The Wonderful City Called Dresden

Last weekend we visited Dresden the capital city of the Free State of Saxony. It was the first time for Nathan, my wife and of course MIL to visit that part of Germany. I on the other hand had been there multiple times however I never really did see the city. The thing is I lived in East Germany, okay to be more precise in Karl-Marx-Stadt Chemnitz, for a couple of years as I went there to the Sports High School. During those years I visited a lot of cities but only for competitions and thus I usually never saw more than the swimming pool and the next McDonalds. So Dresden it was and I was really excited as I could visit an old friend from high school again.

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View on Dresden Cathedral

Our journey started on an early Friday morning in my great home town. Before Dresden we decided to have a short stop in Chemnitz to grab some food and look at the Sportforum, the place where I lived, studied and trained for two years.  In Chemnitz we had our belated lunch as we arrived after roughly 6 hours  car driving fun at around 3pm there. We only stayed shortly as we wanted to arrive at the hotel in Dresden as soon as possible and to have some daylight left to see few things around the area we stayed. From Chemnitz we had another enjoyable car ride to Dresden which lasted roughly one hour. Let’s just say that such long car rides are no fun at all. While driving through the city I was already amazed how differently it looked compared to all other cities I have visited thus far in Germany. Our hotel was located in the city district Neustadt and it was the perfect location for our needs!

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Part of the Procession of Princes which is made of Porcelain

For one my friend’s apartment was just 15 min away by walk. Then the city center itself with all the great sights was just 10 min away by tram and last but not least the district Neustadt was just amazing. To be precise Neustadt is divided into Inner Neustadt and Outer Neustadt but let’s not focus on such details. What we noticed first there was the huge amount of historical buildings just everywhere and then the huge amount of young people all around. Apparently Neustadt is known for its many students and it is a thriving hip district full of restaurants, bars, clubs and a lot of “alternative” shops. We just loved it there as it was so lively putting Helsinki and its hip district of Kallio to shame. During our first evening there we went to a nice Vietnamese restaurant and had some great dinner.

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What a wonderful city

On the second day we went after breakfast to the historical city center and tried to see as many sights as possible. MIL was in awe as she had never seen anything like that before (actually I haven’t either!). It was just too bad that during our time there the famous Frauenkirche was closed. This Frauenkirche is a church which has been destroyed as so many other buildings there during WWII and reconstruction was only finished in 2005. Most interesting about the city center is that every buildings looks old there but in fact nearly all of the living houses are modern buildings with a classical facade because there was not so much left after the war so they reconstructed only the most famous sights and settled for modern buildings for the rest. They did a real good job in getting the old feeling back with these buildings as such is missing in nearly all German cities which suffered so high damage (Dresden was to 60% destroyed during the war and approx. 250.000 to 500.000 inhabitants and refugees died during the terrible bombings). Afer a small lunch with my friends we went to the Bastei. It is a rock formation just about 45 min away by car from Dresden Neustadt.  The rock formation is pretty famous here but also gained some world-wide attention as it was one of the desktop screens for Windows 7. Nathan loved the bridges spanning around the rock formation so much that he didn’t even want to leave anymore! Let’s just say he was rather upset when we “forced” him to come with us to the car…

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At the Bastei

Later that day we went to my friends and had some lovely BBQ in their backyard/ inner yard. As both are vegetarian we had only a small amount of meat and the rest was all about grilled vegetables and cheese. Myself I am perfectly fine to have these days a meat free BBQ but they bought for us some meat so we couldn’t say no.  When it was getting darker we walked from their home towards a bridge spanning the river Elbe to have a great view towards the historical city center. I had all my equipment ready for some great pictures but next to the bridge was some kind of music festival which resulted in annoying light and smoke disturbing the pictures.

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Failed attempt at taking a nigh shot

In the end I can say it was a wonderful trip and I recommend for everyone visiting Germany to have at least one or two days in Dresden. It is a wonderful city with a lot of history and I think it is really a must see destination.  Both MIL and my wife enjoyed the time there a lot however they were not too fond of the six-hour car ride. They were especially bored on the way back when I took over music control and listened the entire way to an audiobook as I just could not face any more K-Pop.

Have you ever visited Dresden or heard about this city?

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39 thoughts on “The Wonderful City Called Dresden”

    1. The city is really amazing. I am a bit upset that I didn’t manage to get a good picture of the Bastei as we had the baby push car with us and it would have been a bit difficult carrying it around all those stairs (in fact I carried it already few hundred steps to reach the location.)

  1. No…don’t say you don’t like kpop..like..🙄🙄..hahahaha..but u look like u had a lot of fun on the trip so at least it makes up for the long drive..haha..😄😄

  2. Great to hear Neustadt is buzzing with young people. It could the reason there is the light show near the city center – attractions to light up the city and give them something to do. Your night shot is great. Very clear, all lit up nicely and I don’t see anything that looks distracting.

    Must be nice to go down memory lane walking by your old sports place 🙂

    1. Somehow I am not too fond of the picture as the color just seems so wrong but perhaps I remember the whole view just differently.
      Dresden is surely a great city with its about 700.000 inhabitants. It doesn’t feel too crowded and also not too empty, just perfect 🙂

  3. I have heard of Dresden but did not know it was this beautiful. What a fabulous trip…I love your photos. The one at night is lovely even though you say it’s not that good. The Bastei is stunning!! What history Dresden has.

    1. The city surely has some impressive history and I am really happy that the people focused on getting the city rebuild as much as possible, especially after the German unification (back in East German times they did little to nothing to preserve and rebuild those old structures, it all happened after that)

  4. Oh wow, it looks lovely. I am glad you had a fantastic time. 6 hours is a long drive though.. The rock formations, was it in a national park? I had read about a national park with stunning rock formations a short drive from Dresden on the Czechia-Germany border. I would love to go to Dresden or maybe Berlin for a weekend but my friends and boyfriend are not so enthusiastic to travel to Germany in light of recent events :/
    K-pop, haha, is that your MIL’s favorite? 😉

    1. Yes the rock formation is in a national park which is called Sächsische Schweiz. Though those terrible things happened in the past two weeks I still don’t feel any different about the safety in Germany but then again I live up north in a small town :p

    1. They really did a good job in getting the city back into the old look. I just hate those other cities here with those ugly 60s to 70s style buildings, just terrible!
      The bridge was great fun for him but I wasn’t too happy there as it was just too high for me :p

  5. One of my favorite cities in Germany so far! So rich in history! Though, it’s the first time I’ve heard about Bastei. I’ll definitely include that on my travel list as it looks amazing!

    And it’s quite surprising, MIL didn’t do anything crazy the entire trip? hmmmm🤔

  6. I know how you feel about listening to K-pop. I once had a neighbor who had a karaoke machine at home and started singing Taiwanese songs every Sunday at 8 a.m. and continued for a solid 12 hours with the volume on max. It was pure torture – just like someone scraping their nails on a blackboard for 12 hours.

    The photos of the architecture is stunning!! And it sounds like Nathan is a little guy who knows what he wants.

    1. I think I am just in general not into pop music so the Kpop is an utter nightmare for me.
      The city has wonderful architecture not only in the city center but all around, it is really amazing

  7. Great snaps. Your failed night time shot looked great – all gold and silver! Would love to see Germany someday. It’s on the list – and now Dresden 🙂

    1. I think I am not happy with the nightshot because it is just gold and silver, something feels missing but then again it could be that I just remember it wrong.
      Germany has some great places to visit such as Dresden and other old cities and towns with much of their historical buildings still standing

  8. Your photos are wonderful..I would definitely love to visit this place once day..I knew that there are so many beautiful and historical places in Germany let alone with traces of the war, but still, Dresden has its own charm. Too bad you didn’t see the Frauenkirche.It’s on my list to see in Germany too!
    How was city escape for your toddler?Have you spotted any playground for him to steam out? I am curious how would it be for my little girl. I had to say that our travelling changed a lot since we had a kid tagged along :))
    Great post!

    1. I think we are kind of lucky as Nathan usually is just fine sticking g with us going around / being pushed in his push car. However once he sees a playground he goes nuts and wants to discover everything!
      Anyways traveling changed for us mostly in a way that the preparation for a trip is insane now as you have to think of so many things for the child. Also including the nap time is not that bad as we anyways always preferred having a more easy approach and taking our time.

  9. Interesting, CCF. Yes, I’ve heard about Dresden, how terribly it was bombed during WWII from my partner. Neither of us have yet visited the city.

    One needs a lot of time..to recover the ravages of war. Am glad that Dresden is on track..

    1. Thank you for stopping by. Cities especially in east Germany needed much longer time to heal as during the communist regime they did nothing at all to rebuild the old structures and thus it took so long for Dresden to get back into shape.

  10. I’ve heard about Dresden, but I have never considered visiting. I thought it would be a grey and boring place, but your pictures definitely tell a different story. Nice of your vegetarian friends to buy meat for the carnivores:)

  11. I love the pictures you took! The views are breathtaking!

    And to answer your question, unfortunately no, I have never visited Dresden. I only visited a part of my own country. And I wish I took more pictures of the places I visited. (I generally take one-two pictures cause I feel weird when my family looks at me in a certain way. ._.)

    PS: You’re very inspiring!

  12. I LOVE DRESDEN TOO!
    It’s safe to say Dresden’s old town will win “The Best Alstadt in Germany” award hahaha it’s just too magical to be real.
    Anyway, I envy you that you had the chance to take in the beauty of Dresden during the night. I wish I’ll have another chance to spend a night in Dresden outdoor!
    Check my post about Dresden too if you may: https://tiaralesmana.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/the-spirit-of-cathedrals-bonus-dresden-travel-blog/
    T

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