden below.

Morning of Day 1: The Green Vault

Gilded goblets made from ostrich eggs, bejeweled swords, shimmering crystal and agate bowls – and the largest, most exquisite green diamond in the world (a whopping 41 carats of glittering green light and color). 

There’s some serious bling to be eyeballed at the Green Vault!

The Dresden Green Vault comprises two museums, found in the Dresden Royal Palace.

Also known as Dresden Castle (or “Dresdner Residenzschloss” in German), the palace is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden. (It was bombed during the second world war but has since been restored to its former glory.)

It houses one of Europe’s most sumptuous collections of treasure in these two museums: the Historic Green Vault and the New Green Vault.

When planning a European city itinerary, people will pencil in Dresden specifically for the Green Vault.

Visiting the Green Vault (Grunes Gewolbe) is one of the best things to do in Dresden. So naturally, it will be the first place you’ll want to hit!

About Dresden Castle

Dresden Royal Palace
The Dresden Royal Palace today is a stunning museum complex

In 1697, Augustus the Strong became ruler of Saxony, one of the largest territories in Europe (bigger than the present-day German state of Saxony).

Like King Louis XIV of France, Augustus embarked on an extravagant building spree.

In Dresden, he erected magnificent Baroque castles and palaces, including Dresden Castle.

In this castle, Augustus commissioned a series of grand rooms and halls as showcases of his valuables for visiting nobles and paying guests.

The Green Vault is thus one of the oldest museums in the world.

Historic Green Vault

To enter the Historic Green Vault (downstairs in the palace), you pass through a state-of-the-art airlock, which keeps the air and humidity conditions constant in the museum.

We could only enter through the double-sealed doors as a maximum group size of four persons.

We entered through one door, stood in a little cubicle, then waited for the second door to open. It all felt quite futuristic!

The nine rooms and one entrance chamber in the Historical Green Vault are museum-quality themselves.

Dresden attractions - Historic Green Vault
Some original rooms in the Green Vault were painted a greenish color, hence the name (Credit: Dresden State Art Collections)

In one mirrored room, adorned with gold leaf and a painted ceiling, we gaped at intricate ivory sculptures.

In another, we saw a dazzling display of rubies, diamonds, and jewel boxes.

All told, the Historic Green Vault has more than 3,000 bronze statuettes, gemstone vessels, jewels, shell tumblers and other precious objects to drool over.

Many are set out on cabinet shelves and tables (not behind glass) – allowing really up-close viewing.

Dresden attractions - Historic Green Vault
Mirrors and gilded objects in one room of the Historic Green Vault (Credit: Dresden State Art Collections)

Fortunately, rooms in the Historic Green Vault sustained little damage during the fire-bombing of WWII – they were protected by huge metal window shutters and doors.

And the treasure had been transported to a fortress at the beginning of the war to keep it safe.

(The Soviets ferreted everything away to Russia at the end of the war – but returned it all to Dresden in 1958.)

New Green Vault

The New Green Vault upstairs comprises 12 rooms.

It has an equally jaw-dropping collection of jewels and gorgeous objects, but the rooms themselves are not part of the museum collection, and here the items are behind glass.

This is where you see the Dresden Green Diamond – considered the “sister” stone to the famous Blue Hope Diamond, which is similar in size.

Dresden Green Diamond
The Dresden Green Diamond, set in a hat ornament (Credit: Dresden State Art Collections)

The Green Diamond probably came from India and, in 1768, was set in a hat ornament, surrounded by more than 400 smaller diamonds.

You might also be tempted to trade in your Starbucks for a cup of coffee from the Golden Coffee Service.

The court jeweler Johann Dinglinger created a fantastic coffee pot and pyramid of enameled cups.

Ornamented with precious stones, it rises from a gold platter decorated with ornately carved ivory figurines.

A good way to impress your guests, don’t you think?

The Golden Coffee Service in the New Green Vault
Not your ordinary coffee set! The Golden Service is a fancy pyramid of cups, saucers and figurines dates from 1697 to 1701 (Credit: Dresden State Art Collections)

Dresden Green Vault visitor information

The Green Vault is part of the world-renowned Dresden State Art Collections. (This cultural institution comprises 15 museums.)

Hours: The Dresden Castle (where the Green Vault is located) is typically open every day, except Tuesdays, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Historic Green Vault tickets: The number of visitors allowed into the Green Vault each day is limited, so be sure to book your tickets (reserved for a specific time) in advance.

More information: You can pre-book your admission tickets to the Dresden Castle (giving you entry to the New Green Vault). See the museum’s website for more details and for tickets to the Historic Green Vault.

Procession of Princes

Another one of the most interesting things to see in Dresden is the 335-foot-long mosaic mural on the outside of the Royal Palace complex.

Made with more than 24,000 Meissen porcelain tiles, the Procession of Princes (Furstenzug) is the largest porcelain mural in the world.

Kings, princes and dukes are depicted walking and riding on horses in this princely parade, representing the history of Saxony’s Wettin dynasty.

You can see the marvelous porcelain mural of the Procession of Princes in the courtyard of Dresden Castle.
You can see this marvelous porcelain mural of the Procession of Princes on the outer wall of the Stables Courtyard of Dresden Castle

The original mural was painted in 1876. But the color quickly faded.

To make it waterproof, it was replaced with ceramic porcelain tiles in the early 1900s.

Afternoon of Day 1: Zwinger Palace, churches and Old Town

Semperoper

Let’s go to the opera now – well, at least to an opera house…

The Semperoper is one of the world's most beautiful opera houses.
The Semperoper is one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses

One of Dresden’s most popular attractions, the Semper Opera House (also known as Semperoper) is a world-renowned venue for classical music and opera performances.

Since being built in the mid-19th century, many notable operas have debuted here, including works by iconic composers Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.  

The opera house’s distinct blend of architectural styles has earned it the title of one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses, with an interior that’s equally as impressive.

Small groups of visitors inside the Semperoper on guided tours.
Small groups of visitors inside the Semperoper on guided tours

This guided Semperoper tour will take you through the intricately adorned rooms, while uncovering the rich history and prestige of this grand opera house.

And if you’re in search of a guided walking city tour that includes a visit to Semperoper, this one will suit you nicely.

Zwinger Palace

You’re going to get your fill of Dresden castles and palaces today!

But not to worry. The Zwinger Palace is quite different from the Dresdner Residenzschloss above – and also very much worth visiting.

The Zwinger Palace is a vast complex housing a Baroque palace, museums, an art gallery and a park with fountains.
The Zwinger Palace is a vast complex housing a Baroque palace, museums, an art gallery and a park with fountains

It was also built during the reign of Augustus the Strong (in the early 1700s). Augustus envied Louis XIV’s palace of Versailles and wanted something equally lavish for himself.

So he ordered the construction of the Zwinger Palace (Dresdner Zwinger), complete with an orangery, to be used for tournaments, parties and other court activities.

In 1719, the palace was used for the wedding of Frederick August and the Hapsburg emperor’s daughter, the Archduchess Maria Josepha.

The Zwinger Palace is one of the most famous of the Baroque buildings in Dresden.
The Zwinger Palace is one of the most famous of Dresden’s Baroque buildings (Credit: German National Tourist Board)

Today, the Rococo-style palace is home to three superb museums. (They’re also part of the Dresden State Art Collections.)

Dresden Porcelain Collection

The Porzellansammlung (Royal Porcelain Collection) displays the world’s largest collection of porcelain – more than 20,000 pieces

Augustus the Strong was obsessed with porcelain, which he called “white gold.”

His early collection consisted of blue-and-white porcelain from the Ming and Qing dynasties, which he acquired from China.

Later in 1710, he founded the first porcelain factory in Europe (in Meissen) and supplemented his collection with exquisite Meissen porcelain figurines, life-size sculptures of animals, vases, plates and other pieces.

Old Masters Picture Gallery

The splendid Old Masters Gallery (Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister) is located in the palace’s Semper Wing.

It’s a showpiece for some 700 European paintings by Titian, Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens, Correggio and Anthony van Dyck.

Old Masters Picture Gallery (Dresden State Art Collections)
Visitors admire paintings in the Old Masters Picture Gallery (Credit: Dresden State Art Collections)

The gallery recently underwent an impressive $50 million renovation.

Spanish and French art is now hung on bright blue walls. Italian art is displayed against a deep crimson background. And a rich green color is the backdrop for German and Dutch paintings.

If you love art, viewing Rembrandt’s Ganymede, Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, the Sistine Madonna by Raphael and Titian’s Zinsgroschen will be among the Dresden highlights you won’t want to miss.

About 420 sculptures are now displayed in the revamped gallery as well.

Sculptures in Zwinger Palace
Sculptures in Zwinger Palace

Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments

The third museum contains a collection of telescopes, historic clocks, astronomical devices and other early scientific instruments dating back to the 16th century.

More things to see and do in Zwinger Palace

Even if you don’t check out the museums, do walk through the palace’s Crown Gate and pop into the magnificent fountain-studded courtyard.

The Zwinger Palace also hosts music and theater performances.

Maybe you can catch an evening evening gala concert if not too pooped from your day’s outing?

What started as an orangery on an old fortress became the vast Zwinger Palace.
What started as an orangery on an old fortress became the vast Zwinger Palace (Credit: German National Tourist Board)

Zwinger Palace, Dresden, visitor information

Hours: The palace is open daily from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. (Double-check the hours before you go, as they may change seasonally.)

Zwinger Palace tickets: It’s free to enter the courtyard, but tickets are needed for the museums. You can pre-book your museum tickets here.

More information: See the palace website.

Frauenkirche

The rebuilding of Dresden's Frauenkirche was financed almost entirely by private donors around the world.
The Dresden Frauenkirche was originally built in the 18th century as a large Baroque monument

Now you’re going to church – really!

The Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) is the city’s signature building and one of the must-see tourist attractions in Dresden.

Dresden's Frauenkirche
The rebuilding of Dresden’s Frauenkirche was financed almost entirely by private donors around the world

Originally built in the 18th century in Baroque style, it was completely destroyed during the allied bombing of Dresden.

The resulting pile of blackened stones remained for the next 45 years throughout the city’s Communist rule.

Then, after the Berlin Wall fell, funds were raised to rebuild the Lutheran church. More than 3,800 stones were salvaged and used in the reconstruction, along with new stones.

The Frauenkirche altar was rebuilt using 2,000 pieces of the original altar.
The Frauenkirche altar was rebuilt using 2,000 pieces of the original altar

Today the rebuilt church stands proudly in the center of the city, crowned by one of the largest church domes in Europe. The older stones are darker in color than the newer ones, giving the church a unique multi-tonal quality.

You can climb to the top of the Frauenkirche tower for great city views!

The Church of our Lady (Frauenkirche) is a popular tourist attraction in Dresden
The Church of our Lady is a popular tourist attraction in Dresden

Frauenkirche, Dresden, visitor information

Hours: Open church hours are normally Monday to Friday in the morning from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, and then again 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm. On weekends, the visiting hours alternate between morning or afternoon (and depend on events and services).

Tours: Guided tours are offered (by donation).

More information: See the Frauenkirche website.

Dresden Cathedral

Another one of the churches you must see in Dresden is the Dresden Cathedral (Katholische Hofkirche), also known as the Cathedral of Holy Trinity.

Measuring 52,000 square feet, this famous landmark is the largest church in Saxony.

The heart of Augustus the Strong is buried in the crypt, along with the remains of 49 other royal family members. (Augustus’ body was buried in Poland’s Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.)

Old Town, Dresden

When sightseeing in Dresden, you’ll naturally be drawn to the Altstadt, the Old Town of Dresden.

Here, along with the Dresden Castle, Zwinger Palace, Semperoper and famous churches (above), you’ll find the Academy of Arts and Neumarkt Square, with its typical gabled houses and buildings.

The Dresden Academy of Fine Arts is just one of Dresden's eye-catching buildings in the Old Town
The Dresden Academy of Fine Arts is just one of Dresden’s eye-catching buildings in the Old Town

Shopping in Dresden

Lots of cute shops also beg you to pop inside.

The shopping in Dresden is some of the best in central Europe, and visitors from neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic love to shop in Dresden. You might want to also!

Be wary if you’re feeling hungry though. The appetizing array of chocolates and cakes displayed in the windows of some shops will surely make you drool!

Bruhl’s Terrace

You may still have time for a stroll before dinner.

Located north of the Frauenkirche, you’ll find Bruhl’s Terrace (“Bruhlsche Terrasse”).

Bruhl's Terrace in Dresden at dusk
Bruhl’s Terrace at dusk…

Nicknamed “the Balcony of Europe,” this pedestrian promenade stretches along the Elbe River.

Check out some of the striking buildings and sculptures linking the walkway, as you enjoy the views of the Elbe.

Dinner and nightlife in Dresden

You’ve earned your dinner today! Here are a couple of great choices:

Sophienkeller

How would you like to taste typical Saxon food from the 18th century?

Sophienkeller in the heart of the Old Town serves up dishes like Saxon potato soup, spit-roasted suckling pig and duck with red cabbage and dumplings.

Its setting is amazing too. Seated in a vaulted cellar, you’re entertained by a lute-playing bard and ladies in costume telling stories of times gone by.

Genuss-Atelier

Genuss-Atelier is one of the best restaurarnts in Dresden, Germany.
Diners rave about the food at Genuss-Atelier, one of the best restaurants in Dresden (Credit: Genuss-Atelier)

This Michelin one-star restaurant is the place to go for creative German food in a fine dining setting.

You can order à la carte at Genuss-Atelier.

But you really want to choose one of the multi-course menus (from a 4-course tasting journey all the way up to an 8-course menu). Maybe start with the optional summer truffle or perhaps the duck liver?

Bar scene

If you’re looking for more things to do in Dresden at night, you’ll be delighted to discover the city’s lively bar scene.

Most of the top-rated bars are conveniently situated in the Innere Altstadt area, making it easy to explore and see what catches your eye. Maybe a rooftop bar or a champagne lounge?

Day 2: Bicycling and Beer

Peaceful scenes are found everywhere along the Elbe River outside Dresden
Peaceful scenes like this are found everywhere along the Elbe River

Now that you’ve visited the most important urban Dresden attractions, you can sample the city’s outdoor delights on your second day – followed by some of its famous beer!

Elbe Cycle Path

Bicycling on the Elbe River
It’s easy to cycle along the flat Elbe Biking Trail – and look at the views!

If you love two-wheeling, you’ll love bicycling along the Elbe Biking Trail (or Elbe Cycle Path). It was one of our favorite things to do in Dresden!

The trail runs about 725 miles (1,165 kilometers) all the way along the Elbe River from the Czech border to the North Sea.

In Dresden, there are plenty of bike rental shops where you can rent bikes.

We cycled a 16-mile (26-kilometer) level stretch from Radebeul to Pillnitz Castle, a former summer residence for the Saxon kings.

Pillnitz Castle, Dresden
You can bicycle along the Elbe, past villas and vineyards, to Pillnitz Castle

It seemed like everyone and their dog was out that warm and sunny day in autumn! People were running, walking, cycling and pushing baby strollers.

And what gorgeous views we were treated to!

We pedaled past villas and vineyards – where leaves on surrounding maple trees painted the landscape vivid gold and red.

Autumn leaves outside Dresden
The colors of fall along the Elbe River

The steamships that travel up and down the river were also a colorful sight as they ferried onboard daytrippers, sightseers and bicyclists.

These ships are part of the oldest and largest steamboat fleet in the world.

Historical steamboats offer sightseeing Elbe River tours from Dresden.
Historical steamboats offer sightseeing Elbe River tours from Dresden

Radeberger Brewery

Radeberger Brewery, Dresden
Everyone loves beer in Dresden – especially Pilsner-style beer!

Afterwards, we toasted our bicycling expedition with beer from the Radeberger Brewery – a great way to end our day trip!

Founded in 1872, it was the first brewery in Germany to brew beer in the traditional Pilsner style that Saxons prefer.

Two fun beer factoids

1) Saxons invented the use of the beer coaster.

2) On average, each Saxon drinks almost 40 gallons of beer a year.

Today, there are over 600 breweries in the Saxony region.

(And in case you’re not sure what a Pilsner-style beer tastes like, we can tell you it’s kind of sweet with a dry bitterish finish.)

Other top things to do in Dresden, Germany?

Dresden at night
Dresden at night

We’ve covered the must-see Dresden highlights to include in a 2-day Dresden itinerary.

But there are still more interesting things to do in Dresden. And more Dresden tourist attractions to see.

The Albertinum

This splendid modern art museum is found on the Bruhl Terrace.

The Albertinum (another one of the Dresden State Art Collections) is home to two of the state collections: the Sculpture Collection and the New Masters Gallery.

Pillnitz Palace and Gardens

Remember we mentioned bicycling past Pillnitz Palace?

Augustus the Strong had this Baroque palace built in the 1720s on banks of the River Elbe as a summer palace.

The yellow Pillnitz Palace on the Elbe River
Pillnitz Castle has a lovely location on the Elbe River

It was basically a “pleasure palace” with Chinese-inspired décor – a venue for costume parties and sporting events.

You can tour the charming riverside palace and its beautiful gardens (which include one of Europe’s oldest camellia trees).

There are also several museums inside the palace. The Arts and Crafts Museum is one of the Dresden State Art Collections and contains musical instruments, furniture, pewter, textiles and porcelain.

The best way to get to Pillnitz is to take one of the historic paddle steamers that ply the Elbe River. (You can book your boat cruise to Pillnitz here.)

Kunsthofpassage

And then there are the singing drain pipes of Kunsthofpassage – one of the funkiest places to see in Dresden.

Kunsthofpassage, the singing drainpipes in Dresden
The singing drainpipes in Dresden

The Neustadt Kunsthofpassage (art courtyards) is a series of five courtyards in an artistic neighborhood in the student district of Dresden’s new town.

One is the courtyard of music. Against a turquoise wall, there’s a network of artistic drain pipes that makes music when it rains.

If you’re looking for free things to do in Dresden, be sure to visit this musical courtyard!

More fine Dresden museums

If the Green Vault, Zwinger Palace and other museums we’ve covered aren’t enough, there are actually some 50 or more museums in Dresden in total you could explore.

Three more excellent museums you might like:

  • Dresden Panometer – A spectacular panoramic painting of Dresden is displayed inside a disused gasometer.
  • Dresden Transport Museum – See cars, bicycles, ships, planes and other forms of transportation in a 16th century building. A great place to take boys!
  • Turkish Chamber – This museum contains one of the most important collections of Ottoman art, tents and bejeweled weapons outside of Turkey.

Pfunds Molkerei

Founded in 1880, Pfunds Molkerie is the world’s most beautiful dairy shop!

Pfunds Molkerei in Dresden is a beautiful shop, all tiled inside.
Pfunds Molkerei is a beautiful shop – and it sells lovely cheeses and dairy-based products!

It’s partly about the array of specialty cheeses, handmade natural soaps, cream-based liqueurs, chocolates and other milk products that are sold here.

But it’s also partly about the fact that the walls, ceiling, floor and counters are completely decorated with hand-painted Villeroy & Boch ceramic tiles.

Indeed, the Guiness Book of World Records called it the “world’s most beautiful milk shop.”

Dresden Christmas market

Founded as a one-day market in 1434, the Striezelmarkt in Dresden’s city center is considered the oldest Christmas market in the world.

The annual event runs from the end of November until December 24.

Sip on mulled wine and nibble on fruit loaf as you browse the stalls selling unique crafts, while enjoying the festive atmosphere and colorful light display.

Where to stay in Dresden

Hotel Suitess

For a sophisticated boutique place to stay during your 2 days in Dresden, the Hotel Suitess offers 21 beautiful suites and apartments.

Dresden Hotel Suitess guest room
A double room (Credit: Hotel Suitess)

It has a prime location beside the Frauenkirche Church.

The suites are kitted out in Biedermeier-style furnishings and Italian marble bathrooms.

Serving fine German cuisine, its roof-top restaurant is excellent.

Hotel Suitess, Dresden: Check rates and availability

Hotel Taschenbergpalais

You also can’t go wrong with the luxurious Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden.

It’s located right in the heart of the historic Old Town.

Built for one of Augustus the Strong's mistresses, the historic Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski has 213 rooms.
Built for one of Augustus the Strong’s mistresses, this historic hotel has 213 rooms (Credit: Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski)

A former 18th century palace, this 5-star Dresden hotel boasts elegant rooms with antiques and an indoor pool.

Simply put, it’s one of the best hotels in Dresden.

Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski: Check rates and availability

Vienna House QF Dresden (or Townhouse Dresden)

Prefer more modern, less expensive digs?

The boutique Vienna House QF Dresden hotel is slickly mod in design inside.
The boutique Dresden hotel, with 95 rooms and suites, is slickly mod in design inside (Credit: Vienna House Dresden)

Close to the Frauenkirche, this boutique hotel in the heart of Dresden is bright and modern, with an eye-catching glass elevator.

Rooms are spacious and kitted out with extremely comfortable king-size beds and Italian stone bathrooms.

Vienna House QF Dresden: Check rates and availability

More Dresden travel information

Guide books

If you’re looking for a good Germany guide book, we recommend Lonely Planet Germany and Rick Steves Germany. (Note: As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)

Guided Dresden tours

For tickets to tourist sites and other fun guided tours in Dresden, see:

Official Dresdent tourist information

Also see the official website for Dresden Tourism (Dresden Information GmbH).

Dresden at sunset
Sunset casts a warm glow over Dresden

That wraps up the best things to do in Dresden, Germany, in 2 days!

Some day in the not-too-distant future, we’d love to return to this beautiful city to explore some of the other places in Dresden that we missed.

We can’t wait to revisit the local museums, discover more delightful cafés and soak up more of the local culture. 

We’d also love to take another peek at that Green Diamond!

The city of Dresden definitely left a big impression. And, next time, we’ll be sure to spend more than 2 days in Dresden to really have time to take in all that the city offers.

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

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Photo credits: 5, 7, 9, 11, 29, 34 to 41 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 4, 6, 10 Andrea Norrie, Janice’s sister-in-law


About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Carol

Thursday 29th of October 2015

Okay, you've sold me on Dresden. You've also sold me on a huge green diamond.

Frank

Saturday 24th of October 2015

Beautiful! We were in Dresden for 5 days last summer and were so impressed. So many incredible things to see in a small area. We ended up actually missing the Green Vault, sometimes we get museum-ed out and it's too much of a commitment. But in this case looks like we really missed out on something. Frank

Janice and George

Saturday 24th of October 2015

You're right, Dresden is packed with lots to see - we missed out on some palaces, as you can see from our post. But the Green Vault is really special. You'll just have to plan another trip there!

Evelyn

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

Dresden is a "must see." I never cease to be amazed at how cleverly and expertly the buildings destroyed in WW2 were rebuild and restored. Luckily many of the treasures in those buildings were safely stored during the bombing raids. Still have relatives of my mother living in Dresden to further enrich a visit to this historic cultural mecca. Thanks for the beautiful photos and informative descriptions and insights.

Janice and George

Saturday 12th of September 2015

Glad this post resonated with you :-). (And yes, it's fortunate these priceless pieces of history survived such a tragic war.)

Anda

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

Isn't Dresden a charming hidden treasure? I loved this city! We've spent a week there two years ago and also visited the Bastei Rocks and the Fortress of Königstein nearby. Did you get to see the Kunsthofpassage in Neustadt? You have great pictures from Dresden.

Janice and George

Saturday 12th of September 2015

You know what? That Kunsthofpassage doesn't ring a bell :-). This is the series of courtyards in Dresden where the funnels, pipes and gutters gracing the buildings play "rain-music" where it rains. Fun! Too bad we missed it...

Jenna Francisco

Monday 7th of September 2015

This looks just lovely. I almost visited Dresden when I was living in the Czech Rep. We knew it was just on the other side of the border and was supposed to be a beautiful city, but we never made it there. I'd especially love to bike the Elbe bike trail. Pinning for a future Germany trip (my older son and husband really want to go there!).