Every March I travel to Berlin, Germany for one of the largest travel trade shows, ITB. I am fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations for work. Ken, my boyfriend of four years, has joined me on several trips. I think it's so important to make time for romantic getaways throughout all stages of your relationship. Whether it's celebrating your honeymoon, anniversary or just needing some time together, a trip near or far is always worth it. Ken had never been to Europe before so I thought this would be a great opportunity for a romantic European getaway. Ken only spent about 36 hours in Berlin – obviously not enough time to see all that the great city has to offer – but definitely left him wanting to return!
From Berlin we took a Flixbus to Leipzig. The bus was SUPER affordable, clean and convenient (similar to MEGABUS or BOLT Bus in the US). After a 2.5 hour bus ride, Ken and I had quite the appetite arriving in Leipzig. A friend had suggested Auerbachs Keller for a truly authentic German dining experience – and it did not disappoint. It is the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig with truly antique décor, and the traditional German food was delicious. There were lots of local Germans in the restaurant eating, drinking (at lunchtime!) and having animated conversations – it was a lively experience! We spent the rest of the day exploring Leipzig’s cobblestone streets and hopping in and out of local shops. Around dinnertime, we jumped on a Bahn train to Dresden.
The train ride only took about 1.5 hours. We could have chosen to take the Flixbus to Dresden but opted for the train. We got off at Dresden Hauptbahnhof and walked to our hotel, Swissôtel Dresden Am Schloss. Ken and I are walkers – and it’s an easy way to save money and see more of a city. We brought backpacks that are fairly easy to travel with. After our long day in Leipzig and traveling, we were thrilled to relax a bit in the beautiful Swissotel. The beds were very comfortable (the best sleep I had on the entire trip) and the rooms had a beautiful modern design.
There is so much to see and do in Dresden, and we wished we had more time (isn't that always the case when traveling). The Swissotel has a prime location – right in the midst of the beautiful Old Town. Dresden is definitely a walkable city but we opted to take a hop on/hop-off bus to get the most out of our short visit. It was called Statdtrundfahrt Dresden, and there was a stop right around the corner from the hotel. After the bus tour, we strolled through the Zwinger Palace courtyard and admired the works in both the Historic Green Vault and the New Green Vault Museums.
Ken and I were very excited to visit the national park, Saxon-Switzerland. It was a brisk but sunny day – perfect for sightseeing. Our trek to find Saxon-Switzerland was quite adventurous. It involved trains, ferries, automobiles and a lot of botched German and English : ) It was a STEEP climb to reach the Bastei but totally worth it. Saxon-Switzerland was one of the highlights of our entire trip. The views were breathtaking – truly stunning. It was very romantic – I felt like it was just the two of us on top of the world – so peaceful and tranquil.
After spending an hour or so enjoying the spectacular views from the top, Ken and I made our way back down to the base where we enjoyed a sandwich and coffee at a café. The sun was shining while we basked in our magnificent view of the Elbe River.
After our adventurous day, we were happy to arrive “home” at the Swissotel to freshen up for dinner. It was our last night in Dresden, and we were starving! We didn’t want to venture too far so we were lucky that there were so many great restaurants to choose from within walking distance of our hotel. We decided to grab our last authentic German meal at Paulaner´s im Taschenbergpalais, conveniently located around the corner. It was a quiet, well-priced restaurant - the ideal spot to relax. Ken enjoyed a traditional sausage plate while I enjoyed a delicious goulash. We quenched our thirst with local German beers. The next morning we were headed onto Prague.
Saxony was the perfect midway stop on our Berlin to Prague trip. We found Dresden to be less touristy than Berlin and Prague (maybe because we were there in March) but this only added to the romance of the city. Everyone around us was speaking German amongst themselves so Ken and I felt like we were in our own world. Most people at restaurants and shops spoke English, but while the two of us walked around the city, it felt like an intimate trip for two. I would highly recommend adding the Saxony region to your European itinerary. Couples could easily spend an entire week just exploring Dresden but even a few days is definitely worth the stop!
Ken and I love to travel and see the world. I truly appreciate our time traveling together and our opportunity to make romantic getaways an important part of our relationship. Whether it's exploring Europe , relaxing in Mexico or driving to Myrtle Beach or New England (we live in Maryland so it's nice that both destinations are doable weekend getaways), we always make sure to take a little time for ourselves.
**Note: Saxony Tourism and Swissôtel Dresden Am Schloss invited us to be their guest; however, all opinions are our own.