The younger, hipper area of Dresden known as the Neustadt is not to be missed! Here are the top things to do and see in Dresden’s New Town.
On the opposite bank of the River Elbe from Dresden’s crowning jewel — the Old Town — you’ll find the lesser-known “New Town.” Don’t let the name fool you! Dresden’s New Town (Neustadt) was reconstructed following a fire in 1685, so it’s not really that new after all!
The Neustadt was once an independent city, but after it was incorporated into the city of Dresden it became known as the “new town by Dresden” — and the name stuck.
Today, Dresden’s Neustadt is a younger, hipper area with lots of cafes, restaurants, and residential buildings. Here are my top suggestions for things to do and see in the area, noting that the Neustadt is also a wonderful place to shop at local boutiques and grab a bite to eat. However, the following are the “actual” attractions.
Table of Contents
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Map of the Attractions in Dresden’s Neustadt
Following a great fire in 1665, the New Town was rebuilt in the Baroque Style. Unfortunately, the only remaining Baroque-style houses in the New Town are clustered along Königstrasse. It’s a residential street, but I highly recommend walking down it because it’s lovely!
The street was created in 1731 and served as one of the three main streets of the former town of König-Neustadt.
Looking down Königstraße, you’ll see the Japanese Palace. It was originally built as a Dutch-style palace for Augustus the Strong’s porcelain collection (because when you’re that wealthy, you need more buildings to hold your collections!). The Japanese-style roof was added later on and the building got a name change. The Japanese Palace is now home to Dresden’s Museum of Ethnology, which didn’t blow me away and I don’t necessarily recommend visiting.
The Hauptstraße, or main street, of the Neustadt is impossible to miss! When you cross over the Augustus Bridge from the Old Town, you’ll be met by the radiant “Golden Rider” on the opposite bank of the river. This golden statue marks the start of the Hauptstraße.
Hauptstraße is a standard German shopping street, with various boutiques and chain stores intermingled amongst practical pharmacies and drug stores.
Be sure to pop into the passages within the Baroque townhouses along Hauptstraße 9 – 19. Local artisans have set up shop in the hidden passages and shouldn’t be missed!
Three Kings’ Church (Dreikönigskirche)
The Three Kings’ Church marks the historic center of Dresden’s Neustadt. The 90-meter tall church tower can be seen peeking out above the skyline from streets away.
There’s been a church on this site since the 15th century, although the current Three Kings’ Church is much newer than that. Going inside the church isn’t a must (the interior isn’t spectacular), but there’s a pretty little square in front that’s a good place to rest your feet away from the bustle of the Hauptstraße.
Neustädter Markthalle (New Town Market Hall)
The New Town market hall is a beautiful building featuring wrought-iron stairs and balconies, with Wilhelminian-style lanterns providing light. The white paintwork keeps the massive market hall light, bright, and airy.
This is more of a locals’ market hall, with little in the way of trinket shops or eateries. You’ll find a grocery store on the ground floor, and a few choice stalls selling things like tea, home decor, meats and cheeses, and veggies on the main floor.
Kunsthofpassage (Art Courtyard Passage)
One of the top sights in Dresden’s Neustadt is the Kunsthofpassage (Art Courtyard Passage). Between Alaunstraße 70 and Görlitzer Straße 21-25, there’s a series of passages that connect five uniquely designed inner courtyards.
Cafes, galleries, and shops are interspersed throughout the passages, making this a great place to come for a midday pick me up or a locally-made souvenir.
I recommend taking the time to visit each of the courtyards, but my particular favorite was the “Court of the Elements.” When it rains, the water drains down the rain pipes and makes music!
Pfunds Molkerei is a dairy dating back to the early 1900s where visitors can still purchase fresh milk and buttermilk by the glass. What makes this old dairy so special isn’t the milk — it’s the Majolica tiles that cover the entire shop! (No photos are allowed inside, otherwise there’d be one in this post.)
Pfunds Molkerei is absolutely gorgeous, but these days it does feel like a tourist trap. Dresden’s Hop On, Hop Off busses stop outside, and the small dairy fills up quickly.
If you notice a large crowd inside the dairy when you visit, just wait outside for a few minutes until the next bus comes along and scoops everyone back up. If you’re able to pop into Pfunds Molkerei at a quiet moment, it’s a lovely experience.
Dresden’s Jewish Cemetery is the oldest in Saxony. It was founded in 1751 and was located near the then-location of the city’s fortifications. After 118 years, the cemetery closed.
The Jewish Cemetery is beautiful, but it can only be visited on a guided tour. Check online to see when tours are running (they’re not daily), and be sure to dress appropriately for your visit because there’s a dress code.
Dresden Neustadt FAQs
How do you reach Dresden’s Neustadt from the Altstadt?
You can walk to the Neustadt from the Altstadt via the Augustus Bridge, which crosses the Elbe. From the Frauenkirche (the center of the Old Town, more of less) the walk to the Golden Rider takes about 15 minutes.
You can also reach the Neustadt by taking tram line #4 from the “Altstadt” stop to the “Neustädter Markt” stop. Of course, the tram lines run throughout the Neustadt so you can get off at a different stop if you wish!
If you want to go directly from the Central Train Station (Hauptbahnhof) to the Neustadt, ride on the S-Bahn lines 1 or 2 for three stops and get off at “Bahnhof Dresden-Neustadt.”
How much time do you need to visit Dresden’s Neustadt?
Give yourself half a day to explore this area on foot. Most of the Neustadt tourist attractions mentioned in this post can be seen fairly quickly, but I’m sure you’ll find a cute cafe or two to stop at as well!
What are the absolute top sights in the Neustadt?
If you have time for nothing else, cross the Augustus Bridge to see the Old Town from the opposite side of the river. Then, walk down the Haupstraße (or take a tram) to see the Kunsthofpassage (the series of decorated courtyards).
The Neustadt is a great place for window shopping as well, and it’s got tons of great cafes and restaurants. So consider grabbing a bite to eat while you’re there, too!
Why is Dresden’s New Town called “New Town?”
The Neustadt was formerly an independent city. After being incorporated into the greater city of Dresden, it was known as the “new town by Dresden” and the name stuck.
Is Dresden’s Neustadt Worth Visiting? Honest Thoughts
I always enjoy my time in Dresden’s New Town, BUT if you have only a day or two in Dresden I recommend concentrating on the Old Town. (See my complete guide to Dresden’s Old Town here). That’s where the top tourist attractions are, and that’s where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
With that in mind, the Neustadt feels much more local and is absolutely worth exploring at length if you have the time. Otherwise, cross the Augustus Bridge in the evenings and enjoy dinner in the Neustadt — this will allow you to see parts of it at night and will give you a feel for the area, even if just a broad overview.
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