Perched in a valley on the picturesque River Elbe, near the border with the Czech Republic, lies the beautiful city of Dresden. The capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany is often referred to as the 'Jewel Box' due to its exemplary baroque and rococo city centre. It is well-known for being an industrial, governmental and cultural hub.
Kick-start the trip by heading out to Frauenkirche. It is seen as one of the most impressive reconstruction projects ever to have occurred in Germany. The original Church of our Lady was annihilated in WWII. It was erected in 1743 and the gorgeous Baroque original was regarded as one of the most stunning churches in Europe. After the restoration, the City of Coventry donated the golden cross for the dome of the church.
History buffs will have a fantastic time touring the Zwinger Palace. The baroque palace exhibits a nymheum, several sculptures of Permoser, a bell pavilion and numerous art collections. The city's Theaterplatz is one of Germany's best public squares and houses many architectural gems. In the center lies an equestrian statue from 1883 of King John, while the west side is ruled by the incredible Semperoper, the city's opera house. Take a guided tour to wander about the building that is built in the style of Italian High Renaissance or even catch a performance, if you're musically inclined. Some of the other highlights comprises of the Old Town Guard-House and the Taschenbergpalais, a Baroque palace dating from 1711.
A 'must-see' in every tourist itinerary is to visit the Bruhl's Terrace, also referred to as the 'Balcony of Europe'. One of the highlights are the sculptured groups on the staircase exhibiting morning, noon, evening and night. Those who are tired of the concrete jungle and need some respite need to visit the gorgeous Great Garden that was laid out in French Baroque style from 1676 onwards and spans some 2 square kilometers. Some of the features include the Sommerpalais as well as the Dresden Zoo and Dresden Botanical Garden. Other draw points are the miniature railway, huge public park - Dresden Health and Vokswagen's Transparent Factory where an assembly plant provides tours of the manufacturing and assembly process.
One of the top attractions that would be of significant interest to history buffs would be Dresden Castle, official residence of Saxony's electors and kings for almost 400 years. It is part of the Dresden State Art Collections, a premium museum complex that is home to a few of the city's top attractions including the Green Vault. Some of the museums worth visiting are: Transport Museum (numerous historic vehicles including aircraft, steam engines, cars, and motorbikes, as well as several artifacts associated with the country's railroads, urban transport, and shipping) and the German Hygiene Museum (promotes health education and healthy living).
When it comes to shopping, be sure to wander about the main shopping district that extends from Ferdinandplatz to the west of Sankt-Petersburger Strasse northwest to about Wilsdruffer Strasse. As for cuisine, do try out doner kebab, that is usually served as a type of sandwich in pita (flat bread).
The stay options in Dresden are abundant with the best luxury hotels, rental apartments and cheap accommodations available for tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste. Dresden experiences oceanic climate. The best time to visit would be from May to October when the weather is at its best.