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Dresden Christmas activities

Our most recommended Dresden Christmas activities

Dresden: Christmas Garden Dresden Entrance Ticket

1. Dresden: Christmas Garden Dresden Entrance Ticket

Watch the Pillnitz Palace and Park open its gates for a very special walk in the Christmas Garden Dresden. Observe as the park is transformed into an illuminated fairytale setting with breathtaking plays of light, impressively staged architecture, and lit-up characters.  Take a break and enjoy the true thrill of welcoming Christmas with age-old traditions. Spend a contemplative evening on a two-kilometer-long trail, passing by twenty individual light installations embedded into the diverse nature of the park Take in the most beautiful motifs, including the Lustgarten, the Chinese pond, and the English garden. See how the glasshouse shines in a magical Christmas splendor and listen as the elaborately designed decorations narrate stories of reindeer, angels, and Santa Claus.

Dresden: Winter Lights Evening River Cruise with Dinner

2. Dresden: Winter Lights Evening River Cruise with Dinner

Glide along the Elbe river after dark and enjoy Dresden’s festive winter lights. Pass the beautifully illuminated Pillnitz Palace, Blue Wonder bridge and old town. Tuck in to a three-course Christmas meal and listen to live piano music on this river cruise. Board the boat in central Dresden and set off along the Elbe. Cruise under the Blue Wonder bridge and continue past Dresden’s numerous riverside castles and palaces, whose lights shimmer on the river at night. Eat your three-course dinner to a backdrop of live piano music in the boat’s festively decorated salon. As you return to the city center, enjoy the warm glow of Dresden’s old town at night.

Dresden: Advent Tour with Stollen Tasting and Mulled Wine

3. Dresden: Advent Tour with Stollen Tasting and Mulled Wine

Experience the colorful hustle and bustle of the Dresden Christmas markets! See the most beautiful places in Old Town and learn about Dresden Stollen, Pflaumentoffel (dried fruit figurines), and Ore Mountain woodcarvings while surrounded by enticing scents and sparkling lights. Your journey begins at Neumarkt with the famous Frauenkirche, followed by the Procession of Princes. After this, you will go to the Royal Palace, the Semper Opera, the Zwinger and finally the Striezelmarkt.  Visit the three most beautiful Christmas markets with their gorgeous huts and sweet treats and stroll through the world-famous squares of Dresden's Old Town. Your guide will show you the world of Saxony's Christmas traditions. See the world's largest Christmas pyramid and an enormous, Saxon Schwibbogen (candle holder) . Enjoy a tasting of Stollen cake and mulled wine.

Dresden: Festive Christmas Concert in the Zwinger

4. Dresden: Festive Christmas Concert in the Zwinger

Experience a festive Christmas concert of classical music with famous waltzes and operetta melodies by renowned artists from Bach via Mozart to Vivaldi. The Dresden Residenz Orchestra presents classics of highest accomplishment under the direction of Prof. Igor Malinovsky. Enjoy the concert in the historical ambience of the Wallpavillon at the Zwinger, Theaterplatz, 01067 Dresden in the Zwinger. The Baroque ensemble has provided an impressive venue for art and music since the 18th century. Even in the days of Augustus the Strong, the best and most well-known musicians and orchestras in the world made guest appearances there.

Dresden: 1.5-Hour Advent Tour

5. Dresden: 1.5-Hour Advent Tour

Experience the festive atmosphere in Dresden and discover the magnificent buildings of the old town on this Advent tour. See the famous Zwinger, take a look at the Semperoper, admire the cathedral, and marvel at the Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes). Learn more about the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche, stroll through the Striezelmarkt, and see the Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross). During the tour, enjoy time to reflect and visit the interior of a church (the Frauenkirche or the cathedral), before ending the tour with a musical surprise.

From Dresden: Christmassy Day Trip to the Ore Mountains

6. From Dresden: Christmassy Day Trip to the Ore Mountains

Kick off  the Christmas season in style with a tour of the winter wonderland that is the Ore Mountains. Admire picture-perfect mountain towns covered in snow and bathed in twinkling lights as you make your way to your first stop, the village of Seiffen.  Here, meet a wood craftswoman who will introduce you to her traditional craft, wooden toy carvings. Pick up a unique and authentic souvenir in the form of a nut cracker or musical box.  Pay a visit to the mining town of Freiberg and learn more about the mysterious Christmas traditions of the locals. Make a stop at a smoking candle factory, where you can see how the much loved Smoking Man Christmas decorations are created. Afterward, sample some local delicacies including snacks and drinks. Later, enjoy some free time to visit the Seiffener and Freiberger Christmas markets and pick up some presents for your loved ones before making your way back to Dresden.

Dresden: Hosted Character Christmas Tour

7. Dresden: Hosted Character Christmas Tour

After gathering at the meeting point and greeting your guide, your walking tour around Dresden will begin. You will experience a special kind of quest, as you follow your guide around town. On the way, you’ll get to know about the old legends and traditions of the near arch mountains. Stroll around and admire the impressive buildings and numerous Christmas markets along your way.

Frequently asked questions about Dresden

What top attractions are a must-see in Dresden?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Dresden?

The best day trips and excursions from Dresden are:

Saxon Switzerland National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Dresden

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What people are saying about Dresden

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 52 reviews

The light installations were beautiful with different music along the way. We had read that the gardens could be very busy but at 5pm on a Wednesday in December it was relatively empty. Towards the end a number of groups arrived but we weren’t hampered by them at all. The refreshment stalls halfway around the route became busy but we waited until the end and didn’t need to queue. An excellent evening.

Get a lot of interesting information about Dresden. Very personable guide! I didn't find the tasting in the basement of a passage quite as stylish and the mulled wine was also a little different. I might have wished for that at a stand at one of the markets. But it didn't hurt the lead in the end.

If you are Dresden during Christmas time. This is a must see. You can walk around with mulled wine and food and it’s all at a good price.

A wonderful day in the Ore Mountains. The guide was very informative and personable. We especially enjoyed our time in Sieffen.

My wife and I love the river cruise, the food and the musical entertainment. Everything worked out.