As the capital city of the Free State of Saxony and one of the largest cities in eastern Germany, Dresden has been a major cultural center throughout its history. It has been home to many artists and musicians, including Otto Dix and Richard Strauss, and to this day has one of the best opera companies in Germany. It has a major art museum, Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden, as well as a number of smaller art galleries and science museums.
Dresden also has a thriving film scene, and in addition to the major movie theaters, there are also many small, independent cinemas showcasing cult and independent films. As the greenest city in Germany, Dresden has a large number of green spaces and parks, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Elbe Valley. There is a local football team, Dynamo Dresden, who play in the third tier of German football.
Although Germany has a free public school system that foreigners are entitled to use, many expatriates that live in Dresden send their children to an international school where they can be taught in English. Expats living in Dresden will be pleased to hear that the international school located in the city, Dresden International School, is extremely highly regarded. It teaches an English curriculum and allows students to study towards the International Baccalaureate.There is also the BIP Kreativitätsgrundschule, which teaches in German, French, Arabic, and English.
Dresden, too, is home to one of Germany's best universities, Dresden University of Technology, which is ranked in the top 10 universities in the country and is part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden University of Applied Sciences, and the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music are further institutions of higher edcuation. The university system in Dresden is a key part of the economy, and has contributed greatly to the success of its highly specialized industries.
The road system in Germany is extremely well managed and maintained and this is especially true of Dresden. Although there are no taxes on any of the roads, including the autobahn, you will find that petrol prices are much higher than in many other European countries, as petrol is taxed in order to pay for the road system.
Expatriates living in Dresden will be able to drive legally for six months on a foreign driving license, after which they must apply for a German license. As Dresden is a major transport hub in eastern Germany, it has excellent public transport links — there are large bus and tram networks, as well as intercity and suburban trains running from the city.
You can also find plenty of further information on owning and driving a car in Germany, as well as details on national public transportation, in our dedicated section on Transport & Driving in Germany.