Grand architecture, cultural landmarks, and a reconstructed Old Town all draw travelers to the vibrant German city of Dresden. If you have two days in this eastern German metropolis, you can join a local guide for a customized tour, visit a museum showcasing vintage cars, and learn about how the city rebuilt after World War II. Here are our tips for how to spend 48 hours in Dresden.
Day 1: Explore the Old Town
Morning: Get your bearings in Dresden with an introductory tour. Go for a ride on the double-decker hop-on hop-off bus to move quickly and see top landmarks such as Zwinger Palace, or join a walking tour of the compact Old Town and learn how it was reconstructed after terrible bombings in World War II.
Afternoon: This afternoon, climb behind the wheel of a classic East German car and cruise between city landmarks while hearing stories about local history from your guide. Alternatively, let someone else do the driving on a city tour in a private vehicle with hotel pickup and drop-off.
Night: Get to know Dresden by night on an after-dark tour. Accompany a night watchman on his evening rounds in the Old Town as he regales you with ghost stories and local history. For added convenience, choose a tour that also includes a traditional dinner and the chance to taste a variety of German beers.
Day 2: Contemporary Dresden
Morning: Get up early to explore the happening Outer New Town (Äussere Neustadt) district, where you can see the city’s creative side during a street-art tour. Go off the beaten path with a local guide, and learn about the contemporary art scene. Alternatively, visit the Panometer Dresden to see giant-scale panoramic paintings that re-create Dresden at different points throughout history.
Afternoon: Spend this afternoon delving deeper into a personal interest. See an architectural landmark with a ticket to the Dresden Opera (Dresdner Semperoper), or learn about vintage cars and historic locomotives at the Dresden Transport Museum (Verkehrsmuseum Dresden). Travelers who are visiting during the holiday season may want to check out seasonal options, such as a guided tour of the city’s Christmas markets.
Night: Spend your last evening on a customized private tour, following an itinerary based on your individual interests. With your local guide leading the way, you can get off the beaten path, perhaps exploring the city’s best restaurants and bars.