The scenic Elbe River, dividing Dresden into the Altstadt (Old Town) and the Neustadt (New Town), makes the city brim with wonderfully interesting comparisons of the past and the present. With its beautifully reconstructed center, the city is full of Renaissance-style and Baroque buildings and peppered with exceptional museums, musical venues and myriad cultural gems. A culture lover’s utopia.
How to spend one day in Dresden itinerary
Dresden is a bewitching place, ready to seduce you right away even if you have only one day available to spend there.
Wondering which corners of the city are worth visiting during your 1-day trip?Keep scrolling to discover how to spend one day in Dresden 👇
#1 Take a Stroll Along the Elbe River
One of the most charming and photogenic places to visit in Dresden is none other than the Elbe River itself. Walk along it until you find yourself at the point where the Old Town meets the river, aka Brühl’s Terrace, also known as “The Balcony of Europe”. The terrace is named after Count Heinrich von Brühl who was an adviser and dear friend of the King of Saxony, Augustus III.
Address: Georg-Treu-Platz 1, 01067 Dresden
#2 Savor the Cityscape from Frauenkirche’s Tower
Meet Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady, a powerful symbol of Dresden’s resurrection. Much of the building was totally destroyed during the war but, since then, it has been entirely reconstructed and transformed into an impressive structure. Add to your bucket-list to climb up the church tower. Although the steps are a bit steep, the panoramic views from the top will leave you breathless.
Address: Georg-Treu-Platz 1, 01067 Dresden
#3 Fall in Love with the Zwinger Palace
Wander around one of the most beautiful places to visit during your 1 day in Dresden: the Zwinger Palace and its ornately sculpted gardens. This is another historical site which was completely destroyed during WWII, but the Zwinger Palace and gardens have been rebuilt to resemble the original complex.
Quench your thirst for art by visiting the Meissen porcelain art museum inside, admire the Baroque style of the palace, or stroll through the gardens which were originally an orangery and pleasure garden for the Royal court.
Address: Sophienstraße, 01067 Dresden
#4 Marvel at the Fürstenzug
Very close to the palace, there’s another must-see spot if you have one day in Dresden: Fürstenzug, the world’s largest porcelain artwork. This 102-meter long mural is a masterpiece depicting a succession of the rulers of Saxony through the centuries and was originally painted in the 1870s to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Wettin Dynasty. In the 1900s, it fortunately survived the bombing during the war due to its mosaic Meissen tiles which kept it highly resilient.
Address: Augustusstraße 1, 01067 Dresden
#5 For the Museum & Gallery Buffs
- Right in the historic heart of the city, all of you, art lovers, will find the Albertinum. A modern art museum built in the 1880s hosting 200 years of art from the Romantic period up to today, and is popular for its sculpture hall in which “The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin resides.
- Are you a great fan of galleries? The impressive Old Masters Picture Gallery founded in 1560 with its collection of 750 paintings, dating from the 15th to the 18th century, will be your cup of tea. Admire marvelous works by Raphael, Rembrandt, and many more.
- The Grünes Gewölbe (The Green Vault). If you’re in the mood for observing the largest collection of treasures in Europe, the Green Vault is the perfect match for you. Opened by Augustus the Strong in 1723, it hosts precious artifacts, ranging from the baroque to the classical period, and features extraordinary architecture. Prepare yourselves to be amazed.
#6 Absorb the Green Vibes of the Grosser Garten
The Grosser Garten (The Grand Garden) is definitely not a place to miss during your one day in Dresden. A Baroque-style park and originally “born” in 1676, it’s the largest park in Dresden. Explore its tree-lined paths, picturesque gardens, fountains, sculptures and the Sommerpalais.
If you’re on a family trip, or you simply love animals and plants, you’ll also find there the Dresden Zoo, with over 400 species of animals, and the Dresden Botanical Garden, with over 10,000 species of plants!
Address: Hauptallee 10, 01219 Dresden
#7 Walk through the Kunsthofpassage
If you’re visiting Dresden just for 1 day, don’t miss the Kunsthofpassage in the Neustadt part of the city. Kunsthofpassage is basically a cool alleyway brimming with art, creativity and cute bookshops and cafes. One of its unique highlights is the super colorful “Courtyard of Elements”. If it’s a rainy day in Dresden, make sure to spot the installation in front of a building’s facade: a complex of funnels and gutters which transforms rain into music. Wow.
Address: Görlitzer Str. 21-25, 01099 Dresden
#8 Don’t Miss the Semper Opera House
Dresden’s Semper Opera House is the most famous opera in all of Germany. Built between 1838 and 1841, it houses the Saxon State Orchestra, one of the world’s oldest and best-known orchestras, and has had hosted many famous musicians, such as Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
If you have extra time, apart from appreciating its Italian Renaissance architecture, books tickers for a ballet, musical performance, or opera.
#9 Experience a Unique Ride via Dresden’s Schwebebahn
The Schwebebahn or “floating train” of Dresden is a unique hanging cable car and the oldest suspension railway in the world, having gone into service since 1901. The rail line is nearly 275 m in length, connecting the urban parts of Loschwitz and Oberloschwitz, and offers you a one-of-a-kind, historical, and breathtaking ride along with a beautiful lookout deck right at its top.
Address: Pillnitzer Landstraße 5, 01326 Dresden
#10 Time for Some Cake
You can’t leave the city without some culinary pleasures. For an authentic taste of Dresden, search for the Eierschecke cake, a local baked cheesecake made with layers of curd cheese and eggs, sometimes also flavored with almonds, apple or raisins. Sounds delicious!