Dresden – just the name makes many people think of Christmas markets, Christmas baking and the Erz Mountains. And one reason why the Dresden Christmas Market is so popular is probably because it takes place against a picturesque backdrop in the middle of the Old Town.

But Dresden is much more than that. The city has experienced much, and speaks of history. None the less, it is one of the loveliest cities in Europe, and a centre of culture. Baroque meets modern, and the cityscape is one of fabulous and unique buildings.

The surroundings are just as lovely - the city is embedded in the Elbstein Mountains, the hilly landscape between Saxon Switzerland and Meissen. So it is not surprising to learn that leading artists and composers such as Carl Maria Weber found inspiration and worked here.

Hardly any other city in the former GDR got back on its feet so quickly after the fall of the Wall. A large part of the old industry also collapsed in Dresden, but the city managed to turn itself into a cultural and tourism magnet. And not just during Advent.

Art and culture are extremely important in Dresden. By percent, the Saxon capital has the greatest proportion of students in Germany. There are six universities of the fine arts, church music, secular music, dance, technology and industry, and social work.

A trip to Dresden must take in the historic Old Town and a visit to the Elbe palaces. However, the hip new town is also well worth a visit, just to have a look, stop at a café or wind down in the evening at a trendy bar. And last, but by no means least, it's worth it for the shopping. Not just at Christmas.

City Facts

  • Location

    Capital of the German state of Saxony on the Elbe

  • Population

    about 531,000

  • Size

    328 km²

  • Public transport

    excellent connections

  • Climate

    Dresden is situated in a cool, moderate climate zone.

  • Best time to visit

    The temperatures are very pleasant between May and September.

  • Good to know

    "Dresdner Eierschecke" is a cake speciality that is served in most restaurants and cafés. Be sure to try it!

  • Nice to know

    : Dresden is also called "Florence of the Elbe" or "Florence of the North" for its valuable art collections and its architecture.

  • Airport

    Dresden Airport, about 13 km from the city centre

  • Railway

    The S-Bahn no. S2 runs from the airport to the centre every half hour (Dresden-Neustadt 12 minutes, Dresden main station 20 minutes).

  • Taxi

    A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs about € 20. The taxi ranks are outside the terminal.