13 Best Things to Do in Meissen, Germany

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Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of fine porcelain, or simply seeking a picturesque escape, Meissen, Germany promises an unforgettable German adventure. You definitely want to add this historic city to your Germany bucket list – especially if you’re also visiting Dresden and Leipzig. Here are 13 things to do when you take a trip to Meissen Germany!

Albrechtsburg Castle from the bridge

My trip to Meissen Germany was sponsored by Saxony Tourism. Many thanks to all involved for this amazing press trip! All opinions are my own.

Where is Meissen, Germany?

You’ll find Meissen nestled along the banks of the Elbe River in the eastern part of Germany. It’s located in the Free State of Saxony, home of the famous cities Dresden and Leipzig

Because it’s only 30 minutes from Dresden and is easily accessible from there on public transportation, we think Meissen makes a great day trip from Dresden during your Saxony vacation.

Spend more than one day in Meissen if you have time, though. We know you won’t regret it!

A look down at Meissen Castle

How to Get to Meissen

It’s easy to get to Meissen via train from major cities like Dresden, Leipzig, and Berlin. Taking the German S-Bahn from Dresden is especially easy and takes just 35 minutes. You really enjoy the views of the Saxony countryside – they can’t be beat! Plan to arrive at Meißen Altstadt station to explore the city.

You can also take a scenic boat ride on an historic paddle steamer on the Eble River. The Sächsische Dampfschifffahrt offers relaxing and enjoyable rides from Dresden to Meissen. You can make it a day trip with a return to Dresden, or get a one-way ticket. It takes a little over two hours to get from Dresden to Meissen on the boat.

Meissen is well-connected to major cities in the region, and there are plenty of parking options available within the town. If you prefer driving from Dresden, you can reach Meissen via the B6 or S81 highways.

If you plan to rent a car while you’re in Germany, make sure to read these tips on driving in Germany.

Once you arrive in Meissen, the town is relatively compact and can be explored on foot. You can use public transportation to get around the town and its surroundings.

Best Things to do in Meissen, Germany

Now that you’re there, what should you do? Turns out, there are lots of options for spending time in this beautiful German city.

Stop in at the Tourist Information Center

We think it’s always a good idea to stop at tourist information centers when you arrive in a new town. Not only can you gather brochures and information about the city, but they often have free and clean toilets you can use as well.

meissen porcelain factory molds storage area

Tour the Meissen Porcelain Factory

Meissen is internationally recognized as the birthplace of European porcelain thanks to Augustus the Strong’s, Elector of Saxony, obsession with Chinese porcelain. Turns out, Chinese porcelain was expensive to buy so Augustus the Strong wanted to make it himself.

After years of trial and error, alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger and physicist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus figured out how to make porcelain inside the Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen. Meissen Porcelain was founded in the early 1700s, and Meissen has been a famous porcelain manufactory ever since.

meissen porcelain factory exhibit

Visitors are invited to explore the Porcelain Factory, eat at its restaurant, tour the museum and more. You can spend an entire day learning about the manufacture of porcelain here – and it is so much more interesting than I thought it would be! 

The Meissen Porcelain Factory Museum features beautiful examples of porcelain made during their 300 years of history. Visiting the museum is included with your tour ticket so make sure to leave enough time to see the museum!

Buy your ticket to explore Meissen Porcelain Factory & Museum here.

Paint Your Own Souvenir Mug at Meissen Porcelain Factory

While you’re at Meissen Porcelain, make sure to paint your own mug! I think this is one of the best souvenirs you can have from an area so famous for the manufacture of porcelain. It’s a fun process and you’ll look forward to getting the mug in the mail when you get home.

Panorama Lift (Panorama Aufzug) fun things to to in Meissen germany

Ride the Panorama Lift (Panorama Aufzug)

For an easy assent to the Burgberg, take the Panorama Lift! It’s quick and cheap! Plus it has great views. You’ll go up 33 meters in under a minute and save yourself some steps.

Albrechtsburg Castle and the Meissen Cathedral 

Albrechtsburg Castle 

Perched on the hill overlooking the Elbe River and the town, Albrechtsburg Castle is an architectural gem and one of Germany’s oldest castles. In fact, it’s said to be THE oldest German castle built for residential purposes. The Albrechtsburg Castle was started in 929 at the order of King Henry I and it became the official royal seat of the electorate of Saxony in 1423. You must explore the 1000+ year old castle in the town considered the “cradle of Saxony.” 

inside Albrechtsburg castle

It was home to the House of Wettin, the ruling family of Saxony. You’ll love the intricately painted walls and ceilings in the beautiful rooms, stunning views of Meissen, and a museum where you can learn more about making porcelain in an interactive exhibit.

We really enjoyed the Histo-pad at the Albrechtsburg Castle too. This augmented reality shows what the castle was like in 3D.

Meissen Cathedral 

Meissen Cathedral 

The Meissen Cathedral is a striking High Gothic cathedral located near the castle. It was under construction for eight centuries and features intricate architectural details and stunning stained glass windows. 

Frauenkirche – Church of Our Lady

Located just off Marktplatz, the Frauenkirche is another must-see in Meissen. This Gothic style church was built in the 1200s and has remained mostly unchanged since the 1500s. You can go inside or climb to the top for sweeping views of Meissen.

While you’re there, listen to the 37 famous porcelain bells (made from Meissen Porcelain of course!) chime throughout the day. The bells were added in 1929 to celebrate 1000 years of Meissen history!

Meissen Altstadt

Meissen Old Town

Meissen’s historic center is a delightful place to wander through narrow cobblestone streets lined with well-preserved medieval buildings, hidden courtyards, quaint boutiques, delicious traditional cafes, bakeries, and restaurants.

meissen altstadt

The Market Square (Markt) is the heart of the old town and features colorful Renaissance-style houses, a beautiful town hall, and a charming atmosphere. The square is home to a lively weekly market where you can find local produce and crafts. You must wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of Meissen’s Old Town to soak up the medieval charm. 

Meissen City Museum 

Housed in the former Franciscan monastery church at Heinrichsplatz, the Meissen City Museum provides insight into the town’s history and cultural heritage. It features exhibits on local wine making, history, and craftsmanship, including displays of traditional costumes, folk art, and historical artifacts.

Vincenz Richter Restaurant

Eat at Vincenz Richter Restaurant

We were treated to al phenomenal meal at the Vincenz Richter Restaurant during our tour of Meissen. While almost every other personal business became property of the state of East Germany during its communist years, somehow the Vincenz Richter was allowed to remain a private business.

Family owned and operated since 1873, Vincenz Richter Restaurant is located in an historic cloth maker’s guild house that dates as far back as 1523. This lovely restaurant is currently run by a 6th generation. The building is full of interesting antiques and is said to be one of the most romantic restaurants in all of Germany.

Make sure to enjoy a meal at the Vincenz Richter when you visit Meissen. Make reservations here.

Try a Meissner Fummel

I didn’t get to try a Meissner Fummel, but the story is funny so you’ll want to. Legend has it that an early 18th century messenger got a little too drunk off famous Meissen wines, so the king had bakers invent a delicate pastry to keep him sober and on task. The Meissner Fummel pastry is what they made. According to Tasteatlas.com, it’s “paper-thin and extremely brittle with no specific flavor, and therefore it has no appreciable nutritional value.” Still, when in Meissen, right? The bakery was closed when we learned about the Fummel or I would have been the first in line to try it. 

Proschwitz Castle (Schloss Proschwitz)

Visit Proschwitz Castle (Schloss Proschwitz)

Meissen is situated in the heart of the Saxon Wine Route and is surrounded by picturesque vineyards. The region has a long tradition of winemaking, producing high-quality white wines. Visitors can explore the vineyards, visit local wineries for tastings, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the wine-growing landscape.

One winery you won’t want to miss is at the Proschwitz Castle. During GDR times, Schloss Proschwitz was expropriated, looted, and turned into a hospital. Prince Georg zur Lippe was able to buy back his ancestral home in 1996 and it is now Saxony’s oldest private winery.

Moritzburg Hunting Lodge

Moritzburg Hunting Lodge

You’ll definitely want to head out to Mortizburg during your Saxony vacation as well. The beautiful baroque-style palace called Mortizburg Hunting Lodge was built on an artifical island and used by Augustus the Strong as a hunting retreat, summer residence, and party lodge.

Billed as the Cinderella Palace of Saxony, you will love exploring the magnificent palace famous for its leather wall coverings, feather room, antlers, and more.

Have you been to Meissen, Germany? What was your favorite thing to see there?

Other Places to Visit in Saxony

19 Teen Friendly Things to do in Dresden

Family Friendly Things to do in Leipzig

One Week in Family-Friendly Saxony, Germany

Ready to travel? Use these helpful links to book your stay!

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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