Dresden 2 Day Itinerary

We spent a weekend in Dresden in order to combine some sightseeing with a German parkrun. We flew into Berlin, then hired a car to drive to Dresden. Dresden would be an excellent location for a weekend city break, although we opted to tag it onto a tour of Poland. Which is also an excellent idea.

Itinerary

Day 1Drive from to Dresden
Yenidze
Semperoper
Semperoper Zwei
Zwinger
Residenzschloss
Kulturpalast
Beer in the Marketplace
Frauenkirche
Dinner at Zum Schiesshaus
Leonardo Hotel
Day 2Gläserne Manufaktur
Grosser Garten
Dinner from Hamid Kebap Haus
(Day 3)Piescheneralle parkrun

Attractions

1Yenidze
2Semperoper
3Semperoper Zwei
4Zwinger
5Residenzschloss
6Kulturpalast
7Frauenkirche
8Gläserne Manufaktur
9Grosser Garten
10Pieschenerallee

Dresden Day 1

We check out of our hotel in Berlin and set off instead on the 115 mile drive south to Dresden.

Drive to Dresden

Swimmer amidst the Bollards
Swimmer amidst the Bollards

Despite the atrocious weather in Berlin, my weather App claims it’s fine in Dresden. Right on cue, after 110 miles of driving through rain and fog avoiding hundreds of Polish lorries which appear to be involved in a huge game of Dodgems, the clouds turn a lighter shade of grey and the rain finally stops.

Train to Dresden 1988
Train to Dresden 1988

I have visited Dresden once before, in 1988 to attend a football match. It was the day I introduced my German boyfriend to English cider, thus the memories are somewhat hazy. This time, I shall attempt more sightseeing and (marginally) less drinking.

Hazy Memories of Dresden 1988
Hazy Memories of Dresden 1988

Yenidze

We arrive in Dresden at lunchtime, so head for the Yenidze; a tobacco factory built in 1907 in an oriental style with chimneys resembling minarets. It is topped with a golden cupola surrounded with stained glass. It allegedly contains a rooftop beer garden with spectacular views over the city which is allegedly open. However, when we reach the sixth floor beer garden, there is a handwritten sign directing us to a horribly overpriced restaurant upstairs instead. We descend and buy some pizza rolls in a nearby café.

Yenidze
Yenidze

Semperoper

After lunch, we head for the South Bank of the river to the old town, an area which was devastated by British bombing and a subsequent firestorm in 1945. Many of the buildings have been restored to their former glory. For example, the grand 19th Century Semperoper opera house.

Semperoper
Semperoper

Semperoper Zwei

Next door is its funky modern offspring Semperoper Zwei with weird faces on its corners.

Semperoper Zwei
Semperoper Zwei

Zwinger

Next door is the Zwinger, a baroque palace built in the 18th Century for Augustus the Strong after he returned from Versailles with palace envy.

Zwinger
Zwinger

The palace houses three museums; the Old Masters Gallery, Porcelain Collection and Maths-Physics Salon. You have to pay (14 Euros) to enter the museums. The grounds are free. As we were limited by time and budget, we just took a wander around the grounds and admired the architecture.

Zwinger Grounds
Zwinger Grounds

Residenzschloss

Onwards to another palace, the 15th Century Residenzschloss, former home of Saxon kings. It contains a large collection of treasures, split into two; The Historic and the New Green Vault, which we don’t go to see because it’s expensive (19 Euros) and we’re tight.

Residenzschloss
Residenzschloss

The rear of the palace is covered with a 102 metre long mural of ‘The Procession of the Princes’, which is spectacular but very difficult to photograph.

The Procession of the Princes
The Procession of the Princes

Kulturpalast

Instead, we continue to the 1960s Kulturpalast. Built in 1969 as the House of Socialist Culture, here too the walls are adorned with murals depicting ‘The Path of the Red Flag’.

Kulturpalast
Kulturpalast

Beer in the Marketplace

Then cross the road to the Spring Market where we take a break and have a beer.

Cheers from the Spring Market
Cheers from the Spring Market

Frauenkirche

We round off today’s sightseeing at the Frauenkirche. This church was literally reconstructed after the war. The altar alone consists of 2,000 separate pieces, all painstakingly stuck back together like an enormous 3-D jigsaw.

Frauenkirche interior
Frauenkirche interior

Outside, the building is made more striking due to the combination of burned black original stone and pale yellow modern pieces which join together to form an almost replica. The contrasting pieces act as a reminder of the devastation which took place here.

Frauenkirche
Frauenkirche

Dinner at Zum Schiesshaus

We finish the day with dinner at the rather dubiously named Zum Schiesshaus – don’t get those vowels round the wrong way! I have Chicken in Cheese and Horseradish, which is delicious. While the old man opts for the Large’ Pork Escalope; basically a flattened pig.

Pork Escalope at Zum Schiesshaus

Leonardo Hotel

We stayed at the Leonardo Hotel in the old town, which was very pleasant and convenient for all the attractions we wanted to visit. I forgot to take a photo of the hotel, so here is a glossy one from the hotel’s website.

Leonardo Hotel

Dresden Day 2

Gläserne Manufaktur

Gläserne Manufaktur
Gläserne Manufaktur

Today, we start the day with a tour of the Gläserne Manufaktur (the Transparent Factory) where they manufacture the VW E-Golf. The building, made almost entirely of glass, sitting in the corner of a park, is quite a sight. We opt to walk the two miles to the factory because we have been told it is difficult to park there!

Gläserne Manufaktur
Gläserne Manufaktur

To be honest, the factory is little more than a PR stunt. In this high tech, state of the art facility, they make 70 cars a day. Cars are assembled (all the parts are manufactured elsewhere and brought to the factory by tram) by a combination of robots and men in pristine white dungarees.

VW Factory Tour
VW Factory Tour

There are up to 70 factory tours a day, where you can follow a car through the assembly process. Apparently, the robots could function seven times more quickly, but the line runs slowly because the workers feel the pressure of performing in front of so many people. Once complete, the cars are mostly exported to Scandinavia – the Germans are yet to embrace the idea of electric vehicles.

VW Factory Tour
VW Factory Tour

The factory tour is actually really interesting. Tours cost 7 Euros, and need to be reserved in advance. Is it wrong to admit that my favourite bits are seeing a badly behaved child fall into an ornamental pond and watching a remote control lawnmower chasing some ducks round the lawn.

Grosser Garten

Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden

After our tour, we head for the Grosser Garten. As the name suggests, the garden is so large that it has its own railway to transport visitors round its main attractions. Unfortunately, the old man is too tight to pay the €6 ticket price, so we make do with just visiting the Botanical Garden. It’s not the best garden we’ve visited; part of the reason may be the enormous hare we watch scoffing its way through the exhibits.

Hare in the Botanical Garden
Hare in the Botanical Garden

Dinner from Hamid Kebap Haus

We round off our final evening in Germany with an obligatory kebab. I don’t want to walk far so we go to a tiny shop round the corner called Hamid’s, where the kebabs turn out to be stonkingly good. I was so busy scoffing my face, I forgot to take a photo, but this is the mural we passed on the way.

Street Art
Mural

Dresden Day 3

Parkrun at Pieschenerallee

It’s Saturday, aka parkrun day, and we are running Pieschener Allee parkrun. We manage to find the start without problem. There are a total of 26 runners, mostly ex pats. Everyone is really friendly.

Pieschener Allee Parkrun
Pieschener Allee Parkrun

The course is a pleasant out and back run on a footpath along the River Elbe. It’s also very flat, so I run my 3rd fastest ever 5k time. And coming 24th sounds quite good too. Although, in reality, I came last, apart from the tail walkers.

Pieschener Allee Parkrun
Pieschener Allee Parkrun

We return to our hotel, shower, check out and depart for Poland.

Note: Pieschenerallee parkrun no longer takes place. I believe the local authorities took umbrage at people doing running on footpaths?! I have left this in for two reasons:

  1. Pieschenerallee is a pleasant stroll along the river, thus a nice way to spend an hour or so, regardless of whether you’re into parkrun or not.
  2. If you are into parkrun, Dresden is a great location to combine some sightseeing with a run. The new parkrun location is across the river at Priessnitzgrund.

Trip taken: May 2019

Updated: October 2022

Author: Jane's Midlife Journey

Stopped work, started travelling. Sometimes I run - combining the two with some parkrun tourism.

2 thoughts on “Dresden 2 Day Itinerary”

    1. Thank you. The Gläserne Manufaktur was actually a lot more interesting than I’d expected. My ‘I wish’ was probably not going into any of the exhibitions. But it’s such an interesting city to wander around, that was enough at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

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