A popular stopover for those travelling between Berlin and Prague, Dresden deserves to be considered as a destination in its own right! With an interesting combination of restored historic architecture, Soviet tower blocks and modern complexes, a visit to Dresden allows you to uncover the turbulent history of Eastern Germany.
As it is still somewhat off the beaten path, figuring out where to stay in Dresden can be tricky. Each neighborhood has something different to offer, however the small size of the city compared to other German hubs gives you an advantage.
That’s why we’ve created this guide! We’ve figured out the five best areas to stay during your trip to the capital of Saxony. Whether you’re interested in history, nightlife or culture, we have you covered.
So let’s dive right into it!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Dresden
- Altstadt – Best neighborhood in Dresden for your first time
- Innere Neustadt – Where to stay Dresden in close to everything
- Äußere Neustadt – Best neighborhood in Dresden for nightlife
- Pieschen – Where to stay in Dresden on a budget
- Hellerau – Best neighborhood in Dresden for couples
Where to Stay in Dresden
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Dresden.
Best Hostel in Dresden
Lollis Homestay is the best-rated hostel in the city and it’s easy to see why! They have daily social activities that range from tours to free lunches. The communal facilities are second to none, and the spacious dorms allow you to maintain a sense of privacy. Lollis is by far the best option if you want to mingle with other backpackers.
Best Budget Hotel in Dresden
The Star Inn Hotel is a little pricier than the other budget options featured in this guide, however, the top-notch facilities and excellent levels of service make it worth every cent! It is very centrally located in the heart of the Altstadt, giving you easy access to all of the main attractions in the city centre.
Best Splurge Hotel in Dresden
Relais & Châteaux Bülow Palais is the highest rated five-star hotel in the city, meaning it had to take our top spot for splurge accommodation! There is a Michelin Star restaurant on-site, as well as huge spa facilities. This makes it the perfect choice for those looking for a luxurious stay in the heart of the city.
Dresden 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Dresden. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Dresden for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Altstadt – shop along the Prager Straße, the perfect place to pick up fun souvenirs and sample local cuisine
- BEST place to visit in Altstadt – Frauenkirche is a restored Baroque church that has become a symbol of the city
Though much of the Altstadt was destroyed during Allied bombings in the Second World War, reconstruction efforts have restored it to its former glory – allowing you to still discover the historic heart of Dresden! The city was once famed for its Baroque architecture, and the Altstadt is the perfect example of this.
Dresden Hauptbahnhof is located just south of the Altstadt, making this the perfect spot for those visiting the city for a short amount of time! There are plenty of fantastic shopping areas around the Altstadt, and the pubs have a much more laid-back atmosphere than those in other city centres across Germany.
- Neumarkt Square is the central hub of the city where you can find cafés, restaurants and bars, as well as examples of restored architecture
- Zwinger Palace is another example of restored Baroque architecture in the city – mostly free for the public, it also has rotating exhibitions for a small fee
- Art lovers have to head to the Albertinum Museum, with its large collection of 19th Century paintings and sculptures
- Hans Im Glück is a local institution serving a great selection of beers and some of the tastiest burgers in the entire country
- For something more typically German, sample the fare at Kutscheschänke – they are open late at night, and popular with the youth crowd
- As with basically every country in the world, the Irish bars in Dresden are amongst the most visited in the city – we recommend heading to Shamrock
Best Hostel Altstadt
a&o are a popular hostel chain across Germany and Central Europe, and their Dresden offering is amongst the best-rated backpacker accommodations in the city! They offer free tours of the city to guests, as well as parking facilities for those arriving by car. Pet owners can also bring their animals with them to the private rooms for a small additional fee.
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Best Budget Hotel in Altstadt
Located right in the heart of the city on Altmarkt Square, the Star Inn Hotel is one of the best choices for those staying for a short period! They offer a complimentary breakfast every morning, as well as high-speed WiFi throughout the property. There is also a Viennese style coffee shop on-site that is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Best Splurge Hotel in Altstadt
This five-star hotel is the perfect option if you want to splash out on a relaxing getaway in Dresden! They have a huge spa area that is well rated by previous guests. It comes with a sauna, hot tub and a variety of holistic therapies that can be pre-booked. Rooms are spacious and have walk-in showers.
(Where to stay in Dresden close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Innere Neustadt – hire in e-Bike from MietStation Dresden, a fun way to explore the city
- BEST place to visit in Innere Neustadt – Die Welt der DDR is an interesting museum dedicated to life in East Germany during the Cold War
Located just across the Elbe River from the Altstadt, Innere Neustadt is well located for exploring all of the main areas of the city! There is a train station just west of Neustadt, giving you easy access to other parts of Dresden and beyond. Aside from this great location, it also has plenty of fantastic attractions in its own right.
As Innere Neustadt is more residential than the Altstadt, it is a great place to mingle with locals and discover modern life in Eastern Germany! Like the Altstadt, Innere Neustadt has reconstructed baroque style buildings that hark back to Dresden’s past. Many of the city’s festivals are also based in the Innere Neustadt area.
- Visiting in July? Make sure you stop by the Weinsommer festival where you can sample excellent wines from Rhineland-Palatinate
- Staatsschauspiel Dresden is the city’s main performing arts theatre where you can catch shows from local and international artists
- Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden is an ethnographic museum that has over 90,000 exhibits and is housed within a Japanese style palace
- Every December the Augustus Christmas Market comes to Innere Neustadt – it is one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world!
- Watzke am Goldenen Reiter is a microbrewery based right in the heart of the city where you can sample local craft brews and learn about the beer making process
- At Der Lowe you can sample typical Eastern German cuisine – they have a great outdoor terrace and are open late into the night
Best Hostel Innere Neustadt
Kangaroo-Stop is an Australian inspired hostel housed within a 100 year old building right in the heart of Innere Neustadt! For a small fee, they offer an all you can eat breakfast buffet every morning, and there is free high-speed WiFi throughout the hostel. During the summer they have barbecue facilities available for all guests.
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Best Budget Hotel in Innere Neustadt
Located just opposite the Japanese Palace, Motel One is a highly rated accommodation that gives you a small touch of luxury at budget-friendly prices! Rooms are fully soundproofed and air-conditioned, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable night of sleep. A complimentary breakfast buffet is provided every morning.
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Best Splurge Hotel in Innere Neustadt
This elegant hotel is the ultimate in luxury in Dresden and a must for those that are looking to splurge on an elegantly decorated hotel with fantastic facilities! There is a large wellness centre with a well-equipped gym, three saunas and a terrace overlooking the city. The on-site restaurant is Michelin starred and serves a complimentary breakfast buffet.
(Best neighbourhood in Dresden for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Äußere Neustadt – dance the night away and enjoy well-priced drinks at Madness, the most popular nightclub in the area
- BEST place to visit in Äußere Neustadt – all of the best street art can be found along the Kunsthofpassage Dresden – a must see in the city!
Located north of Innere Neustadt, Äußere Neustadt is Dresden’s hipster neighborhood! This youthful district is packed with buzzing nightclubs, cosy bars and cool coffee shops. It is also the heart of modern culture in the city. For those looking to sample the local nightlife, Äußere Neustadt is the place to be in Dresden.
Äußere Neustadt is also well known for its street art! Most of this can be found along the Kunsthofpassage, where commissioned art can be found in every building. Outside of this iconic street, there are plenty of more typical examples of graffiti to delight creatives visiting the city of Dresden.
- For a more laid-back nightlife experience, Bar Paradox is a popular choice with the local youth thanks to their excellent cocktail menu
- Zille Bar is another excellent nightlife spot – themed around 1920s speakeasies, they are the heart of electro-swing in Germany
- The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History is just north of Äußere Neustadt and has a wide range of interesting exhibits about Germany’s military
- For those interested in contemporary performing arts, Carte Blanche is a small theatre with great shows by small local and international creators
- Vegetarians should head straight to scheunecafé, an innovative café that aims to create vegetarian and vegan-friendly versions of typical German dishes
- Dresden has a sizeable Indian community, which is mostly based in Äußere Neustadt – sample some of their best cuisine at Maharadscha
Best Hostel Äußere Neustadt
With a great selection of social activities, it’s no wonder Lollis Homestay is the best-rated hostel with backpackers visiting Dresden! They offer free lunches, city tours and games nights throughout the week – as well as the occasional bar crawl. Free bikes are available to rent, and the rooms are spacious giving you plenty of privacy.
Best Budget Hotel in Äußere Neustadt
AKZENT is a family run hotel, giving it a warm and welcoming atmosphere! There is a restaurant on-site that sells healthy food, and a complimentary breakfast is included in the rate. For an additional fee, they also offer rooms that have balconies overlooking the city. High-speed WiFi can be accessed in all rooms and common areas.
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Best Splurge Hotel in Äußere Neustadt
If you are visiting Dresden as a family, Cityhotel Stadt is the perfect splurge choice! They have a large indoor pool and a children’s play area, helping to keep the whole family entertained. There is also a gym, sauna and steam room available on-site. A buffet breakfast is provided every morning for a small additional fee and consists of German delicacies.
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(Where to stay in Dresden on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Pieschen – shop along Bürgerstraße where you can pick up souvenirs and food for great prices
- BEST place to visit in Pieschen – Citybeach Dresden is a man-made beach area on the river with multiple events throughout the year
Pieschen is located in the west of the city, and is a popular hub both for locals and visitors looking for budget-friendly attractions, restaurants and bars! Though it is a little further out from the city centre than other areas mentioned on this list, it has great transport connections allowing you to explore the main sights with ease.
Once a staunchly working-class area of the city, Pieschen has experienced some gentrification over the past few years that has made it popular with the young crowd! This has resulted in a modern culinary scene and vibrant bars popping up across the area. If you want to experience the real Dresden, you should absolutely include Pieschen in your itinerary.
- Unwind at Traditional Thai Massage Dresden – aside from the Thai massages, they offer a variety of holistic therapies and spa facilities
- Eat The World Food Tours Dresden are based in Pieschen – this whistle-stop tour shows you the best of the city’s culinary scene
- Elbepark is the largest shopping centre in the city – with plenty of international brands, local boutiques and innovative restaurants you will be spoiled for choice
- My House is a popular nightlife destination located just to the east of Pieschen where you can party with the city’s youth and enjoy cheap cocktails
- Right next to the Citybeach area, Pfalzer Weinkontor is a typical German restaurant that is locally famous for its excellent schnitzel
- The area around Leipziger Straße is packed with budget-friendly Asian restaurants – we recommend Do Street Food Vietnam
Best Hotel for Backpackers Pieschen
Though there are no hostels in Pieschen, Hotel My Bed is a very budget-friendly alternative right in the heart of the district! Offering private rooms for the same price as many hostel dorms in the city, they also provide free high-speed WiFi and off-street parking facilities. The front reception can also offer discounts on local tours and attractions.
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Best Budget Hotel in Pieschen
If you want a little bit more of an upgrade, but are still sticking to a tight budget, Hotel Dresden Domizil is a great choice! Inspired by American motels, they offer a complimentary breakfast every morning as well as convenient parking facilities. The on-site restaurant sells Eastern German cuisine at low prices.
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Best Splurge Hotel in Pieschen
NH are a popular hotel brand across Europe, and whilst still firmly in the splurge range, their Dresden hostel is nevertheless considerably cheaper than other luxury hotels in the city! They have a large spa on the top floor as well as a large fitness suite. Rooms are entirely soundproofed, allowing you to enjoy a great night’s sleep.
(Best neighbourhood in Dresden for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Hellerau – take a tour of the gorgeous nature spots surrounding the city with Kletterwald Dresdener Heide
- BEST place to visit in Hellerau – catch a local performance, modern art exhibit or creative workshop at Festspielhaus Hellerau
Known as the garden city, Hellerau has a completely different ambience from the city centre. The beautiful nature surrounding the area and the quaint cottages around every corner gives it a very calm and romantic atmosphere! This makes Hellerau the perfect choice for couples looking for a short getaway to the Saxon capital.
Hellerau is also located just south of the airport, making it a convenient stopover for those with flights that arrive late or depart early. It is quite far out from the city centre, but local transport networks keep you well connected. This means you can still enjoy the main attractions in the centre, whilst still benefiting from the calm vibes of Hellerau in the evenings!
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- European Centre for the Arts Dresden is located in the south of Hellerau and features performances from independent creatives and collectives
- Gartenstadt Hellerau is where the original garden city idea started – there are some great exhibitions about the history of the area as well as romantic walkways
- For the perfect date night, Schmidt’s Restaurant offer modern takes on German and international cuisine and are conveniently located next to Gartenstadt
- If you just need something cheap and cheerful to eat whilst exploring the area, Kohlerhutte offers a well-priced selection of typical German grub
Best Hotel for Backpackers Hellerau
Like Pieschen, Hellerau is lacking in hostels. Nevertheless, Gasthof Fuchsbergklause is a well-priced guest house in the heart of the area – making it a great choice both for backpackers and young couples sticking to a tight budget! A buffet breakfast using only the freshest ingredients is also provided every morning, adding a touch of luxury.
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Best Budget Hotel in Hellerau
For a little bit more of an upgrade without breaking the bank, Hotel Garden Cottage has more of a typical hotel vibe and is also located in the centre of Hellerau! They provide a buffet breakfast every morning with cuisine from across Europe. Free parking facilities are also available – perfect for budget travellers that are hiring a car in the area.
Best Splurge Hotel in Hellerau
If you need to stay close to the airport, it doesn’t get any more convenient than the DORMERO Hotel! This four-star hotel comes with fully soundproofed rooms, keeping you safe from the sounds of nearby planes taking off. There is an outdoor terrace area during the warmer months where you can relax and mingle with other guests.
Which parts of Munich are safe to stay in? We’ve got you covered in our where to stay in Munich guide!
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Dresden?
Though often left off many itineraries to Germany, Dresden is a vibrant city that you should definitely take the time to explore! The restored city centre is the perfect time capsule to Germany’s baroque past, as well as the postwar years and East German era. If you want to experience the nation’s turbulent history, you should absolutely stop off in Dresden.
For the best area, we have to go with Äußere Neustadt! This vibrant neighborhood perfectly encapsulates all of the best parts of the city. There is street art around every corner, world-class modern restaurants and bars and a huge selection of cultural attractions.
That being said, all of the areas in this list have their own charms, and as the city is quite small it is easy to get around and explore all of them even during the shortest of trips! We hope we have helped you to plan your itinerary for your upcoming trip to Dresden.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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