Dresden is the capital of the Free State of Saxony and is known as "Florence of the Elbe" due to its unique ensemble of historic buildings set upon the shores of the river Elbe. Dresden has to offer a multitude of cultural and touristic highlights, including the Frauenkirche which has been reconstructed after wartime destruction, the Zwinger, Semper Opera House, Royal Palace, Brühl's Terrace, the Green Vault, the Deutsches Hygienemuseum or Pillnitz Castle.
A great opportunity for a weekend getaway is the nearby Saxon Switzerland National Park with its bizzare sandstone pinnacles. North-west of Dresden, Radebeul with its vineyards and wine taverns is reminiscent of more Southern realms. Moritzburg to in the north of the capital boasts a Baroque palace on an island of an artificial lake, while Meissen further downstream the Elbe river has gained world acclaim as the home of European porcelain.