Dresden mit Blick in Richtung Sachsische Schweiz

Dresden Elbland: Where Baroque Meets Urbanity and Nature Abounds


After something new? A city hard to resist? And nature not to be missed?

Look no further than Dresden Elbland: the embodiment of culture, relaxation and active holidaying in one.

With world-class architecture and art wherever you look, the superlative culture on show in Dresden has few peers. And while the list of must-visits in the Elbe metropolis is long, pride of place goes to classics such as the Frauenkirche cathedral, the Semper Opera, the Zwinger and the Royal Palace.

Amid innumerable architectural highlights, the Frauenkirche is among the very finest protestant church buildings of the Baroque era, while the Semper Opera is one of the most beautiful opera houses anywhere worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes), Stallhof and Brühl’s Terrace are no less worthy of your time and attention. The Procession of Princes, for example, is the world’s largest porcelain painting, with 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles and 102 metres long. The epic-scale cavalcade depicted showcases the 34 Wettin dynasty margraves, dukes, electors and kings who ruled Saxony between 1127 and 1873. An absolute must-see!

Few pleasures in life could beat a leisurely stroll around the old town area and its visual feasts.

And speaking of feasts – why not recharge your batteries en route with some fresh regional delicacies and specialities at one of the many cafés and restaurants? Then continue your enlightening tour past the Catholic Court Church and a stair climb up to Brühl’s Terrace, nicknamed the “Balcony of Europe”. Completed by 1551 and before a key component of the city’s former ramparts, its military importance gradually declined. It has since regained a new lease of life alongside the Academy of Arts and the Albertinum as one of the tourist and architectural highlights. In its shadow, remnants of the former Dresden Fortress, the oldest building in the Elbe city, remain to this day.

The Museum Festung Dresden (Fortress Museum) reopened its doors with an exhibition entitled “Celebrations, Dramas and Disasters – the Like of Which you’ve never Seen”. Stunning 360-degree projections combine with the latest audiovisual technology to give visitors unforgettable hops back in time. And its setting – apparently subterranean – will entice all those keen to explore Dresden from a new perspective.

In fact, Dresden is heaven for museum-lovers and stands on a par with London, with more than 50 venues to enjoy. The Old Masters Picture Gallery, for example, home to countless masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt and Canaletto, not forgetting the famous Sistine Madonna by Raphael. And treasure troves come no richer than the world-famous Green Vault, which is also one of the oldest museums in Europe.

If whiling away time more actively on the water ticks your box, why not enjoy relaxing on a rubber dinghy or canoe tour on the River Elbe, as the beautiful old town scenery unfolds before your eyes.

Or perhaps on a paddle steamer of one of the oldest and largest steamship fleets anywhere in the world, en route to Loschwitz, where the beauty of Dresden’s most famous bridge, the Blaues Wunder (Blue Wonder), awaits.

Yet more reasons to visit this part of town – as if you needed them – are the lazy alleys and colourful boutiques, magnificent villas and their sumptuous entrances and decorative half-timbered homes.

This is also the point where the funicular railway bound for the Weißer Hirsch district and the suspension railway to Oberloschwitz came into service over a century ago, offering an Elbe valley view that will take your breath away.

Another must-stop for Elbland holidaymakers is Pillnitz Park and Castle further east – nowhere else in Europe will you find a finer example of a Chinoise palace complex.

In every sense, Dresden and all its myriad facets constitute a collective work of art bursting with life, colours and exuberance right to the core.

Casual lifestylers, meanwhile, should look no further than the city’s alternative scene, most of which unfolds in over 150 Neustadt bars, clubs and studios. Street and experimental art abound and pride of place goes to the Kunsthofpassage, an ensemble of connected backyards, with the individual courtyard facades each embracing their own design theme.

But dreamlike Dresden, beautiful enough to earn the nickname “Florence on the Elbe”, is not the only jewel this region boasts.

Equally visitworthy is the “Saxon Switzerland” mountain range with its epic rock formations, while wins for wine-lovers are the castles, palaces and magnificent landscapes of the Dresden Elbland region, the epic greenery of which deserves a special mention. You will find no better place in which to enjoy healing alone time amid beautiful nature, whether walking or pedalling along.

The hikers among you will be equally happy with the extensive range of tours and unforgettable views they include, in the cleanest of air and far from the normal stresses and strains. Days filled with nature and encounters beckon. We recommend working up an appetite exploring the castles, parks and gardens of the area, strolling romantically along to your gourmet venue of choice and enjoying the finest regional dishes and specialities.

In Dresden Elbland, you are never too far from a welcoming vineyard, and the numerous rustic wine taverns at the heart of the Saxon Wine Route are likely just minutes away. This may be one of Germany’s smallest wine-growing areas, but the exclusive tastings and vineyard tours it houses will create a lasting memory.

Visitors to Wackerbarth Castle can enjoy the first wine-themed adventure estate anywhere in Europe, which promises to be just as unmissable as nearby magnificent Meissen. Dating back more than 1,000 years, this city rose to global fame when production of Meissen porcelain – the first anywhere in Europe – got underway in 1708.

Top of the list for visitors should be a stop at the Porcelain Manufactory Meissen. Live workshops on show here give visitors an inside look at how Meissen porcelain is hand-crafted using the finest in traditional techniques. Right to this day, the intertwined Saxon swords are synonymous with porcelain of unrivalled quality and exceptional craftsmanship.

Another attraction you shouldn’t miss before heading home is the late gothic Albrechtsburg Castle, perched high above the Elbe. It is considered to be the first castle of its kind throughout the German-speaking world and the cradle of Saxony.

Take it from us – the narrow-gauge railway from Radebeul, the heart of the Saxon Wine Route and the home of Karl May, wending its way along the beautiful Lößnitzgrund valley to Moritzburg is more than worth your while.

Visit the former hunting lodge and summer residence of Augustus the Strong, one of Europe’s most picturesque moated castles and having now earned cult venue status thanks to the German-Czech film adaptation of “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella”. And if you need more Moritzburg motivation, look no further than its dense forests, pond landscapes of loveliness and Saxony’s smallest castle, the Fasanenschlösschen.

World-class art & culture, beautiful landscapes and pristine nature reserves, picturesque vineyards producing excellent wines, great hiking trails and gourmet treats galore!

Whatever facet you unveil at whatever time of year, Dresden Elbland remains an irresistible draw.


Malmö West Sweden from the top

Nature Experiences in West Sweden


Just a short journey outside the city of Gothenburg is the wildnerss of Dalsland,  the unique Bohuslän archipelago with its beautiful smooth granite shoreline against the open horizon, and the scenic plains, hills and forests of Västergötland.

Here’s our roundup of how to discover West Sweden’s nature at its best:

Canoeing in Dalsland

Experience nature close-up, wild and genuine with a Dalsland canoeing trip. Feel like an adventurer, find serenity and experience privacy even though you are only 180 kilometers from Gothenburg. This is by far one of Europe’s finest lake systems, rich in nature with clean air and fresh water. More than 1000 lakes, Dalsland Canal and water is so clean and clear that you can drink it!

Kayaking in Bohuslän

All the way from the Gothenburg archipelago in the south to the Koster islands in the north, is a paddler’s paradise of marine national park, nature reserves, deserted isles, fishermen’s huts and clear blue waters. This is Sweden’s first marine national park and takes in the Koster Sea and the Koster Islands; above and below the water line some 12,000 species live here. The Bohuslän coast and its islands is one of the top 10 last great wilderness areas in the world, according to CNN. You find more than 8 000 island, no tide water and kayaking rentals or guided tours along the coast.


Hiking in Sweden’s western regions is a nature experience like no other. You get the best of the wonderful coastal scenery, magical forests, endless lakes and historic landscapes rich in culture. Combine your walk with charming accommodation and food from the area.

The Gotaleden is a walking trail close to the city of Gothenburg, which has been divided into nine stages covering a total of 71 kilometres. Proximity to train stations on the different stages makes it easy to adapt the walk as you want. Natural landscapes along the trail are varied and beautiful, with lakes you can swim in, fantastic viewpoints and undulating countryside.

Making a pilgrimage is an ancient tradition that occurs throughout the world. Two of Sweden’s most beautiful pilgrim paths run through West Sweden’s primeval forests and historic cultural land. Adventurous walkers sought the peace and tranquillity of the countryside as early as the Middle Ages, until Gustav Vasa banned pilgrimages in the mid-16th century.

The Kuststigen is one of the most scenic hiking trails in West Sweden. It stretches from the island of Tjörn in the south, all the way up the west coast to Oslo. Some of the stages are on islands in the Bohuslän archipelago.

Bohus Path in West Sweden is a classic long-distance footpath that stretches from Strömstadin the north to Lindome in the south.

Seafood safaris and experiences

Fish and shellfish from West Sweden are as good as any in the world. In the cold, fresh, salty waters off the west coast there are prawns, langoustine, lobster, mussels, oysters – and fantastic fish, of course. So if you love seafood, the west coast offers the finest available, as well as a wide range of wild experiences.

72h cabin in Dalsland

Swedish nature helps you become less stressed, according to a new case study from Sweden. By spending 72 hours in glass cabins on an island of their own, five people with stressful jobs got to experience the Swedish ‘close to nature’ lifestyle. “The participants decreased their stress levels with almost 70 percent”, says Walter Osika, Researcher in Stress and also Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Now, Sweden invites the rest of the world to wind down in nature like a Swede, making the glass cabins available for everyone to book for a 72 hour stay.

In Dalsland you find 3 locations for the glass cabins: Dalslands Aktiviteter, Happy Celery Glasscabins and Henriksholm. Each of them is a unique experience.  Dalslands Aktiviteter is great for those who love outdoor activities and adventures.Happy Celery Glass cabins offers vegan food, meditation, yoga and life coaching (NEW for May 2020). Henriksholm is the island where you can find the 5 original glass cabins.



Nature Break Spots Close Gothenburg, Sweden


Gothenburg (Göteborg), is Sweden’s second biggest city. Visitors can explore the beautiful coastal city, magical islands and some of the best seafood in the world.

Located on the west coast of Sweden, Gothenburg has a city pulse with nature on its doorstep.

Go cycling

Rent a bike and explore the city with brand new rental bikes from Styr & Ställ. Styr & Ställ has launched more than 130 stations and 1,750 bicycles around town during summer 2020, which can be rented via a new app-based booking system. Single-ride passes start from 20 SEK / 1.70 GBP.

For those who want to head out of town, the säröbanan route awaits. Ride from Gothenburg down the old railway line to Särö and experience spectacular views of the sea and beautiful nature along the way. The last train to Särö departed in 1965. But that doesn’t mean that the old railway line no longer attracts visitors, in fact it’s quite the contrary. Today, Säröbanan is a highly popular bicycle route, taking you from Linnéplatsen in central Gothenburg to Särö, passing the cliffs, beaches and natural areas along the coast.


Delsjön is one of Gothenburg´s most central swimming and nature areas. Here you can take a relaxing walk in the nature reserve, go on a canoe trip, take a delightful swim at the beach Delsjöbadet or from the surrounding cliffs. At the beach you find jetties, playgrounds, a barbecue area and a beach volleyball court. In addition, Skatåts fitness centre offers a number of running tracks.

Alternatively, head to The Sauna Frihamnen. The sauna is situated in the park Jubileumsparken which is part of the city’s quatercentenary. It was created by German architect collective Raumblabor Berlin and in large parts it’s constructed from recycled material.


The rock climbing in and around Gothenburg is considered some of the best in Sweden. Visit the crags of Utby and you’ll soon realise why. Or get a boat to the island of Hönö and go bouldering in a unique environment. If you’d rather stay indoors, there are several challenging indoor climbing walls to try.

Discover parks and gardens

At Gothenburg botanical garden you’ll find around 16,000 species of plants in the different greenhouses and the rock and herb garden. The Botanical Garden offers a vast and impressive collection of plants and flowers and is a great place to visit all year round. With over half a million visitors a year it’s one of the most popular attractions in the region. Although you can still find your own spot or path.

Änggårdsbergen Nature reserve, within walking distance of the city centre, is a popular spot for outdoor activities ranging from strolling through the woods to downhill mountain biking. The varied ecological environment and fauna contains several examples of nature typical of Western Sweden, such as heathland and moorland. Änggårdsbergen lies next to the Botanical Gardens and stretches from the green parks of western Gothenburg towards the nature area Sisjön, south of the city of Mölndal. Forest bathing is a must for those who really want to get back to nature.

Slottskogen is Gothenburg’s main park. Take a stroll along the winding paths lined with leafy greenery and you’ll see why Slottsskogen is the locals’ favourite place to unwind. You’ll also be able to see elks, Gotland ponies, Gute sheep and other Nordic animals in the park zoo. In Slottsskogen you’ll find large, open spaces, perfect for children to play in or for outdoor activities. There are also volleyball courts, miniature golf, outdoor gyms and playgrounds. One of the popular playgrounds is adventure playground Plikta. On the other side of the park is the exciting playground Naturleken that uses nature to create a fun environment for children. The observatory Slottsskogsobservatoriet is located in the northern part of the park, on the top of the hill, and it’s a great spot to visit if you want to learn more about stars and planets.

Vättlefjäll nature reserve is one of the larger open-air recreation areas in the region. Here you can go canoeing or fishing in the many lakes, hike along the trails Bohusleden, Vättlefjällsleden and Pilgrimsleden and enjoy the moorlands, forests and hills.

Explore the northern archipelago

The Gothenburg archipelago – with several islands within short distance of each other – is perfect for a weekend trip.