“After long or short days of sightseeing in and around Dresden, we loved returning home to Hans and Antje's beautifully decorated two-story home on the fourth and fifth floors of a new apartment building in a leafy residential neighborhood, only a few minutes' walk and tram ride from downtown Dresden. We enjoyed sitting at the dining table, looking out down the hill at the steeples of historic churches and the castle in the Old Town, as well as the roof of the Hauptbahnhof (Main Railroad Station). We liked our private access through a special key for the elevator that opened directly to their home. Hans and Antje's collection of paintings and puppets collected from their world-wide travels was amazing! Their wi-fi worked perfectly for our laptop, I-Pads, cell phones, and our voice-over-internet phone. We enjoyed watering their many plants, both inside their home, and also outside on the porches on the side and back of their apartment. Dresden's system of trams (13 lines), buses, and regional trains called S-Bahn made getting around this city of over 500,000 people very quick and easy. During the day, most trams arrive every ten minutes, and the time when the next tram will arrive is posted electronically at most tram stops. As Hans and Antje explained to us, we walked downhill for ten minutes to a nearby tram stop to go into Dresden and its surroundings, and when returning, we rode an extra two quick stops on the tram, and then walked downhill for ten minutes to reach our home in Dresden. The main train station, with access to the regional rail system (S-Bahn), is only six minutes from our "downhill" tram stop. The trams are brightly painted, feel new, and are clean and comfortable. We also learned to maneuver Hans and Antje's Dodge SUV out of the parking garage in the basement under their building, driving out to a "hypermarket" in the suburbs, and to the nearby commercial area for shopping at the discount market. This year was a good time to visit Dresden, since the process, begun after the reunification of Germany around 1990, of the restoration and rebuilding of the historic churches, castle, opera, and related buildings (now housing great museums) has almost been completed. We found it easy to take the regional train from the Main Station to visit the area known (in English!) as Saxony Switzerland, an amazing area of walking & hiking trails (and beer gardens) surrounded by high stone structures and tall evergreen trees. We followed Hans' handwritten guide to a walk and boat ride(s) through a canyon in the Czech Republic across the Elbe River from the end of the regional rail line 55 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof --- a wonderful day that we will always remember. We enjoyed meeting Hans and Antje's son Stefan, who came to his parents' home one Sunday morning to help us understand how best to use the washing machine, dryer, and TV (we got CNN News in English, which we didn't watch much because we were just enjoying life in Dresden too much to watch TV). One of our greatest surprises about our life in Dresden was how inexpensive it is to buy food and wine at the supermarkets, which ranged from the Lidl discount grocery stores to the high-end basement section of the Karstadt Department store in downtown Dresden. The cost of dining out at the many restaurants in Dresden was also much less than our experiences during our previous homestays in Paris, Vienna, and Amsterdam. We enjoyed the delicious white asparagus, a specialty in Dresden, as well as "wursts" of all kinds, including curry-wurst. Ilene and I both gained five pounds during our visit because the food, wine, and beer was so good! We also made two visits to Berlin during our stay in Dresden, which is costs less than 50 Euros round-trip for a 2-hour train ride. We found a new hotel next to the Berlin Hauptbanhof that was reasonably priced, and a great headquarters for our sightseeing in Berlin, which is a truly amazing City. We are considering going back to Berlin in a future home exchange. We stayed in constant contact with Hans and Antje before and during our stay in their home in Dresden, and developed a very special relationship with them through our e-mails. We look forward to meeting them in person at some point during our future travels in Europe.”
Hans-Heinrich's reviewsAs a host (10)
“Our exchange to the home of Hans and Antje was remarkable. Their home is full of surprising finds. Every day we discovered yet another art work and collectible that was unique and interesting. For all of its decorative charm, the home is very easy to live in. Every morning the birds sing on this quiet street not far from downtown Dresden. Dresden is a beautiful, clean city with many museums and cultural attractions. We were able to enjoy a bratwurst and beer on the streets and also take in the Dresden Philharmonic. There are so many sites to see. From the large dining room table we can see the Dresden city center, and the tram is located a short walk away which made transportation so easy. Dresden is a perfect jumping off point for trips to other interesting locations like Prague, Gorlitz and Berlin. Hans and Antje greeted us with a thorough welcome book and a bottle of champagne! All the comforts of home but with an eclectic decor! Well worth the adventure. Thank you, Hans and Antje, for allowing us to spend some time in Dresden.”
“It's my great pleasure to say :"This is a 7 Star vacation place if you rate Hilton hotel as a 5 Star" My wife Nancy and I went to Hans couple luxury apartment in Dresden on 9/12/2012 to 10/01/2012. The first sight we saw is a welcome plate on kitchen table with a bottle of Champagne. It's spotless everywhere. All the paintings on the wall and rich color decorations make you feel as happy as a king. Dresden is one of the most beautiful vacation place you won't be missed. So many historic buildings and interesting stories. I'd like to highly recommend to exchange this house with Hans couple. I want to come back again if there is a chance.”
“We spent one month in Hans and Antje's apartment which is very close to Dresden city. The apartment is wonderful, very modern and comfortable, and Hans and Antje were very accommodating in permitting our friends to join us. The tram in to the city is at the bottom of the hill, although we did walk in a couple of times. There are a few nice restaurants close by. Dresden is a fantastic, interesting place. We were also close enough to spend a couple of days in Berlin, and in Prague. We would definitely recommend Hans and Antje's apartment to swappers.”
“We have just spent a month in Hans and Antje's home in Dresden. We really appreciated all the emails prior to our exchange and everything went to plan perfectly. Hans and Antje's home is spotlessly clean, full of very interesting art and pieces from around the world. It is a wonderful light and airy home with lots of character. We were a little concerned about Dresden in Spring but it has turned out a wonderful experience. We have seen the Spring blossom come to life during our stay. Some days have been cold and we have really loved the heated flooring and on the warm days we've been able to sit out and enjoy the sunshine on one of the three balconies. We love looking out of the front window at the lights of Dresden twinkling at night and seeing the misty spires and rooftops in the mornings. Catching trains, buses and trams from Hans and Antje's has been a breeze. We've had a wonderful time getting around beautiful Dresden and there is so much to see and do. A comprehensive welcome book gave us a great deal of information and maps. We've spent a few days in Berlin and Prague - both only a few hours from Dresden. Lunches will be very boring when we return home and no longer have Bratwurst and beer each day. Thanks Hans and Antje for another brilliant exchange.”
“We have done over 20 exchanges, and our exchange to Hans and Antje's home in Dresden ranks amongst the best of them. From our arrival at their lovely apartment we have enjoyed every minute. The apartment, with its many windows and 3 balconies is light and airy, and is filled with many art objects and artifacts from around the world, creating a vibrant and unique atmosphere. Hans and Antje had well prepared for our visit and everything was easy and well prepared. Dresden is a wonderful, people friendly city to explore, the surrounding countryside beautiful, and whilst there we took side trips to Prague (by bus) and Poland (by car). We would not hesitate to recommend Hans and Antje's apartment as a wonderful exchange destination.”
“We have just returned from a home exchange with Hans and Antje in Dresden and have really enjoyed it. When first approached we were a little apprehensive about an exchange to Dresden in early spring but it has turned out to be a wonderful experience. Hans and Antje have an excellent apartment on 2 levels walking distance to Dresden with views over Dresden and within walking distance. The apartment is very modern with lots of art from all over the world and has lots of character. There are 3 balconies so you do not feel locked in. The city of Dresden itself is beautiful with lots of historical buildings and museums that are really worth a visit. The surroundings of Dresden are excellent with lots of things to do and see especially Swiss Saxony. It has been one of our best exchanges and we do highly recommend it. Thanks for everything Hans and Antje.”
“We just returned from a wonderful visit to Germany. Hans and Antje were kind enough to agree to a long term trade with us and it turned out to be one of our most fascinating exchanges. First a few comments on Dresden. It is an amazing, historical city with a plethora of interesting sites and museums. I can't really say which venue was my favorite because there are so many wonderful things to see , but don't miss the VW factory....Yolanda loved the "Zwinger Museum" and shopping (of course). Dresden is full of excellent restaurants , great shopping stores and wonderful walks. Public transportation is extremely efficient and close to the house. Just a 3 block walk to the tram that runs right into old town Dresden and the main train station.......all for a 2 Euro ticket. Hans and Antje's home is within walking distance of some very good restaurants and just a short drive from the closest market. Their home is a jewel in a very quiet upscale neighborhood , situated on a hill above old town Dresden. What a cool home !!!! They have it decorated in a wonderful eclectic mix of exotic treasures (probably collected from their extensive travels),bright cheerful paintings and décor. We kept discovering new and interesting things in every room.........Oh and , by the way , we found ourselves without headphones for our SKYPE calls....we just used the headphone that were on "Fred" , the mannequin in the living room. Thanks "Fred". The home is modern ,bright and upscale , two levels......an elevator leads right up to the living room. All the modern and high quality facilities and utilities one could need....all very comfortable.....all this and a view of old town Dresden from the front window. Hans and Antje have been very kind and considerate during the entire trade process and have even kept us up to date with their travels and experiences. They were very respectful with regards to our home and left it in the very best condition........with the exception of the "thank you" note you would not know that they had been here. I hope that we can always remain friends.........Thank you so much Hans and Antje.”
“We had a wonderful exchange with Hans and Antje, their apartment in Dresden was fantastic. It was extremely comfortable and had all the mod cons, it was very warm and welcoming, it felt like our home away from home. The tram into the city was only a 5 minute walk away and it took only minutes to arrive in the middle of town. Everything is within an easy walk once you reach the centre, the Elbe river, the Zwinger, the Frauenkirche, and famous Prager shopping street. Meissen, Leipsig and the Bastei are all must sees, and within a short driving distance. They left our apartment in wonderful condition and we found it just the same as we had left it when we returned home. All in all we would highly recommend an exchange with Hans and Antje, and beautiful Dresden is a must for everyone\'s bucket list.”
“We spent 3 weeks in this fabulous, secure penthouse apartment ideally located for public transport and for side trips to Prague, Berlin, Poland and Leipsig. Antje and Hans were very generous hosts who made sure that everything we needed was available even though they were overseas. The apartment was spacious and full of interesting "objects de arte". It has great views over Dresden and there are good restaurants and bars within walking distance. Dresden is a wonderful city with plenty to keep you occupied and if your there in Nov/Dec boasts some of the best Xmas markets in Germany. We fully recommend this property. Nicholas and Juliana Morby”
Where is it?
Dresden often referred to as the Florence on the Elbe has picturesque surroundings. Its landscape have been recognized as UNESCO heritage. The valley of the river Elbe from Bad Schandau at the Bohemian border dawn river to the area around Meissen. The upper part of the valley is known as Saxony's Switzerland because of the sandstone cliffs, which provided the building material for the monuments in Meissen and Dresden. The wide river Elbe flows through the old town of Pirna and meanders through Dresden, dividing the town into two halves. By the time it passes Castle Pillnitz, there are wineyards on both sides and then it flows past Radebeul and Loessnitz, boarded by vineyards and gardens rich in culture. On the left bank rises the monumental castle and cathedral of Meissen. Here in Meissen the world famous and precious china is being manufacted. Last world war Dresden was bombed, terrible damage to the famaous historical buildings. But the world famous collection of paintings in the Dresden gallery has been preserved. The treasures of the " Grüne Gewölbe" and the paintings in the "Neue Meister" gallery can still be viewed. The Zwinger, the unique castle with its orangery, the catholic Court Church, the Kreuzkirche, the Japanese Palace and Semper Opera House have been rebuilt and it is still possible to enjoy the delights of castles like Moritzburg and Pillnitz with their parks and gardens. And a particular joy for Dresden fans are the successful rebuildings.
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