Exploring other markets in the old town (Altstadt)

Dresden Travel Blog

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view of Neumarkt square with Frauenkirche and Christmas market

While Striezelmarkt as largest and oldest of the Christmas markets attracts the most visitors, I actually find two other Christmas markets in the old town to be even more charming and at least during the week not as crowded: Advent at Neumarkt square and the medieval market in Stallhof (stables courtyard, part of the Royal Palace).

"Advent at Neumarkt square", right at the foot of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) brings back the ambience of the time around 1900. The stalls are properly decorated, staff wear matching clothes. The big plus here are the stalls with old, traditional craft/artwork that you hardly see elsewhere - like papercutting, cut-out, hat making/felt works, turning and carving wooden miniature items ...

The food is also special.

"Advent am Neumarkt" (Anno 1900) - organic BBQ
Three stalls offer organic food/beverages: Podemus, a local organic farm and owner of a couple of organic groceries in and around Dresden, has a BBQ stall (yummy Bratwurst and steaks). Sven-Erik Hitzer, who runs an organic bakery/microbrewery/hotel/restaurant business in Schmilka, a village in the National Park Saxon Switzerland, has a stall where they sell their delicious cakes, bread, Stollen, but also beer. Last but not least, Adoratio chocolate manufacture (also in the National Park) has a stall with most delicious (hot) chocolate in variations. Of course I had to taste at each stall - steak first, then the beer, and for dessert the warm nougat with walnuts ... yum! Another favourite stall of mine is the one with the best eggnogg I've ever had.
miniature wooden items
Hmmmmm ...

I never heard recorded Christmas music on this market. Either no music at all or live music, the latter mostly in afternoon/evening. A band of four guys usually walks over the market, playing Christmas carols on their brass instruments and singing. Lovely. Be prepared that prices are a bit higher than on other markets here - especially for the organic food/beverages, but I think the excellent quality is worth the (little) surcharge.

Only a few metres away, in short Münzgasse alley, is the next (small) Christmas market. Frankly, Münzgasse, leading from Neumarkt square down to the Elbe river, is a tourist trap IMO, with restaurants/cafes/bars and a few shops clearly geared towards tourist, so I didn't expect much from this market.
Adoratio organic chocolate manufacture
Wrong. It turned out to be nice - quite good variety and quality of Christmas items, not overpriced from what I could see at first glance, and the food and Glühwein were not bad either. Sure, the large wooden pyramid at the entrance to the alley is a Glühwein stall and later in the evening you'll see quite some funny drunks here, but otherwise it's fine. I enjoyed a stroll along Münzgasse, grabbed a small bag of roasted chestnuts and while munching them climbed the steps up to Brühl's Terrace for a good overview - very nice in the dark when everything is lit up beautifully.

A short walk along Brühl's Terrace and down the steps to Schlossplatz later I turned left and a minute later entered the Renaissance courtyard "Stallhof" (stables) of the Royal Palace.
Adoratio organic chocolate manufacture
This is the site where the medieval Christmas market takes place. It's free on weekdays but costs an admission (3 Euro, if I recall correctly) on weekends, when they have a couple of live bands and actors performing on a stage. I love this market for its charm, the romantic setting, for just being different. However, in reality this market is more a medieval market and less a Christmas market. The stalls with food/beverages, the craftsmen/artisans, the things on sale - most of them are available all year through on medieval markets and have very little to do with Christmas. Sure, there's Glühwein, there's Bratwurst. But that's it. No gingerbread, no Stollen. No typical Christmas ornaments made of glass or wood. Most popular drinks are Feuerzangenbowle (mulled wine with a rum-soaked sugarloaf lit above it) and hot mead, not Glühwein.
Nougat with walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds in a waffle
Anyway, I do love a stroll over this market for a change, enjoy the ambience, especially in the dark when the sgraffito decorated facades of the Renaissance courtyard are lit up in different colours. Oh, and they also have live music - often four guys of a brass band playing Christmas carols - very nice. A good thing is also that they placed tables and benches under the Renaissance arcade - perfect in rain/snow.

The last Christmas market on this stroll through the old town of Dresden is the tiny market between Royal Palace and Kulturpalast, named "am Schloss". It takes about 5 minutes to have a look at all the stalls, it's really small - but I like it. Very good Stollen here (and also fruitcake) at Ottendorfer Mühlenbäcker stall, a regional bakery. The Quarkbällchen/Krapfen (sort of doughnuts) are also yummy. A thumbs up also for the gingerbread stall. However, they have more stalls that sell Christmas items than food stalls, which I appreciate very much - you can buy Herrnhut stars, pottery and wooden Christmas items at three or four stalls. The kids love the merry-go-round, the parents flock to the Glühwein stalls :-)

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view of Neumarkt square with Fraue…
view of Neumarkt square with Frau…
Advent am Neumarkt (Anno 1900) -…
"Advent am Neumarkt" (Anno 1900) …
miniature wooden items
miniature wooden items
Adoratio organic chocolate manufac…
Adoratio organic chocolate manufa…
Adoratio organic chocolate manufac…
Adoratio organic chocolate manufa…
Nougat with walnuts, hazelnuts and…
Nougat with walnuts, hazelnuts an…
Papercutting
Papercutting
hat making/felt works
hat making/felt works
Nativity at Neumarkt square
Nativity at Neumarkt square
Christmas market at Neumarkt squar…
Christmas market at Neumarkt squa…
bakery/pastry shop
bakery/pastry shop
Christmas market at Neumarkt squar…
Christmas market at Neumarkt squa…
Grand Cafe Coselpalais at Neumarkt…
Grand Cafe Coselpalais at Neumark…
Restaurant Edelweiß at Neumarkt s…
Restaurant Edelweiß at Neumarkt …
The Glühwein pyramid at the begin…
The Glühwein pyramid at the begi…
The Glühwein pyramid at the begin…
The Glühwein pyramid at the begi…
Münzgasse Christmas market, Trdel…
Münzgasse Christmas market, Trde…
Münzgasse Christmas market
Münzgasse Christmas market
Münzgasse Christmas market
Münzgasse Christmas market
Christmas market in Münzgasse
Christmas market in Münzgasse
Glühwein pyramid with Frauenkirche
Glühwein pyramid with Frauenkirche
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
medieval Christmas market in Stall…
medieval Christmas market in Stal…
Christmas market Am Schloss (by …
Christmas market "Am Schloss" (by…
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Christmas market Am Schloss
Christmas market "Am Schloss"
Dresden
photo by: aloneinthecrowd