An intriguing series of courtyards is home to work by local artists, hip cafés and a network of vibrantly colored buildings.

Located on the outskirts of Dresden’s Neustadt you’ll stumble across a fascinating example of Dresden’s current artistic output. The Kunsthofpassage was once a series of non-descript, unused buildings but is today a vibrant hub for Dresden’s artists, students and culturally minded. With five themed courtyards, expansive murals and plenty of cafés and shops, Kunsthofpassage is a great way to while away the afternoon.

Venture off Alaunstrasse through the driveway at number 70 to enter the courtyards. Be surprised as you make your way through the nondescript entrance and into the vibrant open-air interior. Paved floors, garden beds and bold colors offer an escape from the austere Dresden streets. Pull up a seat at a café to soak up the atmosphere.

Visit all five courtyards during your visit. See the Mythical Creatures courtyard and the Courtyard of the Elements, where water makes music as it pours through the pipes and funnels adorning the turquoise exterior of the building above you. Listen for the original compositions created by the water and artists Annette Paul, Christopher Rossner and André Tempel.

Snap photographs of the giraffes and monkeys playing on the walls of the Courtyard of the Animals. The sculptures are great entertainment for children. Make your way to the Courtyard of Light to see metal mirrors reflecting the sun across the courtyard. The Courtyard of Metamorphoses has 24 different papers depicting various states of change.

Afterwards, explore the neighboring streets to discover boutique stores and cozy restaurants. Grab a beer at a student bar to meet some locals.

The Kunsthofpassage is free to visit and is open daily; however, stores and cafés are subject to their own hours. Arrive via tram, bus or train. Those driving will find street parking in the quiet streets of Dresden’s student district.

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