Spend the day in Dresden

A curated guide of 12 places and things to do in Dresden, recommended by locals


One day, double Dresden

Just a 2-hour train ride from Berlin, Dresden is a city made-over. In 1945 at the end of WWII, the entire city was basically flattened from bombings. Today, this is hard to believe. Not only is this city alive and thriving, it has two faces. The Old Town is completely reconstructed, with epic gardens, stunning churches, a lavish opera house, and a castle dripping in Baroque bricks. Hop across the Elbe river and you will find a modern layer laid down by the locals: vegan cafes, pop-up concerts, and lots of wild street art. See for yourself...straight to the center of Saxony!

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  • photo: Google Images

    Catch an early train from Berlin's Central Station

    The most convenient way to get from Berlin to Dresden is by train. The Eurocity (EC) train is the fastest (2 hours), cheapest (21 euros) and only direct option (other trains stop 1-2 times). You can book your tickets online from Berlin Hbf to Dresden Hbf through Deutsche Bahn. So set your alarm and take the earliest train, so you can kick off this day in Dresden!

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  • photo: Google Images

    Hello Dresden!

    You've arrived to Dresden Hauptbahnhof, Dresden's Central Train Station. First built in the 1800's and reconstructed in the 1960's, the station is most admired for its triple arched Teflon-coated roof (yes, the same Teflon that keeps onions from sticking to your pan). Now that you're here, keep an eye out for these Dresden specialties: Quarkkeulchen (fried pancakes) and Eierschecke (apple curd cake).

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  • photo: Kaffanero Facebook

    Get caffeinated

    Coffee • Eclectic • Sit down

    Kaffanero's mission is to serve the best craft coffee in Dresden. You can sit among eclectic pillows and beans from around the world and learn more about the best cultivating, roasting, packaging and preparation techniques. Not a coffee snob? Just order your perfect espresso and bounce.

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  • photo: OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    Lose yourself in Old Town

    Baroque • Architecture • Outdoors

    This is the best thing to do in this part of the city: wander aimlessly around historical Altstadt and keep reminding yourself that this city was completely rebuilt. Stumble upon the stairs of the opera house, the gate of the Dresden Castle, an 18th Century Lutheran church, a 19th Century Lutheran church, another 18th Century...okay, once you spot the third church, it's time to take a break.

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  • photo: Google Images

    Take a skate break

    Outdoors • Active • Skate

    With ramps, rails, halfpipe, and fresh graffiti, this is a skater/rollerblader/anything-on-wheels paradise. The Lingnerallee skating area is just off the side of The Grand Garden. You can chill out on the grass and watch the locals trick. If you’re a skater, bring your board with you and jump in.

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  • photo: Google Images

    Good eats at LadenCafé aha

    Cafe • Vegan • Fresh

    This sustainable cafe is good for everyone. The menu changes depending on what's in season along with the art on the walls. While you wait for your food or after you lick the bowl clean, check out their fair-trade and natural product shop in the cafe's basement.

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  • photo: Official Website

    Cross over to the other side

    Bridge • Culture • Walking

    Cross the magnificent Augustus Bridge to get from Altstadt to Neustadt. Over here you will discover another side to Dresden local life.

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  • photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Find the funnel wall

    Art • Cool • Unique

    With a life-size Giraffe climbing up the side, Kunsthofpassage is straight out of Dr. Seuss' daydreams. Designed by artists Annette Paul, Christoph Roßner and André Tempel, this multicolored courtyard is the one place you want to be in bad weather: the giant funnel on one of the buildings turns into a musical instrument powered by rain. So get ready to sing along. You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, ay, ay, ay...

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  • photo: Google Images

    Walk in the footsteps of Kurt Vonnegut

    Tour • Walking • Vonnegut

    Danilo Hommel made this tour for all fellow Vonnegut nerds. Following Vonnegut's time in Dresden as a POW, the tour peaks with a visit to the Slaughterhouse 5 area and the tiny basement where internees survived.

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  • photo: Genuss Atelier

    Fine dine at Genuss Atelier

    Cozy • Foodie • Local

    This cozy hotspot with exposed brick walls is a must for foodies. All the Saxon classics you have been craving are plated to perfection. Meat, check! Vegetarian options, check! All wine and beer are locally sourced and the art on the walls is produced by local artists.

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  • photo: Google Images

    Beer and Blues at Blue Note

    Beer • Blues • Music

    Jazz, Funk and Blues lovers unite. For almost 18 years, people have been pouring in from 8pm for a daily dose of live music at Blue Note. Best thing is that most concerts are free to enter and the drinks are pretty cheap. After navigating both sides of the city, it's time to sit back, relax, and be a cool cat. Note: if you want to get back to Berlin tonight and not tomorrow morning, skip this bar and catch a train before 21:00.

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  • photo: Google Images

    Wave goodbye

    You have two options to get back to Berlin: leave before 21:00 and take a 3-hour train or leave later and take an overnight train. All options are around 29 euros, so it's up to you. Whether you choose to party here or party in Berlin, you are going to have to wave goodbye to Dresden and some point...

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