Dresen and/or Cologne?

Feb 1st, 2001, 12:04 PM
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Dresen and/or Cologne?

We're planning two weeks or so in late May and early June: Rhine, Romantic Road, Munich, and Berlin. Should we add Cologne and/or Dresden?
Feb 1st, 2001, 12:25 PM
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Definitely INCLUDE Cologne. You won't regret it. If choice has to be made, choose Cologne over Dresden. Munich was my favorite. You'll fall in love with the Marienplatz! Bon Voyage!
Feb 1st, 2001, 12:27 PM
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I lived in Cologne for a few months, and I think it's a really underrated city. The cathedral is worth seeing, and there are several wonderful museums: one devoted to archelogical finds, and an art museum with a great modern art collection. Cologne also has some great beer -- Koelsh -- brewed all over the city in over 20 manifestations. I also visited Dresden -- it's hard to say if this should be added to your trip. I saw it right after German re-unification took place, so it was fascinating to see a very East German city contrasted with the west. I don't know how different it might be after 10 + years of a united Germany.
Feb 1st, 2001, 12:49 PM
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As we always say here....well, it depends on what you like. But, for me, Dresden is a small, beautiful gem. I love the architecture and the museums and its situation on the Elbe River. You can easily drive there to or from Berlin.
Feb 1st, 2001, 05:46 PM
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Berlin is an incredible city. Dresden is about 2 hours south of Berlin, so you could make a day trip from Berlin. Cologne is a very nice city as well. I enjoyed Koblenz and Hamelin (as in Pied Piper).
Feb 1st, 2001, 05:48 PM
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Definitely Dresden! We were in Dresden and Berlin at Thanksgiving and I have to say I was impressed. The old town has escaped much modernization especially since its in the East. Everything is restored or under restoration. A night at the SemperOper is not to be missed. The view with the Elbe is something one will not forget. I'd recommend the Bulow Residenz. Old world charm yet very efficient and with a good restaurant. The hotel was able to arrange tickets for 4 of us to attend a sold out Opera at the Semper. The Zwinger has to be one of the nicest museums in Europe and no crowds. There's an interesting wall of mosaics of the princes of the area. But unfortunately, they are still in the midst of reconstructing the Frauenkirche.

Frankly, I was disappointed in Cologne. The Dom is worth seeing, but the town itself reminded me of Pittsburgh.
Feb 1st, 2001, 08:39 PM
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Here's a vote for Koln (Cologne). Just a short drive or train trip from the Rhine. Outstanding cathedral, wonderful Roman museum. In fact, there are numerous churches of interest there, but you don't find many American tourists - one of which is the St. Ursula, just north of the cathedral, which has hundreds of skulls lining the walls! Besides the Roman museum, there is also the excavated ruins of a Roman military camp, and dozens of museums of specialized interests, such as the chocolate museum or the Beatles museum.
Feb 1st, 2001, 11:58 PM
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We've been to both, and our vote is definitely DRESDEN. It has a lot more authentic German atmosphere and after ten years of renovation it has become the premiere "east German" cultural destination city. Dresden has a lot more impressive landmarks. As far as art museums go, it has more treasures than Cologne.
Cologne does surpass Dresden in its nightlife and shopping.

Feb 4th, 2001, 06:45 AM
Hans H
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Cologne isn't a pretty city. Most of the city centre was built in the 50's and 60's and that was a time when many architectural sins were committed (lack of money also played a role). The Domplatte (the structure around the cathedral, close to the railway station) is one of the more awful buildings in Germany. But Cologne has many hidden treasures, including a multitude of museums and churches. It also has a much more interesting night-life than for example Munich. But if you wander around the city centre for an afternoon, you won't find anything but the cathedral to take your breath away. You have to go looking for the interesting parts.

Dresden ranked high in my list of "ugliest cities of the world" ten years ago. The city centre wasn't just built in the 50's and 60's but also by a communist state. A devastating combination. After the fall of the wall, when Dresden became the state capital of Saxony, a lot of money was put in the city centre and it really improved. It was one of the cultural centres of Germany from the time of the Saxon Kings and there are still a lot of treasures around. Certainly worth a visit.
Feb 4th, 2001, 07:00 AM
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Lori, this is too funny for words. Last summer we visited Pittsburg for the first time, and while walking along the river and through the old section, I actually said "this reminds me of Cologne, Germany"! Only I didn't mean it in a bad way. I liked Pittsburg and Cologne.
Feb 4th, 2001, 03:34 PM
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Another vote for Dresden! The Zwinger is fabulous and I only wish we'd allotted more time for the city... Koln is just a big city, to me, with some things to recommend it, but not for any extended visit. The cathedral is pretty awesome, appearing to rise like a mountain from the surrounding countryside... and GREAT cologne (4711). But Dresden is inspiring and charming and very moving, because you cannot escape the reality of the firebombing and the devastation it left.
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