Can you See Dresden in a Day?
Of course not! The city whose name instantly calls up the tragedy of WWII, hipster street art, and shopping havens? There is certainly more to see, do, and eat than can be fit into just one day!
However, at a bit over 2 hours away, the city is a convenient day-trip from Prague. Since my weekend sometimes fell on a Wednesday, I jetted off via RegioJet (because hot cocoa and movies!!!) to see Dresden in a day…cause, treat yourself!
Why People are Visiting Dresden in Winter…
A student of mine was shocked that I hadn’t heard of the massive shopping mall in Dresden. In fact, it seems that very few people make it past the corridor that stretches from train station to tram tracks!!
Don’t be intimidated. You can dip in for free WiFi and keep walking straight ahead for the good stuff. Despite the cold, vising Dresden in winter ought to include more than just shopping!
The Zwinger is likely the first shiny place you’ll bump into and it’s worth the meander. I was, frankly, just trying to soak up as much sun as possible and the upper walkway provided this with people watching.
Dresden Old Town
Next, simply follow your feet! The Old Town is very walkable and you’ll find something enjoyable around every corner. For instance, the Procession of Princes mural and Brühl’s Terrace. One offering an artistic view of past privileges, the other a beautiful view of the Elbe and Old Town buildings.
You definitely also want to check out the Frauenkirche, the beautiful church that collapsed after the bombings of 1945 and was entirely reconstructed between 1994-2005. The main body of the church is open to all visitors, though you should check in advance if there’s a gallery tour you’d like to pay for, such as the chance for a view from the top.
Speaking of views, the Elbwiesen (Elbe Meadows) is your number one place for beautiful city-scapes. I practically ran here after a late lunch to catch the sunset. So worth it. If you’re reading about Dresden, you’ll probably hear something about some painting by some guy. This is what they’re talking about. Whatever. It’s a nice view.
Before or after the Elbweisen, head into the Neustadt neighborhood for some seriously cool street art. This was a fun neighborhood through which to wander. Especially the very popular Kunshofpassage (which has a tasty craft beer shop right there). Less great was Pfunds Molkerei which I sought out because I’m obsessed with food. It’s pretty much a drop-off point for tourist buses and probably fine to skip.
Luckily, the weather was abnormally gorgeous for visiting Dresden in winter, so I didn’t go to any of the fantastic museums. Which was good, cause I wasn’t in the mood! However, if I were to go again, I’d definitely try to see all the gold shiny things at the Green Vault, the painting of bombed-out Dresden in the Panometer, and maybe even try out a tour with Nightwalk Dresden,
This gal here has good suggestions for more things to do in and around Dresden.
Dresden Striezelmarkt (Christmas Market!)
OK! The obvious reason for visiting Dresden in winter is the Dresden Striezelmarkt!!! The Christmas market is one of the oldest in Germany, being founded in 1434. If there’s any better reason to schedule experiencing Dresden in a day for the winter months, I can’t think of one!
What can I say? Hot wine, blinking lights, endless stalls of Christmas goodies both edible and otherwise, even a carols band. Christmas markets are worth the hype.