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Moving to Dresden?

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Dresden at a Glance

Moving to Dresden

As an expat moving to Dresden, you will find a likable city with a high quality of life and an oceanic climate. However, before your relocation to Dresden, make sure you are up to speed with German visa regulations!

About the City

Located in eastern Germany near the Elbe Valley and the border with the Czech Republic, Dresden is the largest and capital city of the Free State of Saxony. It has historically been an important city in Europe, and has been the capital city of many historical empires; and it is now a leading educational, cultural, and industrial center in Germany. It also very important to the ecosystem of eastern Germany, and is the greenest city in the country, with over 63% of city being made up of green areas and forests. Dresden has a population of around 1.5 million people, over 90% of which are native Germans. Due to its historical ties with Russia, and its close proximity to Eastern Europe, there are large communities of Russians, Poles, and Czechs living in Dresden, as well large Chinese and Vietnamese communities. The primary language is German, but English is also spoken by many people.

The Climate in Dresden

In line with the rest of Germany, Dresden has an oceanic climate. However, its inland location means that it has slightly more extreme conditions than the rest of the country, with hotter summers and colder winters. This means that expatriates moving to Dresden can expect winter temperatures of around 0.1°C (32.18°F) on average, with January being the coldest month. In the summer, the average temperature is 19.0°C (66.2°F), and August has the hottest and driest weather. The city also has a number of micro climates in the surrounding areas, including one at UNESCO World Heritage Site Elbe Valley, which experiences much colder temperatures than the rest of the city and the surrounding green areas.

Visas for Germany

As Germany is a member of the European Union, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens do not need a visa to move to Dresden and stay for 90 days. After 90 days, they will need to register with the authorities, after which they will be able to live in Dresden for an indefinite period of time. However, non-EU/EEA citizens may need a visa to enter Germany, depending on their nationality, and will need to apply for a residence permit to stay for more than the 90 days permitted by a tourist or short-term business visa. These permits must be applied for before moving to Dresden, at a local embassy or consulate. Residency permits are usually temporary for non-EU citizens, and may only be issued for the length of an employment contract if they are applied for alongside a work permit. 

For more information on visas and residence permits for Germany, you can also refer to our dedicated articles on this topic: Visa & Administration in Germany.

InterNations Expat Magazine