Christmas markets in Saxony
The best time of year includes a visit to a Christmas market with family, friends or work colleagues. The stall lights are switched on in the early evening, creating a homely atmosphere to stroll around in.
Christmas markets have a long tradition in Saxony, so it's no wonder the state is home to Germany's oldest Christmas market: The Striezelmarkt in Dresden. But Saxony also has some real insider tips to offer away from the well known markets, and we'd like to present a selection of some of its traditional, historic and special markets.
Those who find it too tiring and stressful to look for presents at Christmas markets or shopping centres can also have a browse through Saxony's Christmas wonderland online at their leisure – with just the click of a mouse at www.weihnachtsfreu.de.
Medieval Christmas market at Dresden's Stallhof
Dresden's Stallhof is located between Altmarkt and Neumarkt, at the back of the world famous Procession of Princes. The former horse-show venue today provides a vibrant backdrop for a medieval Christmas vibe.
You won't find conventional Christmas jewellery or the commercial sound of »Jingle Bells« here. Instead, you'll see merchants in medieval garb and stalls selling unique handicrafts, while medieval musicians and jugglers help keep the visitors entertained. Indulge in a cup of hot mead and some hearty food.
The historic, romantic Christmas market at Königsstein Fortress
Königsstein Fortress is perched high up in the middle of the snow-covered Elbe Sandstone Mountains like something out of a fairytale. As night slowly falls, that's when things really start to get romantic!
The fortress grounds are adorned with shining Moravian stars, and following the lights takes you to the nicely sheltered casemate, where artisans and merchants in historic costumes sell their handmade, regional products. Younger guests will also enjoy a fairytale grotto and, with a bit of luck, even Santa Claus.
Saxon Christmas at Schloss Wackerbarth
»A charming, enjoyable, sensory experience!« is how Schloss Wackerbarth promotes its Christmas market for bons vivants, who are able to sample culinary specialities and fine wines along the Saxon Wine Route.
But there's a lot on offer for the other senses too. Learn more about the traditional Saxon trades of watchmaking, millinery and leather glove making, and perhaps even discover some exclusive gift ideas.
A fairytale Christmas at Moritzburg Castle
Every year around Christmastime, Moritzburg Castle becomes a magical fairytale setting. On the 3rd weekend of Advent, the original set of the German-Czech film adaptation Three Wishes for Cinderella transforms into a spectacular Christmas market. The castle's terrace hosts a number of Christmas stage shows, and offers a wide range of culinary delights with local specialities. Inside the castle, meanwhile, the winter exhibition of the cult film is open from 10am to 4pm.
Bright lights and party tricks in Radebeul-Altkötzschenbroda
Far away from the hectic pace of everyday life and the pre-Christmas rush, magical display stalls and twinkling lights attract visitors of all ages to Altkötzschenbroda. Over three Advent weekends, visitors can enjoy puppet shows, Christmas fairytales and cosy craft & baking corners, marvelling, nibbling and tinkering around in a family atmosphere as the magic of Christmas awakens.
Eibenstock fairytale Christmas
Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and Hans im Glück all head to Eibenstock on the first weekend of Advent, when the small town in Saxony's Ore Mountains comes to life with over 30 fairytale characters. The procession is led by Santa Claus and Wurzelrudi, the mascot of the Auersberg region. But visitors can also enjoy an extensive programme of accompanying events, as well as a number of regional and Eibenstock products in a magical setting.
Seiffen Christmas market
A visit to the Seiffen toy village at Christmastime will light up more than just children's faces. Is this place really home to Santa's secret workshop? You can see for yourself at one of the many display workshops. The festively adorned streets are also lined with over 50 painstakingly designed market stalls, while numerous events, such as the lantern procession, and an atmospheric church service in the Bergkirche create a cosy, homely ambiance.
Advent spectaculum in Kamenz
Kamenz offers a very special type of Christmas spectacular. By mystical torchlight, you'll be immersed in the Christmas ambiance of times long gone. Visitors to the 14th Magical Advent Spectaculum on 16 and 17 December 2017 can look forward to seeing jesters and artisans put their expert fingers to the test by turning, forging and sanding. The picturesque historic centre of Lessing's hometown provides a fabulous backdrop for this.
Silesian Christkindl market in Görlitz
The annual traditional Christkindl market at Görlitz's Untermarkt is accompanied by all kinds of sounds - by the bells of St Peter and Paul's Church, by festive wind instruments, and the singing of the youth choir on the time-honoured steps of the town hall. Wafting from the festively lit stalls are aromas of spices, almonds, frankincense and other Christmas delights. The stalls themselves primarily sell traditional products, such as handmade wooden toys, blueprints, wool and linen products, and Silesian ceramics.
583rd Dresden Striezelmarkt
It is one of the world's oldest Christmas markets, and is being held for the 583rd time. Dresden's Striezelmarkt will be opening its doors from 29 November to 24 December 2017. Along with a unique array of traditional artisan handicrafts and culinary specialities, it attracts visitors from near and far to the Saxon capital with an extensive programme of accompanying events.
As the name suggests, the Stollen (previously also called a Striezel or Struzel) plays a key role at the Striezelmarkt, and the Stollenfest is celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of Advent. A giant stollen is baked specially for this, and then cut at an official ceremony. Visitors can also look forward to other attractions, such as the world's tallest step pyramid, measuring 14.62 metres in height.
Leipzig Christmas market
The Leipzig Christmas market will once again be welcoming visitors from all over the world from 22 November to 23 December 2017. The heart of the restored historic old town will feature well over 250 stalls selling all kinds of Saxon goods and delicacies. Meanwhile, there will be entertainment for the whole family, with numerous fairground rides, such as a Ferris wheel and children's railway, as well as attractions like the world's largest free-standing Advent calendar.
Chemnitz Christmas market
You definitely won't miss the Christmas market in Chemnitz, for its landmark is the tallest Christmas tree in Saxony. From 1 to 23 December 2017, the whole area around Chemnitz's town hall will be transformed into an Ore Mountain Christmas world.
Particular highlights at various locations across the city centre include a varied programme of stage shows, the medieval market, and the great Miners' Parade. The day before Advent, therefore, cries of »Glück auf! Glück auf! The head miner is coming« can be heard through downtown Chemnitz, as some 1000 uniformed participants and mining musicians form an impressive procession.
Sie sind noch auf der Suche nach einem individuellen Weihnachtsgeschenk? Auf dem virtuellen Weihnachtsmarkt holen Sie sich bestimmt keine kalten Füße.
Auf Deutsch und Englisch bieten über 100 Online-Shops sächsischer Anbieter typische Weihnachtsprodukte wie Christstollen, Schwibbögen und Räuchermännern an. Die Plattform für Hersteller und Händler bietet jede Menge Bastel- und Backtipps und hält Informationen zum sächsischen Brauchtum bereit. Darüber hinaus gibt es einen Veranstaltungskalender, in dem alle weihnachtlichen Ereignisse im Freistaat Sachsen, zum Beispiel Bergparaden oder Weihnachtsmärkte, auf einen Blick zu finden sind. Und wie jedes Jahr können sich die Besucher wieder über Rätselspaß und tolle Gewinne freuen.
Seit seinem Start 1996 hat sich das Online-Angebot mit mehr als 110.000 Besuchern pro Saison mittlerweile zu einer festen Instanz rund um die typisch sächsische Weihnacht entwickelt. Der virtuelle Weihnachtsmarkt, den die Wirtschaftsförderung Sachsen im Auftrag der Staatskanzlei betreut, bietet Klein- und Kleinstunternehmen auf diesem Weg eine Werbe- und Umsatzplattform.
Be it big or small, unusual or traditional, Saxony offers a wide range of spectacular Christmas markets, of which only a small selection is listed here.
You are welcome to send us suggestions to add to the list.