Saxony: What you need to know
Where is it?
Since its reunification in 1990, the new Germany has consisted of 16 federal states. There are three city states – the capital city of Berlin, plus Hamburg and Bremen – and 13 diverse regions ranging from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south. Saxony is a federal state of Germany, bordering the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of the Czech Republic and Poland. Its capital is Dresden.
It is the tenth-largest German state in area and the sixth most populous of Germany’s sixteen states.
How do I get there?
There are two main inter-city transit hubs in the railway network in Dresden: Dresden Hauptbahnhof and Dresden-Neustadt railway station. The most important railway lines run to Berlin, Prague, Leipzig and Chemnitz.
If you want totravel by plane you can arrive at the Dresden Airport, which is Saxony’s international airport. It is located at the north-western outskirts of the town. Its infrastructure has been improved with new terminals and a motorway access route.
Is it a good place to learn German?
Saxony is a great place to live and study, but the German language in that region is very influenced, due too its long separation of western Germany and has therefore a very strong dialect that is not understood by every native German speaker.
You can also contact the agency called “BAMF” that offers free german- and integration-coures for people from different countries that would like to work in Germany. You should check their website for more information and where those courses will be available in your area (http://www.bamf.de/).
German is a very difficult language in general and has a large variety of dialects and slangs that even the native speakers have their problems with it, so it is very important that you find the right class for you.
Moving to Dresden: 3 things you need to know
1.) Where to live?
Dresden offers a lot of great places to live. To give you some idea’s depending on your budget take a look on the list below.
The most desired districts in Dresden would be Weisser Hirsch and Loschwitz.
Some medium range districts would be Johannstadt and Leutewitz.
And some of the less expensive areas are in the districts of Gorbitz and Mickten.
2.) Where to work?
Saxony has a very good economy among the federal states of the former East Germany.
In 1990 Dresden had to struggle with the economic collapse of the Soviet Union and the other export markets in Eastern Europe. But Dresden as a major urban center has developed much faster and more consistently than the average of Eastern Germany.
Three major sectors now dominate Dresden’s economy:
The semiconductor industry with companies like AMD’s spin-off GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Infineon Technologies, ZMDI and Toppan Photomasks.
The pharmaceutical sector with companies like the Saxon Serum Plant, owned by GlaxoSmithKline, is a world leader in vaccine production.
A third traditional branch is that of mechanical and electrical engineering. Major employers are the Volkswagen Transparent Factory, EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke (Elbe Aircraft Works), Siemens and Linde-KCA-Dresden.
3.) How to get around?
Dresden has a large tramway network operated by Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe, the municipal transport company. Because the geological bedrock does not allow the building of underground railways, the tramway is an important form of public transport.
Trams and buses are run within the city by the Dresden Public Transport Service and regionally by the Oberelbe Transport Network. On their websites the companies display the entire network, all timtables and connections. You can plan your journey according to your own individual requirements here. You can also find information about departure times at every bus or tram stop. You can buy tickets at the stops, on the trams or buses and at service points. You must then stamp your tickets in the machines on the vehicle. If you use public transport often, it is advisable to buy a multiple-trip ticket, a monthly ticket or a yearly ticket. Do not ride without a ticket as checks are often made. If you are caught without a valid ticket you’ll have to pay a fine.
Another possible mode of personal transportation is the taxi. It’s not usual to stop a taxi by motioning from the side of the street as it drives by, but rather to go to a taxi rank or stand, which are found all over the city. You can also call for a taxi using the hotline +49 (0351) 21 12 11 or order one online at Taxi Dresden. Taxi rates are comprised of a basic rate (2.50 EUR) plus the rate per kilometre (1.50 EUR per kilometre).