Cheap flights to Dresden
Full of imperial grace, you’ll be longing to get lost amongst Dresden’s imperial palaces, parklands and riverside walks. Dubbed the ‘Florence of the north’ in the 18th century, the German city of Dresden still retains all the rich and romantic charm of Tuscany’s finest city. Once the home of Saxon kings, this city certainly has a royal flavour to it.
The skyline alone will leave you breathless with its maze of spires and towers, domes, arches and carved angels – fairytale cities don’t come much better than this. You will come across a remarkable array of buildings, palaces, cathedrals and general architectural extravagance just waiting to be explored.
With parks aplenty and the city unfurling along the green banks of the River Elbe, Dresden is made for leisurely pedalling. Hire wheels for a self-guided spin of the sights, or sign up for one of the tourist office's guided bike rides, which cost around €15. dresden.de
If you fancy discovering Dresden from another perspective, consider hooking onto one of the guided tours run by Nightwalk Dresden. Clued-up guides shed light on everything from street art to Neustadt nightlife. Visit www.nightwalk-dresden.de for details.
Dresden, home to Germany's oldest Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt, on Altmarkt, is at its twinkling best during the festive season. This year's market, the 580th edition, boasts a massive tree that towers above chalets selling stollen (the country's best), Erzgebirge wooden figurines, mulled wine and gingerbread. It's pure fairy-tale stuff. striezelmarkt.de
Fancy a late-night cultural fix? Dresden ramps up the offer during its Museums Sommernacht on 11 July, where some 45 galleries and museums fling open their doors until 1am. Music and food stands keep the vibe upbeat and the crowd awake. dresden.de
Winter days are gallery days in Dresden. The Renaissance-style Albertinum, the city's former arsenal, is the splendid backdrop for the exhibition Dahl and Friedrich (February 6 to May 3, 2015). In collaboration with the Oslo National Museum, it showcases the Romantic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich and Johan Christian Dahl.
Winter means gallery days in Dresden, and the choice is as grand as it is extensive. The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Dresden presents a fascinating romp through 15th- to 18th-century art. Keep an eye out for stunners like Raphael's Sistine Madonna and Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter. skd.museum/en