Florence on the Elbe river
Dresden is a real beauty, with every square centimetre packed full of history – and stories. Above all, however, it is a city of contrasts. Classicism and modernity, vibrancy and tranquillity, economic success and quality of life, past and (even more so) future. The Saxon metropolis has many different faces, the greatest influence of all coming perhaps from the Saxon royal family, with baroque structures – including the Frauenkirche, Zwinger, Royal Palace and Semperoper – creating a unique skyline in the old town. Directly opposite, on the other side of the Elbe behind the grand gold horseman’s monument to Augustus II the Strong, is Neustadt (‘New Town’) – a hip district with vibrant creative scene and a high concentration of pubs, where life keeps pumping until the early hours. Those more interested in peace and relaxation will enjoy the largely untouched Elbwiesen riverside grasslands and Grand Garden (‘Grosser Garten’) in the heart of the city, as well as the Dresden Heath in the nearby surrounds. The only thing better than visiting Saxony’s capital is living here.