Dresden

Old Apr 7th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Dresden

We had planned to fly to Prague and then go to Dresden for a day. Upon investigating, we discovered that Dresden is so beautiful that we need more time. therefore, we will fly into Dresden and spend a few days there before going to Prague. So my new questions are:
1. Is there an English site for the red/blue bus. I gather that they take different routes but can only find a German site. Is the ticket good for 24 hours or just one particular day?
2. After reading many comments about a boat cruise, I have decided to take a boat to Pillnitz, then a bus to Pima and in Pima a boat to Konigstein and from there the S-Bahn back to Dresden. Is the train station in Konigstein within a short walking distance of where the boat docks? How long a day would this be?
3. I see on the airport map that there is a "cash point." Is this what I call an ATM?
4. When we leave Dresden on train for Prague, is there a better view of the Elbe from a certain side of the train?
sorry to have so many questions but I tried to organize them all for one letter so I won't have to keep asking things.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 12:43 PM
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Very glad you'll spend some time in my city!

1. what is the red/blue bus? You mean the sightseeing bus - city tour? If I am not totally wrong the tickets are good for one day except if you buy in the afternoon they are good for the next day also. There are several companies for the city tour buses and they all have different ticket policies. Confusing IMO. I personally would buy a day ticket for public transportation and take the 'normal' trams and buses. Much cheaper. Of course without audio guide.

2. Good idea. The train station in Königstein is only 5 minutes from the dock, if at all. Not to miss.

3. Yep, that's an ATM.

4. Definitely sit on the left side.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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"Red/Blue bus"

Could you be referring to this? http://www.dvb.de/downloads/de/Linie...11-29_topo.pdf

Red is tram; Blue is bus. The route #s are listed next to the red & blue lines. You don't need an "English" version; it's very easy to navigate.

If you're using public transport during your stay, you can consider getting the Dresden Card. whether you get your money's worth depends on how many museums you'll end up going and how many tram/bus trips you take. We were in Dresden for just over 24 hours last Fall (one overnight), and we still bought the Dresden Card. It worked out for us - we saved one or 2 euro per person with the card. http://www.dresden.de/dtg/en/travel_...sden-cards.php
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 11:27 AM
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thank you both for the info. I've decided not to spend the money for the tour bus and to get the public transport as you suggested. the site with the map that yk sent is gereat. I found our hotel and all the places of interest. I'll print it and take it.
Ingo, I have read that a couple of people suggested doing the river trip in reverse because it's faster to go downstream. If we do that, thee must be a train from the main station in Dresden straight to Konigstein? Then we would still do a bus in reverse from Pima to Pollnitz?

One more question... how long a walk is it from the Radisson Blou Hotelo to the train station?

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Oops! Sorry! I just discovered my spelling of Pillnitz.
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Is it the Radisson Blu Gewandhaus? It's about 3/4 mile, so around 15-20 minutes, depending on how fast you walk & how much luggage.

If you don't feel like walking, you can take tram # 3 or 7 (on the link I posted) and get off at the Pirnaischer Platz stop. The Radisson is just round the corner from that tram stop.
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Sorry, the info I posted showed the reverse direction. To get to the train station from your hotel, just do the opposite (take #3 or #7 tram from Pirnaischer Platz stop, and get off at Hauptbahnhof).
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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Yes, that's the hotel. Thanks, I checked it out on the site map you sent and it looks easy. We'll probably take a lesiurely walk. You've both been a huge help.
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 06:07 PM
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You're going to get so tired of me... every time you solve a problem and I go to the next step, I have another question. I just went to www.deutsche-bahn.de to get an idea of train schedules from Dresden to Konigstein to begin out boat trip as I described yesterday. I did click on the USA version but am still very confused. The first thing that shocked me was that I believe it said the train trip is almost 6 hours! Did I understand this correctly? I had no idea it was that far. What is the difference between 1st and 2nd class? One column said ch2. Does that mean we change trains twice? The fare seems to range from 29 to 87 euros. Do we want ice,S, or bus? Oh, the main thing, I assume I was in the right placde, it said Kreisel, Konigstein im Taunus. I had only seen Konigstein before. Same place?
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 06:48 PM
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Hi Peggy, you want "Königstein(Sächs Schw)" as your station. It departs Dresden 2x/hour at :00 and :30, and takes 40 minutes. It's part of the S-bahn (S1 line), and should only cost a few euro.
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Old Apr 9th, 2010, 12:18 AM
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>I just went to www.deutsche-bahn.de to get an idea of train schedules from Dresden to Konigstein to begin out boat trip as I described yesterday.

First of all, it's Koenigstein if you don't have an "ö", not Konigstein. The software doesn't recognize misspelligns like these and directs you somewhere.

Second, as I'm sure also in USA, there are several towns with the same name. Königstein in Taunus (where you seem to have been directed) is near Frankfurt. You want to go to Königstein in Saxonian Switzerland (Königstein in Sächs. Schw.), so choose the station accordingly from the dropdown list.
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Old Apr 9th, 2010, 12:16 PM
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I saw the response on TA that suggested you do the trip in reverse. I don't agree.

First of all, I think you try to cram too much into one day. And you wouldn't even see the highlights - Bastei rock (viewing point above Rathen) and fortress Königstein. See, the reson to go to Königstein is to see the fortress, not the town, which is nothing special at all.

Secondly, going from Pirna upstream by boat and seeing the standstone rock formations growing to both (mostly left) sides of the river is a wow-experience. Not so downstream from Königstein or Rathen, if you know what I mean.

The only option that would be equally impressive is to take the bus from Pirna to Bastei where you would also get the wow-effect. Then hike/walk down to Rathen and continue whatever you have planned (maybe the reverse tour).
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Old Apr 9th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Ingo,
Since you think we're doing too much in one day ( I don't want to feel rushed), what do you think about this? We forget about Rathen and maybe we can catch some of that scenery when we are on the train to Prague and we just go as far as Konigstein? Since we will get off the boat in Pillnitz to see the castle, should we take a bus to Pirma and then back on the boat to Konigstein? what I haven't figured out is how often the boats run if we get on and off in Pima? How long is the boat trip from Dresden to Pillnitz?

One more question, is it better to buy our boat ticket a day in advance? We will have time if that's a good idea.
thanks for the advice.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 01:41 AM
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The steamer trip from Dresden's old town to Pillnitz is almost two hours (1:50). Try to catch the steamer leaving at 9 am which is quite early, granted ;-) The next is at 10.30 am. But the later one is probably going to be crowded.

You can buy your ticket one day in advance - recommended. There's only a limited number of tickets available for each steamer and this way you're on the safe side. Go to the dock at least 15 minutes before departure time, better 30 minutes. The reason is that (if the weather is good) the tables on the upper deck will fill up quickly. The ones at the left side are best for views. If the weather is chilly you better go inside (and also sit on the left side).

In Pillnitz see the exhibits of the Museum of Decorative Arts in both Water and Mountain Palace, the other museum (Schlossmuseum) is not a must since the rooms (except the catholic chapel) are not restored yet. Walk around the grounds, see the Camellia (ok, won't be in bloom then, but still ...), the English pavillion, the greenhouse "Palmenhaus", the Chinese pavillion (interior of both pavillions only with guided tours but you can peek inside through the windows), see the old gondola.

You probably won't have time for the Carl Maria von Weber Museum but that would be of interest only for lovers of classical music anyway. Depending on the day you'll be there a quick detour to the church in the middle of the vineyards might be an option but it is only open on weekends (I think).

It will be lunch time once you're finished with the palace and grounds. A good option IMO is the small wine shop (winery Zimmerling) vis-a-vis the "Alte Wache" (cash desk/Info) where you can get snacks, onion tart and excellent local wines. Or pick something in the larger self-service restaurant. For the sweet tooth go to bakery Wippler, 50 yards from the dock (opposite direction than the walk to the palace).

The direct bus "P" to Pirna doesn't run frequently. I saw it leaves 12.40 pm, 1.35 pm, 2.40 pm e.g. That's the latest you should take. The trip to Pirna takes 25 minutes.

Allow at least an hour for sightseeing in Pirna, better two hours. The church St. Mary is stunning, the streets are lined with medieval, Renaissance and Baroque houses.

I am confused about your question: Königstein is upstream from Pirna, even farther than Rathen. If you would like to add a steamer trip from Pirna upstream then Rathen is the maximum distance I'd recommend to go - a steamer leaves Pirna at 4 pm and arrives Rathen at 5.15 pm. A quick stroll through the village, then take the ferry across the river and hop on the commuter train S1 back to Dresden (runs every 30 minutes, e.g. 5.51 pm and 6.21 pm, trip takes 37 minutes to Dresden main station).

Here are two websites that may be of some help for you also:
members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/6f2e/
members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/6ed7/

Hope this helps,

Ingo
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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I went to the virtualtourist link and learned sooo much. St Mary's church in Pirna is unbelievable. I can't believe that I had an entire trip in Prague and Vienna planned out and decided to check Dresden as maybe a one day trip and for the past week am just overwhelmed with the city. Someone told me about a video on U Tube that shows the devastation and rebuilding of the city. The citizens of Dresden must be so proud of their accomplishments. It's unbelievable what has been done out of the rubble. I get more excited every day to see it and my trip is getting longer and longer.
Anyway, Ingo, if I could bother you with one more question and then hopefully, I can write up my final itinerary. I have made a chart of all the possibilities of how to do the Saxon Switzerland area on the Elbe and the amount of time we will need. My question is: Can we buy a train ticket from town A to town C and get off and spend some time in town B or do we have to buy a ticket to each individual town rather than to the most distant point?

Oops! One more question about the boat. You had said before that it would be wise to buy the ticket the day before since we'll be in Dresden. Is there any chance of being sold out or would it be better to order them on line before we leave the US?
Thanks so much.
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Old Apr 12th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for the nice words, Peggy. Yes, we're proud of the city, what was accomplished (not on *everything*, though). But who would not be proud of their city?

You can change the steamer once with a normal point-to-point ticket. However, the fares from Dresden to Pillnitz are 10 Euro, from Pirna to Königstein are 12 Euro - and a day ticket (you can hop on and off all day) is only 21 Euro. A pretty good deal is also the combination ticket Steamers & VVO (which is the public transportation network). It costs 27 Euro, only available at the steamer's company's cash desks and covers commuter trains, buses, trams in the whole region around Dresden (also Saxon Switzerland, as far as to the Czech border).

No need to buy the tickets online, they do not sell out days before the trip. Except it is a public holiday, like Whit Sunday/Monday, Ascension Day or so. But even then it is very unlikely. When will you be in Dresden?

Keep the questions coming, that's what I'm here for ;-)

Ingo
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 03:10 PM
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Our ever evolving trip! I finally got Dresden and Prague settled and thought I was finished and had only one more small question for you very helpful people who have been putting up with my many questions. We've decided on 4 nights in Dresden and 4 in Prague. This started out as a day trip to Dresden! You all did such a good job of selling Dresden! Now that I thought I was finished, my hubsand said that we were so close to Berlin maybe we should check it out so here I start on a new city again! I must admit it IS fun planning and not stressful when I know I can always come to you all for help. I hope the Berlin people who I pester will be as helpful! So my final question... A couple of people have mentioned "cash desk" in train stations and boat offices." Does this mean that they do not accept credit cards?
Ingo, you asked when we were going. We can actually go anytime since we're retired but are planning on the last week in August, first week in September. Any better ideas? Is it still crowded the last week in August or have most people left?
thank you all for your info.
Peggy
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Dresden is about 1/2 way between Berlin and Prague. You can certainly do a day trip to Berlin from Dresden - I've done it several times myself. With 4 nights each in Dresden & Prague you could also afford 1-2 overnights in Berlin if you wanted to.

For a day trip you could pick a few of the main sights and do a self guided walking tour. You wouldn't get to see everything, but you could have a fun day exploring.

Flight wise the most logical would be fly into Berlin, travel to Dresden, then to Prague, and fly out of Prague. That way you'd avoid backtracking. Not a big deal if you already have your flights booked. It's an easy train ride to Berlin from Dresden.
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Old Apr 14th, 2010, 04:11 PM
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I see now you haven't set on your dates. FYI, around the 1st week of Sept is a great time to visit Dresden. I don't know the exact dates (Ingo I'm sure does), but for one weekend all the wineries in the area from Dresden downstream for about 20miles have open houses. I forget the exact name of the festival. It's a very popular event. I've done the tour by bike once along with a good friend of mine and his family. He handled all the details so I was just along for the ride. Great fun.
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Old Apr 15th, 2010, 09:15 AM
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They do accept credit cards, don't worry.

As J62 said, a trip to Berlin is easy. However, if you want to do a day trip to Saxon Switzerland and see much of Dresden (that doesn't even include Meissen with castle/cathedral/porcelain manufacture for example) then you won't have enough time for a day trip to Berlin.

Last week August and first week September is a very good time. August is not peak season for city trips.

The open doors of the wineries is the last weekend of August. Fantastic. A fix date in my calendar. Yum.

There are wine festivals in both Meissen and Radebeul the weekend Sept 24-26. Also worth to visit.
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