Dresden is the capital of Saxony, the “Florence of the North” as it was called in the 18th century, due to it being a creative centre for art and music. Dresden has become iconic for it’s Baroque architecture, it’s beauty and the fact that much of it was destroyed in the bombing of WW2. Today Dresden has a buzzing nightlife, an innovative arts and cultural scene and a sense of optimism that has encouraged new styles of architecture and seen most of the city restored.
Dresden has a population of almost 531,000 and is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany. It lies in East Germany between Berlin and Prague. The city straddles the river Elbe and enjoys a mild continental climate, experiencing hotter summers and colder winters than the German average.
Dresden has a combined tram, bus and train system that connects to all points of the city. The city has many parking lots making it easy to find a place to park. It is also easy to get around by bike; there are many cycle paths and lanes, and can be carried in trams. Because the city centre is very compact, everything is easily accessed on foot.
Dresden is home to many amazing art collections – some famous museums include Zwinger Palace, Albertinum Museum, and Schloss und Grünes Gewölbe. For a nice afternoon, go to the Groβer Garten, where locals relax, play sports, and rollerblade. Along the Elbe there are many beergardens, many of which have locally brewed beer.
Restaurants in the historic centre tend to be overpriced and aimed at tourists. For the best places to eat, head to the Neustadt on the north bank of the Elbe. Like any large city you can find any kind of international cuisine, as well as local Saxon specialties like potato dumplings and buttermilk potato pancakes.
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