Saxony is unbelievably beautiful region in the eastern part of Germany at the border with Poland and Czech Republic. I am sure that you have heard the names of Dresden or Leipzig – they are the two biggest cities in the region and two of the most popular tourist destinations in whole Germany.
Saxony is a perfect destination for a weekend road trip. Believe me, it has all sorts of things for all sorts of tastes: rich history, unbelievably beautiful nature, majestic cities, charming towns, lovely resorts, vibrant market squares, cozy bakeries, cafes and restaurants. What is more, sights, cities, towns and national parks in Saxony can be named as top destinations in whole country. In addition to Dresden and Leipzig, there is a long list of beautiful destinations here, like Lusatian Mountains, Ore Mountains, Saxon Switzerland, Vogtland, together with charming historical towns like Meissen, Freiberg, Pirna, Bautzen, Görlitz.
( Full Size)
We visited Saxony in the autumn time while traveling from Belgium to the Baltics and back. Saxony was our major stop on the road. So, all in all, we spent there just a little bit more than 24 hours. But that was enough to understand how rich this region is! In addition to this, we have already marked several places1 that we want to visit on our next road trip to the eastern part of Europe. Because we are really returning there in the near future!
Until then I want to share three reasons why you, Dear Reader, have to start planning your trip to Saxony. Those three, I hope inspirational reasons, are the places that we enjoyed very much during our wanderings in this region.
Concentrate, here comes three solid reasons why you have to visit Saxony!
Despite the fact, that Leipzig is the biggest, Dresden is a capital city of Saxony which makes it the most important place in the region. As we acknowledged during our stay, during World War II Dresden had survived terrible bombings, when over 90 percent of city center was destroyed. However, I can assure you that those tragic consequences are almost invisible nowadays. A big part of destroyed old town is beautifully rebuilt and restored.
Our first impression when we started wandering around in Dresden was that with its buildings and architecture, city is a bit similar to Vienna, capital of Austria. Dresden has the same sort of greatness floating in the streets, as Vienna does2.
Nevertheless, Dresden is unique. This city is founded in the early Medieval Times and for long years was a residence of kings of Saxony. That means, that since 13th century city was cherished and nourished with high care. Due to its spectacular baroque architecture, city even gained a commonly known nickname – ‘Jewel Box‘.
( Full Size)
Today rebuilt old town of Dresden has to offer variety of activities. We didn’t have enough time to enjoy Dresden, as good city guests should, but still we managed to discovered a bouquet of sights. Firstly, we loved restored baroque Zwinger Palace in the heart of old town. Secondly, Dresden Cathedral, Castle and surrounding streets couldn’t leave you apathetic. It is some kind of Medieval Times greatness floating in the air. Finally, we had wonderful breakfast in one of the cute bakeries in the market square.
To sum up, Dresden is city where afternoon is not enough. We definitely want to go back there and we strongly recommend you to do the same!
You can find more our thoughts on Dresden here.
2. Saxon Switzerland
Saxon Switzerland is an astonishing national park which, personally for us, was a cherry on top of Saxony. Or maybe even whole Germany. This national park is decorated by beautiful river Elbe, and is famous for its extraordinary mountains-rocks that are also known as Elbe Sandstone Mountains. For me this park reminds of wet sand castles that we used to built on the beach while we were little. Just here those castles are huge and surrounded by a beautiful green landscape.
( Full Size)
Actually, Saxon Switzerland was the reason why we decided to stop at Saxony in the first place. We have heard about this place years ago, but we have never knew where exactly it is located in Germany. And when we had found out that it is basically on the road that we are going to take, we didn’t hesitate for a minute if we should stop there. And it was the decision of the month!
( Full Size)
What could be found in Saxon Switzerland, you ask. A variety of activities, sights and other wonderful stuff, we answer! As we didn’t have much time, we could visit just a several of them. However, I think that we chose the essential ones. If you ask us, you have to visit three places. They are: Bastei rock formation and the beautiful bridge over them, and two charming towns – Rathen and Bad Schandau. There you will find everything what you are looking for!
You can find more our thoughts on Saxon Switzerland here.
Meissen was a surprise for us! We found it accidentally while driving back to Belgium and it was a discovery of the trip. To be fair, we were heading towards another town in Germany, called Quedlinburg, but as the sun started to land, we understood that we will manage to reach it only after sunset and won’t probably see anything. So we needed new destination, just closer than the first one. But, in addition to this, we had no internet, so we had to solve our problem in the classical way – read the road signs. And I have to admit that it wasn’t hard, since nowadays they illustrate pictures of the cities.
About 25 kilometers after we passed Dresden we noticed Meissen’s sign, which looked very intriguing. We decided to exit highway and check it3, which appeared to be extremely charming.
Meissen is located on both banks of river Elbe and, though it’s not a big city, it is famous for many things. Due to rich history, Meissen is sometimes even called a cradle of Saxony. Today town’s main celebrities are its beautiful porcelain, its Gothic Albrechtsburg Castle, which is considered to be an oldest in Germany, and its beautiful Cathedral located above the town.
We loved charming steepy Meissen streets, which goes all the way up from Elbe to the main square of the city. There on the hill proudly stands those two of the main celebrities – Albrechtsburg Castle and Meissen Cathedral. Wonderful town to visit!
Germany is famous for its cherished little towns, great cities, majestic castles and green nature. All the regions in Germany has those towns and cities, some of them has castles, some of them nature. Saxony, however, has it all: from one of the oldest castles in whole country to unique mountain park which looks like built from wet sand. Not to mention rich history in its majestic cities and cozy atmosphere in cherished little towns.
To sum up, in my opinion, Saxony has everything what a good road trip needs. The more time you have, the more charming Saxony will be!
Dear Reader, what do you think about this part of Germany? I am waiting for your thoughts in the comments!
- Just after we got back from our road trip we saw that Saxony holds one more place that we find very intriguing to visit. It’s The Rakotz bridge at Azalea and Rhododendron Park!
- Though, to be fair, Vienna’s greatness can hardly be surpassed.
- I love road trips! If not this type of traveling, we wouldn’t have founded half of the things we saw over the years.