Things to do in Dresden – New Town and surrounds

We recently looked at things to do in Dresden, or more accurately, things to do in Dresden’s Old Town. Today, it’s time to head over the river and into the Neustadt.

Dresden Neustadt is the alternative contrast to the baroque fairytale of the Old Town. Along the Elbe River the palaces continue, but after you hit Albertplatz there is little gentrification in sight. Students, artists, and other interesting folk live here, disparagingly referring to the Old Town as “Disneyland”.

The Inner New Town

Crossing the river on the Augustusbrucke you see a gold statue of a man on a horse. This is Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony. From here until Albertplatz, Antonstraße and Bautzner Straße is the Inner New Town, or Innere Neustadt.

Wide pedestrian avenues with designer boutiques.

Wide pedestrian avenues with designer boutiques off it.

Beside the river

The meadows alongside the river provide a great spot for sunbathing, kicking around a football, or cycling. All during summer of course! There are also some excellent photo opportunities looking towards the Old Town in any weather.

The Palais

In Palais Square you’ll find the natural history museum and a museum dedicated to the Damascus carpet and Turkish arts.

Eating and shopping on Hauptstraße

On either side of the golden Augustus is some of my favourite eating in Dresden. The microbrewery Watzke also serves an excellent flammkuchen while the ice cream store opposite has a wonderful range of delicious sorbets and ice creams.

Flammkuchen with beer brewed on site!

Flammkuchen with beer brewed on site!

There’s interesting shopping just off this pedestrian arterial with small fashion stores to be found, serving the more conservative (and deep pocketed), while punk and alternative fashionistas are well looked after further out. We stayed in this area for a few nights at the Bulow Residenz: It served as a perfect point of contact between the Old Town and the New Town.

We stayed in the Bulow Residenz - you can also upgrade to the palace!

We stayed in the Bulow Residenz – you can also upgrade to the palace!

The Outer New Town

To my mind, this is the most exciting area of Dresden. The coldness of the Communist-era apartment blocks is contrasted with the energy of its inhabitants.

Eating and drinking

There are so many options here, I don’t even know where to begin. My favourite snack was found at Curry and Co, a small bar that specialises in currywurst and chips. There’s limited seating in a funky environment, and the option to take away. We found some great bars on the Dresden Night Walk tour including Zille, Stilbruch and Room 64. At the latter I ended up with an custom-mixed whisky cocktail which hasn’t been rivalled since.

Great eats, like this currywurst with an unusual peanut sauce.

Great eats, like this currywurst with an unusual peanut sauce.

On the street

While there are countless bars and clubs, the real life of the New Town happens on the street. Pick up some beer or cheap spirits at one of the many late shops and head down to almost any street corner with people will be congregating, the area around Louisenstraße and GorlitzerStraße being one of the most popular.

Pool vs Golf at Stilbrucke - another great find on the Night Walk tour.

Pool vs Golf at Stilbrucke – another great find on the Night Walk tour.

The colourful republic

After the fall of communism the Colourful Republic of Dresden Neustadt was founded. The utopian ideal (complete with its own monetary system) failed, but is still celebrated each year in a massive party with tens of thousands packing the streets of the new town. It’s worth being in Dresden for, but don’t expect to find accommodation easily or to get any sleep that night.

Outside Dresden

Without doubt, the best thing to do outside Dresden is hiking in Saxon Switzerland. This large national park boasts excellent climbing, although it’s far too technical for beginners. Saxony has its own system for climbing difficulty which seems to be much harder than the EU standard.

The stunning medieval fortress is all the better after a hike through the forests.

The stunning medieval fortress is all the better after a hike through the forests.

Hiking, however, is very accessible. There are many well-marked trails with the highlight being the romantic stone fortifications and soaring bridges between the kaarst spires. Unfortunately, lots of tour buses stop here too, but you can quickly find yourself on less-busy paths after checking out the great views.

If you’re thinking of visiting Dresden take a look at things to do in the Old Town, our reviews from the city, or take a listen to this Dresden podcast.

We visited Dresden as part of #IndieGermany, a month-long trip through Germany by rail. We used German Rail Passes from ACPRail.com which saved us hundreds of euros: a great way to get around.

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4 Responses to “Things to do in Dresden – New Town and surrounds”

  1. Jennifer October 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Hiking to the fortress looks fun and I bet that hike would be absolutely gorgeous in fall!

    • Craig and Linda October 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      It’s a beautiful walk… I’m sure it would be as the colours start to change.

  2. Spencer October 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    I hear alot of good reports about Dresden as a travel destination. Might have to put it on my bucketlist!

    • Craig and Linda October 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      I’d certainly add it in there. When in Germany, make it happen.

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