“Dresden; where beauty was invented.”Johann Joachim Winckelmann, an art historian and archaeologist, said in 1755
And we couldn’t agree more.
Except for being a universal symbol of rebirth and reconstruction, the city of Dresden has a multifaceted kind of charm that undoubtedly sweeps visitors’ off their feet.
But, Christmas time is when Dresden’s fairytale-like aura really comes alive via its gorgeous Christmas markets which offer way more than delicious Glühwein.
A Brief History of Dresden’s Christmas Markets
Although other cities usually have one central Christmas market, Dresden has several Christmas markets which are definitely all worth visiting.
Dresden’s famous Christmas markets are scattered all around the city and are truly magical as well as authentically old. According to historical records, the well-known Dresden Christmas market tradition began with a 1-day market in Altmarkt back in 1434, just before Christmas Eve.
Nowadays, more than a million travelers from around the globe visit Dresden every year in order to see with their own eyes the city’s fantastic Christmas market scene and experience the xmas spirit to the fullest.
Dates: Nov 29 – Dec 24, 2023(for most markets; may vary for each market)
🌟 Where Are Dresden’s Christmas Markets?🎄
Wondering where to find all of Dresden’s Christmas markets? We’ve done a thorough research on your behalf, so, you can sit back and relax!
Keep reading to find out the main locations of Dresden’s Christmas markets, each with its own individual flair!
#1 The Dresdner Striezelmarkt
The most historical, popular and beloved Christmas market, with over 240 stands offering local products, is the Dresdner Striezelmarkt. The word Striezel, known as Stollen, is a distinctive Dresden Christmas bread, a leavened dough filled with candied and dried fruit covered in icing sugar.
You can find the Striezelmarkt in a historic square peppered with unique buildings, in the Altmarkt, where you’ll marvel at a giant Christmas tree, a one-of-a-kind Christmas pyramid standing 14 meters tall which got into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999, and the world’s biggest Christmas arch depicting the city’s mining traditions and folklore.
#2 The Medieval Market
Located in the Stallhof, which is part of the city’s former royal palace, is the Medieval Market, an enchanting place where you can find all sorts of Medieval-themed décor, gifts and treats. Special features, such as sellers all dressed up in costumes, wooden fire-heated hot tubs, and sparkling illuminations projected onto the palace’s walls increase the overall magic and make you travel back in time.
#3 The Romantic Market
Another worth-visiting Christmas market in Dresden is the Romantic Market, just a brief walk from the Striezelmarkt right in the corner of the Taschenbergpalais. The name itself is a pleasant spoiler-alert for its cozy, romantic and low-key ambience away from the crowds of the Striezelmarkt.
#4 The Frauenkirche Market
Combine some Christmas shopping spree with the traditional Christmas market at the Frauenkirche, located on a pedestrianized strip near the Münzgasse church. This little market offers local artisan handicrafts, traditional products like pottery, glassware and lace from the Vogtland region, and even a meeting with… Santa Claus. He makes a daily stop there at 4 PM bearing wonderful gifts for kids who will surely be head over heels to see him in person.
#5 The Neumarkt
You’ll find more minimalist, but still beautiful, Christmas market stalls in the Neumarkt part of Dresden. Excellent options for food and other refreshments as well as crafts produced by historical guilds around the Neumarkt area for the past 100 years can be found there while church choirs singing carols are heard.
#6 The Augustusmarkt
Located across the river, the Augustusmarkt stands: a Dresden xmas market with an international atmosphere. This market offers products from places all around the world, a historical Ferris wheel, the Nicolaushaus, an actual merry-go-round, and Christmas presents from the Erzgebirge. Right next to the Christmas tree, you’ll find out how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, too.
#7 The Dresdner Winterlichter
Looking for extra Christmas market fun in the city center? Visit the Dresdner Winterlichter along Prager Straße. With a lovely selection of regional specialties from Dresden and its surroundings, some gift stalls, a 15 meters tall Christmas tree magically lit, and a musical show every evening, we promise you that you’ll be mesmerized.
#8 Dresden’s Alpine Magic
Spread out over more than 2,000 square meters in the middle of the city center, this alpine-themed Christmas market on Postplatz includes 2 restaurants, an alpine hut bar, a café, a children’s playground, and many more surprises.
#9 The Neustädter Gelichter
At the core of Neustadt, you can find a creative, eccentric and different-than-the-rest kind of market. With unusual gift ideas, an impressive display of light, stalls selling Schwipsbogen (the Neustadt version of the Christmas arch), locally-grown Christmas trees, handmade jewelry, and delicious refreshments (also, vegan food!), we certainly recommend it.
#10 The St. Nicholas Market
Located in Dresden’s hipster neighborhood, Outer Neustadt, and offering musical as well as literary events, this is a contemporary and alternative choice to Dresden’s traditional and classic Christmas markets. Make sure to check it out.
#11 The Stallhof Advent Festival
A unique experience takes place in the Dresden Royal Palace during the Stallhof Advent Festival: guild craftsmen/craftswomen present their products in a historical framework, jugglers entertain, unusual culinary delicacies are offered, and you can enjoy a hot bath in one of the two gigantic wooden washtubs there.
#12 The Elbhangfest Christmas Market
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, this market near the Blaues Wunder (literally meaning “Blue Wonder”) bridge is one of our top insider’s tips. You can find it in the bucolic village-like suburb of Loschwitz, offering you a cozy and elegant aura along with good food, mulled wine, unique handcrafted gifts, and a high-quality cultural program, as well. It’s a short trip to reach this market, so, make sure that you do!
Dresden Christmas Market Guide: FAQs
What are the famous Christmas markets in Dresden?
Dresden is renowned for hosting the Striezelmarkt, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, established in 1434. Apart from the Striezelmarkt, the city features several other festive markets such as the Medieval Christmas Market, the Frauenkirche Christmas Market, and the Neustadt Christmas Market, each offering a unique atmosphere and a variety of products.
What traditional foods can be enjoyed at Dresden's Christmas markets?
Visitors to Dresden’s Christmas markets can savor a variety of traditional Saxon and German delicacies. Popular foods include Stollen (a type of fruit bread), Pulsnitzer Pfefferkuchen (gingerbread), Bratwurst (grilled sausage), Glühwein (mulled wine), and Eierschecke (a regional cheesecake).
Are there any unique crafts or goods available at the Christmas markets in Dresden?
Dresden's Christmas markets are a treasure trove for traditional crafts and unique gifts. Visitors can find handmade ornaments, wooden toys, nutcrackers, candle holders, pottery, and lacework. Additionally, the Erzgebirge region's craftsmanship is showcased through intricate wooden carvings and Schwibbogen (decorative candle arches).
What is the significance of the Stollen Festival at the Dresden Christmas markets?
The Stollen Festival is one of the highlights of the Dresden Christmas markets, celebrating the city's famous Christmas cake, Stollen. The festival usually features a giant Stollen, weighing several tons, which is paraded through the city before being sliced and sold to the public. The event pays tribute to Dresden's baking tradition and raises funds for charity.
How can visitors navigate between the different Christmas markets in Dresden?
Dresden's Christmas markets are situated relatively close to each other, making it easy to explore them on foot. The city's public transportation system, consisting of trams and buses, also provides convenient access to the markets. Visitors can use single tickets or day passes to travel between the different markets and other attractions in Dresden.