ZUM SCHIESSHAUS – Traditional, meaty and quintessentially Saxon: it’s a hearty affair at this restaurant in the Altstadt (Old Town), which retains its old-world atmosphere despite having been destroyed in both the Thirty Years’ War and WWII. The former medieval shooting range has been rebuilt and does a good line in local beers to go with the solid cuisine.
FRAUENKIRCHE – The graceful domed church at the heart of Dresden stood for two centuries until WWII. Rebuilt from rubble, it opened anew in 2005. The altar is especially striking. After climbing the cupola, head to the sixth-floor bar of nearby Hotel Innside for cocktails and incredible views of the church.
NIGHTWALKTOUR – See street art, learn about what life was like in communist East Germany and visit fun pubs and bars in the outer Neustadt on this entertaining three-hour after-dark tour. Night Walk also has exclusive rights to take visitors on weekday tours to the cellar where Kurt Vonnegut survived the bombing of Dresden in 1945, immortalised in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
MILITARHISTORISCHES MUSEUM DRESDEN – Even pacifists will be awed by this engaging museum in a 19th-century arsenal bisected by a bold glass-and-steel wedge designed by Daniel Libeskind. Exhibits offer a progressive and often artistic look at the subject. Don’t miss the 1978 Soyuz landing capsule.
PALACES – Dresden’s two big-hitters, rebuilt after WWII, are the neighbouring Zwinger and Residenzschloss. While the former was primarily a party palace, with a fountain-studded courtyard, the latter was the Renaissance main home to Saxon rulers until 1918. Both have fine museums, such as the Grunes Gewolbe (Green Vault), home to precious treasures.
GENUSS-ATELIER – Lighting up Dresden’s culinary scene, this fantastic place is well worth the trip on the 11 tram to Waldschlosschen in the outer Neustadt. Its creative menu is streets ahead of most offerings elsewhere, although the best way to experience the ‘Pleasure-Atelier’ is to book a surprise menu and let the chefs show off their era ft. Reservations are essential.
KUNSTHOFPASSAGE – Take a web of grimy , a load of paint and a bunch of visionary artists and out comes the Kunsthofpassage, one of the most refreshingly artistic spaces in the Neustadt. Each has its own charm, but favourites include the Court of the Elements, where ‘music’ is created by water running down interlinked rain pipes affixed to a turquoise facade.