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 3 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.
Food and Drink at the Dresden Christmas Market
- 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
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.
Small children can only ride the ferris wheel with an adult as there is no safety bar. Cost 4 euros for adults, 3 euros for children.