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Dresden is the capital city of the state of Saxony in Germany (German: Deutschlandkarte). It was nicknamed Jewel Box because of the large number of baroque and rococo buildings in the city. It is currently the 4th largest urban district by land area in the country. Dresden also stands out for being one of the greenest cities in Europe, wherein 63% of the land consists of forests and green areas. It is the cultural, educational, political, and economic center of Germany.
Dresden is located in a valley on both banks of the River Elbe, which is near the border to Czech Republic. Its nicknamed, Florence of Elbe, due to its relevant location and mild climate. Its borders are Prague, Czech Republic to the south, Berlin to the north, Poland to the east, Leipzig to the northwest, and Chemmitz to the southwest.
How to Reach (Transport)
By Plane - The Dresden-Klotzsche Airport is found north of the city, reachable 20 minutes through the S-Bahn. The airport provides regular trips to the major German cities and a few European destinations such as Zurich, London, and Moscow. Domestic routes are provided by Lufthansa.
By Train - There are 2 big train stations in Dresden - Dresden Neustadt to the north and Dresden Hauptbahnhof to the south. The latter is the main railway station, which is very well connected to the local bus and tram network.
By Bus - The Berlin Linienbus provides 7-8 buses from Berlin to Dresden everyday. The Dresden Verkehrsbetriebe is the public transportation system in the city that combines tram, bus, and the train services.
By Bicycle and Pedicabs - The fastest mode of transportation in Dresden during rush hour traffic is the bicycle. There are many designated bike paths throughout the city center, and carrying them in trans is allowed. Pedicabs are bike taxis that mostly operate in the Old Town district, as well as providing short distance journeys near the area.
When to Visit
The months of May to October are the most popular months to visit Dresden. The city has a mild climate all year round but these months provide the best weather.
Culture (Fairs and Festivals) and Tradition
Bunte Republik Neustadt or Colorful Republic Neustadt - This 3-day festival held in the Dresden-Neustadt district occurs every June, and is one of the most anticipated events in the city. A vibrant celebration, bands and many musical acts play for free in the streets, which are also filled with food and drink stands.
Dixieland Festival - Considered to be the biggest Jazz Festival in Europe, this event happens every 2nd week of May where bands and artists from around the world gather for several days of live music. One of the highlights involve performances on top decks of paddle boats.
Christmas Markets - Beginning at the weekend of the first Advent, the city is filled with Christmas markets in every square. The most popular and most traditional of all is the Striezelmarkt, which is the oldest in Germany and the largest in Dresden. This is where you can find the famous wood figures called Rauchermannchen, which are made in the nearby town of Erzgebirge.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit)
Blasewitz - This historic district of Dresden is well known for their beautiful and well-preserved villas. Garnering monument status, the largest borough of the city is found in the city's eastern center of the Elbe river. It used to be the exclusive area for the city's affluent residents, explaining the existence of incredibly beautiful houses with unique architectural styles and status. The villas are not open to the public but wandering through its streets is a popular tourist activity.
Old Town - The Altstadt district of the city contains more than a dozen massive structures. One of the few old town districts in Europe with a large number of monuments and landmarks contained in a compact zone, it's the best place to visit if tourists only have 1 day to spare in the city. Among the most popular sites are the Zwinger, the Cross Church, the Semper Opera House, the Royal Palace, and the Catholic Court Church.
Bruehl's Terrace - A favorite place to spend the late afternoon for many locals and tourists, this historic architectural ensemble is nicknamed "The Balcony of Europe." Around the terrace are important architectural buildings, structures, and works of art. It's the best place to see views of the river, for people watching, for strolling, and for coffee.
The city is littered with every kind of accommodation for every kind of traveler. Hotels and hostels are the most popular places to stay, but apartments, guest houses, and bed and breakfast inns are also great choices for the budget traveler.
Free State of Saxony (Sachsen)
328.8 km2 (127.0 sq mi)
Lat Long Coordinates
51.0333° N, 13.7333° E
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