Dresden in March

Last month we went to Dresden (& then Leipzig, more on that later). At the time, for whatever reason, I was quick in posting the pictures from our trip to photobucket and facebook, but felt too busy to post them here. So today, since I have the day off, I thought I would get back to that and give a few thoughts on the trip.

Dresden was much different than I expected. What did I expect? To be honest, everyone talks about East Germany like it’s a bunch of run-down former factories used as squats, cold war era housing complexes that make Einstürzende Neubauten sound like a great idea, and according to news reports, no jobs.

Now, I’ve been to East Germany before, but only really to Berlin. In Berlin there certainly is some of what I mentioned above, however there is a bit of everything there…like any major city really. With Dresden (& Leipzig), I thought I’d see a little more of what those news reports go on about….but the fact is, I just didn’t see it. Dresden is a modern city, to be sure, but some things have been restored quite beautifully. The biggest surprise was the sheer cost of Dresden. Coming from Munich, which is always ranked as Germany’s most expensive city, I thought Dresden would be slightly cheaper. Dresden was very expensive.

Why don’t we make some comparisons, I’ve picked three top choices:

Munich

The Residenz in Munich: (massive palace downtown Munich) costs €6 which includes an audio guide, €9 combined with Treasury

Alte Pinakothek (large art gallery, world-class): €9, €5 on Sundays

Munich city museum (MASSIVE city museum): €4, FREE on Sundays

Dresden

Residenzschloss Dresden: €12 for the “historic green vault” and €6 for the “new green vault.” These are basically two sections of their treasury.

Zwinger “Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister” (major art gallery): €10

Dresden city museum (rather small, really): €4

Conclusion: We went on a Sunday, which is usually the day we do museums as churches are a bit awkward on Sundays, and nothing else is open. If we went to the three sights in Munich, our total cost would be (per person) €14. If we went to the three sights in Dresden, our total cost would be (per person) €32. In my opinion these are very comparable sights…and as you can see, over double the cost in Dresden.

With all that said, we had a great time in Dresden and saw a lot of beautiful things (which you can’t take pictures of, they’re evil like that). However, what is meant to be the highlight (according to the city’s tourist board), the Frauenkirche, I found to be pretty…but soul-less…worth about 5 minutes of your time.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, the pictures:

There is a lot to see in Dresden, but it can be done in just a couple days if you plan ahead. The city has a very new feeling to it, but the area around the Frauenkirche and the river is very nice.

If any of you have questions about Dresden, we’ve now seen and done about everything there…so ask away!

[Listening to: Bad Blood Better – Bob Mould – Life And Times (3:46)]

3 thoughts on “Dresden in March

  1. Pingback: The Professional Tourist » Leipzig in a Day

  2. Found your excellent blog when searching the web for travel info in English about Dresden. I was wondering before I make a reservation for the Historic Green Vault how much time to budget. I know it can be different for each person, but how much time did you spend there? Thanks.

  3. That’s a good question and something I always point out on Salzburg tours…it’s good to have an idea of how much time things are going to take.

    The historic green vault is actually only a handful of rooms. I would estimate that the average tourist would need an hour or so, certainly not more than two.

    The new green vault has many of the treasures which historically were in the other section, and in my opinion is far and away more impressive. For the new green vault I would suggest at least two hours.

    The only problem is you will have a specific time for the historic green vault, so you may end up waiting around. The new green vault you can go through any time.

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