Dresden is a German city with Baroque wonders that have been restored since the war era. Moving to Dresden is well worth considering as the city has a traditionally low cost of living compared to other similar-sized German cities, and the quality of life is generally good.
Is Dresden a good place to live? Living in Dresden can be a cultural experience because of the numerous historical structures spread out throughout the city. There is a convenient transport system in place too, thus touring the local landmarks during a free day or commuting to and from work should not be any problem.
Whether you are moving to Dresden because of work or just seeking a new relocation spot in Germany, you have come to this blog post because you have some questions.
- Are there any areas to avoid?
- How are the schools?
- Are the properties expensive?
Read on further to know more.
Is Dresden a good place to Live?
Moving to Germany, particularly to Dresden is not a bad idea. This city has plenty of good neighbourhoods such as Äußere Neustadt, Innere Neustadt, Alstadt, Striesen and Blasewitz, Loschwitz, Hellerau, Südvorstadt, Weißerhirsch and the city centre. There are no bad areas, but the less attractive areas are Prohlis and Gorbitz.
Dresden is a generally safe city, but what regularly puts it in an embarrassing position are the protest marches conducted by the PEGIDA movement. PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident) was formed in Dresden in 2014 and it aims at reducing Islamisation, curbing immigration, and other far-right politics.
While the country offers a free public education system that all locals and foreigners are entitled to enjoy, many expats living in this city prefer to take their kids to an international school where they can learn English. Dresden International School is a highly regarded international school in this city that offers an English curriculum and lets the students study toward International Baccalaureate. Another highly regarded school is BIP Kreativitätsgrundschule where students learn English, German, French and Arabic.
Dresden University of Technology is among the top 10 best universities in the country and it’s also part of an initiative called German Universities Excellence Initiative. Other institutions of tertiary education are Dresden University of Applied Sciences, Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, and Carl Maria von Weber College of Music. The city’s university system is a key contributor to its economy, and it has contributed largely to the success of the highly specialized industries in the area.
The road system in Dresden is managed and maintained extremely well. Though there aren’t any road taxes charged in Germany, the prices of petrol are much higher compared to many other European nations, because petrol is taxed to cover the cost of maintaining the roads.
Being a major transport hub, Dresden has excellent commuter links. There are big bus and tram connections, as well as trains connecting the city with suburban and intercity areas. There are direct train lines running to Hamburg, Berlin, Budapest, Frankfurt, Prague, Vienna, Zurich and Amsterdam. Foreigners living in this city can drive personal vehicles legally for 6 months on a foreign driving license, and thereafter they are required to apply for a German driving license.
The city also has an international airport – Dresden Airport. Scheduled flights in this airport are offered to Munich, Moscow, Frankfurt, Vienna and Dusseldorf. There are also plenty of touristic flights to the Mediterranean Regions.
As one of the biggest cities in the eastern part of the country, Dresden is a major cultural and leisure centre. There are plenty of world-class restaurants and many night life facilities too. Parks are in plenty throughout the city where residents relax during a day out.
Is Dresden a good place to Work?
As a result of it dynamism and other factors, Dresden’s economy is considered among the best 10 German cities to live in. The city’s economy is very dynamic and the main industries are semi-conductor industry, pharmaceutical industry, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Many other industries like automotive manufacturing, hi-tech, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the tourism sector also contribute to the city’s economy.
As the capital city of Saxony, Dresden is home to most of the region’s state and medical research facilities. About 20% of the employees in this city have a university degree.
Major companies here are Volkswagen Sachsen, Infineon Technologies, Linde-KCA-Dresden, Noweda Pharma-Handles, Globalfoundries Dresden Module, Saxon Serumwerk Dresden, Dresden Arzneimittelwerke, GlaxoSmithKline and Siemens amongst others. Most companies in this Saxon city are medium-sized.
As of November 2018, the unemployment rate in the state of Saxony was 5.4%. The rate of highly-qualified employees is high in Dresden because less-qualified employable residents in the area are often unemployed.
The average salary of a person working in this Saxon city is €44,980. In terms of academic achievements, the average salary of a person with a degree in Bachelor of Engineering in this city is €67,906 while Bachelor of Technology degree holders earn an average salary of €43,000.
Is Dresden a good place to buy a House?
Dresden is segmented into 10 districts which are further divided into multiple neighbourhoods. Alstadt, Hellerau and Innere Neustadt neighbourhoods are very popular among visitors because they feature ancient architecture.
Rent prices in this city are generally more affordable compared to many other German cities. The monthly rent for a single bedroom in the city centre is €527.78 while outside the city centre an apartment of the same size has a monthly rent of €416.11. A 3-bed apartment in the city centre comes with a monthly rent of €1,250 and a 3-bed outside the city centre is €800 per calendar month.
This city has plenty of nice houses for sale. It is possible to get a 5-bedroom terrace house for sale at €195,000, a 3-bedroomed town house for €89,950 and a 1-bedroomed maisonette for €44,444. For the mortgage buyers, the yearly mortgage interest rate for 20 years is 1.91% in Dresden. Homeowners can choose to get insurance for their property; home insurance is approximately €200 per annum on average for the whole country.
Is Dresden a good place to Retire?
Moving to Germany soon? Dresden is worth considering as a retirement spot because it has a stable economy and a reliable healthcare system. Furthermore, there are many expat communities in the area. There are many exciting attractions to explore, good cuisine, and modern facilities.
Dresden also has numerous retirement homes, the more reason to consider it. Some examples of retirement homes in the area are: Alten- und Pflegeheim Dresden Blick, DRK Pflegeheim Pieschen, Pro Seniore Residenz Dresden, Alloheim Senioren- Zentrum Bürgerwiese, Pro Seniore Residenz Kästner Passage and Pro Seniore Residenz Elbe.
Is Dresden a good place to Visit?
This city has a long, rich history and some of the historical sites are preserved such as Frauenkirche, Semperoper, Zwinger, Moritzberg Castle and Pilnitz Castle. There are over 15 museums in Dresden and many of them are considered world class museums.
It is home to amazing opera companies, major art museums, science museums, and movie theatres. Dresden is also the greenest city in this country, meaning it has plenty of green spaces and large parks. Moreover, there plenty of different cuisine restaurants such as Chinese, French, Greece, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese and African, so residents and visitors are spoilt for choice.
There are plenty of places for playing beach volleyball, football, skating, tennis and swimming in this Saxon city. Moreover, TU Dresden offers plenty of sports facilities for both students and the public. This Saxon capital also has many private clubs for table tennis, badminton, snooker and bowling. Cycling is also a major sport in the area.
Visitors planning to stay for a couple of days in the city will find that there are plenty of accommodation spots in the area ranging from Luxury hotels, mid-range hotels and budget hotels. The most convenient place to stay in the city for sightseeing is in the restored old town because it contains the city’s top attractions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the cost of living in Dresden, Germany?
Basic utilities (water, electricity, heating/cooling and waste removal) for an 85m2 apartment in Dresden cost €232.13 per month. Monthly costs for a 4-person family without rent is estimated to be €2,464.05 (May 2019) according to numbeo.com. The monthly expenses for a single person living in Dresden are €728.32. For an expat, new to the area, you are required to have lived in the country for at least one year prior to being eligible for a credit card in some banks and credit unions.
2. Is Dresden a good place to invest in property?
A study conducted by Postbank established that this city ranks second only to the city of Munich when it comes to expected increase in value of properties by 2030, which makes it one of the best cities to invest in property in the country.
3. Is Dresden a good place to raise a family?
Life in Dresden is of high quality. With more than 60% forest cover and green areas, this city is one of the greenest areas in Europe. The well-developed transport sector, with 3 autobahns and a reliable international airport, not only benefits the economy, but also the residents and tourists to the city. Moreover, the schools are good, social life is lively, and the living costs are lower than other German cities like Berlin.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.