Get a taste for the city of Dresden, a historic German center of culture during the 19th and early 20th century, on this 10-hour day trip from Berlin. It’s a great opportunity to get a taste for historic Germany as you admire the incredible architectural gems and scenic parks of this elegant town.
Start your day in the morning by meeting your guide at Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten underground or S-Bahn station, continuing by comfortable coach bus on the 2-hour drive south to Dresden. This architectural gem of a city, often referred to as the “Jewel Box” because of its wealth of rococo and baroque buildings, offers a range of beautiful sights to explore.
Follow your guide on a walking tour of Dresden’s center, learning about its history between 1806 and 1918, when it served as a key hub of culture for the reigning Saxon Kings. You’ll hear stories about the calamitous events of World War II, including the notorious 1945 bombing which leveled Dresden’s city center. Following a period of reconstruction and the reunification of Germany in 1990, Dresden once again returned to a position of prominence in German cultural life, today boasting more than 50 art galleries, 40 museums and 30 theaters. This includes the “Green Vault,” a unique museum boasting a collection of former royal treasure.
Head next to the Semperoper, a neo-renaissance opera house where iconic German composer Richard Wagner premiered several of his works. Adjacent to the opera house is the Zwinger palace, a baroque palace that once hosted celebrations for the royal family. Today, the building is home to a wealth of paintings and porcelain, including Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. Also nearby is the recently reconstructed Frauenkirche, a structure that was ruined in 1945 and served as a war memorial for the East German GDR government until it was rebuilt in 2005.
Around noon you’ll be given free time to wander the city independently. For a true local experience, enjoy lunch at a Kneipe (pub) along the Weisse Gasse, the pedestrian street that cuts through Dresden’s Old Town. Feel free to then check out any of the sights from your walking tour in more detail, wander down to the Elbe River to stroll the banks, relax in one of Dresden’s beautiful parks or down an icy-cold beer at the Biergarten (beer garden) with a view of the Dresden skyline.