Dresden is probably the most romantic city in Germany, especially during Advent, when the streets and squares of the historic old town are transformed into a sparkling Christmas wonderland. For a few glorious hours, just go with the flow and immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit. If this is your favourite time of year, you'll love Dresden. A grand total of eleven completely different Christmas markets makes for wonderfully conflicting decisions. Each of them has its own intimate flair, such as the charming medieval market in the stable yards at Residenzschloss or the famous Frauenkirche.
At Christmas time, the Dresden Christmas Markets transform the city on the River Elbe, filling it with sparkling lights and festivities. The heart of this magical place is the Striezelmarkt, one of the largest German Christmas markets. It is also the oldest, having been established in 1434. This market boasts the world's largest Erzgebirge wooden pyramid and a candle arch you can actually walk across. This beautiful market is named after the city's most famous culinary creation - the delicious and rich stollen.
With over 230 lovingly decorated stalls, the Dresden Striezelmarkt offers a wealth of festive regional arts and crafts. Vendors display wooden ornaments made by skilled carvers of the Erzgebirge mountain villages, Indigo-printed textiles and pottery from Lusatia, wickerwork and Plauen lace and paper advent stars from Herrnhut.
The popular market displays the world's tallest Christmas pyramid, at a towering 14 metres high. A special highlight of the Christmas market is the Stollen Festival on the second Sunday during advent season during which a giant Stollen cake is carried to the Christmas market where it is ceremonially sliced and distributed to the market visitors.
There are many other markets to be found around the city, each of them with their own attractions and a special intimate flair. Those in the stable yards at Residenzschloss are especially worth mentioning, plus the famous Frauenkirche market or the one in the former village centre of Loschwitz.
Visit the romantic and intimate ice rink at the courtyard of the Hotel Kempinski Taschenbergpalais, wander down the medieval Christmas market in the stable yards of Residenzschloss and enjoy drinking a mulled wine served from a medieval wooden washing tub.
Don't forget to try the famous "Striezel" or "Stollen". This fruitcake, filled with nuts, raisins, spices and sprinkled with icing sugar, is the culinary highlight of the Dresden Christmas Market.