Christmas Markets in Dresden
Dresden has the largest number of Christmas markets in the eastern part of the country and is one of the cities that are able to lay claim to the title of being the oldest seasonal event in Germany.
Certainly it is one of the most traditional, with many of the customs surrounding the main city market stemming from local industries like mining, woodworking and pottery.
The Striezelmarkt originally started back in the 15th century. The word 'Striezel' actually refers to a cake made at this time of year called a 'Stollen', which is also found in other parts of Germany, but in this area is reputed to represent the entrance to the mines in the nearby Erzgebirge range.
Another tradition stemming from the mining history is the Christmas arch - originally a metal but now usually a wooden arch which displays candles and figures. According to local folklore, this stems from the candles that the miners would hang from the entrance to the mine on the last working day before Xmas.
The Striezelmarkt dedicates each of the Advent weekends to one of the traditions of the area. However it is by far from being the only market in the city and below we've featured some of the better-known ones, especially those that have their own websites.
This market in the central area is the largest in the eastern part of Germany and one of the most traditional in the country.
Dates: 29.11.17 – 24.12.17
Location: On the Altmarkt square in the centre of Dresden
This original market on the Hauptstrasse has undergone a rebranding and the huts have been replaced by white pagodas in the three sections along the wide boulevard.
Dates: 30.11.17 - 23.12.17
Times: Monday to Thursday: 11.00-21.00
Location: From the Neustädter Markt through to the Dreifaltigkeitskirche.
Christmas Market at the Frauenkirche
This Christmas market is held outside the shops and restaurants of the area around the famous Frauenkirche church.
Dates: 29.11.17 - 24.12.17
Times: Sunday to Thursday: 10.00-21.00
(Christmas Eve : 10.00-14.00)
Location: In the Münzgasse
The Christmas Market on the Neumarkt
This Weihnachtsmarkt is very close to the one above - the neighbouring stalls are located in the open area on the other side of the Frauenkirche known as the Neumarkt.
Dates: 29.11.17 - 22.12.17
Location: On the Neumarkt
Dresden Winter Lights Market
This market is located in one of Dresden's most popular shopping streets. It is located between the city centre and the main railway station. It has recently been rebranded to concentrate on the illuminations, the centrepiece of which will be a 15m high Christmas tree.
Dates: 30.11.17 - 23.12.17
Location: On the Prager Strasse
Other Things To Do in Dresden
Visit the museums. Dresden was the once the home of the Electors of Saxony, rich rulers who controlled an area stretching into present-day Poland. The treasures they collected, and especially their art collection, is well worth visiting. Most of the important galleries and museums are located in the old royal residences.
Walk along the river. Dresden is situated on the River Elbe but this river walk is not directly on the banks. Brühl's Terrace, called 'the balcony of Europe', was built in the 18th century and then, as now, was a spot for wandering above the river and people-watching.
Don't forget the Neustadt. With so many of the historic attractions located on the other side of the river, it is easy to forget Neustadt (the 'new town'). There are two parts - the Innere Neustadt and the Aussere Neustadt - one inside the old city walls and the other outside (this area is known for its nightlife these days).
Plan Your Own Christmas Market Break in Dresden
Dresden Airport is located to the north of the city just under 10km away from the centre. It is linked by the regional train service to the two main railway stations.
Dresden's main railway station, the Hauptbahnhof, is located to the south of the city centre. The other important station, Dresden Neustadt, is on the northern side of the River Elbe. Both of the stations link into the national rail network and the regional service (the S-Bahn). The city does not have an underground rail service but does have an extensive tram system. All the local services, including buses, trams, funicular railways and ferries, are integrated into a common ticket service by the VVO (Verkehrsverbund Oberelbe).