Is Dresden recommended with kids? Yes, you can easily spend two days in the city of Dresden with the family. This city in eastern Germany, known as the Florence on the Elbe, was three-quarters destroyed in the war. By now everything has been restored and Dresden is a green and vibrant city. The city is over 7 hours away by car from Utrecht, making it less suitable to visit on a weekend. Many tourists visit the city as a stopover on their way to the Czech Republic or Poland or while touring Germany. We list the best activities and attractions in Dresden with kids for you.
Table of contents
Dresden with kids: exploring the city
#1 Walking: What we always find one of the most enjoyable ways to explore a city with our daughter is on foot. In Dresden, it is fun to visit the Old Town (Altstadt). The city has beautiful buildings downtown, almost all of which were refurbished after World War II (most had been destroyed).
You have a number of famous squares in the city center such as the Altmarkt and Neumarkt squares, where you have many cozy cafes and restaurants and where you can enjoy a drink on the various terraces. One of the most famous sights in the Old Town is the Frauenkirche. You can see this completely renovated church from the inside, and you can also climb one of the domes for a stunning view of Dresden.
#2 Hop on Hop off bus: if you want a quick way to discover the city of Dresden with kids, these buses are perfect. The buses make a grand tour of the city in two hours, stopping at most of the city’s attractions. If you only have a short time in Dresden and want to see a lot of the city, this is a very good option. You can combine this bus tour with other excursions in the city.
#3 Cycling: you can also explore the city of Dresden with the family by bicycle. For example, the Dutch company Bajabikes offers three-hour bike tours where you will explore the city with a guide. They have bikes for kids as young as four, and it is also possible to have your kids ride on the back of your bike on a child seat.
Of course, it is also possible to explore the city by bike on your own. There are several companies in Dresden that rent bicycles. The company Greenbike sits right in the center a two-minute walk from Frauenkirche. They also rent bikes for kids here.
#4 Cruise: Right through the city of Dresden flows the Elbe River and of course it is possible to also admire the city from the water by taking a cruise. In 1.5 hours you take a tour on the water and sail past the various palaces located on the Elbe. English and German audio is available during the tour.
#5 Horse-drawn carriage: another relaxing way to explore the city of Dresden with kids is by horse-drawn carriage. There are several places in the city where you can find these means of transportation and book a tour of the city.
#6 Trabi Safari: an original way to explore the city of Dresden with kids is in a Trabant car. You will explore the city of Dresden with a guide in a procession of Trabant cars. In this, of course, you drive the car yourself. The cars have room for four people and the cars look funny. The procession of cars naturally attracts many spectators as it passes through the center of Dresden. You will pass all the sights in the old and new city during this ride.
Dresden with kids #7: Stadspark Grosser Garten
We always like to be able to visit a city park with our daughter during a city break as well, and one of the largest city parks in the city is Grosser Garten. The park is about a 20-minute walk from downtown and has several playgrounds in the park. A visit to the park can easily be combined with a visit to the zoo or the Deutches Hygiene Museum, for example, since they are located near this large city park.
The park has several eateries, which include cozy outdoor terraces where you can get something to eat and drink. A steam train also runs through the park that makes a half-hour round trip. In the corner of the park there is also a botanical garden, which is free to enter and you can admire lots of different flowers and plants.
In the middle of the park there is also a large palace with a beautiful garden around it. It is therefore a very nice place to take a walk in green surroundings if you are taking a city trip to Dresden with kids. There are plenty of grassy areas in the park, so you can also have a great picnic in the park.
Dresden with kids: family-friendly museums
#8 Deutches Hygiene museum: this family-friendly museum is all about the human body. The children’s museum is especially recommended for kids ages 5 to 12. This section of the museum focuses on the senses of seeing, tasting, smelling, feeling and hearing. There are plenty of interactive displays here for kids to discover all about the human body. For example, you can experience what it is like to be blind and deaf. The museum can be found at city park Grosser Garten.
#9 Traffic Museum: this museum is located right in the center, a two-minute walk from Frauenkirche. The museum is all about transportation and you will find information about all kinds of means of transportation from the past. Kids can be guided through the museum by a mouse Flitzi. In doing so, they have to solve puzzles and play games while exploring the museum. There is also a traffic garden at the museum, where kids can ride around on bicycles and other carts.
#10 Gläserne Manufaktur Volkswagen: this futuristic-looking museum made of glass is also on the edge of the Grosser Garten city park and has a section you can visit for free. Electric cars are produced here by car brand Volkswagen and because everything is made of glass you can look inside. You can book several tours (you do pay for these) and they organize family tours on Saturdays and Sundays (in the German language, though). At the end of the tour, kids can play a variety of racing games. The most fun is to visit the plant one day when it is operational.
#11 Panometer: a museum has been created here in a 27-meter-high tower, giving you a 360-degree view of a huge panorama. Here you see the city of Dresden in World War II, when the city was almost completely destroyed. In the middle of the museum is a tower, where you can see the entire panorama. It looks impressive, but the entrance fee is quite hefty. Also, this is a museum that can be especially suitable for older kids if you love it. Take a good look at the museum’s website beforehand so you have an idea of what to expect.
Dresden with kids #12: dresden zoo
This zoo is located in city park Grosser Garten and apart from not being the largest zoo, you can still easily spend half a day there. For example, the zoo has many large animals such as the elephant, lion, zebra, giraffe, bison and several large monkeys such as the Orang Utan. One of the most special animals the zoo has are the koalas you can admire here.
The Dresden Zoo has several playgrounds. At most of these playgrounds, the play equipment consists of wooden climbing equipment, where kids can enjoy climbing and scrambling. In total, the zoo has six different playgrounds, and the African Lodge and Kangaroo Stop playgrounds also include a terrace for parents to grab a bite to eat and a drink while the kids play.
The entrance fee to the Dresden Zoo is one of its big pluses. For the price of an adult at a Dutch zoo, you already have a family pass for the whole family here. This makes this zoo an excellent affordable getaway if you are visiting the city of Dresden with kids.
Dresden with kids: other activities
#13 Zwinger Palace: this palace is one of the city’s most famous attractions, and inside the palace are a number of museums that are less interesting for kids. The palace gardens are beautiful and these are free to enter. You can also walk over the gates of the castle and the place is very photogenic. The palace is in the middle of the city, so you can hardly miss it during a city break to Dresden with kids. At the back of the palace is a large pond.
#14 Citybeach Dresden: A fun way to have a drink in Dresden with kids is at beach club Dresden. The restaurant is by the river and totally has the style if you are really on the beach. Beach sand, sunbeds and also two beach volleyball courts, ensure that on a hot day this can be a great way to end your day.
#15 Loschwitz District: if you want a nice view of the city and the river, you can visit this district. You can do this by taking the little train up the mountain. The train takes you to a height of 84 meters.
#16 Neustadt: Another district worth visiting if you are visiting Dresden with kids is Neustadt. This neighborhood in the north of the city is very colorful. The Kunsthofpassage is a great starting point to explore this neighborhood. The neighborhood consists of several colorful courtyards and has nice stores and cafes. Many of the facades of the houses in this neighborhood are decorated by various artists, making for a cheerful scene. Certainly this will appeal to kids as well.
By the way, Dresden has plenty of street art in the city and it is even possible to take a street art tour of the city.
#17 Brühlsche terraces: at this tourist attraction of the city you have a beautiful view of river Elbe. The place is also known as the balcony of Europe. You walk to this place from Frauenkirche in four minutes, so the place is very central in the center. It is a photogenic place and easy to get to when touring the city of Dresden with kids.
#18 Roller Coaster Restaurant Schwerelos: one of the most special ways to dine in Dresden with kids is at the roller coaster restaurant. In fact, your food here is served by roller coaster from the kitchen. You order your food through a tablet and then it’s waiting for your food to arrive at your table in pans through the roller coaster. The food itself is not high quality, but the concept is very cool and of course for kids this is an experience they will be talking about for a long time.
#19 Day trip to Sächsische Schweiz: If you have longer time in Dresden with kids, it is fun to take a day trip to the nature reserve Sächsische Schweiz. Here you can take beautiful walks through the forests and admire the magnificent rock formations. Highly recommended is the walk toward the Bastei Bridge. From Dresden you can then take the train in half an hour to the town of Kurort Rathen and from there take the ferry to the beginning of the route. You have great views of castles, the river and the bridge during this hike. Near the Bastei Bridge is a tourist center where you can have a drink.
#20 Day trip Castle Colditz: An hour’s drive from Dresden you will find this castle. You can take a tour of the castle here and it is even possible to stay overnight in this castle.
#21 Dresden Christmas Market: during the period before Christmas there is the Dresden Christmas Market, which consists of no less than 9 different markets and one of these markets is the very oldest in Germany. There are decorated Christmas trees in the center and everything radiates Christmas at this time. There is plenty for kids to do during this time as well. For example, there is a Ferris wheel, carousel and kids can have their picture taken with Santa Claus.
Dresden with kids: car rental
If you are going to do the above-described activities in Dresden with kids, then a car might come in handy. Basically, there is public transportation in the city, but having your own car can obviously be an option. We actually find the cars from Sunny Cars are always top notch!
You actually have all costs included in the price here and are insured for most things (including your deductible). We have had problems with this in the past with other rental companies, because all kinds of costs are added at the destination. With Sunny Cars, you know that’s not the case and that’s a nice feeling. You can additionally cancel the car 1 hour before your reservation free of charge. You can also rent a car in Dresden with kids from Sunny Cars.
Where to sleep in Dresden with kids
Budget hotel: NH Dresden Neustadt
Mid-range hotel: Star G Hotel Premium Dresden
Luxury hotel: Maritim Hotel Dresden
To search for other hotels in Dresden with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Further information Dresden with kids
Dresden card: like most cities in Germany, Dresden has a separate card that you can purchase that offers discounts on many sights and attractions in Dresden with kids. So take a good look in advance at what all you want to do and see in the city and then see if the card will benefit you and your family.