Nicknamed the “Florence of the North,” Dresden is a beautiful city full of stunning architecture, charming squares, and quirky passageways. Spread across the Elbe river, there is enough to see between the elegant Altstadt and funky Neustadt to a memory card or two. Here are the most Instagrammable places in Dresden, plus Dresden photography and travel tips.
The Most Instagrammable Places in Dresden
You could easily fill a list with fifty Dresden Instagram spots, so give yourself time to explore further afield than just a basic itinerary. I’ve narrowed it down to my seventeen favorites to keep this list from being overwhelming, but Dresden is a city that rewards the photographer who takes their time to really get to know the different neighborhoods.
Courtyards of Dresden Neustadt
This is my favorite of Dresden. I was exploring the Neustadt on foot, and I think I’d already taken six hundred shots. I just happened to glance my head into the passage and see this beautiful courtyard with the already composed bicycles, the ivy perfectly matching the walls, and the beautiful glass globe. It was serendipity at its finest, which is how I feel about photographing Dresden in general. It’s a city for those willing to wait for the right moment when the photograph just unfolds before you.
I couldn’t tell you which courtyard in the gigantic maze of the Neustadt this exact one is, but you will find your moment while you’re there. Peek your head into every nook and cranny of space between the buildings as you make your way through this part of town, and you’ll find your own magic spot as well.
Location: Dresden Neustadt near(ish) the Kunsthofpassage
Fürstenzug (The Procession of the Princes)
One of the most famous landmarks in the city, no trip to Dresden is complete without standing in awe beneath the Fürstenzug. This porcelain wall was commissioned in the nineteenth century to celebrate eight hundred years of rule by the Saxon Wettin dynasty. During the bombing of Dresden, the wall escaped mostly undamaged, so it is also one of the most important surviving historical sites in the Altstadt.
While the outside is stunning, the inner courtyard is also Instagram-worthy, with a beautiful white colonnade. Entrance to the courtyard is free.
Location: Augustusstraße 1, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Frauenkirche & Neumarkt
The area around the Frauenkirche was destroyed during the bombing of Dresden, and so most of the buildings you see here, the church included, are pristine reconstructions. There are many different entrances into the square in front of the church, so give yourself time to explore the different angles, colors, and textures of Dresden’s most iconic spot.
Entrance to the church is free, so leave time to go inside and see the beautiful decor.
Location: Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Banks of the Elbe
Dresden’s skyline is best enjoyed from across the river. There are many different vantage points to take in the city’s architecture, and the scene changes dramatically throughout the day depending on the light. I adore Dresden Neustadt, and this is just one more reason you simply must cross the river while in Dresden.
Location: Neustadt River Front
T1 Bistro & Cafe
There are many Instagrammable cafes in Dresden, but T1 Bistro & Cafe is one of my favorites. Located in Dresden Mitte just a ten-minute walk from the Zwinger, it’s a nice escape for anyone looking to get away from the tourist crowds and sip a cup of joe in peace. Built in the old gatehouse of the city powerplant, it’s decor is chic 1930’s simplicity.
Location: Kraftwerk Mitte 4, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Brühl’s Terrace (Balcony of Europe)
Nicknamed the Balcony of Europe, this is a great spot to people watch and enjoy the view of the Elbe river over the Neustadt. While most come to sit on Brühl Terrace to enjoy the view, I love photographs of the actual terrace itself. Regardless of which photos you are more interested in, this is one of the most coveted photography spots in Dresden.
Location: Georg-Treu-Platz 1, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Boasting the title of the “most beautiful dairy in the world,” Pfunds Molkieri is a can’t-miss spot in Dresden Neustadt. However, if your goal is to get a fantastic shot of the interior, you need to plan ahead.
Photography is not allowed inside. However, I was able to get permission by getting the staff’s permission while there. This didn’t allow me enough time to get the best shots, but I was able to get the photos I needed for this website. If your goal is to get fantastic Instagram-worthy shots, you’ll need more than the thirty seconds I was allotted.
Instead, reach out ahead of time by contacting them and sharing what you need the photos for, whether you need them for your Instagram, website, etc. If you have an outlet they’re interested in working with, they will more than likely let you take photos.
Location: Bautzner Str. 79, 01099 Dresden, Germany
The Kunsthof Passage is an art installation in Dresden Neustadt with different thematic courtyards, like the Yard of the Elements and the Farm of the Animals. Brightly colored and full of beautiful shops and cafes, this is a great place to get lost for an hour or two.
Location: Görlitzer Str. 21-25, 01099 Dresden, Germany
The former cigarette factory designed to look like a mosque, the Yenidze is a beautiful conundrum outside of the Altstadt. You can eat in the restaurant in the dome, or you can simply admire the beautiful building from afar.
Location: Weißeritzstrasse 3, 01067 Dresden, Germany
This baroque masterpiece is Dresden’s answer to Versailles: a stunning palace with luscious gardens and beautiful fountains. While it’s much smaller than Versailles, there’s still so much to see here. It houses three art museums and approximately one billion photography opportunities. Entrance to the courtyard gardens is free. Note that the museums inside are closed on Mondays.
Location: Weißeritzstrasse 3, 01067 Dresden, Germany
The starting point for almost every Dresden tour, it’s unlikely that you’ll be in Dresden without ending up at the Theaterplatz, the square in front of the Zwinger and the Semperoper. In the middle of the square is the statue of King Johann, one of the Saxon kings who ruled from Dresden. You’ll find that there are usually people in the square since this is a prominent meeting point, but I found there were opportunities to photograph the square without people just by being patient.
If you love night photography, the Opera house lights up at night and is stunning to see from the square.
Location: Theaterplatz, 01067 Dresden, Germany
If you want to take in the beautiful interiors of the Semperoper, you have a few options. You can go to one of their performances. There are performances here from September through June. You also can book an opera house tour (this was the route I took) and learn about the history and artworks of the building. You can check tour prices and reviews (including mine!) here.
Location: Theaterplatz 2, 01067 Dresden, Germany
If you love your travel photography with a side of classic European cinema, head to the Cinema Thalia in Neustadt. There’s something very #accidentallywesanderson about the facade. This is basically exactly how I wanted the entire world to look in 2002, and I hope it never changes.
Location: Görlitzer Str. 6, 01099 Dresden, Germany
There’s a great street art scene in Dresden, and its constantly evolving. You can get out and explore on your own, looking for the best hidden gems, or you can go on a Dresden street art tour and learn about the backgrounds of the pieces as you go. You can check tour prices and reviews here.
Location: All over the city.
Cafe & Bar Rauschenbach
One of the best brunch spots in Dresden, Cafe & Bar Rauschenbach is located in the White Alley of the Altmarkt. This is a great destination for anyone who wants their Instagram shoots with a side of mimosas.
Location: Weisse Gasse 2, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Blue Wonder Bridge (The Loschwitz Bridge)
This industrial-looking nineteenth century bridge survived the bombing. It’s blue color is the stuff of legends, with many popular stories about how it got its color being complete fabrications. You can photograph it from the land, but it also looks great from a river cruise.
Location: Loschwitzer Bridge, 01326 Dresden, Germany
Neumans Tiki Eisbar
This ice cream parlor has been serving Dresden Neustadt for over fifty years, but its updated tiki-themed decor is colorful and cute AF. They also serve brunch and are vegan-friendly!
Location: Görlitzer Str. 21, 01099 Dresden, Germany
Dresden Instagram Tips & Etiquette
Dresden is lovely and easy to photograph, but here are some general tips for getting the best Dresden Instagram shots.
- Plan for the season: Dresden has four distinct seasons. My personal favorite is autumn when you can see the red and orange ivy cover the buildings. Whatever time of year you go, make sure you plan your attire accordingly. I have recommendations on what to pack for Germany, including what to wear in the winter.
- Get out and explore the Neustadt: Dresden Neustadt is bursting with undiscovered corners. While you will most likely want to take photos of the major landmarks in the city, I found my favorite Dresden photography spots were the quiet corners of the Neustadt. This part of town has colorful houses, Baroque architecture, the most charming cafes, and the most interesting street art. It also has the best river views. So while I highly encourage you to get out and photograph the Altstadt, don’t skip a trip across the river!
- Be Mindful of the Serious History Here: Not every building in Dresden is just a pretty building. In fact, almost none of them are. Between Dresden’s role as a center of Nazi power, the Allied carpet bombing of the city, and the city’s East German location, there’s some truly heavy history here. How you treat these dark chapters is important. There’s also some nasty political stuff happening in the city today, which I talk about a little more here, so pay attention to what’s going on in between the photo spots.
- Don’t Break the Rules: German’s love of rules is a stereotype that gets exaggerated, but I would not break the rules here. If a site says no photography inside, then skip it. There’s more than enough beautiful places to photograph in Dresden without offending your city hosts. If you love street photography, note that Germans may find this more intrusive than in your home country. I went ahead and photographed people (trying to be as discrete as possible), but know this is something that locals might find rude.
Most Instagrammable Dresden Hotels and Hostels
Accommodations in Dresden offer great value compared to other cities in Germany. Here is a general range of what is meant by each budget category:
- Budget: A room in a hostel, usually $20-25 USD per night for a dorm bed or under $50 for a double.
- Mid-range: Around $50-80
- Luxury: Around $100 per night or more
Budget: For a great budget-friendly hostel, you can stay in the double rooms at the LaLeLu Hostel Dresden. The rooms are a funky and eclectic mix, with bright colors and trendy yet mature decor. The location is also superb, so you’ll have tons of time to get out and photograph the city. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Mid-Range: For an affordable, yet luxurious stay in Dresden, I recommend the four-star Hotel Artushof. It’s located in a beautiful old building that looks almost like a miniature palace. The rooms have been renovated with modern luxuries but retain some old world charm like fireplaces in select rooms. There’s also a delicious steakhouse on site. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Luxury: Dresden is packed with beautiful luxury hotels, but for a beautiful location I recommend Relais & Châteaux Bülow Palais, a five-star hotel with a Michelin-star restaurant. Located right next to the Old Town, the setting couldn’t be more lovely. The rooms are a mix of traditional and modern, with stunning views. You can also enjoy the on-site spa and saunas. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
5 Things to Pack for the Trip to Dresden
Planning a trip to Dresden? Make sure you don’t forget these!
- The Lonely Planet Germany guidebook for your trip. I’ve been looking for a hard copy here since I don’t like getting stuff delivered to me in Bulgaria, and I can’t find one. Definitely get your guidebook ahead of time.
- Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut wrote this novel about his experiences in Dresden during the war. You can get a paperback, Kindle, or Audible copy. I’ve been listening to it on Audible while I walk around the city.
- Dresden Welcome Card If you’re going to explore the city’s sites for more than a day, this two-day city card will save you money by giving you free admission to many of the city’s major sites and discounts to many others.
- Your camera, duh! I used a mix of my Nikon D810 and my Samsung8 smartphone.
- Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any hiking or outdoor activities in Germany.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in the cities, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.
More Dresden Travel Resources
- 21 Things to Know Before Traveling to Germany: Tips & Advice
- 27 Pictures of Dresden to Inspire Your German Wanderlust
- 13 Quirky & Enchanting Things to Do in Dresden Neustadt
- How to Get from Berlin to Dresden on the Cheap & Hassle-Free
- How to Get from Dresden to Berlin
- Dresden Street Art: 15 Famous Pieces and Offbeat Gems
- 10 Reasons to Travel to Germany in Fall
- What to Pack for Germany
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