Dresden: Everything about the Christmas capital

The Dresdner Striezelmarkt is considered the oldest documented Christmas market in Germany and will take place for the 584th time this year, already taking place on the „Heyligen Christs Abendt“ since 1434. The market will open its doors on November 28, 2018 at 4 pm, thereafter opening daily from 10 am to 9 pm. Even on Christmas Eve, the market is still open from 10 am to 2 pm. Due to the expected Christmas rush the city of Dresden recommends parking outside the city center and using public transport to get there. Traditionally, the Striezelmarkt offers visitors to the Altmarkt everything their hearts desire – bright lights, mulled wine and Christmas music fill the whole of the city. For all enthusiasts, this year there is, like every year, a limited special edition mulled wine cup. Another special feature is the Striezeltaler. For 10 €, visitors receive 11 tokens, which can be redeemed at all shops and rides of the Striezelmarkt.

All about the Striezelmarkt

Dresden is regarded as Germany’s unofficial Christmas capital and offers visitors a varied program all around the famous Striezelmarkt: On November 28, 2018 at 4pm is the opening of the Christmas market by Mayor Dirk Hilbert. In line with tradition the Mayor cuts an original Dresdner Christstollen, this year its length is 2018 mm. Furthermore, the Striezel-Markt is lit up by the glow of the world’s largest Erzgebirge step pyramid, which is symbolically push-started, and Santa presents his latest Santa song. On December 1, the Dresden Advent Calendar Festival will be celebrated in the children’s adventure world. During the stage program, visitors will learn all about the historic background of the Advent calendar. The wonderful adventure world with Christmas bakery, gingerbread house, fairytale house, Pflaumentoffel- and Wichtelhaus and the Advent calendar can also be explored on all other days of the market. On December 2, the program already continues with the Dresden gingerbread festival and the coronation of the gingerbread princess. On December 8 follows the Dresden Stollenfest with a festive stage program, a parade and a giant Christmas Stollen. On the 9th of December, in line with the Dresden Pflaumentoffel festival, a new Pflaumentoffel Master is sought. The following weekend, on December 15, the Dresdner Pyramidenfest is taking place all around the world’s largest Erzgebirge Step Pyramid, accompanied by a concert by Petra Zieger. Even the largest Schwibbogen in the world has found a place in Dresden; on December 16, follows the Dresden Schwibbogenfest in honor of regional craftsmen. A social concern is pursued by the Dresdner Christbaumschmücken on December, 22. Teams can sponsor a social institution. A jury selects the most beautifully decorated Christmas tree, for which the winning team receives a further donation of 500 €. On the 4th of Advent, the people of Dresden reflect on their Christian roots and celebrate the day of the Kreuzkirche with a diverse stage program all around the history of the Kreuzkirche as the symbol of the Striezelmarkt.

On the outskirts of the Striezelmarkt

In addition to the Dresdner Striezelmarkt and the children’s adventure world there are also other Christmas markets within the city. Since 2012, the market „Dresdner Winterlichter“ takes place in the well-known shopping street Prager Straße. In addition to stalls there is also a Christmas light highlight. Every evening, underlined by music, a 15 m high Christmas tree is romantically illuminated. For children, there is the walk-in house of Santa Claus below the cross-stairs. The market is open from 29th to 23rd of November, 10 am to 9 pm.

Every year, a traditional Christmas market takes place outside the world-famous Frauenkirche. On the streets, products such as pottery, glass art and lace from the Vogtland are offered for sale. The main attraction of the market is the 8 m high walk-in pyramid. Moreover, every day, from 4 pm, Santa Claus will be passing by with gifts for children. Nearby is the „Advent at the Neumarkt“; here, too, historical crafts are highlighted. In addition, church choirs, Kurrendesänger and Christmas melodies can be heard between the booths.

Even after Christmas, visitors will get their money’s worth at the „Stallhöfischen Adventsspektakel“. The market takes place from the 28th of November 2018 to 6th of January 2019 – closed on Christmas Eve, during the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve, as well as New Years day. Within the walls of the Dresden Residenzschloss, in a rustic atmosphere, a real spectacle takes place. Jugglers provide entertainment and craftsmen offer historical goods. The highlight is a bathhouse with two huge wooden tubs, each of which can fit 8 people to enjoy a hot bath. South of the Residenzschloss, in one of the most beautiful places in Dresden, is the „Romantic Christmas Market“. From December to January, you can find a unique skating paradise for young and old within the baroque courtyard of the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski.

For whom the Middle Ages and Romanticism do not exude any charm, there is a welcome change at the „Dresdner Hüttenzauber“. In an area of 2,000 square meters, right in the city center, you can find après-ski and cabin fun – complete with bar, event cabin and curling track.

International traders from all over the world can be found on the „August Market“, named after August the Strong. Saxon tradition is combined with the international spirit of the city. From Belgium chocolates to Finnish Piparkakut, there is much to see. As parody of the Schwibbogen on the Striezelmarkt, the „Neustädter Gelichter“ in the Neustadt district offers a „Schwipsbogen“, which can provide for an entertaining evening. An absolute insider tip among locals is the „Elbhangfest Christmas Market“ in Dresden-Loschwitz. In the idyllic and romantic village center, among half-timbered houses, you can leave the Christmas rush of the city behind and enjoy some mulled wine.

Discover the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany

Are you in the mood for Christmas markets? Explore our collection of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany!
Click here for the collection.

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