From Berlin there are a few transportation options, most of which wont break the bank. You can find flights to the city, however this often makes the trip much longer than it needs to be, as they tend to get there via another city adding on an hour or so travel time. Driving there is simple and will cost you the expense of car hire and petrol. The train is easy and takes about 2 hours (although the high speed train ironically adds an extra hour as it stops in Lipzeig) costs vary depending on time of year and what specials are on so it’s worth looking into before you go. That leaves the most inexpensive option (and in my opinion, the best) which is of course to take a bus (Linien Bus Company). The journey from Berlin to Dresden is quite pretty on the road and for around just $12 and 2.5hours of your time, it really isn’t a tall order.Photo courtesy of Thomas Quine
Upon arrival, the first thing you are bound to notice is of course the beauty of your surroundings. Dresden is a city rich in culture, art and history, having once been the royal residence of Saxon Kings. It was also heavily bombed during WWII when 3,900 tonnes of explosives were dropped on the city center, destroying around 80% of the historical sites (which have, fortunately, since been restored). The best part about the city is that all sights are within walking distance from each other making it easy to make the most out of your time here not having to wait for transport.[PHOTO_190177]
You'll be starting at the incredible Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) which holds and displays one of Europe's most exquisite royal treasure collections. Amongst the jaw-dropping jewels, precious metals and artworks is the world's largest green diamond. The box office opens at 9 and there is often a queue, so if possible, try to reserve tickets before you arrive, otherwise get in early to ensure you don't miss out!
After awing over the incredible treasures, head to the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). After being completely destroyed by the air raids of 1945, the Frauenkirche lay as a pile of rubble until 1994 when private funding and donations allowed for restoration to begin. Only completed in 2005, the stunning church has now been restored to its former glory, carefully rebuilt using as much of the original materials as possible, to the design specifications of its 18th century architecture. Frauenkirche — Photo courtesy of Milan Boers
Next, pop across to the Brühlsche Terrasse (Bruhl's Terrace), also known as "the balcony of Europe", for beautiful views over the River Elbe and plenty of places to sit and enjoy a refreshment. Again, a large percentage of this building had to be restored after the allied bombing but it is essentially now the same aesthetically as it was before its destruction. Bruhl's Terrace — Photo courtesy of Matthias Schack
You're final must-see attraction in the city is Der Dresdner Zwinger, Dresdens Palace. An exquisite example of Baroque architecture, this stunning palace is home to a number of collections of finery, including Old Master's paintings and china collections. Take a stroll through the grounds amongst the impressive statues and fountains and soak in this stunning atmosphere. [PHOTO_190188]
By now it should be time for a well earned meal before heading back to Berlin. Unfortunately, Dresden's city center restaurants can be over-priced and of average quality, however there are always exceptions and the views and atmosphere when dining along the Elbe River and Neustadt is delightful.