A Travel Price Comparison for Germany Hamburg vs. Dresden for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Food

Should you visit Hamburg or Dresden?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Hamburg and Dresden can help you decide which place is right for you.

Hamburg

Hamburg is a vibrant, historic, and energetic port city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Dresden

Dresden is a park-filled, friendly, and architectural city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Hamburg and Dresden: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Hamburg or Dresden?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Dresden than Hamburg. While Hamburg is larger than Dresden, Dresden has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Dresden is very popular for its historical sights and big city activities, while Hamburg attracts visitors for its museums, music, shopping, and impressive beauty. Hamburg is famous for its music clubs, beautiful architecture, relaxing natural areas, and green space. Dresden is famous for its beautiful palaces, castles, and many landmarks (such as the Baroque Zwinger Palace, Semperoper Opera House and the Church of Our Lady). It is also well known for Dresden Frauenkirche and The Royal Palace.

How is Hamburg different from Dresden?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Dresden and Hamburg. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hamburg or Dresden?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Dresden is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Hamburg offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city's most famous district is the port area, which has a number of cultural sights and a pedestrian trail. There are also many museums and architectural landmarks around town.

Dresden is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It's rich in culture and baroque architecture. Some of the main sights around town include Dresden Frauenkirche, the Dresden Royal Palace and Museums, the Zwinger and Old Masters Picture Gallery, and the Semper Opera.


Is the Food Better in Hamburg or Dresden? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hamburg
Dresden

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at nice restaurants in both Hamburg and Dresden.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Hamburg area. The city has a mix of cosmopolitan restaurants and traditional places where you can enjoy a classic German dish like currywurst or labskaus (a type of stew).

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Dresden. The food features a number of Saxon specialties, which are typically hearty and heavy on the meat. If you have a sweet tooth, you'll also appreciate the many sweets that you can find around town. You should make sure you try a Fettbemme (open faced sandwich), Eierschecke (a cake), and Sächsische Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup) while you're in town.

Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Nightlife?

Hamburg
Dresden

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Hamburg and Dresden.

Hamburg is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city is often overlooked, but it's nightlife scene is actually among the best. There are techno concerts, music festivals, and nightclubs that appeal to all personalities.

Many people head to Dresden for the nightlife scene. Head to Neustadt for the highest concentration of bars and clubs. There's a diversity of trendy clubs and casual bars. Bar hopping is easy as most places are accessible by public transit.

Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Music?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg is an amazing port city to visit for its music scene. However, Dresden is not a live music destination.

In Hamburg you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. The city is an influential power in the music scene around Europe. You'll find many clubs concentrated in the St. Pauli district.

Dresden is not a live music destination.


Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for its Old Town?

Hamburg
Dresden

Dresden is well known for its historic old town charm. However, Hamburg does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Dresden. Much of the city's old town has been rebuilt, but that's not to say it isn't beautiful. The main square and surrounding area are where you'll find the majority of the city's main sights.

Hamburg does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Hamburg or Dresden?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg is a great destination for its shopping areas. Also, Dresden is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Hamburg. The diversity of shopping venues includes flea markets and luxury shopping malls. One of the main shopping streets in town is the Mönkebergstrasse.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Dresden. Kunsthofpassage Dresden is a network of streets where you'll find crafts, art, and other eclectic items for sale. Prager Strasse is a popular shopping street near old town and Seestrasse is where you'll find all of the trendy brands that are popular throughout Europe. The city also has many shopping malls.

Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Families?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. However, Dresden is a city with minimal options for its kid-friendly activities.

Hamburg is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a surprising number of opportunities to see wildlife nearby including a zoo and a wildlife park just outside of town. The city also has great playgrounds that are fun for kids who need a break from sightseeing.

For families, Dresden is not always the best place to visit. It doesn't have quite the abundance of activities for kids that you may find in other Germany cities, but that doesn't mean that kids will be bored. There's the Dresden Zoo, the Dresdner Parkeisenbahn (a small steam rail), and the Saxon Folk Art Museum. Families can also take a guided to of the Transparent Factory, which is owned by Volkswagon and provided information on the manufacturing of automobiles.


Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Couples?

Hamburg
Dresden

Both Hamburg and Dresden are nice destinations to visit as a couple.

Hamburg is a good port city for couples to visit. Romantic activities in town include taking a boat ride or harbor cruise or grabbing a cocktail at one of the city's many bars.

Dresden is a nice destination for couples. Couples can explore the old town or walk through one of the city's many parks. The city has many cultural activities. In the new town you'll find many great bars and fascinating restaurants.

Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg and Dresden are nice places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Hamburg is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Many backpackers overlook the city, but there are a number of good hostels and a relaxing vibe that makes for a nice visit.

It's common for backpackers to visit Dresden. There are plenty of hostels to choose from and the city itself is not particularly expensive.

Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Students?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg is a popular place for students. However, Dresden is not popular with students.

Hamburg is popular with students. The city has a few great universities and a number of opportunities for international students.

Dresden is not popular with students.


Is Hamburg or Dresden Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg is a great destination for its public transit. Also, Dresden is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Hamburg. There are trains and buses that make their way around town.

While Dresden offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. The city has two major train stations as well as tram and bus lines around town.

Is Hamburg or Dresden a more walkable city?

Hamburg
Dresden

Hamburg and Dresden both are great when exploring on foot.

Hamburg is a very walkable destination. Most tourist areas can easily be explored on foot.

Dresden is very walkable. Particularly in the compact city center you'll find Dresden to be very walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Hamburg Worth Visiting? and Is Dresden Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Dresden or Hamburg?

How long in Hamburg or Dresden?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Hamburg and Dresden. In our opinion, Hamburg has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Hamburg than Dresden. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Hamburg than Dresden. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hamburg, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hamburg than Dresden. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hamburg that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Hamburg than Dresden if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Hamburg.


  • How many days in Hamburg or Dresden? Ideal Length of Stay
    Hamburg 1-3 
    Dresden 1-3

One day in Hamburg or Dresden?

In Hamburg, you'll find shopping and museums. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. This port city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

In Dresden, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A weekend in Hamburg or Dresden?

In Hamburg, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Hamburg has to offer.

In Dresden, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Dresden has to offer.

Five days in Hamburg or Dresden?

Hamburg is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Dresden is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Hamburg or Dresden?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hamburg. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Hamburg. One reason most visitors come is for the live music. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dresden. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Dresden. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours from Berlin, The Best 2-Week Tours from Berlin, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Germany, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Germany.


Which place is cheaper, Dresden or Hamburg?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Hamburg is €117, while the average daily cost in Dresden is €135. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Hamburg and Dresden in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hamburg 54
    Dresden 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hamburg 108
    Dresden 122
Compare Hotels in Hamburg and Dresden

Looking for a hotel in Hamburg or Dresden? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Hamburg


Hotels in Dresden


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Hamburg Hotel Prices and Dresden Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hamburg 29
    Dresden 11
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hamburg

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Hamburg:


  • Short Distance Ubahn Ticket
    1.70

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hamburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hamburg:

  • Hamburg hotels to Ostseekai Kiel Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $118
  • Airport Transfer: Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg by Business Car: $82
  • Airport Transfer: Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg by Luxury Car: $146
  • Airport Transfer: Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg by Luxury Van: $91
  • Airport Transfer: Hamburg to Hamburg Airport HAM by Luxury Car: $148
  • Airport Transfer: Hamburg to Hamburg Airport HAM by Luxury Van: $91
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg: $41
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Hamburg Airport XFW to Hamburg City: $76
  • Arrival Transfer: Airport HAM to Hamburg by Business Car: $82
  • Arrival Transfer: Hamburg Airport HAM to Hamburg by Luxury Van: $98
  • Departure Private Transfers from Hamburg City to Hamburg Airport XFW: $93
  • Departure Private Transfers from Hamburg City to Hamburg Airport XFW: $76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dresden

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dresden:

  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague: $209
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague with 2 hours for sightseeing: $158

Is it cheaper to fly into Hamburg or Dresden?

Prices for flights to both Dresden and Hamburg change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Hamburg 35
    Dresden 31
Typical Food Prices in Hamburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Hamburg:


  • Pink Thai Soup Dinner and Spring Rolls
    15
  • Currywurst and Pommes Frites
    5.00
  • Donner Kebab and Coke
    6.00
  • Traditional Hamburg Dinner w/ Beer
    15
  • Donner Kebab Lunch
    4.00
  • Sandwich and Coffee Break
    6.00
  • Fish Sandwich from Fish Market
    3.50
  • Coffee and Donut
    4.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hamburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Hamburg.

  • St George's Culinary Food Tour: $48
  • St. Pauli kulinarisch – Die Food Tour: $48
  • Elphi Plaza und HafenCity kulinarisch – Die Food Tour: $59
  • Original Musical Dinner Cruise 2024: $117
  • Hamburg Private Food Tours with a Local: 100% Personalized : $189
  • St. Pauli: Guided Food Tour with 5 Tastings: $482
  • Elbphilharmonie Plaza and HafenCity Food Tour: $589
  • Elbphilharmonie Plaza and HafenCity Food Tour: $589

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dresden

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Dresden.

  • Evening River Cruise with Dinner: $51
  • Winterlights Evening River Cruise with Dinner: $59
  • Dinner-Show "INDUSTRIELLE REVOLUTION": $117

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hamburg 39
    Dresden 9.56
Typical Entertainment Prices in Hamburg

Here are a few typical costs in Hamburg for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Tower at St. Michael's Church
    3.50

Tours and Activities in Hamburg

Here are a few actual costs in Hamburg for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Freetour, you decide the price at the end: $1.71
  • Self-Guided photo Safari with Photobook! City Tour: $2.67
  • Selfguided Audiotour "Speicherstadt and HafenCity": $3.20
  • Selfguided Audiotour "Old Town and City Center": $3.20
  • English Harbor&St.Pauli Pay-What-You-Want Walking Tour: $3.21
  • The Historic Treasure: 'Speicherstadt' "FREE TOURS'" Hamburg: $3.21
  • Deutsche Hafen & St.Pauli Bezahl-Was-ihr-wollt Tour zu Fuß: $3.21
  • English Hamburg City Center Pay-What-You-Want Walking Tour: $3.21
  • German Hamburg Historic City Center Pay-What-You-Want Tour: $3.21
  • Harbor&St. Pauli Pay-What-You-Want 2-Hour Walking Tour: $3.21
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $3.21

Tours and Activities in Dresden

Here are a few actual costs in Dresden for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Secrets of Old The Lost Treasure Adventure: $4.27
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $4.28
  • Dresden Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $5.46
  • River Elbe Smartphone Audio Tour: $5.99
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.37
  • Old Town Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $6.42
  • Dresden‘s Rise from Ruin: A Self-Guided Audio Tour : $6.99
  • Dresden's 'Balcony of Europe': A Self-Guided Audio Tour along the River Elbe: $7.99
  • Dresden‘s Rise from Ruin: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Old Town Highlights Self-guided Tour: $8.46
  • Special Tour for Children & Families VW Factory: $9.63

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hamburg 17
    Dresden 16

Sample the Local Flavors in Hamburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Hamburg:

  • The Original Night Pub Crawl through The Repperbahn: $21
  • Weekend Night Pub Crawl through the Reeperbahn: $34
  • Bachelor(ette) Premium Party with Pub Crawl: $401
  • Private Pub Crawl Tour: $401
  • Private Premium Pub Crawl: $514

Sample the Local Flavors in Dresden

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Dresden:

  • Dresden Bike Tour with Wine Tasting: $54
  • Radeberger Brewery Tour in German: $57
  • Private Pub Crawl Tour: $401


When comparing the travel costs between Hamburg and Dresden, we can see that Dresden is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Hamburg Expensive? and Is Dresden Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Hamburg or Dresden?

Hamburg has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Dresden. When comparing the sizes of Hamburg and Dresden, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Hamburg or Dresden?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Hamburg or Dresden in the Summer?

Both Dresden and Hamburg are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Hamburg for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Dresden because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Hamburg is cooler than Dresden in the summer. The daily temperature in Hamburg averages around 17°C (62°F) in July, and Dresden fluctuates around 20°C (68°F).

In July, Hamburg usually receives more rain than Dresden. Hamburg gets 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hamburg 17°C (62°F) 
    Dresden 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Hamburg or Dresden in the Autumn?

Both Dresden and Hamburg during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Hamburg because of the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Dresden this time of year.

In the autumn, Hamburg is around the same temperature as Dresden. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Hamburg in October average around 10°C (50°F), and Dresden averages at about 11°C (51°F).

Hamburg usually gets more rain in October than Dresden. Hamburg gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hamburg 10°C (50°F) 
    Dresden 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Hamburg or Dresden in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Hamburg and Dresden. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Hamburg this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Dresden for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Dresden. It's quite cold in Hamburg in the winter. In January, Hamburg is generally much colder than Dresden. Daily temperatures in Hamburg average around 0°C (33°F), and Dresden fluctuates around 1°C (33°F).

In January, Hamburg usually receives more rain than Dresden. Hamburg gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hamburg 0°C (33°F) 
    Dresden 1°C (33°F)

Should I visit Hamburg or Dresden in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Hamburg as well as Dresden. Many travelers come to Hamburg for the natural beauty. Additionally, many visitors come to Dresden in the spring for the activities around the city.

Hamburg is cooler than Dresden in the spring. The daily temperature in Hamburg averages around 8°C (46°F) in April, and Dresden fluctuates around 10°C (50°F).

Hamburg usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Dresden. Hamburg gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 53 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Hamburg 8°C (46°F) 
    Dresden 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Dresden and Hamburg

Hamburg Dresden
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 0°C (33°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 1°C (33°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 1°C (34°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 2°C (36°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 4°C (39°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 5°C (41°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 8°C (46°F) 51 mm (2 in) 10°C (50°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 57 mm (2.3 in) 15°C (58°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 18°C (65°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 17°C (62°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 19°C (67°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 14°C (57°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 16°C (60°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Oct 10°C (50°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 5°C (41°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 6°C (43°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Dec 2°C (35°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 2°C (35°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)