Dresden is the thriving capital of the German federal state of Saxony, almost 800 years old, competing with Leipzig for the position as the most important city in eastern Germany apart from Berlin. This charming German city is split by the Elbe and the gently rolling landscape between Saxon Switzerland and Meissen that determines the nature in which the city on the river is embedded. Gorgeous architecture and nature coexist in harmony here, the coexistence resulting in an appealing scene for visitors, and it proves to be true because 7.4 million guests travel to Dresden every year. The inhabitants are known for their own special charm, Saxon hospitality is proverbial.
Dresden, once known as "Florence on the Elbe," was famous throughout Europe for its architecture and art treasures. Then came the night of February 13, 1945, when Allied bombers rained down phosphorus and high-explosive bombs on the city, which had no military targets. By morning, the Dresden of legend was but a memory. It was practically wiped out within two nights of those air raids. The city never really got over that shock, but was eventually resurrected. The whole cityscape has undergone tremendous change in recent years, most strikingly so with the construction of new architectural landmarks, signifying a profound process of re-building the city.
However, it has always been a major concern to preserve the traditional architecture of "Old Dresden" and weave new buildings fittingly into given structures. To mention but a few, visit the outstanding cinema UFA Kristallpalast and judge for yourself. How successful do you consider the integration of old and new in this attempt?
If you have already made up your mind to travel to Dresden, than the next thing you are to decide is how to get there and where to stay. Tourists are absolutely free to choose any means of transportation to travel to Dresden, as the city has all the necessary infrastructures. Whatever you choose traveling by train or by plane, a high quality service will be provided. Dresden Airport is situated in the northern outskirts of the city, about 15 km from the city centre. It's central railway station is at the main railway line from Hamburg/Berlin to Prague/Vienna with regular services to these cities and to Frankfurt and Leipzig. Or you can reach Dresden by car via motorway A4 (Autobahn A4) and federal road B170/E55 (from the south). As a rule tour operators or even some of Dresden hotels offer various tourist itineraries which tourists may combine optionally while moving around the city: on foot, bike, bus or car; trips to the attractive surroundings on a steam boat and etc.
There are plenty of hotels in Dresden, so it won't take long to find accommodation. You have a wide range of choices to make your stay a pleasurable one. More than 50 hotels rang in categories from "standard" to "comfort", "first class" and "uxury". Some of them provide special offers, such as free of charge accommodation for children up to the age of 11 in their parents' room, or if it is more enjoyable to travel to Dresden for you with good friends, you may book a room at certain hotels at special mini-group rates.