Germany’s Dresden is one of the hottest destinations to travel to in 2023


By AGENCY

Lonely Planet has listen Dresden as one of the top places to visit in 2023. — ROBERT MICHAEL/dpa

One of the hottest destinations in the world next year, according to the travel guide Lonely Planet, is Dresden, a city largely destroyed during World War II and today often associated in Germany, among other things, with far-right marches.

“The classic view from the Elbe’s northern bank takes in spires, towers and domes belonging to palaces, churches and stately buildings, and indeed it’s hard to believe that the city was all but wiped off the map by Allied bombings in 1945,” Lonely Planet writes.

In the Best in Travel 2023 list, the Eastern German city on the Elbe river joins destinations like Accra (Ghana), Sydney (Australia), Montevideo (Uruguay).

In various categories ranging from Eat to Unwind and Connect, Dresden was placed in the Learn category, alongside El Salvador, the US state of New Mexico, Marseille in the south of France, the English city of Manchester.

The list praises Dresden as a “city of new beginnings”, saying that urban renewal will continue there in 2023, since the Altmarkt market area is to be redesigned with improved accessibility and a climate-conscious design.

On one side of the Elbe there’s a carefully reconstructed old town centre, on the other a modern centre with craft beers, international cuisine and great street art, the travel guide writes.

Also just a short train ride away is the natural landscape of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

Dresden is known as a cultural (and selfie) capital with the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger palatial complex, the Saxon State Orchestra, the Frauenkirche and the Old Masters Picture Gallery.

It’s also home to one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets anywhere, the Striezel Market. And few cities can compete with Dresden’s reputation for German Christmas baked goods, notably stollen.

And yet in recent years, the reputation of Dresden has suffered, and the 12th-largest city in Germany by population has frequently made negative headlines at home.

The city was a key centre for the extremist and Islamophobic Pegida movement, cementing its reputation as a hotbed of so-called “Wutbürger” or angry citizens.

Lonely Planet says Dresden has more to offer than historical treasures, architectural landmarks and majestic nearby mountains. — ROBERT GUENTHER/dpaLonely Planet says Dresden has more to offer than historical treasures, architectural landmarks and majestic nearby mountains. — ROBERT GUENTHER/dpa

Over the years the city has also seen repeated far-right and xenophobic marches, many marking the Allied bombings of the vast majority of Dresden in February of 1945, near the end of World War II.

Dresden saw one of Germany’s biggest-ever museum heists, too, when the city was robbed of priceless jewels from one of Europe’s most opulent museums in 2019.

Countering this negative image of the city, Lonely Planet says Dresden has more to offer than historical treasures, architectural landmarks and majestic nearby mountains.

“Across the river from this treasure trove of classic art and architecture, Dresden’s Neustadt has dozens of funky restaurants, shops and one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in Germany’s east.”

Fittingly, Lonely Planet editor Nitya Chambers said that Best in Travel campaign is aimed to show how to “leave the masses behind” and discover the true heart of a destination.

The 2023 list is the 18th from the almost 50-year-old Lonely Planet brand after it refrained from selecting 10 top cities in 2021 during the pandemic. Instead, inspiring people, destinations and tourism projects were presented in an online campaign. – dpa

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