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Living in Dresden

The DIU is located in Dresden. Dresden is a centre of European art and culture, a town which is of interest to people of many backgrounds. 

Dresden welcomes all its guests independently of who or how old they might be, of where they might come from, or of whatever interests they may have. This city had something for everyone.

Dresden, with its many architectural masterworks, is always open to people interested in art. The town has beautiful views both night and day, even in grey November weather. Centrally located is the Theatre Square from which one may view a whole array of architectural wonders such as the Italian Quarter, the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger buildings complex, the old town guardhouse, the castle and the Catholic Court Church, and in inclement weather, there are several museums within these buildings. In the Zwinger art gallery one will finds works by Tizian, Rembrandt, Rubens and Raffael, and there are also classical music evening concerts. And then the “Old Slaughterhouse” hosts rock concerts.

It is also worth promenading along the Brühl Terrace from where you can enjoy a lovely view of the Elbe. Goethe once called the terrace the “balcony of Europe”. At its foot there is the White Fleet, and you can go on a paddle steamer for a romantic trip along the Elbe River.

Crossing the oldest Dresden bridge, the August Bridge, will take you to the other side of the town, the New Town area, faced off by the Golden Rider, inviting you to meander along the Main Street, the central street of the New Town. Alongside this street is the King Street, a wonderland of convenient restaurants and cafes in which you can enjoy German beer and or wine from the nearby town of Meissen, world famous also for its porcelain. This street leads to Albert Square, a nodal point of convergence of ten streets going in different directions.

The town also has excellent public transport infrastructure, with modern trams and buses, and there is also the possibility of going on town tours on the special double-decker buses.

Not only do aficionados of the baroque style get something out of Dresden. The town also offers a lot of modern architecture such as the town synagogue, the glass factory, the St Benno Grammar School, the World Trade Centre- to name but a few buildings. Those interested in technology will find exhibitions in the Technical University, in the Technical Museum, the Museum of Transport or in the Tram Museum.

Dresden nightlife is similarly entertaining, and for those interested in sports one should experience a performance in the new stadium, in the sports centre in the Bodenbach Street or in the ice-skating rink, or in one of the many sports clubs.

Living in Dresden: City
Living in Dresden: Canaletto

Apart from its city centre Dresden’s surroundings also have a lot to offer.

Of special appeal in and around Dresden is the location on the Elbe River. The Elbe valley has many attractions to offer, all worth visiting, and giving the opportunity to meet local people. As well as museums and monuments, there are castles, mansions, stately gardens and parks affording insight into the history, geology and geography of the area. Castle Moritzburg, Castle Albrechtsburg in Meißen, and Castle Wackerbarth in Radebeul as well as the baroque garden in Großsedlitz are representative of the many places of outstanding beauty and interest.

The Saxon wine alley follows Germany’s smallest and most northerly wine-growing area, with an 800 viticultural heritage. The wine slopes lie idyllically beneath castles and fortresses. Several wine bars and cellars invite you for a wine-tasting session. The area is accessible by means of quiet pathways or by cycle paths.

It is worth partaking of a daytrip into the Elbe sandstone mountains area, also known as the “Saxonian Switzerland”, where you have the opportunity for hiking and climbing bizarre rock formations. Nearby is the medieval town of Pirna.

The Saxon economy was boosted primarily by the discovery and extraction of silver near the town of Freiberg and in the Ore Mountains. Few are aware that Freiberg possesses on of the world’s largest mineralogy collections.

The Ore Mountains area with its woods and hills of up to 800m in height is an ideal place for walks in summer and skiing in winter. You can trace the origins of the economic boom times derived from the silver mining in many locations such as wintnessing the historic town centre of Annaberg- Buchholz, the Ore Mountains museum or in a historic mine open to visitors.

Dresden surroundings: The Saxon Switzerland
Dresden surroundings: Moritzburg Castle

Dresden’s theatre tradition extends back in time. Courtly stages near the town castle were the predecessors of the Semper Opera House and the State Theatre. Recently there have been modern stages with innovative ideas and a more diverse range of performances.

And in summer one can enjoy the cultural offerings al fresco, for example in the Zwinger and in the castle of Pillnitz or in the gully at Rathen where the Saxon state theatre company performs.

In addition to the theatre and cabaret there are many cultural highlight in Dresden.

  • There is the annual Dixieland Festival in May.
  • At the end of May and the beginning of June there is the Dresden classical music festival
  • In October you have the October Days festival of contemporary music.
  • In June there is the Elbe slopes peoples’ festival, one of the largest of its kind.
  • And then there is the Dresden town festival every year in August.

Museums and exhibitions abound. Most recommendable are the art gallery of the old and new masters, the historical treasure trove of the green vault, the town museum, the museums in the Zwinger, including the porcelain museum, the mathematics and physics museum, the museum of hygiene, and the "Johaneum" transport museum. 

Art and Culture: Gemäldegalerie
Art and Culture: Zwinger


The Saxon State and University Library (SLUB) has a large collection of nearly 4 million books, magazines and journals et al, all waiting for perusal. 

The Dresden town library has branches lat various locations throughout the city. 

Authors regularly hold readings fort he public in the libraries.


Students at the DIU are able to use the extensive range of services on offer at the University sport centre, with many courses and events. There are also around 300 sports clubs in Dresden, allowing the practice of around 70 different sports, a small selection of which would be, for example, American football, hot-air ballooning, dragon boat rowing, motor racing, handball, sailing, horse-riding, waterski jumping, yoga, diving, orienteering, rollerblading et al.

Discos and Parties

If you like to dance, listen to music or simply merely go out to restaurants, there are many opportunities to do so. In particular in the New Town area you will find a manifold variety of cultural and gastronomic offerings, from the local pub to live music and gourmet establishments.


Free use of the internet is available at the university PC pool when you are a student at the DIU, allowing you to check your mails or surf the internet.

Leisure: Boattour on the river Elbe
Leisure: University library SLUB

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