To avoid 40 euro fine/person, please make sure to validate your ticket immediately after you enter the tram/bus. Otherwise, the ticket controller will be very happy to write a fine ticket for you. Especially if you can't speak german (because none of them can speak english).
Keep in mind that the Die Bahn weekend ticket or Saxony ticket is not valid in city tram.
You have to purchase an extra DVB ticket.
A what-to-do tip or a tourist trap?
If you read the description: Get in, listen to the information, get off, explore on your own, get in again, it sounds like a very good idea.
The reality, however, was different!
We bought our tickets, 20 Euro each, and wanted to walk to the nearest stop, when we were sent to another one.There was a large crowd already waiting and we didn't get in the first bus. The next one was also very crowded, but this time we managed to get in.I was sitting in the back, the engine was so loud that it was impossible to understand anything from the loudspeaker.Only when the bus had to stop at a traffic light, a few words could be heard, but I never knew should I look right or left?
We got off, had a wonderful lunch and walked back to the bus stop. Again, there was a large crowd waiting and more and people kept coming. The leaflet says a bus will come every 15 minutes, but we had to wait much longer. Finally, a bus arrived and we managed to get in.
Again I was sitting in the back, but this time the loudspeaker was better and I was able to hear what was said.
This time, the bus driver also gave us some additional information.
When the next stop came closer, we could see that there were also many people waiting for the bus. Our bus driver didn't let anyone in, but told them a second bus would be coming. To us, the passengers in his bus, he admitted he had no idea if this was true, he said he didn't want any more people in his bus.
The same happened at the next stops, even when people were getting off and there were more seats available, he refused to take anybody. He asked alighting passengers to lie and tell the waiting people outside this was a special tour ( which is wasn't).
A few stops later he stopped and told everybody to get off, since this was his final stop. We never got to do the complete round of all the hop on/hop off stops.
There's quite a discrepancy between the text in the leaflet and the reality, a discrepancy so large that it warrants putting this information in the tourist trap section. It seems to be purely a matter of luck, if you get your 20 Euro's worth or not, if you can hear the information or not, if you get picked up or not- too much depending on luck for me. I call this a tourist trap.
In Paris, for example, we paid 18 Euro for a city tour, got into the bus, got audio phones where we could select our language and had a great tour.
This time, the loudspeaker was German only, and half of the time we couldn't hear anything.
In theory, there are also some guided tours included in the 20 Euro ticket. In reality, the lines were so incredibly long, that it was impossible to make use of this additional service.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to use this hop on/hop off bus, try to sit in the front of the bus. Chances seem to be higher that you can hear what the loudspeaker is saying.
Saxon people are very friendly and have a huge sense of humor.
However, their dialect is very difficult to understand and may sound funny. You shouldn't laugh at the people because of that and do not try to imitate. If you want to laugh about the dialect "legally" you should go to a cabaret.
On Sunday all shops and supermarkets are closed. Also it is very difficult to find place to eat, because most of them are also closed. Days of national holidays have the same problem.
This is very difficult when the weather is bad, because there is no place to spend time.
Pfunds Molkerei is a dairy shop in the new town of Dresden. It is called "The most beautiful milk shop in the world" because the walls are full of decorated tiles. In my guidebook there was a picture of this beautiful shop so I was dying to go there. What my book didn't say is that it is also "The most crowded milk shop in the world". I expected a few tourists here but I didn't expect that it was that terrible: Two busloads of tourists from Benelux were forced into the tiny shop at the same time. I could hardly walk or breathe. The shop would really be beautiful, if only it weren't that cramped and it didn't have this terrible cheese smell...
The website is http://www.pfunds.de.
Unique Suggestions: Close your nose, walk through quickly and secretly take a few pictures. Picture taking is not allowed inside here. I wonder why... it's so crowded you could never get a nice photo taken, anyway.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to buy dairy stuff go to a local supermarket. If you want to see the shop, look from the outside.
Not actually a trap but it's worth to notice that as most of the landmark building has the same greenish bronze monuments / domes at the top, you have to be careful cause you'll easily be confused if you marked one as a rendevous point.
Fun Alternatives: If you're not using a map follow the 'River Elbe' till you reach the city centre.
I have been to many European cities and had to pay to use the bathroom at Semper Palace.
Why? Am I not a maiden who can use it for free?
Well, when you have to go, you have to go! :o)
Unique Suggestions: Make sure to bring change, I did not have a place to exchange money before 10 am when most tourist places opened and I did a LOT of walking in this city.
Fun Alternatives: I can not suggest an alternative for women, men yes. But, I don't know the laws for it there.
I think in Brussels, you may be able to do it, Definitely in Paris, it is done ALOT.
But, not a very attractive practice if you are trying to impress someone. :o)
Don't go in any bar or shop or café near the 'Frauenkirche', especially not in the 'Münzgasse'. If you feel like coffee in the area try the (also expensive, but nice) café on the 'Brühlsche Terasse', there is a terrific view.