A Baroque Old Town.
A garden suburb.
A cultural metropolis.
What a beautiful city!
As I told you last week, Dresden has a long rich history as the capital and royal residence of the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, and was once known as the Jewel Box of Germany, because of it’s Old Town city centre which is crammed with baroque and rococo architecture.
Sadly, when the international community think of Dresden, they make no mention of German splendour and historical treasures, but rather the horror of the Second World War!
War is a terrible thing, and Dresden paid the price.
Towards the end of World War II, Dresden was pretty much flattened and destroyed, and became unrecognisable.
Outside of the Old Town, Dresden has a trendy New Town – Neustadt – a nearby Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Ore Mountains which borders both Germany and the Czech Republic, the Moritzburg Castle, impressive countryside around the Elbe Valley, etc.
Waterside City with the River Elbe running right through it.
I hadn’t visited Dresden in more than twenty (20) years, and when I first visited, my German boyfriend at the time tried to persuade me to join him, at one of the family-friendly nudist Free Body Culture (FKK) beaches.
With his friends!
I did however, agree to join him alone.
And only him.
I was very conscious of the fact that people would stare at my body.
I was the only person wearing items of “clothing.”
With chocolate-brown skin.
Wearing a bikini.
That was bright yellow!
You could see me from the moon!
Dresden was better than I ever hoped.
Last week, I told you what to do if you’re a tourist. But what if you wanted to stay a little longer?
A couple of days. A week. Perhaps, even for a few weeks!
Make no mistake, I’d still highly recommend Berlin as your go-to-city, but if you insist, Dresden will do just fine!
Being that my new job as the Referent Interne Trainings or the Internal Training Manager, is in Dresden, I’ve been doing a lot of research which has not only been exhausting, but pretty expensive too!
Having said that, my experience has allowed me to stay in a wide variety of accommodation providers spanning from a collection of hotels, apartments, and even a hostel!
I do these things, so that you don’t have to!
Let’s get started, shall we?
WHY VISIT DRESDEN?
Well, I wrote quite a bit about it last week.
And anyway, Dresden is in Germany!
You really can’t go wrong there.
Well, it’s Germany!
TAKE ME THERE?
As you all pretty much know by now, I’m a great believer in train travel. However, depending on where you’re coming from, taking the bus / coach might actually be cheaper. And far more efficient!
I’ve been taking FlixBus, and their prices have been marvellous.
At one point, I actually took a bus for €4.99!
The average price is usually between €6.00 – €10.00, depending on how flexible you can travel.
I’ve used FlixBus for both local (within Germany), and international travel, and if you’re on a budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything cheaper!
Of course, if you’re coming from abroad, flying might prove more economical.
Dresden is quite a small city, so you might actually find yourself either flying to Dresden Airport (DRS), Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ), Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) or perhaps, even Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)!
If you’re not sure which airport in Berlin, you’re supposed to be flying to or out of, here’s a link to the website of Flughafen / Airport Berlin Brandenburg GmbH which has comprehensive information on both airports Berlin–Tegel (TXL) and Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF) as they’re at opposite ends of the city, and you don’t want to find yourself in the wrong one!
IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?
I didn’t think so!
In fact, as it wasn’t yet “the season,” some places and operations were still closed or had reduced hours.
But in the summer, prepare to gird your loins, and fight your way through!
WHAT IS DRESDEN LIKE?
I was pleasantly surprised.
It’s a small city of historical and architectural interest, the food and beer is impressive.
And it’s very, very pretty!
I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN.
Not. A. Problem.
It’s amazing how many languages a typical European speaks.
Most speak a minimum of three (3)!
If you speak English, German, Russian, or Chinese, you’re good to go.
And get this.
I couldn’t believe it!
Most things were written in German.
AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?
Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!
I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Ha! Let me help you here.
Dresden isn’t as cheap as I was expecting.
If you’re from the UK or the US, it’s as cheap as chips, obviously.
I mean, I was able to get a studio apartment with two (2) bedrooms, a small kitchen / dining room, and an en-suite bathroom for just €30.00 a night.
Thirty Euros (€30.00) a night!
And it wasn’t via Airbnb, but booking.com
But before we go any further, let me reiterate:
I am an affiliate partner of booking.com. In fact, if you use any of my hotel / apartment links, you’ll see the verified partner symbol of the British Berliner logo, along with each affiliated link.
This means that every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at absolutely no extra cost to yourself!
None of the hotels / hostels / apartments that I used were comped, or sponsored. All were paid for, absolutely by myself! As a result, you’ll also see my honest and verified view of what I thought when I stayed there, as a legitimate customer too.
Thanks a million!
Here’s all the variety of places where I stayed:
- I stayed at LaLeLu Hostel!
It’s a boutique “mini-hostel” with just seven (7) rooms, which was why I booked it!
It’s in the trendy hip Äußere Neustadt, otherwise known as Antonstadt and just a 20 minute walk from the AltStadt! In fact, when I got there, I immediately felt quite at home!
I was in the Königssuite or the Kings Suite which was a romantic suite covered with gold and lots of red!
The bathroom and lovely kitchen is shared, but there’s a fee for bed sheets and towels.
I paid €39.00 per night for a private double room suite. If there’s two of you, that’s €19.50 a pop!
BED & BREAKFAST / GUEST HOUSES / PENSIONS:
- I stayed at the Hotel Pension zu Dresden Altpieschen, and absolutely loved it!
I was there for a week and really wished I could have stayed longer!
It’s a 1901-ish charming Guest House that is in the lovely district of Pieschen, about a 10 minute walk from the AltStadt, a 10 minute tram-ride to the NeuStadt, and a mere 250 metres from the river Elbe!
My room was in the loft, was absolutely huge, and had 20th century wooden beams features everywhere. I also had my own landing, my own staircase, and my own entrance door that could be securely locked!
I had a huge bathroom that was so big I couldn’t reach the mirror, so they had to had to get me a small one, for my tiny height!
A fridge was included, complete with a bottle of water!
Everything was delightful, except for the WiFi.
Quite adequate for your average tourist, but utterly useless for someone like me!
I paid €42.00 per night for a spacious loft. If there’s two of you, that’s €22.00 a pop!
- I also stayed at the Pension Dresdener Berge.
I couldn’t believe how cheap, but safe, the Pension / Bed and Breakfast would be!
This was my first hotel in Dresden, and if I had known then what I know now, I would have blocked-booked it, as I never got that fantastic price ever again!
In fact, I wasn’t even able to get the studio apartment either, as someone had booked it!
I highly recommend it as a budget option for 1 person, a couple, or a couple with a child!
I had a 2-bedroom studio apartment for just €30.00 a night!
It had a large bedroom, a small bedroom for a child, a small kitchen / dining room, and an en-suite bathroom.
I paid €30.00 per night for a 2-bedroom studio apartment. If there’s two of you, that’s €15.00 a pop, and your child is totally free of charge!
I stayed at two (2) different hotel – apartments. And one of them, I even stayed at twice!
- I stayed at the Hotel & Apartment Altstadtperle in the leafy suburbs of Löbtau.
With houses dated from the last century and older, genteel street lamps, and 300 year old churches scattered everywhere, it was no wonder that I found the quiet neighbourhood appealing.
I stayed in two different apartments at this hotel, and they were always quite large with a huge bathroom, and a small kitchen. And the cleaner came in every day!
I loved the hotel itself, the location was fantastic, and my apartment was great.
But the staff were lazy, and the WiFi pretty much non-existent. They also wouldn’t waive the City Tax even though they were supposed to!
I stayed here twice spanning almost two (2 weeks), as I really thought that the issues were a one-off.
If you’re on holiday, it’s a really lovely apartment-hotel and I’d recommend it, but if you’re on a business trip, book somewhere else!
I paid €40.50 initially, and the following week I paid €46.08 per night. For two people, €20.25 and €23.04 a pop!
My husband – The Music Producer and our son came to visit me in Dresden, so I booked a larger apartment in a residential area.
- It was a lovely apartment called Stirl Apartments.
It had a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, a bedroom, a third bed, a sofabed, and a very nice bathroom!
The third bed was in our bedroom, but “The Tall Young Gentleman” was horrified when he saw it, so we used the sofabed in the “living room area” instead!
WiFi was excellent!
It was a little further away from the action than we would have wanted, but the neighbourhood was very quiet and peaceful.
We paid €85.00 per night which for three people would be €28.50 a pop!
- I stayed at the Hotel Windsor which is a very nice small hotel, which had the look of grandeur, but at surprisingly, “small budget” prices!
I had an en-suite bathroom, a double bed, a tiny writing-table and my own balcony.
I paid just €37.52 which is even less than I paid for the hostel above!
TRENDY FANCY HOTELS:
- We had actually planned to stay at this fantastic 4-star hotel called Aparthotel Am Schloss!
It’s a hotel which is famous for it’s architecture, location, service and facilities.
It’s right in the center of the AltStadt, about 350 meters away from the Zwinger Palace in Dresden, and a few minutes from the Frauenkirche with the castle very, very close by!
I only remembered when I got a message stating that my reservation was now booked. Oops!
While we were in the AltStadt, I had a quick peek inside the Aparthotel Am Schloss.
It was exactly as I would have wished, and we really would have loved staying there!
Even though it was far more expensive than the hotels that I had previously been to, I would have preferred it, for the mere fact that it was exactly where we wanted to be.
In the Old Town!
It would have been €117 per night, but very much worth it!
Book ahead to get good prices.
I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?
The AltStadt is the historical part of town, but the The NeuStadt is a grungy hipster sort of place. It’s for the young and trendy, but you don’t have to be young or trendy to visit, and it’s not Copenhagen or Amsterdam, so you can definitely take your children!
There’s a lot of free stuff happening in the city. Most of the available info is in German, but if you check the website of Visit Dresden on a regular basis, keep your eyes open, or just ask a local where you can meet other locals, you’ll find them!
WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?
Dresden isn’t as large as Berlin, and as such public transport is like any other typical German town – trams, buses, ferries, and overland trains.
And like any other typical German town, public transport is pretty efficient.
When using public transport, there are many possibilities to buy a ticket. You can buy:
- A short-trip ticket – €1.70
- A single ticket – €2.30
- A day ticket – €6.00
- A four (4) journey ticket – €8.20
- A family day ticket – €9.00
- A small group ticket – €15.00
- A weekly pass – €21.50
- A monthly pass – €60.50
- A season ticket (per month) – €50.90
I have bought them all, and since I’m a regular in Dresden, I decided to buy a season ticket to cut down on cost and for flexibility!
There are ticket machines pretty much everywhere, so you can buy your ticket whenever and wherever you want!
The ticket machine accepts cash, EC cards, and pretty much, most “recognised” credit cards!
As in Berlin, you buy your ticket and either validate it by clicking the ticket on a blue-standing object, which you’ll find on the train platform BEFORE you actually get on the train, or if using trams and buses, look for a sort of orange-standing object which is not far from the doorway, as soon as you get on.
Don’t forget, as in Berlin, there are no barriers to using public transport. However, there are random inspector checks, and if you are found NOT to have a valid ticket, the penalty is €60.00. Or more!
So in order to keep German public transport a non-barrier one, please buy your ticket!
The marvellous thing about using the trams and buses in Dresden is that they actually have information on the monitor display INSIDE the tram or bus stating the name of the next stop, the details of the next available buses, trams, and train numbers at the stop, as well as how long the waiting time would be!
The frequency isn’t every 3-5 minutes as in Berlin, but the monitor display tells you all the information that you need to know, so that you can make choices as to which transport provider to use.
Surprisingly, most places in Dresden don’t actually have a Reception Desk!
And if they do, it isn’t manned or even open!
You generally have to let them know when you’re going to arrive so that they’ll be there to meet you, but if you arrive after-hours there’s a telephone number to call or instructions as to how to get the key, which is usually in some sort of secure coded box near by.
Oh, and just so you know, the City of Dresden also puts a Tourism Tax of €1.30 per person. Per night!
However, if you’re in Dresden for business reasons (and can prove it), the tax is waived.
We quite like Dresden!
Dresden has culture, and a vibrant history.
For many international visitors, Dresden isn’t a destination that immediately comes to mind, unless it’s Christmas.
Because Dresden Stollen!
But if you’re in Saxony region, make it a point of duty to spend a few
weeks days, in Dresden or as many as the surrounding area, as you can manage.
If you’re looking for a new destination in East Germany, and you’ve “done” Berlin (As if!), say hello – DRESDEN!
WOULD I COME AGAIN?
My office is in Dresden, so I sort of have to!
Let’s do it!
HOW TO LIVE IN DRESDEN. FOR LONGER THAN A DAY!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and all the beds that I bounced up and down on, are my very own!
Next week, the last post on Dresden!
And in a few weeks, I’ll be revealing my next summer trip!
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!