24 Hours in Dresden: What to Do in Germany’s Jewel Box

Spend 24 hours in Dresden, Germany, and you’ll understand why it is known as the “Jewel Box”. This stunning city is filled with history, culture, and beauty, making it a must-visit destination. From historic churches to world-class museums, there’s something for everyone in Dresden. With so much to do, what should you prioritize during your 24 hours in Dresden? Read on to discover some of the best things to do in Germany’s “Jewel Box”!

Shopping in Dresden

If you’re looking for a unique souvenir or the perfect gift, Dresden is the place to go. This city is full of charming boutiques and shops that have something for everyone. From clothing and jewelry to books and antiques, Dresden has something to offer visitors on their one-day or short trip. Of course, if you want to find more traditional souvenirs there are plenty of sights in Dresden and landmarks in Dresden to explore as well. Some must-visit spots for shopping in Dresden include the Neustadter Markt, Bruehlsche Terrasse, Altmarktgalerie, and Galerie im Glashaus. Each of these shopping destinations offers a wide range of items from classic souvenirs to modern fashions. The Neustadter Markt is a colorful market filled with local produce, street food vendors, and handmade goods. Located near the River Elbe, the Bruehlsche Terrasse provides stunning views along with cafes and specialty stores. In the Altmarktgalerie, shoppers will find popular retail stores like Zara and H&M, while the Galerie im Glashaus provides an indoor mall experience with an assortment of trendy shops. No matter what type of shopping experience you’re after, Dresden will have just what you need.

The astonishing Frauenkirche

One of the most iconic sights in Dresden, the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) is a must-see if you have only a day or a short trip to the city. This awe-inspiring landmark in Dresden was built between 1726 and 1743 and is a prime example of Baroque architecture. Its distinctive dome stands out against the skyline and has become one of Dresden’s most recognizable landmarks. The church was severely damaged during World War II, but was painstakingly restored and today it is an impressive symbol of resilience and hope. Inside, visitors can admire beautiful frescoes and stuccos, and take in the grandeur of this majestic building. If you are lucky enough to be there when there are Open Days as I was, this will be an amazing experience. To get inside this piece of art is a privilege. The dome and the golden ornaments of the gigantic altar are breathtaking.
For those looking to explore some of Dresden’s sights in just one day, a visit to the Frauenkirche is essential.

The Academy of Fine Arts

When it comes to artistic education, Dresden has a lot to offer with the Academy of Fine Arts. Founded in 1764, the Academy is one of Germany’s oldest and most prestigious institutions. Located in the heart of the city, the Academy is home to a variety of different programs and faculties including architecture, painting, graphic design, art history, and conservation and restoration.
The Academy is open to visitors and offers guided tours of its impressive premises. Visitors can explore the old building with its majestic courtyards, view the student exhibitions and browse the library. A highlight of the tour is visiting the famous ‘Löfflerhall’ which contains an impressive collection of plaster casts of classical sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece.
The Academy also hosts a number of events throughout the year such as lectures, seminars and open days which are free to attend. For those looking to experience Dresden’s vibrant art scene, a visit to the Academy is highly recommended.

Cheap Flights to Dresden

Origin - DestinationDeparture atReturn atFind tickets
AntalyaDresden9 December 202312 December 2023Buy from 133
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FlorenceDresden12 January 202414 January 2024Buy from 187
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VilniusDresden2 December 20236 December 2023Buy from 204
ViennaDresden1 December 20234 December 2023Buy from 209
ParisDresden5 January 202410 January 2024Buy from 221
WarsawDresden29 December 202331 December 2023Buy from 227
CataniaDresden8 December 202312 December 2023Buy from 233
RomeDresden23 December 202325 December 2023Buy from 252

Bruhl’s Terrace

One of Dresden’s most beloved spots is Bruhl’s Terrace, a terrace overlooking the Elbe River. It was named after its creator, a man named Friedrich August von Bruhl who had it built in 1739. Visitors can enjoy the view from the terrace and take in the beauty of the city. On the terrace, there are many different statues, fountains, and monuments, including a prominent statue of King Augustus the Strong. Bruhl’s Terrace is also home to the famous Summer Garden Café, where you can enjoy some of Dresden’s finest cuisine while enjoying the views. This café is open until late in the evening, so make sure to stop by if you find yourself in Dresden after dark.

Places to stay in Dresden

Old town square

Dresden’s old town square, located in the center of the historic city, is a must-see. The area is well-preserved and provides a glimpse into the past.
The old town square is surrounded by some of the most iconic landmarks in Dresden including the church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), the Zwinger Palace, and the Semperoper. At the center of the square stands a 16th century fountain known as the “Golden Rider”. This is one of the most photographed locations in the city and it’s easy to see why.
The old town square is also home to many restaurants, cafes, and shops. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or pick up a souvenir. Be sure to explore all of the narrow alleyways off of the square for unique boutiques and hidden treasures.
At night, the old town square comes alive with live music and street performers entertaining crowds of people. In December, the area becomes especially festive with twinkling Christmas lights and traditional German Christmas markets.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot to take in the sights, or just want to soak up some of Dresden’s rich history, the old town square is a perfect place to start your 24 hour adventure in Dresden.

24 hours in Dresden
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