Dresden is a lovely city to visit. It is the capital of the German state of Saxony. It is known for its art museums, classic architecture and reconstructed old town. Landmarks include the baroque Frauenkirche church and the Zwinger palace house museums.
If you are thinking of visiting Dresden, Christmas is the time to do it. This is the time of year when the city lights up with many holiday markets making for terrific shopping and bringing a keen sense of nostalgia to the area. Here are some you will want to check out when you’re in town.
The Striezelmarkt is located in the center of the city. It originated in the 15th century. It is named for Stollen, a German cake made for the holidays. The cake is made to represent the entrance to the mines that can be found in the nearby Erzgebirge range.
The mine entrances are also celebrated in the Christmas arch, a wooden arch which displays candles and figures. This is said to represent the candles the miners would hang at the entrance of the mine on the last working day before Christmas. The arch serves as the market backdrop.
The market is a great place to find a variety of holiday goods, but it is most popular for its regional specialties including Ergebirge wood art, Lusatian blueprint fabrics, Pulsnitz gingerbread and Moravian stars. Visitors will also find a piece of the original Dresden stollen in the light of the giant Ore Mountains step pyramid.
The market is known for its famous Striezelmarkt cups. In 2020, a new limited edition was released limited to 586 copies. There are sure to be more designs coming out this year. They make for terrific souvenirs, and they are the perfect thing for holding your mulled wine as you browse the market.
Striezelmarkt opens its doors in late November and shuts down just before Christmas.
The Augustusmarkt is Dresden’s second largest Christmas market. It is located in the Elbe metropolis. It is a 500-meter-long strolling market that prides itself in promoting a cozy, cultural vibe.
The market is its own winter wonderland. Attractions include a blue tree set up in its center, the glittering gold fir tree on Gomondai Square and the huge Ferris wheel which offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. It also offers a market cinema, a children’s carousel, Christmas parlors, flame towers and the Erzgebirge pyramid.
Those who visit will find a variety of goods including foods, houseware, decorations and more. It opens in late November and ends after the Advent season is over.
Weihnachtsmarkt at the Dresden Frauenkirche
This Christmas market takes place in the historic setting of the old town of Dresden. It spans the streets between the Dresden Frauenkirche and the Bruhlsche Terrasse. Guests can find a variety of goods including Erzgebirge folk art and culinary delights like Czech pretzels, French nougat, Krbbelchen and more.
There are also plenty of delicacies available including hot waffles, quark balls, filled baked apples, sweet chestnuts, roasted almonds, Trdelnik and Dresdner Rahmkleks. Wash it down with mulled wine, punch or a glass of Feuerzangenbowle.
In addition to food, guests will also find a variety of gifts for purchase including jewelry, textiles, accessories, toys, home goods and more.
The market starts in late November and closes just after New Year’s.
The Christmas Market on Neumarkt
This may not be the biggest market in Dresden, but it makes up for it with tons of charm and originality. It is set against the recently completed Frauenkirche making it one of the most beautiful markets in Germany.
A Christmas market has been located in front of the church since the early 1800’s. The organizers intend on carrying out this spirit with a nostalgic vibe and handcrafted items. It starts in late November and ends before New Year’s.
Dresden Winter Lights Market
The Dresden Winter Lights market is located in the Prager Strasse, one of Dresden’s most popular shopping streets. It runs from the city center to the main railway station. It has recently rebranded to focus on illuminations. Its main attraction is a 15-meter-high Christmas tree which sits in the middle of the market.
It kicks off in late November and ends just before Christmas.
Romantic Christmas Market
This market is located to the south of the Dresden residence castle at the Piazza at the corner of Taschenbergpalais. It is not as busy as some of the other markets in the area and, as the name suggests, it has a romantic vibe.
In addition to selling a variety of lovely food and gift items, there is also a unique ice-skating center located just next door. The inner courtyard of the hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresdent transforms into an ice tread making the perfect accompaniment to the shopping experience.
Stallhof Advent Festival
This festival takes place inside the magnificent Dresden Royal Palace. Craftspeople sell their goods in a traditional atmosphere. Jugglers and players add to the festivities. There is also a public bathhouse with two large wooden washtubs where up to eight people can enjoy a hot bath.
St. Nicholas Market
This market is located in the Kunsthof arcade located in the trendy “Outer Neustadt’ district. It’s shining candle landmark draws people in to enjoy the musical and literary activities offered while bringing opportunities to shop for unique items.
Dresden is a great place to visit year-round, but visitors will really enjoy checking out the many markets set up throughout the city at Christmastime. Which will you be browsing when you stop by this holiday season?