As you may know, I traveled to Dresden three weeks ago and loved my time there. I talked about the beautiful autumn weather in my first post on Dresden and promised you a downloadable self-guided walk (or two) of this wonderful city, so here it is, the Dresden Old Town walk.
This self-guided tour starts on the Augustus bridge (1), the oldest bridge in the city. It’s a lovely bridge and fortunately there isn’t too much traffic on it. While crossing the bridge you will have a nice view of the old town, the different churches and historic buildings. Right at the end of the bridge you will walk on an impressive square surrounded by majestic buildings like the Hofkirche (12), the castle and a few other historic buildings. You will come back to have a closer look at these later. Just after the bridge it’s time to climb the stairs on the left that will take you straight to the Brühlsche Terrasse (Brühl’s Terrace) (2), nicknamed the balcony of Europe because of the many locals and tourists who go there for a walk, to have a coffee or simply to sit on one of the many benches and do some people watching or contemplate the Elbe river. At the end of the terrace you will come across a small but pretty park, the Brühlscher Garten. Leave the terrace by going down the stairs next to the park and reach the Albertinum (3), a modern art museum with a very interesting collection. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit, but my parents, who stayed in town a bit longer, did and loved it. Then it’s time to visit the maybe most impressive building in town, the Frauenkirche. Make sure to read its story on how the church was rebuilt after burning down. If you want you can climb its dome, there are over 200 steps though and I was too lazy to do so, shame on me! But I went inside the church and it was lovely although everything was in pastel colours. From the Neumarkt, in front of the Frauenkirche, it’s time to walk to the Altmarkt, the square where, around Christmas time, Dresden holds its famous Striezelmarkt. I have never been to this market, but the pictures surely look amazing.
Next you will come across another church, the Kreuzkirche (6). Again a place where you can climb up high, the tower this time, and have a nice view of the city. Then it’s back onto Seestrasse. If you’re up for some shopping turn left and walk down Prager Strasse (7), if not turn right and go back to the Neumarkt. Then it’s time for another highlight, the Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes) (8), a huge mural painted on 23’000 porcelain tiles.
After the Procession of the Princes turn left under the arcade to enter the Royal Palace area. Inside this castle there are many things to see, due to limited time I chose to see only the Historic Green Vault. Wow, I have never ever seen something similar! Basically it’s a collection of treasures, each room has its theme: there’s an amber cabinet, an ivory room, a white silver room, and so on. To visit the Historic Green Vault you need a timed ticket. When I was in Dresden it was easy to get one, I only had to wait about 10 minutes for the next time slot. But I suppose that it gets busier at other times of the year. The visit is not exactly cheap but it includes an audio guide, so I think it was worth the price.
After the castle visit the Zwinger (10), my favourite place in Dresden. It’s just breathtakingly beautiful! I couldn’t stop taking pictures! As I said on my previous post on Dresden, make sure to walk the walls for another perspective on the buildings. To get on the wall I had to walk to through the café on the opposite side of the main entry, or you can walk up from the park behind the buildings. In the Zwinger buildings there are again a few interesting museums. Don’t miss the Alte Meister Gallery to see some amazing paintings, including Raffaello’s Sistine Madonna and Canaletto’s view of Dresden.
Last but not least, just before the end of the tour, you will come across the Semperoper (11). This is another historic building in Dresden that was destroyed many times for different reasons and had to be rebuilt more than once. It’s still an impressive place and if you can, go and see a show. Then walk back to the Katholische Hofkirche (12) and end the tour on the bridge.
As always you can download the whole tour here or just have a look at the map here:
In case you try the walk, let me know what you think of it! Thank you and have fun in Dresden!