Walking Tour: From Baroque to Alt-Rock

  • Start Brülsche Terrace
  • End Böhmische Strasse
  • Length 3.5km; two hours

Central Dresden's two parts couldn't be less alike: the baroque Altstadt is visually stunning, but real life is centred on the grittier but livelier and more welcoming Neustadt.

Start your tour on Brülsche Terrace, Dresden's prime lookout point, also dubbed the Balcony of Europe. Admire the views of Dresden's Neustadt on the other side of the Elbe before descending to Augustusbrücke – a bridge named after Augustus the Strong – and crossing the river. Having done that, you'll find yourself face to face with the abovementioned gentleman in the form of a gilded equestrian statue, known as Golden Rider, which welcomes visitors to Neustadt, Dresden's alternative city within a city.

Check out Dreikönigskirche on your left before reaching Albertplatz, a plaza with two fountains representing turbulent and still waters. Now plunge into the depth of the the colourful, alt-flavoured Äussere (Outer) Neustadt via Alaunstrasse. Soon on your right is Die Scheune, Dresden's oldest youth club, which has been going strong since 1951, and made a decisive turn to alternative music when the Wall fell. Stop to admire the latest artistic outpourings on the officially designated Graffiti Wall just before Katy's Garage music venue. Keep going on Alaunstrasse to the whimsical Kunsthofpassage, a cluster of five interlinked artist-designed courtyards. Give your camera a workout, then grab a yummy ice cream at Neumanns Tiki, family-owned since 1966, then turn right onto Görlitzer Strasse.

Make a note to come back in the evening to join the other 'lost kids' in the so-called Bermuda Triangle of densely clustered bars and pubs around Louisenstrasse, then make your way down gritty Martin-Luther-Strasse, home to some especially fine street art. Note the imposing 19th-century Martin Luther Church on your left, then turn into one of Outer Neustadt's cutest lanes, Böhmische Strasse, home to art-squat-turned-gastropub Raskolnikoff. There is a good chance in this area that your sightseeing walk will transform into an evening pub crawl, for which one needs no plan or guidance, unless the night's gig in Die Scheune is to your liking and tickets are still available.