The Slavs are fabled to be the first inhabitants of the Elbe Valley, where Dresden now resides, but this area has been fought over by various groups in its time. In the 15th century, it was ruled by Saxon tribes and over the years that followed the town began to grow. A fire tore through the town at the end of the 1400s, but this did not stop rulers from building Dresden back up, and by the 18th century it was heralded as one of the most beautiful cities Europe had ever seen. It came as a great tragedy, therefore, that Allied bombings in 1945 wiped out the vast majority of the beautiful baroque architecture that stood here. Despite this disaster, Dresden has been rebuilt and continues to be rebuilt until this day. Popular Attractions
Dresden is awash with great architecture, and even though much of it is the product of rebuilding the parts of the city that were destroyed with bombings, it’s all still well worth taking a look at. Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, is a popular Dresden attraction and visitors should certainly consider going to the top to catch great views over the city. Other must-see architectural attractions in Dreden include Zwinger Palace, Dresden Cathedral, Semperoper, otherwise known as the Opera House, and a walk along the Brühlsche Terrasse, a promenade flanked by incredible buildings. For museums, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister is where to go for paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries, the Dresden City Museum will tell you everything you need to know about this city, and head to the German Hygiene Museum if you’re looking for something a little more offbeat. The Elbe riverbanks in Dresden also make for a good day out in the summer, and from here you can see the buildings in the Old Town soaring up to form the skyline. Food
Food in Dresden is typically Germanic, in that it’s hearty and rich. All kinds of meats play a big part in German food, especially in the form of sausages. Vegetables tend to be earthy and dense, like potatoes and cabbage, and don’t forget all those bakeries, a cookery field in which Germans are at their finest. Plenty of international cuisine can be found in Dresden, so if German food isn’t your thing, you’ll find plenty more to keep you satisfied. Transport
Dresden-Klotzsche Airport is around 20 minutes away from the city center by bus. Flights to and from this hub are fairly local; most major German cities run connections here, and a few other locations in Europe, such as London or Zurich. For other flights, consider connecting through Berlin or Frankfurt. Tips for Travelers
Dresden’s old center is very easy to explore by foot, so if you’re planning to spend a day here you won’t need to worry about public transport. If you need to go a little further afield, there is a good web of bus and tram lines in Dresden, which should take you anywhere you need to go. Buy a day ticket for around 6 euros to save some money if you plan to move around a lot. Dresden is a very safe city, and the majority of travellers have no problems here. Dreasden’s climate is typical for this part of Europe – the temperature can drop below zero in the winters, but not by much, and the summers are warm but not scorching. Fun Facts
Toothpaste was invented in Dresden in 1907. The coffee filter was also invented in the region, Saxony, in 1908. Famous composers like Johann Sebastian Bach and Richard Wagner spent time writing their music in Saxony.