Dresden is delightfully schizophrenic: on one side of the Elbe it’s a series of baroque portraits, and on the other a grungy alternative zone filled with bars and boutiques. It’s OK though: it’s all held together by the little strip of the Inner New Town, and Saxon Switzerland is just on the doorstep…
The picturesque Old Town
Known as the Florence of the North, Dresden was filled with baroque beauty that was bombed to the ground during WWII (remember this?) and most of the buildings in the Old Town are… new. Some were just completed within the last few years, but they have done a great job of making this part of the city photogenic!
Life in the Colourful Republic of Dresden New Town
It would be too limiting to call the New Town Dresden’s alternative shopping and nightlife spot. It’s that, and so much more. It’s the oldest part of the city, and after the fall of the GDR the citizens of its many squats and small apartments founded the Colourful Republic of Dresden New Town. The best way to discover my favourite part of Dresden is with a walking tour by local character, Danilo.
The hinge of the Inner New Town
Luckily, these two very different cities have some kind of connection. Cross the Albert bridge into the Inner New Town: this is the perfect place to stay if you want to explore both sides of Dresden.
Saxon Switzerland natural park
As if the architectural beauty wasn’t enough, our Couchsurfing hosts were kind enough to take us out to the Saxon Switerland, or Sächsische Schweiz, national park – an area full of hiking tracks, climbing options and — around the fortress — tourist buses.
The stories that go with these pictures, plus talk on transport, accommodation, prices and all sorts of things can be found in the podcast. Hit the play button at the top of this page or find episode 290 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.
We spent a week in Dresden as part of #IndieGermany – a five week trip through five cities in Germany, with a German Rail Pass from ACP Rail. Our thanks to the Dresden Tourism Board for their help, including the use of two Dresden City Cards.