12 rides around Dresden – Exploring the banks of the Elbe in Germany

Bike Touring Collection by Dresden Elbland

The city of Dresden is a baroque pearl on the banks of the River Elbe in eastern Germany. With its ornate Semper Opera House, Church of our Lady (Frauenkirche), and Augustus Bridge, the capital of Saxony offers sensational cultural sites. The city and surrounding countryside have plenty of nature to discover too. The green Elbe meadows and impressive limestone and sandstone rocks are just waiting to be discovered by bike.

In this Collection, we present 12 rides in the Dresden Elbland between Pirna and Meißen. You’ll find different types of rides ranging from leisurely family trips to sweat-inducing challenges. During and after each ride, there are plenty of places to enjoy the regional cuisine, tuck into a slice of “Eierschecke” cake, and enjoy a crisp glass of wine.

All of the routes start and end in Dresden or just a stone's throw away by train. The region has good train links so you can often shorten a section if your legs get tired. Regardless of whether you are visiting Dresden or if you have been living in the city for a long time, you will get to know extraordinary corners of the city and its surroundings in this Collection. Get pedalling and enjoy some wonderful bike trips through the Dresden Elbland.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    09:20
    96.0 mi
    10.3 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This tour, which is best completed in two days, shows you the most beautiful spots in the Elbe Valley between Pirna and Riesa. Because there are no significant climbs on the bike path, the tour is also very suitable for families. You can also ride the lap on a racing bike in one day.From Dresden, it first goes to Radebeul and Coswig. The vineyards rise in front of you as you follow the Elbe downstream. In Meißen you can see the mighty Albrechtsburg, which you can visit on the way back. Before that, however, you cycle through the wonderful and quiet Elbe landscape to Riesa.On the way back you will pass several windmills and castles and also through the pretty old town of Meissen. In Dresden you drive along the Elbe meadows and cross under the Elbe bridges, including the famous “Blue Wonder”. Past the Pillnitz Castle, it goes to Pirna and right Elbe back to Dresden.

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  • Intermediate
    01:43
    14.1 mi
    8.2 mph
    700 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Rose Garden is just a stone's throw from the Albert Bridge. It is cared for and looked after as if the gardener had gone through with the ruler. On this tour you will also learn the exact opposite: the Dresdner Heide. In the huge local recreation area, nature is in charge and you can really relax and let off steam there.From the Elbe you drive through rather unknown corners of the Neustadt to the bridge over which Stauffenberg-Allee leads. This is where the Dresden heath begins. You follow the quietly babbling Prießnitz slightly uphill. The surrounding nature is simply wonderful and different in every season.The Hofewiese beer garden awaits you in a clearing. Here you can strengthen yourself and relax before you continue cycling through the heath. Shortly before you reach the Elbe again after a rapid descent, you drive past the Albertpark animal enclosure, where you can see deer and roe deer. At the former waterworks Saloppe you reach the Elbe and drive back to the rose garden. Iced coffee tastes particularly delicious in the café of the same name!

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  • Intermediate
    03:58
    41.7 mi
    10.5 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The wine-growing region in the Elbe Valley is one of the smallest wine-growing regions and the northeast of Germany. But thanks to the special climate, delicious wines grow on the slopes around Dresden. Let yourself be convinced on this tour.It starts right at the Karl May Museum in the wine-growing town of Radebeul, not far from Radebeul Ost train station, from where the steam locomotives of the Lößnitzgrundbahn depart. To explore the most beautiful vineyards, a few meters of altitude are included. That is why it goes straight uphill to the Hoflößnitz winery. If you want to go further up, you can climb the 397 steps of the Spitzhaus staircase and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Elbe valley.We continue past the famous Wackerbarth Castle via Weinböhla through the vineyards to the wine town of Diesbar-Seußlitz with its baroque castle. The way back is along the Elbe through Meißen. You will find opportunities to taste the delicious wine all along the route, sometimes a few meters away, such as in Proschwitz, in the Ricco Hänsch winery or in Altkötzschenbroda.

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  • Intermediate
    03:12
    29.9 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    You start the tour through the varied north-east of Dresden directly on the Elbe. The path takes you through the Neustadt to the Dresdener Heide, where you always cycle slightly uphill through the wild and romantic valley of the Prießnitz. The bike path through the forest is a fantastic idyll and a quiet place of reflection.In white you leave the heath and the tour goes through a rural area. On the former railway line to Dürrröhrsdorf you roll through fields and meadows. A wonderful view over the Elbe valley awaits you before you whiz down through Bonnewitz.You cycle through the vineyards of Oberpoyritz, where you can also try a few good drops. At Pillnitz Castle you will drive through Wachwitz and under the "Blue Wonder". From there you follow the Körnerweg, which has been paved almost continuously since the beginning of 2020. Then it is not far to your starting point at the rose garden.

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  • Difficult
    03:55
    38.7 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this round you will explore the hilly area southwest of Dresden. The landscape can hardly be more varied: deep valleys with rushing streams and hills with beautiful views alternate on this tour.From the Sportpark Ostra you drive to Plauen and dive into the wild and romantic valley of the Weißeritz. You always drive slightly uphill towards Freital. On your way you will meet contemporary witnesses from industry, from the old mill to dilapidated factories.Then follows an exhausting but scenic stretch to Landberg and then you roll on former railway lines to Wilsdruff. From there it is almost only downhill, again and again with a pretty panorama, to the Elbe. You drive back to Dresden via the Gohliser mill.

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  • Intermediate
    03:11
    31.8 mi
    10.0 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,450 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    There was once a dense network of narrow-gauge railways around Wilsdruff. In the meantime, it has been decommissioned, but you can still ride a bicycle comfortably on many former routes.The Wilsdruffer Bahntrassenrunde begins in Meißen. You can get there quickly and easily with the S-Bahn from Dresden. Through the pretty Triebischem valley it is now always slightly uphill and there are several romantic mills on your way.In Wilsdruff you can take a cozy coffee break before you continue. On the outskirts of the village is the former train station, where some witnesses from the time of the railway have been lovingly restored.On former railway lines and small streets you drive back to the Triebischtal and finally to Meißen. It is worth staying there a bit, because the pretty old town and the imposing castle are worth discovering.

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  • Easy
    01:41
    17.0 mi
    10.1 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Ferry
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Pillnitz is best known for the manorial castle and the impressive castle park. The fact that the vineyards rise behind it is perhaps more noticeable when you drive past. On this tour we will show you that it is well worth driving through the vineyards.From the Körnerplatz in Loschwitz you drive on the Elberadweg to Pillnitz. There you drive past the castle and make a little sweep up the mountain. That is almost the only slope of the day. From above you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Elbe and the vineyards. A short time later you reach the vineyard church in the middle of the vines.At the foot of the vineyards you drive to Birkwitz. On the way there are of course several ways to try a good drop. With a ferry you cross the Elbe and follow the river to Blasewitz. Before you cross the “Blue Wonder”, you can end the tour with a cool drink and rustic food in the Schillergarten. By the way, right next to it is the best ice cream parlor in the city.

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  • Easy
    01:53
    20.4 mi
    10.8 mph
    325 ft
    300 ft
    Ferry
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    A bike trip with the family is a great idea. You are in the fresh air all day and can explore the area with the children. This family tour is flat and mostly leads along well-developed bike paths. This makes it easy for the little ones to master.From the Neustadt you follow the Elbradweg via Kaditz to Altkötzschenbroda. There are already opportunities for refreshments with ice cream. In Kötitz you cross the Elbe by ferry and drive on the other side of the Elbe towards Dresden. The Gohliser windmill with a beautiful beer garden is right on the way.

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  • Difficult
    04:23
    57.8 mi
    13.2 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert road ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The Elbland is very popular with road cyclists. You cycle through beautiful areas with varied nature and you can put together your perfect tour with the desired altitude. Here we present you a round on the Elbe and through the Meissner highlands.You start in the middle of Dresden's old town and follow the course of the Elbe to Constappel. This is where the first and crunchiest climb on the tour begins. On the plateau you can drive on small roads and enjoy the landscape. Sometimes you even drive on former railway lines.After a few minor climbs you are back on the Elbe after a rapid descent and drive through Meißen. So that you don't just drive flat along the river again, we have planned a small detour to Weinböhla. There you drive at the foot of the vineyards to Altkötzschenbroda and further along the Elbe to Dresden.

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  • Difficult
    05:34
    54.2 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Almost everyone knows the Golis windmill directly on the Elbe, but did you know that there are many more mills in and around Dresden? On this round you will get to know some of them. And also many other special places north of Dresden.It starts near Radeburg. The most romantic way to get there is with the Lößnitzgrundbahn, which also takes bicycles. After a few kilometers you will come to the first mill, the post mill in Ebersbach. On wonderful routes you drive to Lauterbach Castle and on to the impressive Schönfeld Palace.In Ortrand you have mastered a good half of the tour. If you were planning to master the almost 90 kilometers in two stages, you can stay here in holiday apartments. Alternatively, you can take the train to Dresden from here and come back the next day for the second half.Otherwise, a wonderful bike ride through a lot of nature awaits you on the second half, including to the huge Zschona pond. From there it is a short hop to the starting point of the tour and to Radeburg, where you can get on the train again.

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  • Difficult
    03:20
    33.0 mi
    9.9 mph
    950 ft
    950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    These 50 kilometers are full of variety and show you well-known highlights as well as mysterious, quiet corners between Dresden and Moritzburg. You start at the Marienbrücke in Dresden and follow the Elberadweg. In Niederwartha you cross the Elbe and drive via Coswig into a really beautiful forest area.After a few hills you will reach Moritzburg Castle and enjoy very special perspectives from several sides of the opulent summer palace. Then you drive past quiet ponds to Klotzsche. From there you roll along the Prießnitz through the Dresden heath.Once on the Elbe, you follow the Elberadweg again. To cross the river, you can take the Johannstadt ferry, for example, or drive past the rose garden and over the Albert Bridge.

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  • Difficult
    04:57
    48.8 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,825 ft
    1,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Meißen is known for the imposing Albrechtsburg, the pretty old town and of course for the "white gold" - the Meissen porcelain. But the area around the city on the Elbe is also particularly beautiful, especially if you explore it by bike. On Meißner 8 you get to know the Meissen area on the left, either as two small tours that start and end at Meißner Bahnhof or as an extended tour in the form of an eight.Starting from the Meißen train station, you first cross the railway bridge and enjoy a wonderful view of the old town of Meissen. Then you drive through the Triebischtal and after a steep climb you reach a plateau on which there was once a dense network of narrow-gauge railways. Today, the routes have been converted into great bike paths in many places.In gentle ups and downs you reach the Elbe again in Zehren and follow it to Meißen. It is worth taking a long lunch break in the old town before you tackle the second round. Now you drive through the Triebischtal again, but turn left. And here, too, you can enjoy the wonderful routes on former railway lines until you reach the Elbe after a sweeping descent. As the finale of Meißner 8, you cycle down the Elberadweg to Meißen.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    12
  • Distance
    483 mi
  • Duration
    47:07 h
  • Elevation
    14,700 ft
12 rides around Dresden – Exploring the banks of the Elbe in Germany
Bike Touring Collection by
Dresden Elbland