Dresden

The Dresdner Frauenkirche Church
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Dresden Travel Guide

With majestic baroque architecture and numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden has been called “Elbflorenz” (“Florence of the Elbe”). Capital of the state of Saxony, Dresden in the 20th century was a leading European ...

With majestic baroque architecture and numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden has been called “Elbflorenz” (“Florence of the Elbe”). Capital of the state of Saxony, Dresden in the 20th century was a leading European center of art, classical music, culture and science until its complete destruction by Allied bombing on February 13, 1945. Forty years of urban development during the East German socialist era considerably changed the face of the city. However, restoration work has helped to reconstruct much of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Semperoper and the Dresdner Frauenkirche. Since reunification in 1990, Dresden has reemerged as a cultural, educational, political and economic center of Germany. On either side of the city, terraced vineyards dotted with historic villas extend along the Elbe River. 

Recommended Luxury Hotels in Dresden

All Andrew Harper-recommended hotels offer impeccable accommodations and high levels of personal service. Only the best of the best make our list, so we rate them on a scale from bird icon 90 to 100.
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Best Restaurants in Dresden

Recommended to us by the concierge of the Taschenbergpalais, this restaurant in the basement of the Coselpalais is known for its 18th-century vaulted cellar. It struck me as rather kitschy, but I did very much enjoy our lunch on the outdoor patio facing the Academy of Fine Arts and the Frauenkirche. My cream of asparagus soup with julienned ham tasted rich and smoky, and the fresh char fillet came with delectably crispy skin, creamed leeks and savory potato rösti with pumpkin seeds. In poor weather, opt instead for the vaulted cellar of the Altmarktkeller, a Saxon and Bohemian beer hall I discovered on a previous Dresden visit.

An der Frauenkirche 12 Dresden

Beyond the pristine white façade of the neoclassical Kurländer Palais is my favorite restaurant in Dresden, the seafood-focused Kastenmeiers. The interior of the palace burned during the bombing of the city, but it has only been minimally restored — colorful contemporary paintings hang on walls of exposed stone and brick, where just a few bits of the original plaster coating remain. In this supremely atmospheric space, we enjoyed light and flavorful dishes such as grilled black tiger prawns with arugula and Parmesan, and perfectly cooked sea bass with tomato confit and wild garlic couscous. The excellent wine list has a large by-the-glass selection and numerous options from Saxony.

Tzschirnerplatz 3-5 Dresden

Hidden away in a lounge of the historic Schauspielhaus (State Theater), this restaurant draws smartly dressed locals for elegant pre-theater dining. The Semper Opera House is just a five-minute walk away through the courtyard of the Zwinger, making william ideal for a pre-opera dinner, as well. I relished my appetizer of a soft-boiled egg with Meissen ham, creamy mustard foam, crunchy dried capers and potato purée, an upscale take on the classic (and much-maligned) Senfei. My main course of crispy-skinned pike-perch with tender asparagus and barley risotto was light and delicious. Interesting wines such as a Hensel & Schneider blend of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris from the Pfalz paired beautifully.

Theaterstrasse 2 Dresden
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