Dresden is Germany’s phoenix city – rebuilt and restored from the ashes of its WWII destruction to reclaim its former majesty as a cultural capital. Come high summer its squares are packed with tourists keen to witness this profound transformation – but see it in winter and you might have corners of it to yourself, with chunks of ice drifting along the Elbe, and a dusting of snow crowning the spires and rooftops.
Get your bearings with a trip to the Frauenkirche – the church whose Baroque dome affords sublime views over the city, currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of its reconstruction.
Take part in a local winter tradition by boarding the Lossnitzgrundbahn on a journey north into the Saxon countryside. Hauled by a chugging steam locomotive, services rattle through Dresden’s suburbs, before passengers dismount near Moritzburg Castle – a hunting lodge surrounded by sprawling parkland, likely swathed in mid-winter snow.
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CityJet is the only airline directly connecting Dresden with UK, with flights departing from London City.
Dresden is also within a direct 90-minute train ride Leipzig-Halle Airport
The Lossnitzgrudbahn narrow-gauge train runs six timesdaily, departing from Radebeul Ost station at the northern edge of Dresden. From here, it’s a half-hour ride to the grounds of Mortitzburg Castle. The castle itself is shut in winter, though the grounds remain open, with skaters often venturing onto the frozen lakes.
Stay at Hotel Schloss Eckberg – a turreted stately home set in leafy grounds on the eastern edge of the city.