Saxony offers a range of seasonal visitor experiences that capture the spirit of this time of year in a multitude of ways and beyond Christmas: Discover magical winter moments in Saxony.
Christmas markets in Saxony: Of “Stollen parades”…
In Saxony, Christmas is like a fifth season and the Christmas markets in this part of Germany are as diverse as the region itself. Both in Dresden and Leipzig, Christmas markets transform the entire city centre in a festive experience: Marvel at the world’s tallest wooden pyramid at Dresden’s “Striezelmarkt” (29 Nov to 24 Dec 2023), see how a huge Stollen cake is paraded through town for the “Dresden Stollen Festival” on 9 December or explore the different sections of Leipzig’s Christmas market (28 Nov to 23 Dec 2023) which spreads out from the Old Town Hall with over 300 stalls, a fairy-tale forest and a 38-metre Ferris wheel.
… and “Christmas mountains”
Outside Dresden and Leipzig, Saxony’s many historic towns form picture perfect backdrops for charming markets. Close to Dresden, Meissen’s Christmas market (27 Nov to 24 Dec 2023) is perfectly framed by a late Gothic town hall and Renaissance town houses while the town hall is transformed into a giant Advent calendar. Also easily reached from Dresden, Pirna hosts the „Canaletto Market“, taking inspiration from the Italian painter of the same name with romantic illuminations on the market square and featuring very welcome post-Christmas opening times (28 Nov to 23 Dec and 27 to 30 Dec 2023). Tip: Venture to the Ore Mountains, birthplace of unique Christmas traditions including intricately made wooden decorations, where the Christmas market in Schwarzenberg (8 Dec to 17 Dec 2023) features a one-of-a-kind “Weihnachtsberg” (Christmas mountain) with life-sized figures. These “mountains” are set up during the Christmas period, portraying the nativity scene and motifs reminding of the Ore Mountain’s mining heritage.
Saxony’s seasonal experiences beyond Christmas
To make the magic of Christmas last that little bit longer, Saxony invites visitors to enjoy special winter experiences with a seasonal touch: Just outside Dresden, the splendid Wackerbarth Castle wine growing estate puts on a magical “Wine & Light” show (until 25 Feb 2024), with thousands of lights transforming the grounds into one big sparkle of delight.
The “Christmas Garden Dresden” (16 Nov 2023 to 14 Jan 2024) at Pillnitz Palace & Park has become a favourite with the locals since its opening in 2018, taking visitors on a wintry walk past light sculptures, lit up fairy-tale scenes and dreamlike illuminations. And for the first time this year, Leipzig will get its very own “Christmas Garden” (21 Nov 2023 to 7 Jan 2024) in the city’s agra Park Markkleeberg. Tip for fairy-tale fans: A special winter exhibition at the Baroque gem Moritzburg Castle (22 Nov 2023 to 25 Feb 2024) recreates the magic of “Three Wishes for Cinderella”, an iconic movie traditionally shown on German TV for Christmas that was shot at the beautiful Baroque castle.
Main image: Daniel-Bahrmann Weihnachtsmarkt Meissen Foto DanielBahrmann