Dresden is a cultural hotspot with a lot of history to tell. Green and charming with several off the beaten path attractions Dresden is a paradise for couples looking to escape the current digital trend. The capital of the eastern German state of Saxony is home to unique treasures along the river Elbe, and lavishing buildings which make this city all too photogenic. Here is our Dresden itinerary to help you discover its most enchanting sites.
A romantic weekend in Dresden - Contents
Our Romantic Dresden Itinerary
The Dresden Eldland region is one of the most romantic destinations in Germany, showcasing a unique combination of natural scenery, cultural sights and soft adventure opportunities. Enjoy baroque palaces complexes with blooming gardens and take a nostalgic stroll alongside river Elbe for a relaxing afternoon with your loved one.
Start the day with a walk around the old town, which is dotted with shops, cafes and restaurants. We always love to start the day with a coffee in a small cafe, which allows us to people watch for an hour and get the vibe of the city. Right in the old town, you will find many architectural gems which call for your most artistic pictures. From the old town, enjoy fantastic views over the river Elbe.
Zwinger is a famous tourist attraction located right in the heart of the Old Town. It's a baroque building with a beautiful garden and houses a porcelain collection as well as a historic exhibit. The sights are simply spectacular, with unique architectural elements and beautiful statues. It's a lovely place for a romantic morning walk. The gardens are especially well kept and great for couple photography.
The Frauenkirche is one of the greatest Baroque achievements and it is considered a masterpiece of European architecture. Destroyed during the WWII, the church was reconstructed and reopened to the public in 2005. Today is a protestant church which hosts services, recitals and ecclesiastical music. It's also an important venue for concert performances. With so much to learn about its history and architecture, Frauenkirche is one of Germany's most well-known sights. We recommend that you take an audio guide tour or book your guided dome climb. From the top, you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views over Dresden.
Semperoper is the opera house of the Saxon State Opera, the concert hall of the Saxon State Orchestra and home to the Semperoper Ballett. The Semperoper was originally built in 1841 but devastated by a fire in 1869. The opera house was partly rebuilt by the same architect, Gottfried Semper and completed in 1878. The architecture of the opera house is best describes as eclectic, with early Renaissance and Baroque styles, as well as its Corinthian style pillars. Nevertheless, the Semperoper is considered to be a prime example of "Dresden Baroque" architecture.
The state opera was largely destroyed during the WWII but reconstructed 40 years later, in 1985. It was rebuilt to be almost identical to its original appearance before the war.
Lunch at brennNessel
For lovely vegan and vegetarian options, we recommend brennNessel for your lunch. They serve really nice stews, soups and salads.
Address: Schützengasse 18, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Now that you've seen the grandiose Dresden, it's time to see its quirky side: Neustadt or New Town. Cross the River Elbe and head towards Neustadt, a graffiti-cool part of the city dotted with eateries, funky bars and vegan shops. It reminded us of parts of Bristol such as Gloucester Road. The place is full of street art and home to various cultural events such as the City Festival or the Movie Nights.
Whilst walking around, we stumbled upon The world of the GDR, a museum which showcases the events about everyday life in the GDR.
Food at Falscher Hase
We ate our dinner at Falscher Hase vegan restaurant. There are plenty of options all around if you fancy something different. We ordered two organic wheat beers, and honestly, they were the best we've ever had. The food was nice, we went for large burgers as we were pretty hungry after exploring Dresden for the day. On a nice sunny day, you can have your food outdoors in the restaurant's back garden.
Sunset in Dresden
During sunset, you can capture some fantastic pictures of the old town from the opposite river banks. If the weather allows it, we recommend having a late evening picnic and admiring Dresden's cityscape. End your first day in Dresden by walking back towards the hotel and crossing the river Elbe back towards the old town.
Stay at Hotel Am Terrassenufer
If you are wondering where to stay in Dresden we believe we found a great place for romance lovers. We stayed at Hotel Am Terrassenufer which is an affordable 4-star accommodation located just minutes from the river Elbe and the old town. We recommend booking in advance and asking for a room with a view. At night, you can admire Dresden's illuminated cityscape which looks simply stunning. For breakfast, you can expect an open buffet with all sort of jams and fruits, as well as vegetarian options. The breakfast is served in a beautiful conservatory which looks very elegant. Click to check the latest prices.
It's time to get the soft adventure boots on and take a long walk on the banks of the river Elbe. Head towards Loschwitz, a quaint borough of Dresden, located about an hour walk away from the old town. We think the best romantic thing to do is to walk hand in hand and explore a new place together. By walking in nature, or by the river banks, you can allow yourself to re-connect with your loved one and find great and engaging topics to discuss. Given that we both work in front of our computers almost 10 hours a day, it's nice to have that break from any digital distractions, social media and emails.
After the one hour refreshing walk, you will arrive in Loschwitz, a super pretty village with timber-framed houses and antique stores. It's a great place for indie cafes and boutiques. We arrived on market day, so we stopped to purchase some fresh fruit. We then decided to buy some vegan products and enjoy a picnic by the river banks. There are myriad bakeries, tavern-style restaurants and sweet shops all around, so you will be spoiled for choice.
Dresden Suspension Railway
The Dresden Suspension Railway is the world's first suspension railway which is 280 m long and climbs over 84 m to Oberloschwitz. The trip itself is only 4 minutes and the views from the top are pretty wonderful. If you wish, you can also hike your way to the top. It will take around 10-15 minutes but be warned as the hill is quite steep.
Soft adventure lovers as we are, we didn't take the bus from Oberloschwitz to Pillnitz Castle but decided to walk instead. We wanted to see how people live and get to learn a little more about the off the beaten path parts of Dresden. We weren't disappointed. We saw so many beautiful houses, tucked in the hills and forest. That's when we realised how green Dresden really is.
After around 1 hour and a half, we arrived at Pillnitz Castle. We really loved our walk, but if you get tired along the way, know there are several buses which run frequently and they will take you right to the castle grounds.
Pillnitz Castle is a beautiful Renaissance palace with a gorgeous botanical palm house and art museums. The highlight of our trip to Pillnitz Castle were the gardens. We cannot express how lovely and romantic it was to spend time exploring the blooming gardens, all dotted with hidden treasures. One of the museums housed a photography exhibition for fashion and lifestyle. The castle grounds are generally calm and relaxing which make it the perfect afternoon Dresden attraction.
Coffee & Cakes
What is better than enjoying an afternoon tea after visiting a romantic castle? Head to Bakery Wippler, located just minutes from the castle and sit down for a lovely cup of coffee and a cake. There are so many delicious options it will probably worth allocating a few hours to try various sweets and bakery items. Re-energised and ready to go? The bakery is just a couple of minutes away from the cruise port. Time to indulge in a romantic cruise back to Dresden.
Cruise to Dresden
Take the Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt cruise back to Dresden, a journey which takes roughly one hour. On the ship, you can take a seat outside, so you can admire and photograph the banks of the river Elbe, or be inside if the weather is a little challenging. We wanted to sit outdoors and admire the beauty of Dresden from the river. There was table service on the ship, so you can order a refreshing beverage or freshly made food. There is also commentary throughout the journey, in order to learn more about Dresden and its important attractions.
The cruise will end right in the old town, the perfect location for a lovely sunset evening before dinner.
Italian dinner at La Osteria
We fancied some vegan Italian dishes and we decided to try La Osteria in search of pizza and pasta. The service was great and the pizza was huge. For those wanting to tailor the pizza, you can do so without an issue. There are also options to order small portions of pasta if you want to try various dishes. We didn't order wine, but German wheat beer (our favourite) which worked very well with our meal. Overall, a great end to our Dresden itinerary.
We truly enjoyed our 2 days Dresden itinerary and found this city to be quaint, romantic and suitable for couples in search of history, culture and outdoors. If you are doing a road trip in Europe and stay in Prague, know that Dresden is just a couple of hours away, and well worth adding it to your itinerary.
Special thanks to Visit Dresden for organising our trip. We had an amazing time exploring Dresden and loved its architecture as well as its incredible outdoors and castles. We look forward to visiting it again, soon. As always, thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.