Top choice in Dresden

Dresden's extraordinary Renaissance city palace, home to its Saxon rulers from 1485 to 1918, now shelters multiple precious collections – including the unmissable Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault), a real-life Aladdin’s Cave spilling over with precious objects wrought from gold, ivory, silver, diamonds and jewels. The palace itself was bombed out in 1945, and though reconstruction began in the 1960s, it wasn't completed until 2013. The entire building, including its unique murals and baroque towers, is quite simply spectacular.

There’s so much on display here that two separate treasure chambers – the Historisches Grünes Gewölbe and the Neues Grünes Gewölbe – are needed to display the extraordinary wealth of the Saxon rulers' private collections. Also housed here is the Kupferstich-Kabinett, which counts around half a million prints and drawings by 20,000 artists (including Dürer, Rembrandt and Michelangelo) in its possession. Numismatists might want to drop by the Münzkabinett (Coin Cabinet) in the palace tower for a small array of historic coins and medals.

The Türckische Cammer (Turkish Chamber), one of the richest collections of Ottoman art outside Turkey, is also here. A huge three-mast tent made of gold and silk is one standout among many. The new Riesensaal (Giant's Hall) houses a spectacular collection of armour, including including a recreation of several jousting tournaments.

You can easily spend several hours exploring the various collections here. On top of the combination ticket that includes everything Residenzschloss has on display, cheaper tickets can be bought separately for Historisches Grünes Gewölbe and for all other exhibitions excluding the former. One- and two-day cards, which allow you to enter exhibitions multiple times, are also available at €19 and €27 respectively.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dresden attractions

1. Neues Grünes Gewölbe

The New Green Vault presents some 1000 objects in 10 modern rooms. Key sights include a frigate fashioned from ivory with wafer-thin sails, a cherry pit…

2. Historisches Grünes Gewölbe

0.01 MILES

The Historic Green Vault displays some 3000 precious items in the same fashion as during the time of August der Starke, namely on shelves and tables…

3. Katholische Hofkirche

0.05 MILES

The Katholische Hofkirche (also called Dresden Cathedral) makes up an integral part of the baroque ensemble crowning the Altstadt, and is one of Dresden's…

4. Porzellansammlung

0.12 MILES

Housed in two gorgeously converted curving galleries, this extraordinary collection ranges from 17th- and 18th-century Chinese porcelain to that produced…

5. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

0.14 MILES

This astounding collection of European art from the 16th to 18th centuries houses an incredible number of masterpieces, including Raphael's famous Sistine…

6. Semperoper

0.15 MILES

One of Germany's most famous opera houses, the Semperoper opened in 1841 and has hosted premieres of famous works by Richard Strauss, Carl Maria von Weber…

7. Zwinger

0.15 MILES

A collaboration between the architect Matthäus Pöppelmann and the sculptor Balthasar Permoser, the Zwinger was built between 1710 and 1728 on the orders…

8. Frauenkirche

0.19 MILES

The domed Frauenkirche – Dresden’s most beloved symbol – has literally risen from the city's ashes. The original church graced the skyline for two…