10 Best Day Trips From Dresden, Germany

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Dresden 

Located in Saxony’s center, Dresden is a charming little city with lots of art and architecture. It has a lot of attractions to keep you happy for days, even weeks.  

Dresden’s surroundings are worth a visit as well. Some fantastic locations around Dresden will make you love Germany even more.   If you are currently in Dresden and have adequately seen the city, it’s time to plan fun day trips from Dresden.

Dresden’s surroundings have a few of the most beautiful castles, parks, and museums. So, without further ado, dig into the list of Dresden’s best day trips and plan a well-deserved holiday. 

Here are two great travel tips before we dive into the list of best day trips from Dresden. 

Day trips from Dresden 

If you are in Dresden, don’t forget to get the Schloesserland Card. This card will give you free or discounted entry to most attractions below. 

Moreover, get a car, if possible. A vehicle may be handy for trips you can do in one day from Dresden. You can easily find an affordable rental vehicle using Rentalcars.com, which aggregates the cheapest options from a variety of companies.

If you don’t find a reasonable option, you can always hop on a bus and arrive at your destination. Now that you are ready let’s find what Dresden’s ten amazing neighbors have to offer. 

See Related: Best Day to Book Flights

Day Trips from Dresden, Germany

Moritzburg Palace

Moritzburg Palace

If you want to witness the stunning architecture representing the Saxon Empire, stopping at the Moritzburg Palace for a day is essential. From human-made ponds to a beautiful yellow exterior, a single look at this splendor will take you back to the 16th century.

Located just 20 km from Dresden’s city center, you can easily reach the palace by a one-hour bus or a 35-minute car ride. However, once you are there, be ready to get mesmerized by its baroque architecture, massive gates, and exquisite gardens.

This castle was initially home to King Augustus the Strong but then was converted into a famous museum after his death. The palace’s layout is quite interesting.

While you travel from room to room, you will come across walls with stories of people who lived there. Also, don’t forget to look at the gold leather-wrapped walls and stunning baroque decorations around the palace.

After a complete tour of the Moritzburg Palace, you can enjoy the lush French gardens surrounding this place. Moreover, if you have some extra time, the Pheasant Palace nearby is worth a visit as well. If you are traveling in a car, you can independently move around the Moritzburg Palace and explore some famous eateries

Weesenstein Castle

Weesenstein Castle

A small town near Dresden has one of Germany’s most beautiful castles, the Weesenstein Castle. If you are looking for some options for romantic day trips from Dresden, visiting this place will get you where you want. 

Weesenstein Castle was built in the 15th century. However, the castle underwent many yearly extensions to accommodate the increased number of people living there. This classic palace is a blend of both Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It doesn’t follow a single design style, making it unique. 

Similar to Weesenstein Castle, its French gardens are exotic as well. As soon as you approach the castle gates, the smell of flowers and the lush green grass will welcome you wholeheartedly. 

Since Weesenstein Castle is a museum now, you can take a tour alone. You don’t necessarily need a guide to take you from one room to another. While on tour, you will learn how this castle was home to some of the most beautiful art pieces hidden from Hitler’s evil plans. 

Hitler wanted all the exquisite art pieces made by Jews and wanted to keep them in his dream art museum. However, the castle’s colossal fortress made it possible to hide a few gems from this cunning plan. 

Those successfully preserved paintings and decoration pieces are now a part of the Weesenstein Castle’s museum. This castle is just 20km away from Dresden’s city center. Only an hour’s bus ride will drop you on the bridge that connects to the castle’s gates. 

Meissen

Meissen

If porcelain’s production process intrigues you, a visit to Meissen will be one of the most fun day trips from Dresden. This small town was the first to get a royal commission for porcelain production in Germany.

As a result, Meissen has some unique porcelain pieces around the city. The most famous is the porcelain bells hanging on Meissen’s most renowned church, Frauenkirche.

To learn about the history of porcelain and other hidden secrets of this small town, a visit to Albrechtsburg Castle is pretty vital. You can tour and enjoy the castle’s beautiful exhibits in every room. 

Besides the castle, museums, and churches, Meissen’s Old Town is also a beautiful place to enjoy. This place has gorgeous buildings, small townhouses, and narrow alleys, giving the impression of a super-charming city. 

To visit Meissen, you can take a 50-minute train from Dresden’s city center or drive for 30 minutes in a car. Since Meissen is just 30 km from Dresden, you can easily spend time in this lovely town. 

Saxony Switzerland National Park

Saxony Switzerland National Park

Saxony Switzerland National Park is almost 50k from Dresden’s city center. It takes an hour and a half to reach this park by bus. However, a car ride may only take 50 minutes. 

Saxony Switzerland National Park is one of the best places for hiking and exploring Germany’s scenic beauty and a little bit of the Czech Republic. It is one of the top day trips from Dresden because there are so many outdoor and indoor attractions for people of all ages. 

Switzerland National Park has two separate sections, eastern and western. These sections are connected; however, each offers different views to enjoy. Switzerland National Park is a tiny piece of heaven, from trekking trails to massive cliffs and trees. 

Since this park is huge, the best way to enjoy it is by riding on the Kirnitzsch Valley Railway. This yellow tramway goes to almost all the parts of the park and stops at various points. You can hop off at any location and hike for as long as possible. If you have a car parked within this place, you can sit on a tram to reach the parking area. 

Leipzig

Leipzig

Leipzig is a historic city in Germany. If you are an architecture and history enthusiast, a visit to Leipzig can become one of your best day trips from Dresden. Since this town is just 125 km from Dresden, a full day in the city will be worthwhile. There are many beautiful buildings and churches in Leipzig. 

From the Panometer to the Old Stock Exchange and Russian Memorial Church, each attraction has an essence of Bach’s influence from the 1980s. For the art lover in you, a visit to Leipzig’s cultural and art center, Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, will leave you spellbound. This is a little art heaven with thousands of art pieces and historical monuments. 

Moreover, the newly-built art museum Kunstkraftwerk is another affordable and valuable attraction in this town.  After your trip around the city, don’t forget to sit at any of the famous vegetarian restaurants and enjoy some delicious food. 

Also, end your day by enjoying Leipzig’s famous Gose beer. While Leipzig is a perfect option for a day trip to explore the city to the fullest, extending your stay for another day is always great. 

Görlitz

Görlitz

Görlitz is a small town in Germany with picturesque views and a classic layout.  Have you watched the movie Grand Budapest Hotel or The Inglorious Bastard? Görlitz was a primary location in these movies thanks to its incredible movie-like vibe. 

The stunning architecture and gothic-influenced buildings make Görlitz one of the top trips from Dresden. This tiny town is almost 100 km from Dresden’s city center, and you can easily travel through a two-hour Flixbus

When in Görlitz, don’t forget to visit the old town. That is where the city’s heart lies.  Görlitz’s old town has well-preserved places like Fat Tower and St. Marienthal Abbey. Moreover, there are also some fascinating museums and a zoo for a family visit. 

You can either join a tour service or travel to the places alone. If you don’t like visiting many attractions, only wandering around Görlitz will give you an incredible feeling. The cobblestone pathways, colored houses, and small churches will warm your heart with love for this city. 

While you roam around the town, stop and try this area’s most famous dish, Silesian Heaven. Made with pork and a juicy fruity sauce, this savory and sweet stew will make you come back to this town again. 

You must also put the Bastei Bridge on your list as a must-stop day trip.

Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle complex under a dramatic sky
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Prague is a pretty fantastic city that is quite close to Dresden. It takes about two hours by train and an hour and a half by car to reach Prague from Dresden’s city center. 

Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe, with plenty of attractions for everyone. However, if you are on a day trip, visiting its old town and the riverfront area will be enough to get a taste of this city’s vibe. 

Prague’s Old Town has a variety of famous sites. You can enjoy the colors of Old Town Square and have a scenic walk on the Charles Bridge. Across the bridge is the very popular Prague Castle. It is one of the most prominent museums in Europe, and it might take a whole day to explore this beauty. 

While in Prague, don’t forget to take a picture of the Lennon Wall, or no one will know that you visited this city. If you are interested in Jewish history, a short trip to the Jewish Quarters and Museum will be great fun. 

Prague has lots to explore, so extend your visit and enjoy all the attractions if possible. Like what you are hearing? Check out these best things to do in Prague.

Seiffen

Seiffen

Have you ever heard of the “Toy Village?” That’s a name for Seiffen, a 14th-century town only 64 km from Dresden. Seiffen is famous for its famous and charming handicrafts. A large population of Seiffen earns their livelihood through wood carvings, lace works, and weaving. 

If you are in Seiffen, stop by a local shop and buy authentic Christmas ornaments, classic candles, and wooden nutcrackers. Also, a visit to the Toy Museum will be a delightful experience for your kids.  A train journey is the easiest way to reach Seiffein. However, you can also drive a car and arrive within an hour. 

See Related: Day Trips from Berlin, Germany

Radebeul

Radebeul

Regarding where to make day trips from Dresden, Radebeul is the nearest town you can visit. It is only 12 km from Dresden, and local buses go there every other hour. Radebeul is a perfect town for wine enthusiasts. It is famous for its beautiful vineyards and viticulture. 

You can either join a tour trip or visit the famous wineries alone. These wineries have the most popular wines to taste and take some back home. 

If you don’t have enough time, only a visit to Schloss Wackerbarth will do the job. It is the most popular stop at Radebeul and has a tremendous collection of wines. 

After a period of excellent wine tasting, take some time to visit the DDR Museum and the Karl May Museum to learn a little more about this town’s rich culture and history. 

See Related: What is Germany Known For?

Bautzen

Bautzen

If you are looking for fun day trips from Dresden, a day trip to Bautzen is a worthy option. Bautzen is only 50 Km away from the city center of Dresden. You can either travel through a short train journey or hop on a bus to experience this town. 

While in Bautzen, there are many pretty places to go. While Ortenburg Castle welcomes you with an extraordinary interior, St. Peter’s Cathedral has the most fantastic wall paintings to make all art lovers go crazy.  

If you are with kids, Saurierpark Kleinwelka Adventure Park is an attraction you can’t miss. This park has life-size dinosaurs, rope, slides, and climbing frames to burn out your kids’ energies. After a fun day at Bautzen, stop at the local eatery to enjoy a bottle of good wine and some regional cuisines. 

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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