This beautiful city is located along the banks of the Elbe River on the edge of the Elbsandstone and Erzgebirge Mountains. Since 1206, Dresden has been known as a centre of fine arts and is often referred to as the ‘Florence on the Elbe’. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city is packed full of great attractions and stunning Baroque architecture, like the famous Frauenkirche and the Semper Opera House or glamorous buildings like the Royal Palace and the Zwinger Palace, dating back to the wealthy Wettiner dynasty and Saxon King, August the Strong. Dresden also stands out on a cultural level. With over 700 years of history, the Dresdner Kreuzchor, a boys’ choir, has kept the medieval tradition of choral liturgy alive at the Kreuzkirche. Dresden is also home to one of the world’s oldest orchestras, the Dresden State Orchestra, founded in 1548.
5 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for the journey to London Heathrow Airport for your direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Berlin. On arrival we transfer to our hotel, the Westin Bellevue (4T) in Dresden, where we are greeted with a welcome drink before dinner. Evening meals are usually taken in a function room throughout your stay.
Day 2 Christmas Eve - Dresden
This morning, you are free to explore one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets, the Strietzelmarkt. Its name comes from the so-called ‘Strietzel’ cake, which lives on today in the form of the traditional Dresdner Christstollen. Centuries of custom are brought back to life each year at the Strietzelmarkt; and visitors can still find arts and crafts that have been lovingly made in the tradition of bygone eras such as delightful wood carvings from the nearby Erzgebirge Mountains, ceramic wares and blue-printed textiles from Lusatia. Many other markets have joined the Strietzelmarkt to form the ‘Christmas Mile’, stretching from one side of the River Elbe to the other. We finish today’s Christmas experience with a Christmas concert. This evening dinner will be at our hotel.
Day 3 Christmas Day - Dresden
After breakfast we will join a local guide on an included walking tour of this historic city, so that you can orientate yourself for your own exploration. Despite the damage it suffered during World War II, Dresden has rebuilt itself to its former glory and attracts many visitors from all around the world with its true Baroque atmosphere and its historic landmarks. The most perfect example of Germany’s late Baroque architecture is the Zwinger Palace. We return to our hotel for our Christmas Day lunch before a visit to the famous Frauenkirche with its magnificent Baroque interior. The rest of the day is at leisure before we enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 Boxing Day - Saxon Switzerland
Today we leave for our tour of Saxon Switzerland, an unusual and intriguing landscape with more than 36,000 hectares of Elbe sandstone mountains, created by the river Elbe over a million years ago. We journey through the Elbe Valley to the mountaintop Königstein Fortress, for a guided tour of Germany’s biggest fortress. Situated on an isolated rock, for centuries it was used as a state prison and a safe place to keep state treasures. After time at leisure, the Bastei cliffs are our next stop - a 305m-high rock formation overlooking the river Elbe. We return to Dresden where the rest of the day is free before dinner at the hotel this evening.
Day 5 Elbe Cruise - Meissen
This morning we explore Dresden and the Elbe Valley from a captain’s point of view by joining a sightseeing river cruise. Starting our round trip from Dresden, we sail upstream to Loschwitz, a district of elegant villas, passing city landmarks and three romantic palaces - Albrechtsberg Palace, Eckberg Palace and the Lingner Palace. After lunch on board we continue by coach to the historical cradle of Saxony, Meissen. Albrechtsburg Castle, built in a late Gothic style between 1471 and 1524, is referred to as the first castle construction in the German-speaking area. We then visit Meissen’s most popular tourist attraction, the porcelain museum, where we discover the making of porcelain wares, known all around the world as masterpieces in ‘white gold’. We return to our hotel for our last included evening meal.
Day 6 Dresden - Berlin - London
We transfer to Berlin Airport for our direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.