With a long history as the capital and royal residence, Dresden is situated in a picturesque valley the River Elbe, not far from the Czech border. Once called the "Florence of the Elbe" the city was badly damaged by Allied firebombing late in WWII, when 90% of Altstadt, the old city, was destroyed. Now, with much of the baroque architecture rebuilt, the capital of Saxony is again one of the cultural, educational, political and economic centers of Germany and Europe.
Neustadt, the center for the city's creative and alternative scenes, is the best place to find art galleries, cafes, pubs, bars and music clubs, along with most of the gay bars and clubs. More politically and culturally conservative than Berlin a couple of hours drive away, Dresden can't compare with the national capital's gay scene --but weekends can be fun and lively, especially at the periodic dance parties that dot the calendar.
Dresden International Airport, located at the north-western outskirts of the town, has 20 airlines flying here from 37 destinations in 14 countries, by a recent count. S-Bahn line S2 connects the airport to Dresden Neustadt and Dresden Central stations in 20 minutes. Trains depart every 30 minutes from the airport station on the lower ground floor of the terminal building. Buy tickets at €2.30 (valid on train, tram and bus) from machines at the station, or at the airport Arrivals information desk. Stops for bus routes 77 and 80 into the center are located just outside the Main Terminal entrance. See the airport website for other options, including taxis, chauffeur services and car rental companies.
Deutsche Bahn trains arrive and depart at Dresden Hauptbahnhof, Wiener Platz 4, by the Altstadt, with service and connections to and from cities throughout Europe. Dresden is on the rail line between Berlin and Prague.
BerlinLinienbus provides inexpensive bus service from Berlin to Dresden eight times daily from Hauptbahnhof and Schlesischer Platz, in front of the Neustadt station. Also for buses between Berlin, Dresden and Prague, check Student Agency for modern/ not just for students daily service, at half the price of a train.
Altstadt (Old Town), is easily covered on foot. The DVB network of trams (Straßenbahn), trains, buses, a cable car and ferries. will get you around the city, and some lines operate all night. Single fares within one zone cost €2.30. for one hour of travel. A full day pass costs €6, good until 4am the next day in one zone, or €8.50 within two zones. Family or small group tickets (for up to 5 people) are also sold. Be sure to stamp/validate your ticket (sold at machines) in the little box near the entrance. See more fare information at their website.
The three S-Bahn lines connect Meissen to Schöna via Pirna, Pirna to Dresden Airport via Dresden-Hauptbahnhof (centre), and Dresden-Hauptbahnhof to Tharandt and Freiberg via Freital.
Media and Resources
GayMaxx Magazine covers Mittel Deutschland, including Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig, along with Chemnitz, Halle and Magdeburg - for gay lfestyle, listings and photography.
A tradition of over 20 years, CSD, Christopher Street Day Dresden, takes place each year during the last week of May/ first days of June.
Leder Club Dresden website lists local leather/fetish events and community information.
Welcome to Dresden, the tourist's guide to this city, has info on public transportation, accommodations, the sights, museums and culture, shopping and dining, and more.
See our Gay Dresden listings with map, websites and contact information for LGBT bars and friendly cafes around town, plus hotel suggestions and museum and theater listings. For more museums and cultural institutions, see our activities page.
Barococo (Am Altmarkt 10, Altstadt), gay-friendly bar/cafe/restaurant; 8am breakfast, veggie options, terrace, cocktails.
Boys (Alaunstrasse 80), gay/lesbian cocktail bar, open daily from 8pm; karaoke, DJs, theme parties.
Bunker (Prießnitzstraße 51), Leather Club Dresden cruise bar and playspace, Saturday dresscode enforced.
Gerede (Prießnitzstraße 18), LGBTQ community association/switchboard resources, film nights, youth nights, workshops, pride shop, Kontakt Cafe,
Pier 15 (Leipziger Straße 15, Neustädt), occasional LGBT dance parties at mixed dance club.
Pickup (Jordanstraße 2, Neustadt), men-only cruise bar next to Valentino, open nightly from 9pm-4am, HDTV porn, darkroom.
Schwupps (Alaunstraße 39), new gay daytime cafe/bar, nightclub dancing, cock and drag shows, performers, parties.
Valentino (Jordanstraße 2, Neustadt), small gay cafe/pub, pizza, sandwiches, cakes, ice cream.
Paradise (Friedensstraße 45), men's steam/ sauna and outdoor beach club; open daily noon to 1am, with cruise maze, dark zones, massage, porn videos.