We’ve been publishing a little less recently, but we promise we don’t forget you! And promised, we will prepare a short article to tell you about our return. But know that everything is going very well, we have just finished assembling our furniture in our new apartment in Zurich and I started working last week! But we’ll get back to that!
In short, before I tell you about our moving chaos and our almost few nervous breakdowns at Ikea furniture assembly, I wanted to tell you about a little trip to Dresden I made a few weeks ago! Dresden was my first solo trip. Well yes, Benoit was on a job search and I… I took advantage of an invitation from the Dresden tourist office to discover this city full of street art, good German culinary specialities, but also good vibe!
Well, yes, that’s it, while the gentleman is looking for work, the miss rewards herself for finding a job by going on a vacation! Mouahahaha…. 🙂
Dresden, first a little history
To help you better discover this city, I will talk to you about the different districts I have explored.
So be careful, you’ll have to follow…. Dresden is divided into many districts, but if I had to retain only 3 (and that’s good it’s the ones I’m going to talk about below) it would be: The old city, the new city, and Friedrichstadt.
Where it gets more tricky is that in reality the new city is older than the old city! 🙂 Or, let’s say that the buildings are “officially” older, but the style is much more modern all the same…
“What are you talking about?”
No, but I can reassure you that the explanation is very simple… The old town of Dresden existed long before the new one, but unfortunately it was the target of a huge bombardment during the Second World War. From the historic centre there was virtually nothing left in 1945, while the part of the new city had been more spared by bombs.
A day in Altstadt (the old town)
We often hear the locals say in Dresden that the old town is a little Disneyland for tourists, because this part of the city has been completely rebuilt “in the old style” following the 1945 bombing, but that in the end it has nothing to do with the charm of yesteryear… Yeah….
So certainly, I wasn’t born in the 1930s so it was difficult to compare, but from a purely external point of view I really liked the old city!
I found the buildings beautifully restored and maintained, and between us, it doesn’t shock me. Dresden is a beautiful city where it is nice to stroll around and enjoy a good curry-wurst at the corner of a street!
In the centre it is important not to miss the Frauenkirchen and the Zwinger the “groser Garten”. But if I had to give you only one advice, then it’s to go to the Carola Bridge at the end of the day and enjoy the sunset on the old town! You’ll see, you won’t be alone. The Germans gladly gather on the bridge with friends, a small beer in hand to watch the show.
Vibrate, taste and observe in the Neustadt (the new city)
The old town is clearly worth a visit for the day, to take pictures and visit some museums but on the other hand to stay or simply to go out for a drink I will recommend the Neustadt district very clearly!
In Neustadt I don’t think I’m going to tell you what to visit! Because frankly the best thing is still to stroll through the streets and voluntarily get lost in one of the many small inner courtyards converted into a flea market, small café, or trendy bar.
Even if I still recommend that you don’t miss the Kunsthofpassage! It is a kind of open-air gallery located at number 70 in Alaunstrasse. In fact, this passage is a succession of interior courtyards, each one more special than the next. The “court of fabulous creatures”, the “court of light”, the “court of the elements”, the “court of metamorphosis” or the “court of animals”…
My favourite is probably the courtyard of the elements, because it is in this courtyard that you will find this very special house. In fact, the artist has placed many gutters on the facade, and when it rains then the water flows over the metal and produces different sounds and the whole house is transformed into a musical instrument.
Photo booth from the 90s
During your walk you will probably meet one of these very old photo booths which propose a series of 4 black and white pictures for 2€…. At this price, it’s a shame to deprive yourself… and if like me you add a succulent Brezel for the memory, it will probably cost you something like 60 cents more (the bakery is right in front)… 😀
The neighbourhood is also great for eating a walrus “on the go” without breaking the bank. Pizzas for 5€, kebabs, currywurst or many small addresses for organic and vegan dishes.
Some good addresses
- Café Lloyds : A great place to come for coffee or tea in the afternoon. All this while enjoying the view of Martin Luther Church. Address: Martin Luther Strasse 17. They also offer in the afternoons a “So British” pack for 2 people. A teapot with 100% English tea, a small cart with various small sandwiches, appetizers and pastries.
- Room 64 : A bar where you can come for a drink in the evening. In addition to the fact that the decoration is nice (and that a deer watches over the bottles), the bar has the particularity of being run by a bartender who loves good cocktails. Ask him to make you his surprise cocktail. The bartender will come to you, ask you five questions. And according to your answers, he will go back behind the bar and prepare a 100% personalized surprise cocktail for you. 🙂
Streetart in Friedrichstadt
In Dresden I had the opportunity to go on a guided tour on the theme of street art! I was staying in Neustadt so I had quite naturally assumed that this tour would take place in that area.
But actually, streetart is everywhere! And I admit I hesitated to go there because I had the impression I had already explored the area well. But in the end I still went to the meeting point with Danilo, the guide of the day. Well, I am glad I did!
The tour began in the old town with many explanations and anecdotes about the murals in the centre. In particular the “Fürstenzug”. Well, when we say streetart we almost automatically think of tags, “clan” messages or rigorously of abstract and modern compositions that come to dress our cities. But we tend to forget that the older wall paintings and mouldings were actually already street art. 😉
The rest of the tour then led us to the Friedrichstadt district. There we learned more about the current artists who are more or less skillfully dressing up the city of Dresden. The most famous of all is called Jens Besser, and this artist was really a great discovery!
- Dresden is a city that is easy to visit on foot. At least if you stay in the old town or Neustadt, so there is no need to worry about transport per se…
- To get to the centre from the airport the easiest way is to take the train or the combination of bus and tram. To get to Neustadt the easiest way is to take the bus 77, then the tram Number 7. Price of the trip 2,2€
- Accommodation : During my stay I stayed at the Lollis homestay, a great hostel that is located in the Neustadt. Actually, I wasn’t at the Lollis as such, but 2 blocks away, in their private apartment. This apartment is a pretty cosy living room with a large bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen as well as a bedroom in which there are 3 bunk beds. In short if you plan a w-end with friends or family it’s just ideal!
The apartment is available from 100€/night and can accommodate up to 8 people. In the dormitory the beds are available from 15€ or otherwise you can also opt for a double room from 42€. PS: one of the rooms offers the possibility to sleep in an old Trabant!
See availabiliy and prices
- Looking for a hotel instead? Then take a look on Hotelscombined
- Streetart tour : To discover the city of Dresden in a slightly different way I recommend the Danilo streetart tour. The tour lasts 3 hours and starts in the old town and ends in the Friedrichstadt district. Danilo also offers night tours in Neustadt to discover the friendly bars and learn more about the history of this part of the city. The tour lasts 3 hours and costs 15€ per person. The tour is offered in German or English.
More info and booking
- If you are planning to visit several museums in Dresden, it might be a good idea to take a look at this Dresden Museum Card. This card is valid for 48 hours and gives you access to 14 different museums.
Review of this short stay in Dresden
Now you know what to do if you go through Dresden now! And believe me, it’s well worth it; it’s an ideal stop if you come to Berlin or Prague! Because yes, Dresden is right halfway between the two capitals, so why not a little stop on the way? In the next article I will take you to discover a little more about the area!
Update: the article about my getaway to Meissen and the Bastei bridge is online.
See you soon 😉
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