There’s so much to see and do in Dresden it’s hard to pack it into three days, but if your clients make the most of every hour, they’ll be able to take in the highlights and even have time for a walk along the Elbe River.
DAY 1: Explore Altstadt
Altstadt, Dresden’s Old Town, is a marvel, and not only because the “century-old” buildings are breathtaking. What really takes your breath away is how meticulous the reconstruction has been to the structures that were burnt to the ground during the Second World War. The Church of Our Lady, which was originally built in the 18th century, and which, after WWII, stood for decades as an empty shell and a war memorial, was rebuilt to its formidable original self, with its 314-ft. dome the shining star. Located on Neumarkt and surrounded by Baroque buildings, the church is a great jumping-off point for a stroll through the city’s historic center. Top must-sees include one of the world’s largest porcelain artworks, the Procession of the Princes, a mural made out of 25,000 Meissen porcelain tiles; the Dresden Royal Palace, once the official residences of the rulers of Saxony, including Augustus the Strong, and now home to an array of museums; and the stellar Opera House, a prime example of Dresden Baroque architecture (it, too, has been meticulously rebuilt).
DAY 2: Get Artsy
Don’t be shy about getting artsy—Dresden sure isn’t as it’s home to more than 50 museums. Top choice for clients interested in viewing masterpieces from the romantic period to the present day is the Albertinum, originally built between 1559 and 1563 as an arsenal. Inside, the space exudes an ultra-contemporary vibe and holds wonderful gems by Gauguin, Kirchner, Rodin and Nolde, with a strong focus on German Expressionism as Dresden was the cradle for this art movement. Want to delve farther back into art history? Tell clients to skip on over to the Old Masters Picture Gallery—located in the Semper Gallery, the gallery wing of the Zwinger—to feast their eyes on Raphael’s famed “Sistine Madonna.”
At Dresden Royal Palace, one can find two other treasure chests—the New Green Vault and the Historic Green Vault, the latter of which feels like Augustus the Strong’s walk-in safe with 2,500 precious objects located in opulent rooms dating from 1730. The New Green Vault, meanwhile, is home to an exquisite collection of masterpieces made of gold, silver and precious stones, including the world’s largest green diamond.
Military buffs should definitely make their way to the Bundeswehr Museum of Military History, an innovative space that presents the topic from a unique angle. And next year, the Museum of the Meissen Porcelain Foundation will focus on the origins of Saxon porcelain with an exhibit honoring Johann Friedrich Bottger, inventor of Saxon porcelain. Unique finds: The Hygiene Museum, a science museum that focuses
on the human body; and the Dresden Transport Museum (car and aircraft enthusiasts won’t want to miss it!).
DAY 3: A Fairy Tale Setting
When they leave the city behind, your clients will discover a charming, divinely beautiful area while wandering through the surrounding terraced hillside vineyards. With Saxony’s wine-making tradition stemming back 850 years, this is a can’t-miss day trip during which visitors can take a ride on a steam-powered narrow-gauge railway while sipping wine; and stop at Schloss Wackerbarth, offering a picturesque setting as well as tours through the winery. Along the way, tell clients to take a detour to the fairy tale Moritzburg Castle, the former hunting lodge and summer residence of Augustus the Strong.
Built in the 18th century by Augustus the Strong as a pledge of love to his mistress, and restored in 1995, the 183-room and 31-suite Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden is located in the very heart of Dresden’s historic center. Here, diners can feast on Saxon cuisine at Restaurant Intermezzo, indulge at the onsite spa, and relax in the central courtyard, a lovely place to get off one’s feet after exploring this fascinating city.
Dresden Marketing Board: dmg.dresden.de/en/index.php
German National Tourist Board: germany.travel
Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden: kempinski.com