Born near Dresden and trained as an interpreter and translator for English and French I have been working as a free-lance tour guide in and around Dresden for more than 12 years now.
The city of Dresden boasts impressive architectural treasures - carefully rebuilt after severe war damage - and priceless masterpieces of art in its museums, but it also owes its incomparable charm to its favourable situation on the Elbe river providing a kind of stage to the majestic Old Town skyline, to its numerous parks and green spaces, its leafy suburbs and lovely surroundings.
Below you will find a list of the most common tours, visits and excursions I am licensed for and would like to offer to you, and a brief description. Please do not hesitate to contact me for more detailed information or any assistance you might need when preparing your trip. All tours can be varied or extended to fit your needs and desires perfectly, and there are many more options and lesser-known destinations which might however provide the perfect itinerary for your special interest tour. May I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you to Dresden and guiding you here?
Sightseeing walk - 2 h
...includes all the major sights of Dresden's compact Old Town, such as the Zwinger, the Semper Opera House, Catholic Cathedral, Residential Palace, Taschenbergpalais, Brühl's Terrace with view onto New Town, New Market Square with Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
Sightseeing tour by coach - 2h
...includes the Theatre Square, the Old Market Square, the Hygiene Museum, the Grand Garden, the VW Factory, the villa suburbs of Blasewitz and Loschwitz, Blue Wonder Bridge (if traffic situation allows), a view of the Elbe castles, the Outer New Town, Pfund's dairy (if situation allows), the Inner New town with Königstraße, the Japanese Palace and the Golden Horseman.
Combination of sightseeing walk and coach tour - 3h
primarily as described above , but some amendments can be made to have a balanced itinerary
Extended sightseeing tour to Pillnitz - 3 h
This is a continuation from the Blue Wonder Bridge about 10 km up the river to Augustus the Strong's Chinoiserie style "Indian pleasure castle", later the summer seat of the Saxon rulers, to tour the park grounds including probably Europe's oldest camelia and the gondola harbour before returning to the city centre. You could also choose to go to or return from Pillnitz by steamboat.
Sightseeing walk combined with Museum - 3 h
Why not combine a walk through Dresden's Old Town or a sightseeing tour by coach with a guided tour in one of Dresden's most spectacular museums? I am a licensed guide for the Old Masters' Picture Gallery, the Porcelain Collection (both in the Zwinger, closed on Mondays) and the New Green Vault in the Royal Residential Palace (closed on Tuesdays)
Old Masters' Picture Gallery
...boasts masterpieces of Italian Renaissance such as Raphael's Sistine Madonna, Giorgione's Sleeping Venus or Titian's Tribute Money Picture as well as works of the most outstanding Flemish and Dutch baroque artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, van Dyck and Vermeer. The Bellotto paintings of 18th century Dresden complete the tour, which gives you at least some idea of the splendour of that collection.
New Green Vault
...is a breathtaking exhibition of highlights of Augustus the Strong's treasury museum called the Green Vault because of its original vaulted rooms partly painted green. Stunning pieces such as an ivory frigate, the Golden coffee set or the miraculous Court of Delhi in miniature are as unforgettable as the "Dresden Green", the biggest ever naturally found green diamond of the world.
Augustus the Strong loved porcelain almost as much as women and the result is to be found in some of the Zwinger pavilions and galleries housing treasures of Chinese and Japanese porcelain as well as the earliest samples of the Meissen factory, including the amazing porcelain "zoo" of early 18th century life size animal figures
Excursion to Moritzburg - 4 h
Moritzburg was the Saxon rulers' hunting castle and is situated in the midst of forests and lakes, just about 30 to 40 min to drive from Dresden's centre. The palace itself is surrounded by water and houses in its bel étage original leather wall hangings and a magnificent collection of hunting trophies together with impressive 18th century furniture. A short walk to a nearby lake gives you the chance to see not only the charming rococo style pheasants castle, but also a surprising coastal scenery of a lighthouse, harbour and pier. Be curious as to what purpose all this served...
Excursion to Meissen - 5 h
Usually the first highlight of that trip is the world famous porcelain factory where tourists are invited to watch the skilful specialists of porcelain modelling and painting do their awesome work to produce by hand top quality masterpieces of "white gold" and to trace back 300 years of porcelain making in Meissen in the factory's own museum "Schauhalle" . But Meissen is more than porcelain, there is a very picturesque old town with carefully restored Renaissance houses waiting for you as well as seductive little shops and charming taverns offering good local wine... If you care to take the time to step up the hill you can enjoy wonderful views and maybe visit the magnificent cathedral or the 16th century Albrechtsburg castle reminding us of the fact, that Meissen was once the capital of what we call Saxony today...
Full day Excursion to Moritzburg and Meissen - 8-9 h
The excursions to Moritzburg and Meissen can easily be combined, usually starting with the Meissen stay, leaving the afternoon for Moritzburg. The length of the tours can be altered to suit you.
Full day excursion to Meissen and Colditz - 9-10 h
Why not combine the Meissen stay with an excursion to Colditz castle, the site of the infamous "bad boys' camp" considered to be an escape proof Allied officers POW camp in World War II. This now has legendary status for the more than 300 courageous escape attempts. Take part in a guided tour and listen to moving and sometimes amusing escape stories. Admire the inmates' inventiveness and skills in producing the most amazing escape devices. See other impressive artefacts exhibited in the castle's museum. Imagine the hardships of being incarcerated in such conditions for months and even years.
Excursion to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains ("Saxon Switzerland") - 8 h
Born in the Cretacious sea and formed by the forces of erosion over millions of years this unique scenery counts among the most spectacular in Europe. After a flying visit to the park of Pillnitz Castle which is on the way and can easily be included you get a first stunning view of Saxon Switzerland from the famous Bastei rock, the most attractive viewing point which is comfortably accessible. Continuing from Bastei to Königstein fortress via Bad Schandau where we cross the Elbe river close to the Czech border, you find fabulous views to flat-topped mountains and bizarre rock formations. Meanwhile I tell you about nature and farmers, painters and quarrymen, hikers and climbers, fish and fowl etc. Then we tackle the climb to the impressive fortress of Königstein which offers exciting and entertaining stories of its century old history but also fascinating views to the countryside and to the Elbe river meandering more than 700 ft below.