We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Sharmaine, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Sharmaine lives in New Zealand, and submitted the following report about Dresden. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: German, English
Reasons to Visit Dresden
Dresden captured my attention by happenstance, but the more I learned of its history, as a cultural center destroyed during World War 2 and rebuilt over many years, the more I was determined to stop by during my solo trip around Germany.
I managed to rearrange my travel plans to include a weekend in Dresden, staying in a hotel near the Dresdner Heide, a huge expanse of wooded parkland.
Catching a tram into Neustadt was easy even with rudimentary German. From Albertplatz, I mistakenly ended up walking down Hauptstrasse – not the way I intended to go, but it turned out to be a fortuitous mistake. Hauptstrasse is a wide pedestrian street lined with trees and benches. There is little that screams out for attention from tourists, and it seemed the most natural thing to stop by the Schwarzmarkt Cafe for late brunch and a coffee.
Walking over the bridge to Altstadt I enjoyed the beautiful views of the rebuilt buildings stretched along the other side of the river. Though the Altstadt was more popular among tourists, many others seemed to be part of tour groups that passed by periodically, as I wandered along alone for much of the time, admiring the buildings and architecture. I particularly enjoyed the Furstenzug, a mosaic of porcelain tiles painted with the rulers from 1127-1904, and the Zwinger was a popular place for people to enjoy the sun and the architecture. There are also several museums here. Hidden around behind the Zwinger was the Nymphenbad, or Nymph's Bath, which I had trouble finding as it is hidden away quite effectively. It was worth the effort and was a quiet little oasis that not many people venture towards, or even know of.
Climbing the tower of the Kreuzkirche gave a majestic view over Dresden, including the famous Frauenkirche.
One thing to keep in mind is that areas of Dresden do close up on Sundays. After visiting cities that have shops and supermarkets open all days of the week, and living in a city that is much the same, it was a surprise to find my options on a Sunday very limited. However, on the Sunday I explored the Neustadt and the interesting shopfronts, including along the Kunsthofpassage.
I ended the afternoon with a stroll through the Dresdner Heide. This wooded reserve right on the edge of the city is indeed a wilderness, and it took some navigation to find my way out again. It turned into quite an adventure, like wandering through a fairytale forest.
There was so much more to explore than could be fit into two days over a weekend, and this city definitely deserves a longer visit.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)