Known around the world for its historic centuries-old Striezelmarkt, Dresden’s Christmas Market scene is (for good reason) one of the most famous and beloved in Germany.
With seven big Christmas markets scattered around the center of town, Christmas market visitors in Dresden are spoiled for choice, whether they’re looking for an elaborate spin on the classic German Christmas Market, a beautifully done Medieval-themed market, or even a market dedicated to international goodies.
We first visited Dresden for Christmas markets in December 2019 and fell in love with the unique variety of markets in the city, along with their stunning backdrops and decor.
Looking to learn more about Dresden’s Christmas market scene, or perhaps need some guidance on planning your own trip to Saxony to see it in person?
In this post, we’ll be covering…
- Practical Info for Dresden’s Christmas Markets
- A Brief History of Dresden’s Christmas Markets
- Why Visit the Christmas Markets in Dresden?
- Christmas Markets in Dresden to Visit
- More Photos of Dresden’s Christmas Markets
We hope you find it helpful and interesting!
Practical Info for Dresden’s Christmas Markets
Here are some quick must-knows for Dresden’s Christmas Markets this year:
- Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 24, 2022 for most markets, may vary by market
- Official website: Click here
In need of a place to stay? Here are some quick hotel recommendations:
- Budget: Check prices and availability
- Mid-Range: Check prices and availability
- Luxury: Check prices and availability
Looking for more Germany travel inspiration?
Check out these guides on the best places to visit in…
A Brief History of Dresden’s Christmas Markets
While the Dresden Christmas Market scene today is comprised of multiple markets spread across the city, it all started with a single one-day market in the Altmarkt, the day before Christmas Eve.
The year of this historic occasion? 1434.
Almost six centuries later, Christmas market tradition in Dresden has only gotten bigger and better, with the addition of multiple themed markets all around the city.
These days, over 2.5 million people come from around the world to witness the beauty of Dreden’s Christmas markets for themselves.
Alongside Cologne and Munich, it’s now one of the most popular places in the country to experience Christmas markets, a well deserved honor indeed.
Why Visit Dresden’s Christmas Markets?
Wondering whether Dresden’s Christmas Markets are worth a trip? Here are some reasons to visit:
There’s a nice variety of Christmas markets
While some cities have a “main” Christmas market and then some smaller ones that are just okay in comparison, Dresden in our opinion has several standout markets that are all worth visiting in their own right.
We’ll expand more on the different Dresden Christmas markets you can visit below, but some standout choices include the historic Striezelmarkt, the amazing Medieval Christmas Market and the stunning market stalls around the iconic Frauenkirche.
Dresden’s Christmas markets are seriously beautiful
In terms of stall design and decoration, there are few Christmas markets in Germany that can rival the elaborate and unique stalls found at the Striezelmarkt.
During our visit, we noticed that a lot of the stalls had unique decorations themed around what was being sold at their stall, with no two stalls ever looking the same.
This unique attention to detail (along with special touches like the world’s largest Christmas arch and a towering 14m Christmas Pyramid) make the Striezelmarkt one of the most wow-worthy Christmas markets in Europe.
Beyond the Striezelmarkt, the beautiful backdrops and attention to detail of both the Medieval Market and the markets around the Frauenkirche also deserve their fair share of praise.
The Christmas markets here are historic
Lastly, while there are a few different Christmas markets in Germany that claim to be the oldest (like Frankfurt for instance), Dresden’s Striezelmarkt has a strong claim over this honour, with historical records tracing it all the way back to 1434.
And sure, while “oldest” doesn’t necessarily mean “best”, there’s certainly something extra magical about shopping around a square where people have been stocking up on Christmas goodies for centuries.
Christmas Markets in Dresden to Visit
Wondering where to find Christmas market stalls in Dresden? Here are the main locations of Dresden’s Christmas Markets:
The most famous Christmas market in Dresden (and hands down the one you cannot miss) is the Dresdner Striezelmarkt located in the Altmarkt, whose origins in this very square date back almost six centuries.
In this historic square lined with gorgeous buildings, you’ll find a giant Christmas tree, Christmas pyramid and the world’s largest functional Christmas arch.
You’ll also (as we mentioned before) have your pick at hundreds of beautifully decorated stalls, all selling a variety of gifts and delicious refresments.
Dresden Medieval Market
Our next must-visit Christmas market in Dresden is the Medieval Market located in the Stallhof belonging to the city’s former royal palace.
Entering this enchanting courtyard is like a step back in time, with incredible vendors in costumed garb selling all sorts of Medieval-themed gifts and treats.
Adding to the magic of course are a variety of unique details, like wooden fire-heated hot tubs, and glittering illuminations projected onto the walls of the palace. Alongside the Medieval Market in Esslingen, this may be one of the best Middle Ages-themed markets we’ve been to in Germany!
Dresden Romantic Market
Another small but noteworthy Christmas market to visit in Dresden is the Dresden Romantic Market, located a short walk away from the Striezelmarkt in a square just off of the Taschenbergpalais.
While the vendor selection here is limited compared to the huge variety at other markets in the city, we really liked this one for its cozy and low-key atmosphere, which felt worlds away from the crowds over at the Striezelmarkt.
Dresden Frauenkirche Christmas Market
In terms of best backdrop however, the best Christmas market to visit in Dresden may have to be the Frauenkirche Christmas Market, located on a pedestrianized strip near the church called Münzgasse.
This small and narrow market features local vendors selling artisan handicrafts from around the Vogtland region, and (according to the event’s official website), Santa Claus himself even makes a daily stop to delight visitors at 4pm, usually bearing gifts.
More Christmas market stalls in Dresden can be found in the Neumarkt, where you’ll find more minimalist (but nonetheless beautiful) decorations like simple stars hung up in trees.
We found this market to be excellent for food and drink options, especially thanks to the many open spaces where you could stand around and enjoy your refreshments in peace.
There were of course also several stalls selling handmade gifts as well.
For a Dresden Christmas Market with some international flair, look no further than the Augustusmarkt, located across the river, extending about 500m from the Goldener Reiter (Golden Horseman) to Albertplatz Square.
This market is dedicated to gifts and goodies from countries all around the world, meaning all sorts of unique options you won’t find at the city’s other markets.
Crossing the bridge to this side of town, you also get a close-up glimpse at Dresden’s glittering Christmas ferris wheel.
Last but not least, for some additional Christmas market fun in the city center, don’t miss the Dresdner Winterlichter, located along Prager Straße.
While not as cozy and elaborate as some of the other Christmas markets in Dresden, this market nonetheless has a nice little selection of food and drink stalls, along with the occasional gift stall as well (although there seems to be less of a focus on local handicrafts than at other markets).
Nonetheless, its central location and proximity to big shops makes it a nice addition to your Dresden Christmas Market itinerary, especially if you’re coming from the city’s main train station.
Highlights here include cute Christmas displays, and pretty illuminations after sunset.
More Photos of Dresden’s Christmas Markets
Looking for some more Dresden Christmas Market eye candy? Here are some additional photos we captured during our visit:
We hope you enjoyed this Dresden Christmas Market Guide!
Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions about your trip – we’re always happy to help.