Dresden Christmas Market

Founded in 1434, the main Dresden Christmas Market (Striezelmarkt) is the oldest in Germany. With around 250 stands, it is much larger than the Christmas markets I have visited in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. So large that I didn’t get a chance to see all of it in the hours I was there.

We drove to Dresden from Prague because we planned to do additional shopping in Dresden but I recommend avoiding driving if you can because finding a parking space can be difficult during the busy Christmas season.

Large Christmas market at night
Dresden Christmas Market as seen from the top of the ferris wheel.

Food and Drink at the Dresden Christmas Market

Christmas fruit cake
Stollen, a type of fruit cake. Delicious.


heart shaped gingerbread
Stand selling decorated gingerbread.


large pans of currywurst and mushrooms
One of the many food stands at the market.

Menu Translations of the food in the above photo:

  • brotchen – bread roll
  • champignons – mushrooms
  • currywurst – a very popular streetfood of sausage in a sauce made from tomato puree (or sometimes ketchup) and a mild yellow curry. The flavour varies widely.
  • grünkohl – kale, often served braised with sausage
  • hirschsalami – sausage made from deer meat and pork
  • käse – cheese
  • pferde salami – horse meat sausage
  • riesen fleischer frikadelle im brötchen – translates to “giant meatball in a bun” but it is more of a small meat patty than the round meatball in English
many types of mulled wine for sale
Hot, mulled wine.

Menu translations:

  • Apfel Glühwein – Hot apple wine. I think this is similar to cider but with a higher alcohol content. It is delicious.
  • Aronia – Apfel – This is apple and aronia berries. I think these are the same as chokeberries in the USA. If so, they have a sour, acidic taste.
  • Holunder – Apfel – Elderberry and apple.
  • Apfel – Eierpunsch mit Sahn – This translates to apple egg punch (Eggnog) with cream. Which sounds terrible because I love eggnog.
  • Apfel – Rum Punsch – Apple wine with a shot of rum.
  • Apfel- Becherovka Punsch – Apple wine with a shot of Becherovka (an herbal liqueur from the Czech Republic). Some people think Becherovka tastes like cinnamon or ginger.
  • Weihnachts Punsch alkohol frei – a non-alcoholic Christmas punch. This is usually hot grape or apple juice or a mix of both, using the same spices as Glühwein
  • Kinderpunsch – literally “Children’s punch”. Alcohol free.

What to Buy at the Market

wooden Christmas ornaments and decorations
Wooden Christmas decorations


lighted star decorations
Christmas star decorations.

Christmas Shopping in Dresden

Dresden attracts many shoppers from the nearby Czech Republic as some items such as clothing and electronics can be cheaper in Germany.

Altmarkt-Galerie Located right next to the Christmas market. I’m not that fashion aware so you should check the list of stores on their website. There is an Apple store on the ground floor. Most of the restaurants and food court are on the basement level. The only toilets and baby changing room are on the basement level and the line is long.

Centrum Galerie The big draw here seems to be the Primark store which was extremely crowded.

Prager Strasse – The street between the Prager Str. rail station and Centrum Galerie has a Desigual store, Lush, H&M, Globetrotter (outdoor/sporting goods), and many other shops.

All of these shops are a short walking distance from the Dresden Christmas market. Strangely, I did not find any toy shops in either of these shopping centers except for the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Altmarkt. There is a Toys”R”Us in the Elbepark shopping center but it is not in walking distance of the Christmas market.

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