Close to Dresden are several preserved towns. To Meissen, which looks like Prague in small, and Pirna, a cosy little town, you can go with a paddle steamer from Dresden. If you go to Pirna with the paddle steamer you pass Pillnitz castle. Other interesting towns are the miners towns in the Ore mountains, especially Freiberg, a completely preserved town with a nice cathedral, and Annaberg-Buchholz, whose church has the most beautiful Gothic interior of all Saxon churches. A bit more far away (1-2h by train) are the preserved towns of Upper Lusatia, Bautzen and Görlitz. Bautzen is the historic capital of Upper Lusatia and the Sorbs, a Slavic minority. Görlitz is probably the best preserved German town and hopefully soon a World Heritage Site.
If you enjoy nature you can visit Saxon Switzerland, a very picturesque area of bizarre rocks.
Here are a few galleries. Meissen and Freiberg:
And Görlitz and Bautzen:
Edited: 4:16 am, June 20, 2012