Destinations,  Germany

The Complete Dresden Vegan Travel Guide

If you happen to find yourself in the city of Dresden, Germany – don’t worry. I have you covered with this travel guide. In this post, you can find useful information on Dresden – where to find good vegan food in town and top sights to see in this historical German city.

Dresden Germany travel guide
Dresden, Germany.

Dresden is also the capital of Saxony state of Germany. It may seem like a typical European city with an old town, but it’s a city that still bears scars of the past. The city was left in ruins after the devastating fire bombing in 1945 that claimed the lives of tens of thousands (mostly civilians – women and children). Burnt church towers and destruction is visible in many places. The architecture and opulence is something to admire now.

Getting Around Dresden
Things To Do in Dresden
Where to Eat in Dresden
Where to Stay in Dresden
Map of Places

Let me now tell you about getting around and the top things to do in the city. If you’d like to go directly to the vegan food spots, jump here.

Getting Around Dresden

Practical info: Euros is the currency used. Most places accept card payment but cash is used in some establishments. German is the main language and English is not widely spoken. We didn’t have any issues, regardless. In restaurants, you can often find an English menu.

Weather-wise, summer would be the best time to visit if you enjoy greenery, warmth and outdoor dining. Winter (December-February) is great if you prefer snow capped rooftops, Christmas markets and glühwein! In March-April, it’s windy and rainy.

2-3 days is enough to explore Old Town and more. Take a day to visit to Prague, Czech Republic if you’d like! In addition, German cities like Berlin and Leipzig are within a couple of hours from Dresden.

Public transport: Dresden has one of the densest networks in Germany – you can travel by tram, bus and trains within the city. Trams are the backbone of public transport, with 12 routes and buses complement the tram service. Suburban railways link the city centre with the airport and other towns.

The Old Town of Dresden can be explored completely on foot. If you need to go across to the new town however, make use of public transport. Tickets can be bought from vending machines at stops, on board trams and buses, or online.

A single ticket costs 2.40 EUR per ride and day tickets around 6 EUR. There are different types of tickets for tourists, such as day tickets, group tickets or city cards which include discounts for attractions. Visit Dresden Tourism for more information.

For hotels and accommodation info for Dresden, skip here.

Things to do Dresden

I honestly didn’t have any plans on what exactly to do in this city apart from finding and eating some good vegan food (and then heading to Berlin). So this part is going to be pretty short and I’ll let you in on all the tourist sights. The city is divided in two sections by river Elbe: the new town ‘Neustadt’ & the old town area ‘Altstadt’. Here are the main sightseeing spots: (also marked on the map)

The Old Town

The old town square would probably be the place to start you day of exploring! Although not as grand as some other European old towns, Dresden has its own charm. In December, you’ll find one of Europe’s best Christmas markets at this square! Below I mention the most important sights to check out in this historic part of town.

Dresden vegan travel guide - old town square
Old Town Square, Dresden.

Frauenkirche – Baroque church that was destroyed during the bombings of WWII and has been rebuilt (you can still see some of the old darker stones in the building). If the weather is good, consider climbing up for views over old town: Dome Viewing Platform (10 EUR). Going inside the church is free.

Fürstenzug (also known as the Procession of Princes) – the 101 meter long porcelain murals depicting Saxon rulers through the ages. It is pretty impressive and makes for a good photo point!

Fürstenzug.

Royal Palace (Residenzschloss) – served as the royal residence and is now a museum. We simply viewed it from the outside.

The Royal Palace museum.

Zwinger

A palace with lavish courtyard – this is another important building of Baroque architecture in Germany. Originally built by Augustus the Strong, the elector of Saxony and king of Poland, the Zwinger now showcases Baroque art, several museums and galleries. We had a walk around it, the gardens were under renovation at the time.

Zwinger Palace from the outside.

Semperoper, the Opera house of Dresden is a few steps away from the Zwinger in the historic centre of Dresden. The building can be admired from the outside or, you can attend an opera or ballet show, if that’s your kind of thing.

Brühl’s Terrace

Walk up a few steps to the so-called ‘Balcony of Europe’ and enjoy panorama views over the Elbe river! Alternately, a river cruise is a good pastime activity to enjoy a view of the city from the river. You can take one of the cruises that lead further down, outside town to explore one of the castles as well.

You might want to check out one of these popular cruises in Dresden via GetYourGuide*

Museums

Dresden has no shortage of museums for those into culture, history and science. The Albertinum houses a modern art museum. The Green Vault is home to royal treasures and the Turkish Chamber with its collection of Ottoman art – one of the largest of its kind outside of Turkey.

Neustadt

The new part of town is known for it’s street art, bars and restaurants. Cross one of the bridges over Elbe to get there. You might spot the Golden Horseman on your way.

Day Trip to Saxon Switzerland

If you have an extra day and are into hiking adventures, there are some great opportunities for that from Dresden! In under an hour (renting a car is recommended for this), you can arrive at the Saxon Switzerland National Park, which offers hiking trails, climbing routes, and scenic views. The area is famous for its sandstone formations, cliffs, valleys, and forests. Bastei Bridge is one of the top sights and can be accessed by shuttle bus or a hike from the town of Rathen.

Vegan in Dresden – Restaurants and dining options

Dresden has a decent amount of dining options and even several fully vegan restaurants! We ate most of our meals of the week out and sometimes just bought ready-made food from store (REWE has good vegan products). Check out where we dined and what we ordered:

1- Steffenhagen

Schönfelder Str. 2, 01099 Dresden, Germany

Our best dining experience in Dresden (and probably the whole Germany trip) was at this place called Steffenhagen; a happening, intimate plant based restaurant in the new town serving up local modern European cuisine. We came by for dinner one night to try some German dishes.

vegan in Dresden Germany
Dinner at Steffenhagen.

The ‘Nobody Gets Slaughtered’ platter was absolute bomb: it came with a variety of plant based cuts, spreads, (amazing) cashew cheese, pretzel and bread. The vegan schnitzel was also perfect with salad, herbed potato wedges and aioli. Service was fantastic. Highly recommend this spot in Dresden! Reserving a table is a good idea.

2- Der Dicke Schmidt

Rothenburger Str. 37, 01099 Dresden, Germany

Vegan junk food of the locally popular kebab style food – they have 2 branches in the new town. Vegan gyros, kebap sandwich/ pita are on offer at this kiosk – huge portions for a reasonable price. You can pick and choose fillings and sauces. I don’t have a pic of my meal because I got take-away and it was a mess. The mango chili sauce was nice and the soya gyros was very filling. Recommend for fast food lovers.

3- V Cake Fiete Behnersens

Rothenburger Str. 14, 01099 Dresden, Germany

V Cake is an inconspicuous spot just opposite Der Dicke Schmidt and so I popped in for a coffee and cake (it’s vegan after all). A great decision as they had Oreo chocolate cake on offer and it was heavenly. They also have brunch sets. A lovely cafe with lovely service as well – definitely check this one for a treat in Dresden!

4- Aha Ladencafé

Kreuzstraße 7, 01067 Dresden, Germany

This concept cafe and fair-trade shop caught my eye in the old town. I found that it’s not vegan but has many veg options. A bit disappointing as they advertise themselves as vegetarian/vegan. The staff spoke English and handed me an English menu. There’s European dishes served with vegan brunch combo options. I ordered a puff pastry consisting of spinach, mushroom, seeds and salad on the side, and a cappuccino with oat milk.

vegan in Dresden
Puff pastry and salad at Ladencafe.

The dish was tasty. The place is a bit expensive and has no WiFi. The card reader didn’t work for me so I had to pay in cash. Overall, not a bad place to have lunch/brunch next to the Holy Cross Church in old Dresden.

5- Vita Life soup & sushi

Prager Str. 2A, 01069 Dresden, Germany

This Asian restaurant was right near our hotel (and by the central railway station). They have a vegan menu section, with large bowls of noodle soup + tofu and sushi options. Dining in was unfortunately not the most pleasant due to the strong smell of (fish) sushi. We ordered vegan pho – noodle soup and a dry version. Both were delicious. The price per dish was about 10 EUR. Worth it if you like Vietnamese/Thai food.

vegan in Dresden
Vita Life Vegan Pho.

6- Alua Vegan Catering & Café

Schützenpl. 1, 01067 Dresden, Germany

This spot is a bit tucked away in a residential block, close to Zwinger Palace in Dresden. It’s worth visiting for a healthy colourful brunch! You can also find lots of baked goodies such as croissants, muffins and cakes. The café has a calm boho-chic vibe and interiors. The staff speaks English and service was lovely.

If you’re looking European style lunch of pasta, soups and stews, then restaurant BrennNessel nearby is also a good choice. They have vegan options and a little courtyard for summer dining.

7- Wurzelküche

Alaunstraße 11, 01099 Dresden, Germany

Just before leaving Dresden, we stopped by here for lunch. The name of the restaurant may not be easy to remember, so mark it down on your map! It’s a vegan lunch place run by an eccentric woman and focuses on healthy home-made meals. You can choose a warm meal or soup/stew of the day. We got one of each, the soup was tasty and day’s main meal was brown rice, mushroom stroganoff with salad – good portion and wholesome. Prices are reasonable as well.

vegan in dresden
Lunch at Wurzelküche.

8- Falscher Hase

Rudolf-Leonhard-Straße 3, 01097 Dresden, Germany

A top rated vegan restaurant in Dresden, serving European home made style food, burgers, pasta, soup, seitan & potato based dishes. They have outdoor garden tables and a pub, which is good for a summertime dine out. Even though we didn’t manage to get here, I do suggest you do!

9- Vegan House Neustadt

Alaunstraße 83, 01099 Dresden, Germany

We missed this too, but for a reason – it was an Asian cuisine spot and I didn’t want to have Vietnamese or Chinese food again in Dresden. The food looks lovely though, and they have good reviews. Head over here if you like spring rolls, dumplings, tofu and Asian tapas.

10- Sprout Food

Rothenburger Str. 12, 01099 Dresden, Germany

If you’re looking for fresh, healthy whole food, then this salad buffet spot is the place. They also sell soups and smoothies. Almost everything is vegan and it happens to be a vegetarian restaurant.

11- Die Vegane Fleischerei

Bischofsweg 20, 01099 Dresden, Germany

Worth mentioning is this all vegan butcher shop in Dresden! Yes, you read that right – Dresden, Germany is moving on from butchering animals and has found ethical way to eat ; ) We didn’t manage to go here (although I wanted to – I’ve never been to a butcher shop) but if you want to try and take away some delish handmade plant ‘meat’ and snacks – check it out!

Fast food and other options

Starbucks Germany has vegan croissants plus other bites and doesn’t extra charge extra for plant milks. Dominos Dresden has some good vegan pizza options – we ordered via UberEats and got it delivered to our hotel 😀 The vegan curry pizza was tasty! McDonalds has a vegan burger and we tried the new McPlant nuggets, which were poor in my opinion.

Dominos vegan pizza.

In the old town, Green & Gloria Lounge offers vegan smoothie bowl, salad and warm bowl choices. For those with a sweet tooth, there is something for you in Dresden – Royal Donuts kiosk – a variety of flavours and vegan labelled donuts. We did pass by here one evening but most products were sold out.

Where to stay in Dresden

Our visit to Dresden was actually due to a conference J had to attend for a few days. We needed to stay near the Old Town and ended up booking 5 nights at a regular hotel. Although there aren’t any exclusively vegan hotels, there are plenty of good hotels in town.

We stayed at the Pullman hotel Dresden Newa for 5 nights on a semi-business trip. The room type was a Superior Queen double room (upper floors). It classifies as a 4-star hotel but we think it falls somewhere between 3-4 star. The stay was good overall, a welcoming and helpful reception and neat, modern looking hotel. There were, however, several things they could do to improve their rating.

Pros:

  • Great location near Dresden Central Railway Station, walking distance to the Old Town and plenty of shops and restaurants around. Restaurant and bar on-site and a Spa in hotel.
  • Spacious room, neat and minimal. Good view over the town, better with upper floors, big windows in room.
  • Small steps to be eco-friendly: Good eco and ethical toiletries. You get a beverage coupons for refusing housekeeping (min. 3 nights)

Cons:

  • The pillows were poor. Not fluffy, and out of shape.
  • No kettle or coffee/tea in room – this is the first hotel of it’s kind without tea/coffee maker in room. They claim it’s available only for deluxe suite but this is quite a basic facility that should be available.
  • The television only shows cable tv which is useless if you’re not German. They need to upgrade their tv sets/get Netflix or such.
  • The wifi was not fast/disconnecting when I tried to work on laptop.
  • Toilet, wash basin, shower all separate with a transparent shower cube – we didn’t mind but for non-couples it might be awkward.

Book Pullman Dresden Newa – Modern design hotel, with neat rooms located in the Old Town.

Here’s our other suggestions for Dresden! (rating out of 10 on booking.com)* I have looked through each and every one of these options and would consider staying at these places myself! We particularly love the concept hotels mentioned below. Most of these accommodations offer some vegan options for the breakfast buffet, but always request beforehand if it’s not clearly mentioned.

Budget & Mid-range Hotels

Concept & Luxury Hotels

Apartments & Guesthouses

  • Aparthotel Am Schloss – Stylish studios and apartments in the heart of Dresden old town. (9.0)
  • Hofgärtnerhaus – Basic but spacious rooms and apartments in an old style building, centrally located – close to Elbe river and Dresden Synagogue. (9.0)
  • Aparthotel Villa Freisleben – Rooms and suites in a Neoclassical-style villa outside town. (8.5)

*note that this post contains affiliate links through which you can make bookings. If in any case you do, the blog may earn a commission – at no extra costs to you. Thanks for the support!*

Map of Places – Vegan Travel Guide to Dresden

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a vacation planner app on iOS and Android

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So what do you think about Dresden? Will you consider visiting it after reading this post? We think Dresden is a great city to visit in addition to other East German cities or as a day trip from Prague!

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Last updated on April 15th, 2024

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