If you’re wondering what to see in Saxony, it’s great that you’re here! I used to live in this federal state (specifically in Leipzig) for 4 months as part of the Erasmus + program. During this brief period, I tried to get to know Saxony as best as I could. It was quite challenging, although Saxony isn’t the largest federal states in Germany. Its surface is only 18 419.71 km 2, which is 10th place in terms of area. Saxony is inhabited by 4 million people, which also isn’t the highest score. This is due to the fact that after the fall of the DDR, a large number of inhabitants of the eastern federal states emigrated to the west, fearing the return of the regime. Fortunately, Saxony is slowly getting better and the local economy is growing fast. I’m sure that tourism will help in this matter, because this region of Germany has a lot to offer! Despite the small size, I couldn’t get to all the planned places. But I will tell you about them too! Let’s see top 11 places to visit in Saxony.
How to travel around Saxony?
The whole federal state is well connected. If you don’t have a car, nothing lost. You can easily get by trains or buses to most of the places below. It’s best to travel by Deutsche Bahn, because it is the most convenient and fastest way to travel. It can be even more profitable than traveling with Flixbus. Remember that if you choose a train, it is best to travel in 5 people! Although, already at 3 people, the costs are significantly lower 🙂 Here you can read how tickets work and why you should buy them.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Leipzig
I choosed to go to Leipzig for Erasmus quite accidently. I wanted to be relatively close to the Polish border, living in not too big a city, but on the other hand I wanted it to be big enough that nothing would be lacking in it! Leipzig turned out to be a perfect place for me. This most-important center of Saxony is a real gem of this region. Often referred to as an alternative to Berlin, because of its rebellious and youthful character. In the nineteenth century, the greatest battle took place here – the Battle of Nations. To commemorate this event, the largest monument in Europe – the Monument to the Battle of the Nations – was built in Leipzig. An unusual building is not the only object noteworthy in Leipzig. In Leipzig there is also one of the oldest universities where Angela Merkel studied! 😉 It is also worth looking at sacral objects, such as the church of St. Thomas, in which played J.S. Bach. Check also the two town halls in Leipzig. You can read more about Leipzig here.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Dresden
Leipzig and Dresden are only one hour away, but it can be easily notice that these cities are two different worlds. Leipzig is a classic mix of socialism style with a bit of modernity, but also a passion for an alternative. Dresden, despite the fact that it was almost completely destroyed during World War II, stucked in the Baroque era. The old town is extremely atmospheric. Only residents in modern cothes don’t fit. 😉 Most people don’t even know that Dresden owes its baroque climate to Polish king – Augustus II the Strong. He decided to build this city drawing inspiration from Paris or Vienna. Being in Dresden, be sure to visit the royal Zwinger Castle. Also, look at the Cathedral and the beautiful Frauenkirche. Let yourself be enchanted by the panorama of the city, which is best seen from the opposite bank of the Elbe. Visit also the Art Passage, which will surely surprise you! You can read more about Dresden here.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Meissen
Meissen is one of the oldest Saxon cities that was founded at the beginning of the tenth century. Thanks to this, the city proudly holds the title of the cradle of Saxony. If you travel to Meissen by S-bahn from Dresden, then just after entering the city, you will see its most beautiful panorama: proudly located over the Elbe the Castle Albrechtsburg. It was the first residential castle, inhabited until the seventeenth century. However, it becamse more famous deu to Polish king – Augustus II the Strong. In castle walls, the king founded the Royal Polish and Electro-Saxon Porcelain Manufactory at the beginning of the 18th century. Thanks to this porcelain Meissen became famous all over the world! Nowadays, wonderful collections and the process of making white gold can be admired in the Porcelain Museum. And since we are talking about admiration, it is necessary to go for a walk in the old town. Extremely colorful architecture, narrow streets and here and there the vineyard terraces will make you feel like in a Mediterranean climate! You can read more about this amazing place here!
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Radebeul
Although in this case, a more adequate headline should be: What you should try in Saxony? And what is it? Well, wine! The tradition of viticulture dates back 800 years. The Saxon flavors have been repeatedly appreciated, even by Polish rulers, who often enjoyed parties at Radebeul. Nowadays, the Wackerbath Palace and the baroque gardens are used to host parties and weddings. Don’t hesitate to come here and grab a bottle of good wine! It is only 30 km from Dresden. 😉 You can read more about Radebeul here.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Moritzburg
Again we are in the nearby area of Dresden and its idyllic surroundings. In the end, not without reason Augustus II the Strong choosed this castle for his summer palace. In the 18th century, the hunting castle was rebuilt into a Baroque palace and gardens were designed. It is worth coming here and taking a closer look at this baroque gem. You can read more about Moritzburg here.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Pirna
I discovered Pirna quite accidently! It Slavic-sounding name encouraged me to dig its secrets! This small Saxon town turned out to be a Renaissance gem. Maybe there isn’t a lot of monuments here, but the colorful architecture of the city definitely deserves attention! Interestingly, the city owes its existence to the Elbe. As it turned out, only here the Elbe created the possibility of crossing. Elbe above Pirna has the character of a mountain river, which is why it wasn’t navigable. While in Pirna, hide all maps in your pocket and get lost in the old city. 🙂 You can read more about Pirna here.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Torgau
The city of Torgau has 3 nicknames: Former capital of Saxony, the city of the Renaissance and the city of the Reformation. In the sixteenth century, the city became a strong center of Lutheranism. To this day in the city there are many traces from that period and the most prominent of them is the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Marienkirche), in which the wife of Martin Luther rests. Near the church is the former symbol of the magnificence of Torgau – Hartenfels Castle. This is a Renaissance residence of the Wettin family, who after the construction of the castle in this place, exercised power over Saxony. You can read more about Torgau here.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Saxon-Switzerland
This time, just 20 minutes to the East of Dresden we moved to the mysterious land of the Elbe Mountains called Saxon Switzerland. The picturesque landscapes of this land attract tourists like a magnet. The biggest attraction is the Bastei stone bridge, which was built in the 19th century. From the nearby viewing platforms, you can admire it in all its glory. Although, whereever you will look, you will be delighted. For me Saxon Switzerland is such a miniature of green Grand Canyon, in which nature presented us its glory and beauty. You can read more about Saxon-Switzerland here!
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Muskauer Park
It’s time for a cheat part because I haven’t been here, but it’s on my list! 🙂 It was really hard to get to Muskauer Park without car, so that is why I didn’t visit this place. Muskauer Park is located on the Polish and German border. However, in the German part there are more interesting places! 😛 The 19th century castle of Bad Muskau, though not fully realized, can impress the human senses! Prince Hermann von Pückler was its owner and designer. The Bad Muskau castle and its gardens are not the only attraction of Muskau. Rakotzbrücke, or the devil’s bridge, has also many fans and visitors. This bridge, which together with the reflection in the water creates the illusion of a perfect circle, is the travel goal of many photographers!
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Bautzen
Bautzen is an old medieval city. It used to be a part of Poland, but it was a short period of its history. However, thanks to the reach history of the city, you can still admire old monuments like St. Peter Cathedral, Fortifications, Market Square and Ortenburg. Just take a walk around the city and feel its climate! Discover also the beautiful panorama of the city! Just look on the pics below how wonderful is located this saxon city!
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Görlitz
Görlitz is Saxon Hollywood! Scenes for “Bastards of War”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Around the world in 80 days” were filmed in the town. The city is divided into two part: The German part is called Görlitz, and the part of Poland is Zgorzelec. It’s hard to say which is nicer, especially since walking around the city, once you are in Zgorzelec, and for a moment unexpectedly again in Görlitz. 🙂 However, Germany put a lot of emphasis on the development and renovation of Görlitz. The city boasts the largest number of restored monuments (over 3,500) throughout Germany. It is worth paying attention to the architecture of the city.
Top 12 places to visit in Saxony: Kriebstein Castle
The Kriebstein castle is probably to the most beautiful knight’s castle in Saxony. Unfortunately, without car it’s hard to get here. Once you succeed, you will be able to enjoy a fully-preserved and restored castle from the late Gothic period. Beautifully located by the Zschopau river, it will be a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Remember that the castle is closed on Mondays and closed in December and January. You will find more useful information here.
That’s all I’ve prepared for you. As you can see, although Saxony is a small state, it offers really many great places!
Do you think that something is missing on the list? If so, be sure to let me know! 🙂
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