Unless you have a pick-up arrangement, you can either opt to take a taxi (approx. EUR 25 from Dresden International airport (DRS) to the city centre and EUR 100 to Königstein), or use the following more economical means:
- To Dresden city centre: Take the S2 line (suburban/commuter train) from the airport to Dresden Hauptbahnhof (central railway station). From there, the main tourist attractions and shopping area (look for “Prager Str.” for standard shops and department stores or “Neumarkt” for luxury shops) are within walking distance. Please note that shops are generally closed on Sundays and public holidays.
- To Königstein: Take the S2 line (suburban/commuter train) from the airport to Dresden Hauptbahnhof (central railway station), then change to the S1 (direction “Bad Schandau” or “Schöna”) to Königstein.
“Florence of the Elbe”
With a population of approximately 500,000, Dresden is the capital of the German state of Saxony and spans both banks of the river Elbe.
First documented in 1206, the city was the residence of the Wettin dynasty from 1465 onwards. Frederick Augustus I, simultaneously Elector of Saxony and King Augustus the Strong of Poland (1664-1733), was responsible for the typical baroque architecture using sandstone. He gathered the best musicians, architects and painters from all over Europe and his reign marked the beginning of Dresden’s emergence as a leading European city for technology and art. Numerous world-renowned museums and art collections have earned Dresden the nickname “Florence of the Elbe”. Augustus the Strong also started up Europe’s first porcelain manufacturing plant in neighbouring Meissen.
“UNESCO World Heritage”
In the twentieth century, Dresden was a leading European centre of art, classical music, culture and science until its devastating destruction (90% of all buildings) in 1945, which turned it into a major cultural centre of historical memory. In 2002, torrential rains caused the Elbe to flood nine metres (30 feet) above its usual level, damaging many landmarks.
The Elbe Valley of Dresden was internationally recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as a site of cultural significance for five years. However, it had its status formally removed in 2009 for the wilful breach of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention through construction of a highway bridge across the valley within two kilometres of the historic centre. It thereby became the first place in Europe ever to lose this status, and the second in the world.
- Dresden International airport to Dresden city centre: 10 km
- Dresden International airport to Königstein: 60 km