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Biking in Dresden, Germany

Biking in Dresden, Germany is a treat.

It’s pancake flat for starters. It’s also absolutely beautiful, especially the section along the Elbe River. And much of the biking can be done on dedicated bike paths so not only is the outing family friendly, it’s very safe as well.

Last week I had just a few days in Dresden, but that was enough time to spend part of an afternoon on a bike. Four of us, including two fellow travel bloggers, Backpacker Becki and Creative Elena as well as Christophe from Dresden Marketing started off at our hotel – the QF Hotel, perfectly situated in the inner old town of Dresden.

"The QF Hotel is well situated in Dresden's inner Old Town"

The QF Hotel is well situated in Dresden’s inner Old Town

The first question Christophe posed to us as we headed out on our bikes was what’s the oldest building in the square? We all thought it was some sort of trick question…and it was.

As it turns out, all the handsome buildings and even the beautiful church have been rebuilt in the last decade.

"The building at the back on the right is the oldest in the square"

The building at the back on the right is the oldest in the square

From the square it was stop and go for the next few kilometers as we poked about marveling at the traditional as well as some of the more unusual sights.

"The Zwinger Palace"

The Zwinger Palace

"Art by A.R. Penck on top of the Arts Hotel"

Art by A.R. Penck on top of the Arts Hotel

"It looks like a mosque in the distance but it's actually Yenidze - a former cigarette factory that's now an office building"

It looks like a mosque in the distance but it’s actually Yenidze – a former cigarette factory that’s now an office building

Next, we crossed the Elbe River via the Marienbrucke Bridge and made our way to a bike path that follows the Elbe River. The bike path becomes part of the Elbe Cycle Route – something that has now been added to my ever growing bucket list. The approximately 1000 kilometer long Elbe Cycle Route starts in Prague and ends in Cuxhaven on the North Sea. I am told by Christophe that the most beautiful section of the route runs from Torgau, a Renaissance city about 115 kilometers northwest of Dresden, all the way through to the Czech border. Sign me up.

"The view of old Dresden from the Marienbrucke Bridge"

The view of old Dresden from the Marienbrucke Bridge

"Our group cycling through a blossom filled park"

Our group cycling through a blossom filled park

"Greenpeace members working on a photo shoot"

Greenpeace members working on a photo shoot

"One of Viking's cruise boats"

One of Viking’s cruise boats

"Christophe giving us the low down on what we're seeing"

Christophe giving us the low down on what we’re seeing

"Super easy biking past castles and vineyards"

Super easy biking past castles and vineyards

"Watching an old paddle wheeler go by"

Watching an old paddle wheeler go by

"Space is exceedingly well used; a vineyard comes down to the bike trail"

Space is exceedingly well used; a vineyard comes down to the bike trail

"A mass of spring flowers adorns an old wall"

A mass of spring flowers adorns an old wall

"Looking across at one of the castles we cycled by"

Looking across at one of the castles we cycled by

"This scene is as traditional as it gets - swans, vineyards & a castle"

This scene is as traditional as it gets – swans, vineyards & a castle

"Heading back to Dresden"

Heading back to Dresden

These photos just give you a taste of what I experienced. I loved the fact that the paths were used by people of all ages. Christophe explained to me that he uses his bike regularly to do all the short five to seven kilometer errands. What a great way to do your shopping!

From what I could see – though I don’t have any photos – the bike path is well marked with distances provided to the next town. This is absolutely the way I would like to see more of Germany and Europe.

Have you done any biking in Dresden? Or tried any of the long distance bike trails in Germany?

***A big thank you to Christophe for acting as our tour guide and to Dresden Marketing for underwriting my trip. All thoughts are my own; I really did fall in love with this city!!***

Leigh McAdam


Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure – & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project – a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 30 Comments

  • This is absolutely perfect for me. Riding bikes, one of my favorite physical activities in Germany, one of my favorite countries — what could be better? I have not yet been to Dresden. I’d heard great things about it and now you’ve really got me motivated to visit and go for a ride.

    • @Cathy Sounds like a winning combo to me Cathy. There are lots of places to rent bikes and you could really enjoy an hour or a day quite comfortably and get a good taste of the sights.

  • cindy says:

    I’ve never had Dresden on my list, knowing that it was completely rebuilt and fearing that it would feel fake – it looks really wonderful! What a lovely day you must have had!

    • @Cindy I had misgivings too as the only thing I thought about before was how hard hit Dresden had been during the war. Go. The city is one of the most delightful I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in Europe – and it’s super easy to get around as well.

  • Muza-chan says:

    Beautiful city….

  • Sophie says:

    Never biked in Germany at all. Can’t think why; it’s practically right down the street (i.e. an overnight boat trip away). Great tip for Dresden this.

    • @Sophie Perhaps when you’re visiting in the fall you’ll get a chance to get out on a bike. Our hotel provided them to us and I know there are numerous bike rental places as well.

  • Katie says:

    The view from the bridge is stunning! I love Germany – though I’ve never biked it. I try to stay active during travel. Biking is a great way to excercise and see more of the area than you would on foot.

  • noel says:

    That is a beautiful city – I would love to visit it some day, thanks for showing us the highlights from a bike which is excellent!

  • jan says:

    I would love to do this bike ride. Love the Bubbles and the Greenpeace photo shoot.

  • Anwar says:

    I’ve been wanting to go to Dresden and your photos certainly make me want to go! Sounds like a fun time biking around with those other bloggers. I love riding bikes too in europe especially since so many people are out there doing it as well. Thanks for sharing this.

  • From your beautiful pictures, Dresden is definitely an underrated European destination. What a great experience and I love all the sights you saw on such a beautiful day. I’m a sucker for castles and that one across from the river is stunning.

  • Molly S says:

    Pancake-flat sounds perfect to me – and Dresden looks lovely! It’s not somewhere I’ve ever thought of visiting. Beautiful photos – I particularly like the one of the modern art!

  • Nancie says:

    I’ve never really thought of Dresden as a destination. Looks gorgeous, so I will have to reconsider.

  • Yet another lovely German city! All I have seen of Germany are the airports in Munich and Frankfurt – and your last couple of posts have made me want to rectify that soon! I would love to take one of those river cruise boats and enjoy all the pretty cities along route!

    • @Lisa I’m with you. I’ve been to both those airports as well but hadn’t got into the countryside for over 30 years. Last time I was in Germany the Iron Curtain was in place. It was a treat to see such beautiful cities and countryside. I’m not normally a cruise person but I think a Viking Cruise would actually be kind of fun.

  • Rachel M says:

    Great photos, beautiful city! I love the way many European cities make provision for dedicated bike paths.

  • Very nice photos. Did you take them while peddling? If so, I’m extra impressed. I’ve been enjoying your Dresden photos on Facebook, too. Why are all the buildings in that square so new? Was there a big fire or did the city just decide to do a major overhaul?

    • @Michele A few shots were “no hands” but mostly I pulled over to take the pictures.
      The city took a long time to recover from the major bombing in WWII where the center core was basically destroyed.

  • Hi Leigh, what a great and fun way to see the city. I love bike friendly cities. Thanks for sharing the beautiful sceneries you saw on your ride. I knew that a big part of Dresden was ruined during the war and most buildings have been rebuilt. But they rebuilt it so beautifully that they don’t look new-ish.
    Nice to learn about the Elbe Cycle route. It sounds so scenic. I can’t wait for you to cycle the route and share your experiences with us.

  • Mette says:

    Never heard of anyone stopping or biking in Dresden before, unless they have relatives there, so thank you for a real eye-opener.

  • I love that the paths will take you through all the small towns, what a fabulous way to see the country! It also appears to be very biker-friendly there…truth be told, I’m pretty petrified to bike on the streets of NYC:-)

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