Leisure & Sports

Dresden is always on the go, with so many festivals, events and ideas for excursions that there is never a dull moment.


The Elbe movie nights are a key summer highlight in Dresden. Every year around 150,000 visitors enjoy a varied range of movies and concerts on a bank of the Elbe with the historical Old Town as a magical backdrop.

For more than 40 years, the Dresden International Dixieland Festival has catered to the needs of jazz fiends. Bands from Germany and abroad play throughout the city. The traditional highlights are the Riverboat Shuffle, the jazz stands set up along Prager Strasse and the Dixieland Parade through the historical Old Town.

The Bunte Republik Neustadt is an alternative festival. This gaudy, quirky district festival in the city's most colorful quarter is brought to life by its visitors, residents, artists, salespeople and food outlets.

In the winter, Dresden's Striezelmarkt Christmas market has been a fixture on the city calendar for over five hundred years. It is Germany's oldest Christmas market and the heart of Dresden's Christmas events. In January, the Semper Opera Ball brings the city some extra sparkle and glamour.

Shopping & Food

Prager Strasse is one of Germany's most popular shopping streets. In the city center, the Centrum-Galerie and Altmarkt Galerie malls offer an abundance of stores with all the well-known brands. Neumarkt square, by the Frauenkirche church, provides shopping for sophisticated clientele, and the Neustadt district has small boutiques, galleries and its historical market hall.

Excellent food can be found in Dresden, with a surprising variety of tastes and styles. In the 'Weisse Gasse' and 'Münzgasse' alleys, dozens of restaurants and bars ply their trade with special or unusual themes. If you like bars, the trendy Neustadt district is the place for you. Alaunstrasse and Louisenstrasse are bursting with classically cool bars and iconic restaurants.

Parks & Gardens

The many castles, parks and gardens in and around Dresden, and the vineyards on the slopes of the river, are all accessible on foot, on historic cable cars, or by taking the active route along the Elbe cycle path or the leisurely route on a ship from the oldest paddle steamer fleet in the world. Right in the center, the large Großer Garten park neighbors the city's 13-hectare zoo, to the south.

Dresden's Surroundings

Canoeing, hiking, climbing, biking: Dresden has a very special outdoor paradise right on its doorstep in the form of Saxon Switzerland and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. From the picturesque rock formations there are incredible views of the valley formed by the Elbe.

Downriver from Dresden there is an extensive wine-growing region which is over 850 years old, centering around the porcelain-producing town of Meissen and its Albrechtsburg Castle. In fall, traditional wine festivals attract visitors to the towns along the Saxon Wine Route.


Dresden's sports associations are the top of their national leagues and regularly raise big crowds at local halls and stadiums. These include the Dresden Sports Club Ladies Volleyball team (winners of the 2010 European Cup and multiple winners of the German Championships and German Cup) and the time-honored Dynamo Dresden soccer club. The city frequently hosts important sports events such as the FIFA Women's World Championships in 2011 or the Ice Hockey under-18 World Championships.

With almost 400 clubs for more than 100 sports, everyone is sure to find a sport that suits them. And there's no lack of sports venues: in Dresden there are 2 stadiums, 188 sports halls and 10 open-air swimming pools, along with climbing facilities, an ice rink and a racetrack.

More Information

Other Events in Dresden:

  • International Short Film Festival
  • Dresden Theater Open Night
  • Dresden Music Festival
  • Karl May Festival, Radebeul
  • Elbhangfest
  • OSTRALE International Exhibition of Contemporary Arts
  • Dresden Museums Open Night
  • Dresden City Festival
  • Fall Wine Festival
  • CYNETART International Festival for Computer-Assisted Art



Excellence is the city‘s motto

Dresden’s success is based on key technologies including microelectronics, information-and-communications, new materials, photovoltaic and nanotechnology, and, life sciences and biotechnology. The interdisciplinary collaboration between businesses and research facilities helps move Dresden forward.