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Things to do in Dresden

With classic architecture and towering castles, Germany’s eastern capital is full of historical gems.

Our most recommended things to do in Dresden

Dresden: The Original Night Watchman Tour in Lantern Light

1. Dresden: The Original Night Watchman Tour in Lantern Light

Explore the beautiful Old Town of Dresden with a historical night watchman. Sip on Schlummertrunk, a small alcoholic drink before visiting the main highlights like Semper Opera House, Dresden Frauenkirche, and more. Begin your tour with rings of the watchman’s horn in narrow alleys, and the light of his lantern which penetrates the darkness. With his halberd, he protects the honorable citizens from vagabonds and shady characters even in the darkest corners. Look forward to an entertaining tour with spooky stories and juicy anecdotes from centuries past. Furthermore, take a look at the beautiful sights of the city. See the Semper Opera House and the famous Zwinger, walk over the palace square, and get a glimpse of the Brühlschen Terrassen.

Dresden: Christmas Garden Dresden Entrance Ticket

2. Dresden: Christmas Garden Dresden Entrance Ticket

Watch the Pillnitz Palace and Park open its gates for a very special walk in the Christmas Garden Dresden. Observe as the park is transformed into an illuminated fairytale setting with breathtaking plays of light, impressively staged architecture, and lit-up characters.  Take a break and enjoy the true thrill of welcoming Christmas with age-old traditions. Spend a contemplative evening on a two-kilometer-long trail, passing by twenty individual light installations embedded into the diverse nature of the park Take in the most beautiful motifs, including the Lustgarten, the Chinese pond, and the English garden. See how the glasshouse shines in a magical Christmas splendor and listen as the elaborately designed decorations narrate stories of reindeer, angels, and Santa Claus.

Dresden: Semperoper Tickets and Guided Tour

3. Dresden: Semperoper Tickets and Guided Tour

Visit the Semperoper in Dresden with its long history and elegant architecture. Embark on a guided tour through this historic opera and uncover the prestige and history behind each turn. Begin at the beautiful Semperoper in Dresden and admire the magnificent architecture in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Explore ornate rooms, reconstructed in the original style. Discover the great acoustics in the elaborate auditorium and learn about the rich history of this grand building. Experience the atmosphere in one of the most beautiful and prestigious opera houses in the world, a truly unforgettable experience.

Dresden: River Sightseeing Boat Cruise (Line 72)

4. Dresden: River Sightseeing Boat Cruise (Line 72)

Discover Dresden's charm and history on a boat cruise down the Elbe River. See the Elbe Valley's most beautiful landmarks and the historic old town of Dresden on this sightseeing boat cruise. Begin at the Terrassenufer and discover the three Elbe palaces: Albrechtsberg Palace, Eckberg Palace, and the Lingner Palace. Travel to the Loschwitz Villa Quarter and pass four of the famous Elbe Bridges, including Loschwitz Bridge, affectionately known as the "Blue Wonder".

Dresden: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour

5. Dresden: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour

Experience Dresden, the capital of the beautiful state of Saxony, on a double-decker bus and get off as often as you like at any of the 22 stops to see the sights there. Take advantage of several activities included with your ticket, such as an evening cruise, a night watchman tour, or a children's city tour, as well as entrance fees to various monuments. Begin your journey at the main Postplatz/Zwinger stop or any of the other stops. Decide for yourself whether you would like to take part in a continuous 90-minute city tour past Dresden's most important monuments, or choose to hop off the bus at any point of interest and take a closer look at the respective attraction or monument. Visit the world's most beautiful dairy shop, Pfunds Dairy. Continue to enjoy a guided tour of the Dresden Zwinger, a baroque building complex with gardens that was one of the most important buildings of its time. Another highlight of your excursion is the visit to the Fürstenzug, a monumental image of a cavalcade on 23,000 ceramic tiles considered the largest porcelain image in the world. What's more, listen to interesting explanations about the famous Dresden Frauenkirche, which you will get to know during an outdoor tour. On sunny days, enjoy impressive views of historic Dresden and the Elbe from the open roof of the bus, a perfect position for taking dreamy souvenir photos.

Dresden: Guided Tour of the Church of Our Lady

6. Dresden: Guided Tour of the Church of Our Lady

After meeting your guide in front of the Church of Our Lady, or the Frauenkirche, you’ll head right into the marvelous structure for a thorough tour. After being all but completely destroyed by bombing during World War II, the ruins of the church were left standing for decades. However, after the reunification of Germany, an ambitious campaign was mounted to reconstruct it. After over a decade of construction based on George Bähr’s original plans from the 1720s, the Church of Our Lady was restored to its former glory in 2005. Ever since, its ornate interior and expansive cupola have beckoned visitors to see its glorious tale of rebirth. During your tour, you’ll gain exclusive access to the church’s gallery, and pick up countless insights into the structure that stands representative of Dresden’s progress as a whole.

Dresden: Gala Concert in the Dresden Zwinger

7. Dresden: Gala Concert in the Dresden Zwinger

Enjoy a classical concert in the Wallpavillon of the Dresden Zwinger Palace. Decide which performance of which composer's pieces you'd like to hear and enjoy masterpieces at a concert of waltz dreams or listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Wed., November 30, 2022 Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Thurs., December 1, 2022 Walzerträume Fri., December 2, 2022 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., December 3, 2022 Winterträume Wed., December 7, 2022 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., December 9, 2022 Klänge der Romantik Sat., December 10, 2022 Winterträume Wed., December 14, 2022 Winterträume Thurs., December 15, 2022 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., December 16, 2022 Italienische Nacht Sat., December 17, 2022 Winterträume Wed., December 21, 2022 Klänge der Romantik Thurs., December 22, 2022 Winterträume Fri., December 23, 2022 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Tues., December 27, 2022, 17:00 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Tues., December 27, 2022, 19:30 Winterträume Wed., December 28, 2022, 17:00 Winterträume Wed., December 28, 2022, 19:30, Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Thurs., December 29, 2022, 17:00, Italienische Nacht Thurs., December 29, 2022, 19:30, Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., December 30, 2022, 17:00, Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., December 30, 2022, 19:30, Winterträume Fri., January 1, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., January 7, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., January 14, 2023 Winterträume Sat., January 21, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., January 28, 2023 Slawische Klassik Sat., February 4, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., February 11, 2023 Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Tues., February 14, 2023 Valentinskonzert Sat., February 18, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., February 25, 2023 Winterträume Fri., March 3, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., March 4, 2023 Italienische Nacht Fri., March 10, 2023 Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Sat., March 11, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., March 17, 2023 Klänge der Romantik Fri., March 24, 2023 Frühlingsstimmen Sat., March 25, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., March 31, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., April 1, 2023 Frühlingsstimmen Thurs., April 6, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sun., April 9, 2023 Walzerträume Mon., April 10, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Wed., April 12, 2023 Klänge der Romantik Fri., April 14, 2023 Frühlingsstimmen Sat., April 15, 2023 Slawische Klassik Wed., April 19, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., April 21, 2023 Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Sat., April 22, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Wed., April 26, 2023 Walzerträume Fri., April 28, 2023 Italienische Nacht Sun., April 30, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Wed., May 3, 2023 Frühlingsstimmen Fri., May 5, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., May 6, 2023 Jubiläumskonzert - 10 Jahre Dresdner Residenz Konzerte Wed., May 10, 2023 Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Fri., May 12, 2023 Slawische Klassik Sat., May 13, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Wed., May 17, 2023 Klänge der Romantik Thurs., May 18, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Fri., May 19, 2023 Walzerträume Sat., May 20, 2023 Italienische Nacht Wed., May 24, 2023 Slawische Klassik Thurs., May 25, 2023 Mozarts kleine Nachtmusik Fri., May 26, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten" Sat., May 27, 2023 Frühlingsstimmen Wed., May 31, 2023 Vivaldi "Vier Jahreszeiten"

Dresden: TimeRide VR Time Travel Experience Ticket

8. Dresden: TimeRide VR Time Travel Experience Ticket

Your tour will begin at the first station, which is located at the Spiegelkabinett. Here you will get dressed as various Baroque characters, with the fun help of a few magic mirrors that work with augmented-reality technology. You will then enjoy a thrilling presentation with accompanying information around the life and regency of August the Strong at the first station. The next station is the so called "Lichtspielhof", where you will see some short films revolving around life at court. The highlight of your visit is the virtual reality (VR) experience, which you will experience at your third station. Via virtual reality technology, you can go back in time to the year 1719. You will get an impression of life in Dresden's suburbs as a guest of one of the biggest and most spectacular weddings of all time, the marriage of Friedrich August III and Maria Josepha inside the Dresden Zwinger.

Dresden: City & Semperoper Guided Walking Tour

9. Dresden: City & Semperoper Guided Walking Tour

Discover the historic city of Dresden on a guided walking tour and visit the iconic Frauenkirche. Enjoy a guided tour of the elegant Dresden Zwinger gardens and see where royalty once lived on a tour of Dresden Castle. Explore the history of music on a tour of the Semperoper opera house.  Begin your trip at Dresden Castle and head to the most famous landmark of the entire city: Frauenkirche. Marvel at the elaborately restored church from the outside and have a look at its splendid interior. Continue to the Procession of Princes, a crucial part of Saxon history, and to the Stables Courtyard of Dresden Castle. Get an idea of what these impressive buildings look like inside and see the Taschenbergpalais. Undoubtedly, a walking tour through Dresden would not be the same without seeing the Zwinger. Hear interesting and entertaining stories about Augustus II the Strong, before the tour ends at the theater square with its cathedral. Next, explore the famous Semperoper, the Saxon State Opera, and court opera, on a guided tour. Learn the history behind each turn as you tour the magnificent rooms.

Tickets to the Meissen Porcelain Factory

10. Tickets to the Meissen Porcelain Factory

Explore the fascinating world of the famous MEISSEN porcelain factory and discover the various steps of porcelain production. Over centuries, the human hand has remained the main tool at the porcelain factory. The demonstration workshops invite you to experience how the famous MEISSEN porcelain takes shape before your very eyes. See close-up how cups are made and how many individual pieces make up a typical figurine. Observe the principal stages of the manufacturing process: molding and throwing, the crafting of figurines (“repairing”), and both underglaze and overglaze decorations.  The tour of the demonstration workshops is accompanied by an audio guide. The Museum of MEISSEN Art takes you on an enticing journey through 300 years of porcelain history. Numerous pieces from the year 1710 to the present day, drawn from the manufactory’s vast stocks, are displayed chronologically to illustrate design developments throughout the ages.

Available activities

  • Dresden Old Town
  • Elbe cruises
  • Exploring Saxony & more
  • Comedy & thematic city tours
  • Dresden on wheels
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Frequently asked questions about Dresden

What top attractions are a must-see in Dresden?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Dresden?

The best day trips and excursions from Dresden are:

Saxon Switzerland National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Dresden

Want to discover all there is to do in Dresden? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Dresden

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 29,431 reviews

Great tour - learn about the construction and history of the building and get to see the daytime activities of the opera house (rehearsal, stagecraft, setting etc.) Be sure to buy a photo licence from the main entrance before the start time of the tour!

Beautiful nature, comfortable minibus and amazing guide. Would definitely recommend to my friends. Our family had an amazing time! Thanks a lot to our guide Joseph!

It was a very nice boat trip, where you got to know some sights and their history. You can also order food and drinks while driving. Highly recommended!

It was a very beautiful evening. We bought the CD ourselves to remember this great concert.

Excellent musicians, very good acoustics, comparatively small frame. Great experience!