How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Dresden is serviced by Dresden-Klotzsche Airport.

Dresden-Klotzsche Airport is located north of the city and can be reached by bus (line 77 and 97) and tram line 7 (change for the bus at tram station Infineon Nord). Even faster is the connection with local train lines (S-Bahn, line S2) which takes about 21 minutes to reach the main station.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Dresden is served by two big train stations: Dresden Neustadt and Dresden Hauptbahnhor or `main railway station`.

Dresden Neustadt is located on the northern side of town, and Dresden Hauptbahnhof (the main railway station) is located on the southern side of the Elbe. Be sure to check if your train is really leaving/going to Dresden Hauptbahnhof or to Dresden Neustadt.

The Dresden Hauptbahnhof is situated at the southern end of Dresden`s main shopping street, Prager Straße, and is a short walking distance from most central attractions in Old Town. It is very well connected with the local bus and tram network and can be reached very quickly from nearly everywhere, even at night time. Trains to nearby towns, such as Meissen and Pirna, run until around midnight. Trains regularly depart the main train station for the rest of Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich) and to Prague, Budapest and Wroclaw.

Note: There`s a branch of the Dresden Tourist Information Office (tel. 0351 50-15-01; www.dresden.de) in the Hauptbahnhof (main train station), open daily 9 am to 7 pm. They can provide you with all the information you need about the city, bus and walking tours, and public transportation.

The other big train station called Dresden-Neustadt is located just north of the New Town, and also offers very good train connections, as most trains run through there as well. Some trains even terminate there and not at the main train station. Dresden-Neustadt is also easily accessible by tram or car.

How do I get to dresden by bus?

BerlinLinienbus operates 7 to 8 buses from Berlin to Dresden on a daily basis. The central bus station is at Hauptbahnhof station (the main station) and some of the buses stop at Schlesischer Platz in front of the Neustadt station.

Mein Fern Bus also connects Dresden from Berlin and several other destinations.

How do I get to Dresden by car?

Dresden can be reached by car from the rest of Germany and is well connected with the German highway system. A new Autobahn to Prague has been finished recently.

I will have a car in Dresden, where can I park?

The street network is very good and many roads have been refurbished recently, especially in the city centre. As in all bigger towns it can be a bit crowded during rush hours. There are many parking lots in downtown Dresden and it should not be a problem to find a place to park, except on Saturday shopping days. A number of automatic signs will alert drivers to the number of available parking spaces within the parking lots. Car drivers might seem to be a little more aggressive than in other countries but are usually more friendly if you don`t have a local registration number.

Is Dresden a walking city?

You can walk everywhere in the historic core, Old Town (Alstadt). Note that the city center is not the geographical centre of the city.

How do I call or hail a taxi?

It`s not usual to hail a taxi from the side of the road, but rather to go to a taxi rank or stand, which are found all over the city. You can also call for a taxi using the hotline +49 (0351) 21 12 11 or order one online at Taxi Dresden. Taxi rates are comprised of a basic rate (around 2.50 EUR) plus the rate per kilometer (1.50 EUR per kilometer).

How do I get around dresden by public transportation?

There is a combined system of trams (Straßenbahn), buses and even trains, but no underground trains. It works very well and connects all points of interest, but can be a little busy at peak times. Most lines run at night but at reduced capacity.

Fares within town cost around €2.20, and a 24-hour pass around €6, a Family Day Ticket costs about €8.50. Day tickets are recommended as it allows for flexible travel in and around the city. Tickets allow you to ride on all trams, buses, most ferries and trains (except InterCitys and ICEs). Buy tickets from vending machines at stops or aboard trams, and remember to validate them in the machines provided.

As with most places in Germany, the public transit operates on the honors system: you are assumed to have a ticket, and there are a few inspectors out spot checking. The exception is on the buses after 8:00 pm, when the drivers are required to see all tickets.

Dresden has a lot of pedicabs (bike taxis), mostly operating around the Old Town. They offer the typical (short distance) taxi service as well as guided city tours. Since 2007 there are also horse carriages that offer tourist sightseeing. Is Dresden an area that can be explored by bike? Dresden is flat and spacious making it perfect for cycling. There are many designated cycle paths (marked red on pavement, or with a white bike symbol on a blue background) and it is most times very easy to find a place to park your bike. But as anywhere else, always use a good lock!

Many of the older streets of Dresden (particularly in the northern, Neustadt area) still have a cobblestone surface, not great for riding a bike. Also, cobblestone is relatively slippery, compared to asphalt or concrete, use caution when riding in wet conditions.

Roll On in the Neustadt rents bikes, or ask your hotel or the visitors information center for bike rental options.

Is Dresden a dangerous city?

Dresden is fairly safe in general. You can walk around the city center and most other parts late at night without having any worries. Having said this, there are certain precautions that should be taken in order to ensure a smooth trip. Common sense is the most important tool to be used in staying safe. Beware of pickpockets, mostly in crowded buses and in the pedestrian streets. Do not leave any luggage out of view as it might disappear.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency used in Dresden and all of Germany is the euro (€), US dollars are not accepted. ATMs and banks can be located all throughout town.

We recommend that you exchange a small amount of cash prior to your trip, enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. It is also useful to remind your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling to make sure your cards will work while in Germany. We recommend you record all your credit card numbers, as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.

Under the euro system, there are seven notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Notes are the same for all countries. There are eight coins: 1 and 2 euros, plus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.

In Germany, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are commonly accepted, with the latter two cards predominating. Note that many banks now assess a 1% to 3% `transaction fee` on all charges you incur abroad (whether you`re using the local currency or your native currency).

What is the weather like? When is the best time to visit?

Average temperatures in Dresden vary greatly. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise are nice with a very low chance of rain. The best months for good weather are May through September with the warmest months being July and August, also the rainiest months. The coldest months are January and February.

December is a beautiful time to visit, but the city will also be very crowded during this time with over 2.5 million people visit the Christmas market. The city is usually equally as crowded during the summer vacation months, meaning July and August. If you are looking to go with not as much crowds, the best time to visit Dresden is September, as the weather is still very favorable, but both the local and international crowds are already gone. That being said, Dresden is really worth a visit throughout the year. There are so many museums and other indoor activities to ensure a fun time even on a rainy day.

I don`t speak German. Will many people speak English?

German is the official language spoken in Dresden. Hotel and restaurant staff in Dresden likely speak enough that you can communicate your order or check into your hotel, but it`s always polite to at least try the local language. Younger people will more likely be able to speak English opposed to the older population. We suggest you get a good English-German guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

What is the food/drink like?

Germany is known for its good food. From informal finger food to down-to-earth home-style cooking, there is something for everyone. The majority of national dishes that are offered to visitors in restaurants of Dresden belong to the Saxony kitchen. Roast beef is a popular local dish. Meat here is thoroughly marinated in vinegar and spices before cooking, so it has its distinct aroma. Among the first courses the leader is, without a doubt, potato soup. Quarkkäulchen curd is the most popular dessert among locals. Another wonderful sweet local dish is Eierschecke, a delicious cake made with cream cheese and raisins.

Dresden is not distinguished by a huge number of delicacies and gourmet dishes. The majority of restaurants of the city serve usual veal chops, vegetable salads, stews and soups. For dessert guests usually prefer cakes and fruit salads. In addition to the restaurants that serve local cuisine, you will find here high quality dining facilities dedicated to French, Spanish, Italian and even Turkish cuisine.

Within the historic centre and especially around the Frauenkirche are a number of restaurants, serving many different tastes. Be aware, most of these are overpriced, and the quality is often lacking. On the north bank of the Elbe River is the Neustadt, which accounts for most of the trendy pubs, bars and clubs, and the majority of the restaurants in the city. You will generally have better luck finding decent food for a reasonable price north of Albertplatz in Neustadt.

The eastern part of the city, toward the Blaues Wunder, has a lower density of restaurants than Neustadt, and they tend to also serve as cafés, and the food is generally tasteful and cheap.

What are the best areas for nightlife?

Dresden is always offering a variety of options for great nightlife. Whether you`re looking for drama, classical concerts, punk-rock shows, dancing, or just a good place to drink. There is an interesting collection of clubs and bars from quality cocktail bars to brewery beer gardens, hipster hangouts, and late night clubs. Many of the nightclubs and bars have outdoor facilities, allowing you to dance and drink in the outdoor atmosphere.

Many of Dresden`s bars offer excellent local beers including Radeberger - one of the best selling pilsners in Germany - together with local wines, which include Riesling, Weißburgunder, Grauburgunder and Müller-Thurgau. You should also work your way through the Saxon liquors like Magenwürze (herbs), Williams-Birnenbrand (pear), Apfelbrand (apple), and Johannisbeerlikör (blackcurrant).

Note: Generally, most of Dresden bars close around 2:00 or 3:00 am and nightclubs usually close around 5:00 am. Most of the staff that works in the restaurants and bars speak English. Smoking is not allowed in most Dresden bars, although some bars have separate `raucher` lounges.

The Performing Arts: Between the Elbe River and the Zwinger, on the western side of Theaterplatz, stands the Semperoper (Semper Opera House), one of the most exquisite opera houses in the world. Good seats can be had for about €30 to €150. Note: Seats are extremely difficult to get; purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible. The opera company takes a vacation mid-July to mid-August.

What are the best areas for shopping?

The main shopping district in Dresden extends from Ferdinandplatz to the west of Sankt-Petersburger Straße northwest to about Wilsdruffer Straße (search for Altmarkt). At the south end (Ferdinandplatz) is a cinema, a couple of restaurants, and a huge Karstadt department store (which also sells groceries). On the north end is a covered mall.

In the Äußere Neustadt area (north/east of Albertplatz), many small shops provide books, vinyl records and clothing.

The Innere Neustadt (between Albertplatz and Elbe, mainly Haupstraße and Königstraße) is rather on a medium-to-fancy level.

Tax Information: VAT is currently at 19%. Travelers who live outside the European Union can obtain a tax refund (www.globalblue.com) on goods bought in Germany by submitting the purchased goods and the original receipt to the customs office at the airport. The export certificate should then be taken to any of the five counters after the security check, where a cash refund is obtained. Note that a small fee will be charged on all refunds.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Important phone numbers in emergency (dial without any local prefix all over Germany/always free of charge):

Medical emergency and fire department, dial 112

Police, dial 110

German medical facilities are among the best in the world. If a medical emergency arises, your hotel staff can usually put you in touch with a reliable doctor. If not, contact the American embassy or a consulate; each one maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Medical and hospital services aren’t free, so be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage before you travel.

If you need medical attention, go to the Universitätsklinikum, Fetscherstraße 74; Tel +49-351-458-2036. It`s inexpensive (compared to others in the city), easy to get to (Augsburger Str. stop from the 4 or 6 tram line and bus line 64) and the doctors are well-trained and, most importantly, speak English well.