Dresden (Photo:Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock)
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Eleanor Berman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Dresden

Dresden's churches, palaces, museums and squares are among the finest in Germany, but the grand baroque domes and spires that form the skyline today are something of a miracle. The city has a long history as the rich capital and royal residence of the Saxon empire, but fierce firebombing raids by Allied forces during World War II completely destroyed the city center. Nearly 45 years under Communist occupation saw little restoration.

About Dresden


Pro

This beautiful city is packed with sights and attractions, including palaces and churches, museums and more

Con

A lot of the city had to be reconstructed after World War II, so what you're seeing is often not original

Bottom Line

Dresden is a small city, but has a lot to offer visitors who enjoy exploring culture and history


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It was only after Germany was reunited in 1989 that determined citizens could begin to rebuild, exactly replicating the splendor of the past. Art treasures that had been hidden away have been restored to their rightful homes, and this small city (population 500,000) once again features art, music, architecture and culture exceptional for its size, earning it the nickname "Florence on the Elbe."

The handsome city straddles the Elbe River with scenic paths along the water and bridges connecting the two sides. Most of the important sites are in the restored Old Town (Altstadt). Some choice shopping and a scenic bicycle path along the Elbe are on the opposite bank (Neustadt).

Where You're Docked

Riverboats anchor on the edge of town. There is no formal dock area; a gangplank connects to the riverbank and the road or walking path into the city.

Good to Know

Dresden is a small city, and although it's quite safe, watch out for pickpockets in crowded places.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The euro is the local currency. Visit XE.com for current exchange rates. ATM's are plentiful, and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Language

German is the native language. Museums have printed information in English, and some English is spoken in many restaurants and shops, but a German-American dictionary may come in handy.

Shopping

Whimsical hand-carved wooden figures, nutcrackers and Christmas ornaments from the nearby Ore mountain region make delightful souvenirs. The best selections are found at Stracoland, 2 Neumarkt, near the Frauenkirche and Geschenke & Ambiente at two locations: An der Frauenkirche 5 near the church and Kleine Brüdergasse 5 across from the Royal Palace.

Fine hand-painted porcelain from neighboring Meissen is also found in many shops, and in season, Dresden stollen (Striezel), a fruit-laden holiday spice cake, is a tradition that dates to 1400. Every bakery claims its own secret recipe.


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