Dresden – The essence of culture

There are many ways to interpret or define culture. But it can be easily summarised with just one word: Dresden. The sheer abundance and splendour of the city’s cultural treasures are enough to take your breath away. And since Dresden also just happens to be set amidst a stunning river landscape, your amazement is soon accompanied by pure delight.

The city is famed not only for its three major landmarks  – Semper Opera House, Zwinger palace and the Church of Our Lady.  But also the Brühl Terrace, the Royal Palace and the twelve Dresden State Art Collections are worth being seen. The beautiful Semper Opera is considered to be a prime example of “Dresden Baroque” architecture.  It was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt, partly again by Semper, and completed in 1878. It is home  of the Saxon State Opera,  the Saxon State Orchestra and the Semperoper ballet. Why not include a visit of a concert to your stay in this city full of history.
But Dresden has more to offer than just history. The New Synagogue, the UFA Kristallpalast cinema designed by celebrated Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au and the trans fluent Teflon Membrane (designed by Norman Foster) covering the historical iron framework of Dresden’s Main train station show the modern side of Dresden.
Should you have the chance to be in Dresden in December, you should definitely visit the Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas Market.  Enjoy a mulled wine and the famous strietzel, as the locals call their traditional Christmas cake.

Michael’s recommendations

75% of the historical centre of Dresden was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945. These events have left deep scars on the city and are still remembered each year with processions and ceremonies. More than 30,000 people died in the bombing – the exact number is unknown. This is still a topic in Dresden but also in the German media. Some hard right political movements try to use this topic for their agenda.

Dresden itself,  these days is a wonderful restored city with a number of excellent hotels downtown. Most of them are boutique style and allow to walk the city easily. My personal favourite is a visit of the Semper Oper, be sure to book with us in advance.

Restaurant recommendations


The Caroussel which is situated in the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Bülow Palais is considered the culinary address in Dresden and has enjoyed top ranking among the country’s top restaurants for years. Here, Michelin star-chef Benjamin Biedlingmaier and his team offer a contemporary, fresh and seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean influence.

bean & beluga 

At the bean&beluga Restaurant ( awarded 1 Michelin star) the clear linearity of the interior, the noble but discreet decoration, and the charming service all still leave enough room for the authentic and straightforward cuisine of Stefan Hermann, which is a delight to the senses because of the exquisite quality of the products, and the passion and creativity that goes into it.