Where to get Information
I think Dresden has quite a good internet website with lots of information about their attractions.
Dresden-Werbung und Tourismus GmbH
Phone (0351) 491 921 00
The Visitor Information Cente (Touristen-Information) is located in a historic limestone guardhouse on Theaterplatz, named Schinkelwache, also Altstädter Wache.
There you also get tickets for the Semperoper.
Open Mo – Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat/Sun 10am – 4pm.
Zwinger. Inscription on the wall
If you go to Zwinger from Theater Square, on the right side of the arch of Zwinger, there is a notice on the wall. It is translated words from Russian that was written on the wall in 1945, "No mines. Checked up. Khanutin". Russian Army made a mine-clearing in 1945 when German Army left the city. So a usual soldier with surname Khanutin is a part of Dresden history too :-)
Radebeul - for fans of Karl May
In Radebeul, 9 km north of Dresden, you may see "Villa Shatterhand" , the villa of Karl May, that was turned into a museum, see my link below !
Karl May was born in 1842 as the child of poor people and started first a career as a thief, who spent a total of 8 years in prison before he became an author of phantastic stories about Winetou, Old Shatterhand and Ali Hadschef Omar...
In fact he never was in America or the middle east, but he was able to describe its landscape and local customs in all of his books.
With the money he earned he finally started to travel to the Middle East (1899-1900)
He sold more than 80 Million books, that were translated into 30 languages.
For more infos about the museum in the "Villa Shatterhand" , click on the link below !
On my pic : The scenery of Elbsandsteingebirge is used as a background for the "Karl May" - festival in Rathenau, 20 Km south of Dresden
The "Crystal Palace" is the favourite cinema of the young folks in Dresden. They play all the blockbusters (also 3D movies), rarely something that really is of interest to me. The last movie I saw there was "The thin red line" I think. *Way* back :-) They are open from about 10 am to after midnight.
Ticket prices vary between 5 Euro (Tuesday, for students) and 7.50 Euro (Saturday and Sunday, regular). Small surcharge for long movies and 3 Euro surcharge for 3D movies.
The architecture of the building is quite interesting, most locals say it's plain ugly. I tend to agree. It was designed by the Vienna based architects of Coop Himmelb(l)au. The auditoriums are in a structure of plain concrete, no plaster or paint, while the lobby and staircase are in a huge glass structure. During the day it really looks awful IMO, at night, when it's lit up inside, it shines like a crystal - thus the name. no dress code
*The* Italian restaurant in town
This is one of the best Italian restaurants I know, and not only in Dresden. The place doesn't have a lot of tables, so reservation is highly recommended, especially Fri/Sat. I've had meals here many times - celebrating birthdays or victories with the tennis team, quick meal before hitting the clubs, just by myself or romantic dinners - and I'd been disappointed only once, on a night in August a few years ago when probably the owners were on vacation back home and the staff was students, hired for just two weeks or so.
The ambience is exactly like you would expect in a southern Italian restaurant: familiar, welcoming, a bit theatric sometimes, always busy and a bit noisy from the chatter around you. The food is excellent (trust the recommendations of your waiter), the wine is yummy, the service impeccable.
Prices are still reasonable. The guests are mostly locals but occasionally I spotted some tourists.
An addition of not too long ago is the wine bar Piccola Capri next door. Never been there but I guess it is also very good. The focus is on wine and a quick, small dish, of course. They also have a garden in the backyard in summer - quiet, green setting.
Closed on Sundays. Antipasti misto lla casa - a huge variety of homemade antipasti - excellent! And the desserts are also delicious - on several occasions, as a small group, we had a mix of desserts, presented on a huge plate. Absolutely yummy.
As for main courses - Saltimbocca alla romana is perfect. Any lamb with garlic and thyme. Yum.
The pasta is house made - perfect.
Their fish is always fresh and delicious. I *loved* the gilthead and also loup de mer in a salt crust.