7 Best Christmas Markets in Dresden Germany

Christmas is a time of magic, joy, and enchantment! And, nowhere is this more evident than at the best Christmas Markets in Dresden Germany.

The Dresdner Striezelmarkt was founded in 1434, making it one of Germany’s oldest Christmas Markets. This market has become one of the most beloved and iconic holiday destinations in Europe.

As someone who annually visits Europe just for the old-world Christmas Markets, Germany tops the list for being the most magical. While living in Berlin and visiting its markets extensively, there is just something about Dresden’s charm that makes it a personal favourite.

Nestled amidst charming medieval architecture and cobblestone streets, eleven Christmas markets transport you into a winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and the aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

In this article, I will share all the info you need to know:

  • Dresden Christmas market dates
  • Dresden Christmas market opening times
  • Dresden Christmas market location
  • And, my pick of the 7 best markets to visit.

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Christmas in Dresden: Its Origins

christmas tree with colourful buildings at dresden christmas market

The Christmas Market in Dresden, also known as Striezelmarkt, holds a special place in the history and tradition of Germany’s holiday festivities.

It is one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe and its origins can be traced back to 1434 when King Frederick II permitted local traders to hold a winter market for their goods.

The name “Striezelmarkt” originates from a popular cake called “Stollen,” which is a traditional German fruitcake with loads of icing sugar sprinkled on top. In olden times, bakers used to sell Stollen exclusively during this market. Over time, people started referring to it as Striezelmarkt after “Strutzel,” an old word for Stollen.

For anyone who has a German background like I do, you would have grown up eating Stollen at Christmastime. I continue to carry on that ritual and was overjoyed to see it offered in bakeries in Germany year-round. And, I hate to admit this, but ate it every single morning with my tea while living in Berlin.

Ok, I digress, back to the history of Striezelmarkt.

christmas tree with star and church at one of the best christmas markets in dresden germany

Striezelmarkt has always been located in Dresden’s Altmarkt Square (the city’s oldest square), right in front of the stunning Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).

The devasting destruction from World War II in 1945 left Altmarkt Square and Frauenkirche in ruins. After years under Soviet occupation followed by communist rule in East Germany, revitalization efforts began in the mid-1990s to rebuild Altmarkt Square and resurrect the Striezelmarkt.

Today, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Germany, and you would never know it was only a few decades old.

Dresden Christmas Markets: Your Reference List

Dresden Christmas Markets 2023 kicked off the evening of November 29, 2023, making November 30th the first day the markets were officially open.

Unlike the Christmas Markets in Berlin, Dresden’s Christmas markets are almost all closely connected, flowing from one to the next.

Just think of it as exploring the Old Town. You will come across them without too much help from Google Maps. Before going, I made my Dresden Christmas market map by dropping a pin for each of the locations. It was helpful, even though I’ve been to Dresden before and knew my way around the city, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any!

Use this handy dandy list of all the markets found below before you dive into learning about each one.

chart outlining the dresden christmas market details

7 Best Christmas Markets in Dresden Germany

1. Striezelmarkt Dresden Christmas Market

christmas market stall at christmas market in dresden germany

Voted the favourite Christmas market in Germany, the Dresden Striezelmarkt, is now in its 589th year!

It has the WOW factor boasting world-record attractions like the towering 14 m Erzgebirge step pyramid, an enormous walk-in candle arch and a historic Ferris wheel. Each booth is elaborately decorated and it’s impossible not to feel a sense of wonder and excitement just like when you were a child.

ferris wheel at christmas market in dresden germany

One unique aspect that sets this Dresden Christmas market apart from others is its early closure on December 24th. This tradition dates back to medieval times when locals would rush home from church services on Christmas Eve to prepare for family gatherings and celebrate this holy night together.

📍 Altmarkt, 01067 Dresden, Gemany
📆 November 30, 2023 to December 24, 2023 (closes at 2 pm)
🕥 10 am – 9 pm
🎄 Highlights: the supersize Erzgebirge pyramid, Ferris wheel and photo op platform overlooking the Christmas market
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for everyone!

2. Romantic Christmas Market

historic carousel at christmas market in dresden germany

The name says it all! And, being a romantic at heart I loved this one. What’s there not to love, with the Dresden Castle as its backdrop, this market is elegant, quiet, and more intimate than the others.

This market is perfect for sipping and strolling arm-in-arm with your partner. Save getting your Glühwein for this romantic Christmas market.

📍 Taschenberg, 01067 Dresden
📆 November 30, 2023 to December 23, 2023
🕥 11 am – 10 pm
🎄Highlights: the nearby ice skating rink in the inner courtyard of Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for couples

3. Stallhof Advent Medieval Festival

Within the walls of the Dresden Residenzschloss, specifically in the historic Stallhof courtyard boasting medieval architecture, you’ll find this medieval-themed market.

As you step back in time, your imagination effortlessly conjures the liveliness of the Middle Ages—a world teeming with knights, minstrels, and skilled artisans. Wander through where every nuance evokes the ambiance of a meticulously crafted movie set, from the period costumes to the intricately designed Christmas market huts.

📍 Stallhof, Schlossstraße/Schlossplatz, 01067 Dresden
📆 November 30, 2023, to December 23, 2023
🕥 11 am – 9:30 pm
🎄 Highlights: the medieval vibes, public bathhouse
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for history buffs

4. Advent on the Neumarkt Christmas Market

market stall at christmas market in dresden germany selling antiques

Nestled in the shadow of the iconic Frauenkirche, discover a marketplace showcasing the heritage of guild craftsmanship. From bell founders to sign writers, engravers, watchmakers, and chocolatiers, each stall is a testament to historical trades reminiscent of the charming shops that once lined Neumarkt Square in the last century.

If you love vintage treasures as much as I do, come here. You’ll find some antique dealers chock-full of Christmassy things. I loved how small and quiet this market was.

📍 Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden
📆 November 30, 2023, to January 7, 2024 (closed December 24, 25, 26 and January 1)
🕥 11 am – 10 pm
🎄 Highlights: the atmosphere of Christmas trees, star-lit lanterns and Frauenkirche
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for hidden gem seekers

5. The Christmas Market at Frauenkirche

christmas pyramid with lantern and colourful building at one of dresden christmas markets

This is a shopper’s delight! Lining the picturesque Münzgasse street are market stalls featuring glassware, pottery, homemade knits and more.

market stall at christmas market in dresden selling stars

The quintessential Christmas stars, Herrnhuter Sterne, are available for purchase. These foldable stars adorn households across Germany during the holiday season. While Christmas stars are a common sight at markets nationwide, Herrnhuter holds the distinction of being the pioneer, crafting the original stars over 160 years ago. Don’t miss the chance to bring this timeless tradition into your home.

📍 Münzgasse, 01067 Dresden, Germany
📆 November 30, 2023 to December 24, 2023
🕥 10 am – 9 pm
🎄 Highlights: 8m tall Erzgebirge pyramid, Santa Claus makes an appearance
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for families

6. Winterlights of Dresden

christmas market stall in dresden germany with house and two people

Embarking on a train journey from Berlin to Dresden? Brace yourself for the first magical encounter will be this one! Dresden Winterlights (Dresdner Winterlichter), positioned strategically on the main shopping streets that seamlessly connect the Dresden city center and the main train station.

The name says it all – this market is a dazzling display of lights, from the towering Christmas tree to the twinkling carousels and the radiant lights adorning each market stall. Trust me, this is one you won’t want to miss, especially when the sun sets, and the Winterlights truly come to life!

📍 Prager Straße, 01069 Dresden
📆 November 30, 2023 to December 23, 2023
🕥 10 am – 9 pm
🎄 Highlights: 15 m Christmas tree, 2 historic carousels, lights at night
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for nighttime

7. Augustusmarkt in Neustadt

dresden germany christmas market stall with sausages

The Augustusmarkt in Neustadt, is identifiable from afar by its expansive Ferris wheel that graces the skyline, visible even from Altmarkt.

The market extends along Hauptstrasse, stretching from the Goldener Reiter statue to the Dreikönigskirche, with elegant white pagodas.

As you walk through the festively adorned Baroque quarter, your senses will be treated to a culinary journey featuring Danish Glögg, Finnish Piparkakut, Swedish Julskinha, Alsatian Bredele, Italian Pandoro, and an array of other delights. It’s a gastronomic adventure through Europe within a charming winter wonderland.

📍 Hauptstrasse
📆 November 30, 2023 to January 7, 2024 (closed December 24, 25, 26, January 1)
🕥 Monday to Thursday 11 am – 9 pm, Friday 11 am – 10 pm, Saturday 10 am – 10 pm, Sunday 10 am – 9 pm
🎄 Highlights: Ferris Wheel, Europe’s diverse cuisine
✨Best Christmas market in Dresden Germany for foodies

What to Eat at the Dresden Christmas Market

dresden christmas market stall with sign that reads dresdener stollen

Stollen: You can’t go to Dresden and not have what this city is famous for. This sweet bread is filled with dried fruits and marzipan makes for the perfect treat or gift to bring home. I recommend either Emil Reinmann (my fave) or Rosinenstollen.

Glühwein: Warm yourself up with a cup of Glühwein (mulled wine). Choose between Rotes (red) or Weiss (white) wine. This aromatic drink is made by heating wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel – a delightful way to keep warm while exploring the Christmas market huts. You will be charged 5€ for your cute Weihnachten mug, but return it at any stall and get your deposit back.

Kartoffelpuffer (Potato pancakes): I’ve never tasted anything so delicious! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, Kartoffelpuffer are German-style potato pancakes served with apple sauce or sour cream on the side.

christmas in dresden with market stall with giant sausage

German bratwurst: Served hot off the grill, these sausages are juicy, flavourful, and a must-try (according to my husband).

Maroni (Roasted chestnuts): Enjoy some roasted chestnuts while strolling through markets. They make for a delightful snack that adds warmth to your hands as well as your taste buds.

Handbrot (or Rahmklecks): Freshly baked bread filled with gooey melted cheese and ham topped with sour cream. I opted for the vegetarian version which replaced the ham with mushrooms and cooked in a wood-burning oven.

christmas market hut decorated with sweets in dresden christmas markets

Lebkuchen: These gingerbread cookies are not only visually appealing but also incredibly tasty. The markets offer various flavors of Lebkuchen such as honey-spice or chocolate-covered – ideal for indulging your sweet tooth.

Flammkuchen: Originating from Alsace, France, this thin-crust pizza-like dish is popular at the Christmas Markets in Germany. Topped with cream, onions, and bacon or there is often a vegetarian option too.

Langos: A deep-fried flatbread hailing from Hungary is a popular street food in Germany and it’s topped with various savoury ingredients like garlic, sour cream, or cheese.

Baumstriezel (Chimney cake): A sweet pastry made by wrapping dough around a wooden cylinder topped with icing sugar and cinnamon.

As a Holidaymaker

The Dresden Germany Christmas market experience is a definite bucket list moment. If you have the chance – go! You won’t regret it! Even for a day, a road trip from Berlin, it’s possible to visit all the best Christmas markets Dresden offers from my list.

Exploring Berlin? Dive into my top recommendations! Start with this must-read article for inspiration on reasons to go to Berlin, and don’t miss my comprehensive list covering everything, from the best restaurants to must-try activities in Berlin.