The third-largest city in what was once East Germany, Dresden and its metropolitan area are home to more than 1.3 million people. Located on the banks of the Elbe River near Germany’s border with Switzerland, the city of Dresden is known for its historic baroque and rococo architecture, some of which was destroyed by Allied forces during the Second World War. Since Germany was reunified in 1990, Dresden has increasingly become an important business, high tech, academic, and cultural epicenter.
Tourism makes up a significant part of Dresden’s economy. Flights to Dresden, Germany, arrive at Dresden International Airport (DRS), which is located in the northwestern part of the city. Built in the 1930s, the airport was renovated in 2001 to allow for increased air traffic. Today, more than 800,000 passengers use Dresden International Airport each year. Direct flights to Dresden are available from several large European cities including London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich, and Zurich.
Dresden is one of the most popular cities in Germany for tourists to visit. Visitors who fly to Dresden often visit the city’s historic sites. Among the most popular is the Dresden Frauenkirche, a baroque-style Lutheran cathedral built in the early 18th century that was largely destroyed by Allied forces during World War II. The church was rebuilt in the early 2000s and is today once again used to hold services.
The Dresden Castle, one of the city’s oldest buildings, is also visited frequently by tourists. Also known as the Royal Palace, the original building was constructed in the 13th century. Also heavily damaged during the Second World War, Dresden Castle is still in the process of being restored. However, tourists who fly to Dresden to see the building will find that much of it is now open to the public, including its museum collections. These include art, textiles, jewelry, armor, weapons, books, and other valuable objects that once belonged to Saxony’s monarchy.
Many people book flights to Dresden during the late fall to visit the city’s Christmas market, Dresden’s Striezelmarkt. Founded in the 1430s, the Striezelmarkt is one of Europe’s oldest and largest Christmas markets. The market features a Christmas-themed adventure park for children, a Christmas cake (stollen) festival, food and mulled wine stalls, and a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree decorated with lights. Several stalls where merchants sell goods, including handmade wooden Christmas ornaments and nutcrackers, handmade candles, and other goods can also be found at the market.
Business travelers who fly to Dresden generally work in the high tech or financial sectors. The region is also home to factories that produce high-tech equipment such as semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and aircraft and automobile parts.
Students from throughout Germany book cheap flight to Dresden to study in the city. It is home to several universities including the Dresden University of Technology, the largest university in the region and one of the largest public research universities in Germany. The Dresden University of Technology has an enrollment of 36,000 students and offers degrees in more than 120 programs of study.
Other universities in Dresden include the Dresden University of Applied Sciences, the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, and the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music.
Dresden is also known for its scientific research institutions. Academics and scientists from around the world fly to Dresden to work and present papers at these facilities, which include the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, which focuses on research for nuclear medicine.
Notable residents of Dresden include classical composer and conductor Richard Strauss; German expressionist artists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Otto Dix; and pioneering free solo rock climber Fritz Wiessner.