Dresden Travel Guide

Mostly known for the World War II bombings that killed 25,000 people and destroyed 75 percent of the city centre, Dresden now strives to reclaim its former splendour. Dating back to the early 13th century, many buildings have endured hundreds of years of history, including the rebuilt Frauenkirche, the Swinger Palace, the Semperoper and the Fürstenzug. Excellent museums in the city are dedicated to art, local culture, the military, natural history, anthropology and even hygiene.

A lively city with a strong arts and culture scene, Dresden has an energetic nightlife and a number of music, film and cultural festivals throughout the year. These include the Bunte Republik Neustadt, the Dixieland Festival, Filmnächte and the festive Christmas street markets. But really, there's a party to be found on any night of the week, with many clubs and bars concentrated in Neustadt and Weiße Gasse, and some excellent restaurants around the Frauenkirche.

More active holidaymakers will find plenty to do in Dresden too. Rollerblading in the Großer Garten is a popular pastime, as is rowing in the small boats on the Carolasee. Saxon Switzerland, located upstream along the Elbe River, is a national park perfect for hiking and rock-climbing, while wildlife enthusiasts are welcome at the oldest zoo in Germany.

Dresden is situated about two hours from Prague, and within easy distance of some of Germany's top attractions, including the Königstein Fortress, the Saxon Ore Mountains, Pillnitz, Meissen and Leipzig.