Pillnitz Castle

Pillnitz Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Dresden: Winter Lights Evening River Cruise with Dinner

1. Dresden: Winter Lights Evening River Cruise with Dinner

Glide along the Elbe river after dark and enjoy Dresden’s festive winter lights. Pass the beautifully illuminated Pillnitz Palace, Blue Wonder bridge and old town. Tuck in to a three-course Christmas meal and listen to live piano music on this river cruise. Board the boat in central Dresden and set off along the Elbe. Cruise under the Blue Wonder bridge and continue past Dresden’s numerous riverside castles and palaces, whose lights shimmer on the river at night. Eat your three-course dinner to a backdrop of live piano music in the boat’s festively decorated salon. As you return to the city center, enjoy the warm glow of Dresden’s old town at night.

Dresden: Christmas Garden Dresden Entrance Ticket

2. Dresden: Christmas Garden Dresden Entrance Ticket

It is the most beautiful time of the year when the sparkling evening circular walk illuminates Dresden's famous Pillnitz Palace & Park. You can enjoy exclusive light designs, millions of light points and a unique, magically illuminated winter wonderland. Discover a magical world with family, friends and colleagues, surrounded by dreamlike worlds of sound. After your walk, you can warm up by the crackling fire and enjoy winter treats.

Dresden: Paddle Steamer Winter Cruise to Pillnitz Castle

3. Dresden: Paddle Steamer Winter Cruise to Pillnitz Castle

Embark on a scenic cruise through the city center of Dresden from the comfort of an authentic paddle steamer. Explore the historic Old Town, the Baroque Quarter, the 3 famous Dresden Elbe Castles, and the Blue Wonder Bridge. Sail towards Pillnitz Castle and Park, which transforms into a sparkling Christmas garden every winter. The ship will turn in front of this castle. On the way back, enjoy views of the wintery river landscape with a cup of hot mulled wine. Finally, enjoy panoramic views of the Old Town before arriving back at the pier.

Dresden: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tickets

4. Dresden: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tickets

Experience Dresden, capital of the State of Saxony. Lovingly known as "Florence on the Elbe" for its rich art collections, river views and baroque architecture, Dresden is a real gem. Take a tour of this historic city on an exclusive double-decker-bus, getting off and on as you like to admire the unique cultural monuments on offer. Your journey starts on the Theatre Square, near the Augustus Bridge. Decide yourself whether to take the uninterrupted 90-minute tour, of hop on and off the bus to absorb the city's splendors at your own pace. Your ticket includes diverse attractions and entry fees to various monuments around Dresden. Hear interesting stories about the famous Frauenkirche as you tour its exterior. Visit "Pfunds Molkerei," the prettiest dairy in the world. Tour the Dresden Zwinger Museums - a range of important baroque buildings that originally served as an orangery. A further attraction is a visit to the Procession of Princes, a vast mural painted on around 23,000 Meissen porcelain tiles, the largest of its kind anywhere, depicting the Electors of Saxony on horseback. On sunny days, you will ride in an open-topped bus: all the better to enjoy the inspiring views of historic Dresden and the Elbe, and to capture those perfect souvenir photographs.

Dresden: Zwinger Skip-the-Line & 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

5. Dresden: Zwinger Skip-the-Line & 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Enjoy 2 of Dresden's must-do activities - the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and the museums at the Zwinger - at an attractive combined price. This includes a visit to the newly re-opened Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. Discover Dresden with a 2-day ticket and get to know the city during the bus tour including 22 different stops. Start your tour at the first bus stop where you will exchange your voucher for additional tickets. Your 2-day ticket also includes a Night Watchman walking tour, an Old Town walking tour and transport to the castle and park in Pillnitz, all from the same central meeting point location: Postplatz/Kronentor Zwinger. The Zwinger is a popular destination for visitors to Dresden. Created as a magnificent festival site in the heyday of the Baroque period, it now houses magnificent collections and treasures. Your ticket gives you skip-the-line access. In the Zwinger, find the "Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon" and the porcelain collection. The Highlight is the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, which re-opened in February 2020 after 7 years of renovation. Marvel at Raphael's masterpiece "Sistine Madonna" and a sculpture collection up to the year 1800.

Dresden: Elbe River Cruise to Pillnitz Castle

6. Dresden: Elbe River Cruise to Pillnitz Castle

Discover the historic old town of Dresden aboard a ship and admire the most beautiful sites of the Elbe Valley. Start off at Terrassenufer and see the three famous castles: Albrechtsberg, Eckberg, and Lingner Castle, along the Elbe on the way to the villa quarter Loschwitz. Pass the 4 famous Elbe bridges, whose histories affect the city up until now. The most memorable bridge is called Blue Wonder, which gets its name because of the color. Soak up the views of the impressive Pillnitz Palace as your boat drops anchor for roughly twenty minutes. It was built in the 18th century under the Elector of Saxony August the Strong and is now the site of the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Arts and Crafts) as well as the Schlossmuseum (Castle Museum).

Dresden: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, Panometer Entry & More

7. Dresden: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, Panometer Entry & More

Enjoy 2 of Dresden's must-do activities - the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and the Panometer Dresden - at an attractive combined price. Discover Dresden with a 1-day ticket and get to know the city during the bus tour including 22 different stops. Your 1-day ticket also includes a night watchman walking tour, an old town walking tour and transport to the castle and park in Pillnitz, all from the same central meeting point location. If you find that you run out of time to see and do everything included with your ticket, you can choose to extend the hop-on-hop-off ticket for a further day once you arrive (for €2 extra, not included) and thus extend all of the inclusions listed above. The Panometer Dresden also offers a great insight into the city. Embark on a journey through time into the history of Dresden and get to know the city as a 360-degree panorama exhibition. Until summer 2020, experience Dresden immediately after the 1945 bombings.

Dresden: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Fortress Xperience

8. Dresden: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Fortress Xperience

Enjoy 2 of Dresden's must-do activities - the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and the virtual reality experience "Fortress Experience" - at an attractive combined price. Discover Dresden with a 1-day ticket and get to know the city during the bus tour including 22 different stops. Start the tour at the first stop of the Hop On Hop Off where you will exchange your voucher. Your 1-day ticket also includes a night watchman walking tour, an old town walking tour and transport to the castle and park in Pillnitz, all from the same central meeting point location: Postplatz/Kronentor Zwinger. If you find that you run out of time to see and do everything included with your ticket, you can choose to extend the hop-on-hop-off ticket for a further day once you arrive (for €2 extra, not included) and thus extend all of the inclusions listed above. With the ticket to the virtual reality experience Fortress Xperience, you encounter an adventurous journey through time through 450 years of Dresden's eventful history: Celebrations. Dramas. Disasters. The secrets of Dresden Fortress are brought to life with breathtaking 360-degree projections and 3D sound technology. You can expect a completely new range of experiences on 1,500m², right in the heart of Dresden's old town.  FestungXperience is an approximately one-hour format with content and emotional demands, which is why the visit is recommended for children from 12 years and not allowed for children younger than 8.

Dresden: 1.5-Hour Guided Tour of Pillnitz Castle

9. Dresden: 1.5-Hour Guided Tour of Pillnitz Castle

The Countess von Brühl will greet you at the "Alte Wache" or Old Guardhouse and will then explain civilized etiquette to get you ready for the evening's formal ball. Then, the ladies of status begin their tour, taking you to the starting point of all festivities: the Riverside Palace. The Venetian gondolas moor here, from which the guests emerge before they indulge in lavish feasts, masquerade balls, theater performances, illuminations, and much more. In the pleasure garden between the Upper Palace and the Riverside Palace, the Countess bestows a deep insight into the subtle art of Baroque society games and reminisces about the bygone festivities. However, they stop for a moment when entering the palace garden. In the shadows of the colossal hedges, the cloak of secrecy is lifted to reveal the secrets to the art of female communication with a handheld fan. With the certainty of being able to hold your own in front of the women at the court, you'll walk through the conifer garden and enjoy the highlights of the French, English, Dutch, and Chinese garden culture. The tour continues on to uncover one or two more secrets to the Baroque art of seduction, before concluding in the elegant Fliederhof, a courtyard of lilacs that will be sure to please your senses. The tour ends with the presentation of a letter of recommendation.

From Dresden: Saxon Switzerland & Pillnitz Castle

10. From Dresden: Saxon Switzerland & Pillnitz Castle

Discover the beauty of Saxon Switzerland and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. This day tour can take place in your own tour bus/rental car or with public transit from Dresden. When traveling by rental car or tour bus, tour the national park with a stop at the world-famous Bastei; when using public transit, travel with your tour guide to Rathen Station and hike your way to the Bastei. Let the romance of Saxon Switzerland with its otherworldly rock formation enchant you. Enjoy the beautiful view from the Bastei deep into the valley below. At the end of the day, head to Pillnitz to admire the Chinese-inspired fairytale palace and gardens and tour this summer residence of the Saxon kings and queens.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • City cards
  • Water activities
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
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Other Sightseeing Options in Pillnitz Castle

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What people are saying about Pillnitz Castle

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,463 reviews

Very well-established team, who kept their cool even under the greatest stress with dogs and children and were always friendly to the guests.

Since we were traveling with a wheelchair user - and I had also registered this - I thought it was great that a table was reserved for us.

A beautiful cruise with beautiful views, with a fast onboard service. To the recommendation!

A very nice trip, so we could marvel at Dresden from the water. The staff did a great job.

A great experience on a beautiful steamer with friendly hospitality.