A Travel Price Comparison for Germany Mainz vs. Dresden for Food, Old Town, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Mainz or Dresden?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Mainz and Dresden can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Mainz

Mainz is a quaint, charming, and beautiful town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include museums, food, and shopping.

Dresden

Dresden is a cultural, park-filled, and friendly city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Mainz and Dresden: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Mainz or Dresden?

You'll generally find more things to do in Dresden than Mainz. Dresden is bigger than Mainz, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Dresden is better known for its nightlife and big city activities, while Mainz is more popular for its food and impressive beauty. Mainz is well known for its quaint old town, Roman heritage, and beautiful town squares. Dresden is well known for its beautiful palaces, castles, and many landmarks (such as the Baroque Zwinger Palace, Semperoper Opera House and the Church of Our Lady). Also, Dresden is famous for Dresden Frauenkirche and The Royal Palace.

How is Mainz different from Dresden?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Mainz
Dresden

Spend time exploring the notable sights and museums in either Mainz or Dresden.

Mainz is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It's an old university town with a number of historical sights. Check out the Church of St. Stephan, Mainz Cathedral, the Gutenberg Museum, and the Museum of Ancient Seafaring.

Dresden offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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 Mainz or Dresden? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Mainz
Dresden

Mainz is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Dresden is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Dining out in Mainz is an experience not to be missed. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes that serve local food. There are also wine taverns where you can sample the local wines and dine of regional specialties.

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 Mainz or Dresden Better for Nightlife?

Mainz
Dresden

Dresden is a very popular place for nightlife. However, Mainz is lacking in good options for nightlife and partying.

Dresden has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Mainz. It's a sleepy little town, so even locals often head to bigger cities for better nightlife.

Is Mainz or Dresden Better for its Old Town?

Mainz
Dresden

Both Mainz and Dresden have excellent historic old towns worth visiting.

Mainz is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. Filled with beautiful squares and cobblestone streets, this is a nice old town in a pleasant city.

There are many historical things to see 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.


Is the Shopping Better in Mainz or Dresden?

Mainz
Dresden

Shoppers can find a variety of notable stores in both Mainz and Dresden.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Mainz. Head to the boulevard of Am Brand near the cathedral for some of the town's best shopping. There are shops that line the street and it's a nice area to walk around.

Dresden offers some nice shopping areas. 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 Mainz or Dresden Better for Families?

Mainz
Dresden

Neither Mainz nor Dresden are considered to be the most family-friendly destination.

Mainz is not always a place people visit with their families. Kids will enjoy the Gutenburg Museum and the outdoor spaces where they can run around. There's also a nice old town that everyone will have fun exploring.

Dresden doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. 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 Mainz or Dresden Better for Couples?

Mainz
Dresden

Mainz is a great destination for couples. Also, Dresden is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Couples visit Mainz frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Located on the Rhine River, this scenic setting is popular for river cruises. The town is nice to explore on its own, or you can hop around and take in several of the German river towns. You can also sit at outdoor cafes and sip local wine.

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 Mainz or Dresden Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Mainz
Dresden

Mainz and Dresden are both notable destinations for backpackers.

Mainz is a good town to visit for backpackers. The town is popular with river cruises but you'll also find a hostel or two where budget travelers can save some money and meet other backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Dresden. There are plenty of hostels to choose from and the city itself is not particularly expensive.

Is Mainz or Dresden Better for Students?

Mainz
Dresden

Mainz is a great destination for students. However, Dresden is not popular with students.

Mainz is a very popular town for students and younger travelers. It's a university town with a pleasant atmosphere and a beautiful setting.

Dresden is not popular with students.

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

Mainz
Dresden

Mainz 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 Mainz. There are regional trains that make it easy to use Mainz as a base to explore the area, or you could visit Mainz as a day trip from another nearby 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 Mainz or Dresden a more walkable city?

Mainz
Dresden

Mainz is an amazing town to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Dresden is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Getting around Mainz on foot is easy. The town is easily 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 Mainz Worth Visiting? and Is Dresden Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Dresden or Mainz?

How long in Mainz or Dresden?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Mainz and Dresden. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Mainz than in Dresden. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Mainz, and 1-3 days is enough time in Dresden.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Mainz 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 Mainz.


  • How many days in Mainz or Dresden? Ideal Length of Stay
    Mainz 2-4 
    Dresden 1-3

One day in Mainz or Dresden?

In Mainz, you'll find museums and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In Dresden, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this cultural destination offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Mainz or Dresden?

In Mainz, 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 Mainz has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dresden. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Mainz or Dresden?

Mainz 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.

Dresden is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Dresden. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Mainz or Dresden?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mainz. Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Mainz. 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.

You'll find food and shopping around the friendly destination of Dresden. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Dresden or Mainz?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mainz is €142, 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 Mainz and Dresden in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mainz 74
    Dresden 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mainz 148
    Dresden 122
Compare Hotels in Mainz and Dresden

Looking for a hotel in Mainz 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 Mainz


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: Mainz Hotel Prices and Dresden Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mainz 37
    Dresden 11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dresden

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dresden:

  • Private transfer from Prague to Berlin with Meissen Porcelain Manufactory stop: $253
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague, Hotel-to-hotel, English-speaking driver: $132
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague with 2 hours for sightseeing: $160
  • Private Transfer from Dresden to Prague: $212
  • Private Transfer from Dresden City to Leipzig City: $84
  • One-Way Transfer from Dresden Airport (DRS) to Dresden: $146
  • DRESDEN Airport (DRS) Transfer/Shuttle from/to City (GAT): $162
  • DRESDEN Airport (DRS) Transfer/Shuttle from/to City: $81

Is it cheaper to fly into Mainz or Dresden?

Prices for flights to both Dresden and Mainz 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
    Mainz 41
    Dresden 31

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: $52
  • Winterlights Evening River Cruise with Dinner: $60
  • Private Tour- Walking Dinner Tour with Dessert Course in Dresden Neustadt: $76

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mainz 33
    Dresden 9.56

Tours and Activities in Mainz

For Mainz, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Romantic Old Town Self-guided Discovery Tour: $7.47
  • Mainz Syndicate City Escape Game Self Guided Tour: $18
  • Guided tour in Mainz on the Rhine: $22
  • Crime-Tour - Escape Game: $42
  • Self-Guided Urban Adventure Game: $43
  • Urban Adventure Game in Mainz with an app: $44
  • Private custom tour with a local guide: $52
  • Murder Crime Game Self-Guided Interactive Tour: $75
  • Private Guided Walking Tour in Mainz: $83
  • 1 Hour Private Guided Tour: Gutenberg Museum Mainz : $132
  • 1 Hour Private Guided Tour: Landesmuseum Mainz: $132
  • 1 Hour Private Guided Tour: Cathedral and Diocesan Museum Mainz: $132

Tours and Activities in Dresden

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

  • 1.5 hours Segway Elbe Mini Tour: $66
  • 2 Hour GDR Walking Tour in Dresden: $33
  • 2 Hour Historical Walking Tour in Dresden: $39
  • 2 day ticket Grand City Tour Hop on Hop off 22 stops: $24
  • Astonishing Dresden - Guided Walking Tour: $432
  • Bad Schandau Scooter Tour in Saxon, Switzerland: $53
  • Best of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland Day Trip from Dresden - Hiking Tour: $173
  • Best of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland Day Trip from Dresden- Fantasy Tour: $173
  • Best of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland Day Trip from Dresden- Winter Tour: $173
  • Bicycle tour of Dresden: $32
  • Big Sightseeing Tour in Dresden with Liveguide: $20
  • Big city tour hop on hop off 22 stops: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mainz 22
    Dresden 16

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: $58
  • Private Pub Crawl Tour: $406


When comparing the travel costs between Mainz and Dresden, we can see that Mainz 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 Mainz Expensive? and Is Dresden Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Mainz or Dresden?

Dresden has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Mainz. When comparing the sizes of Mainz 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 Mainz or Dresden?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Mainz or Dresden in the Summer?

Both Dresden and Mainz during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Mainz for the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Dresden in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Mainz is generally around the same temperature as Dresden. Daily temperatures in Mainz average around 19°C (66°F), and Dresden fluctuates around 20°C (68°F).

Mainz usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Dresden. Mainz gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Mainz 19°C (66°F) 
    Dresden 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Mainz or Dresden in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Mainz and Dresden. Many visitors come to Mainz in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Dresden for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene during these months.

Mainz is around the same temperature as Dresden in the autumn. The daily temperature in Mainz averages around 11°C (51°F) in October, and Dresden fluctuates around 11°C (51°F).

In October, Mainz usually receives around the same amount of rain as Dresden. Mainz gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Mainz 11°C (51°F) 
    Dresden 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Mainz or Dresden in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Mainz as well as Dresden. Most visitors come to Mainz for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Additionally, the winter months attract visitors to Dresden because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Dresden can be very cold. Mainz can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Mainz is much warmer than Dresden. Typically, the winter temperatures in Mainz in January average around 2°C (35°F), and Dresden averages at about 1°C (33°F).

Mainz usually gets more rain in January than Dresden. Mainz gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Mainz 2°C (35°F) 
    Dresden 1°C (33°F)

Should I visit Mainz or Dresden in the Spring?

Both Dresden and Mainz are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Mainz because of the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city are the main draw to Dresden this time of year.

In April, Mainz is generally around the same temperature as Dresden. Daily temperatures in Mainz average around 11°C (51°F), and Dresden fluctuates around 10°C (50°F).

In April, Mainz usually receives around the same amount of rain as Dresden. Mainz gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Dresden receives 53 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Mainz 11°C (51°F) 
    Dresden 10°C (50°F)

Typical Weather for Dresden and Mainz

Mainz Dresden
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 2°C (35°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 1°C (33°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 2°C (36°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 51 mm (2 in) 5°C (41°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 11°C (51°F) 52 mm (2 in) 10°C (50°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
May 14°C (58°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (58°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 18°C (64°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 18°C (65°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Jul 19°C (66°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 20°C (68°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 19°C (66°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 19°C (67°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 16°C (61°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 16°C (60°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Oct 11°C (51°F) 51 mm (2 in) 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 6°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 6°C (43°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Dec 2°C (36°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 2°C (35°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)