One of the best Christmas Markets in Germany is the largest Christmas Market in Dresden. Attending a German Christmas market has been one of my life goals. It’s up there with sail Croatia, and learn how to do winged eyeliner (probably more achievable than the last). For our first Christmas in Europe, there was no question about where we would go. I wanted a German Christmas market experience, and after research, we decided on Dresden, specifically the Striezelmarkt, Dresden’s best Christmas market. It’s been around since 1434, so they know what they’re doing.
The most important thing to know about Christmas markets is that they usually close before Christmas. Don’t make the same mistake that we made. Our flights were arriving at 2 pm in Dresden on the 24th of December. It wasn’t until we were excitedly planning what markets we would visit that we discovered that they close at 2 pm on the 24th! Imagine a half hour of despair, madness, and anxiety until we managed to talk Lufthansa into changing non-changeable flights (one of the perks of being a travel agent). Christmas crisis averted.
Walking into the Dresdner Striezelmarkt was one of those epic moments that should have a soundtrack. All the tiny huts were decked out in pine boughs and sparkling decorations, and it smelt like gingerbread and spiced wine. There were a twinkling Ferris wheel and a carousel making Instagram dreams come true. You could instantly see why many blogs and websites had rated it one of Germany’s and Dresden’s best Christmas markets.
Our first stop was to find Glühwein, which is hot, spiced wine. It was everywhere, but the first place I tried only sold whiskey #winning. We did eventually find a place, and I used my rusty German, “kann ich haben zwei Glühwein, bitte”. She then kindly spoke English back to me. You pay extra for the drinks at the beginning, but that’s because you buy the mugs, which are also a great souvenir of your day.
One of the best moments was when it started snowing. I really felt like I’d entered a winter wonderland. It was so cold, and I could barely feel my hands if I took my gloves off, but it was totally worth the flight change and journey. We had hot Bratwurst for lunch, covered in tomato sauce and spicy mustard. There’s many different food options in the Christmas markets. There were roasted chestnuts and gingerbread, many different types of susage, and lots of different vegetairan dishes with mushrooms or chickpeas.
A fun activity we did at the Christmas Market was a Secret Santa. We split up and bought something from one of the market stalls for someone else. It meant that you had a reason to buy some of the funky stuff that you wouldn’t ordinarily need. It was really enjoyable and we all ended up receiving some unique and special gifts. The only risk almost happened when my husband and his Dad bought each other a gift from the same shop.