Port of Dresden
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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.
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.
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.