The Christmas Market in Dresden is one of the prettiest in the country. But if you can’t get enough or are planning a day trip to other Saxon Christmas markets, consider visiting the Meissen Christmas Market (Meißner Weihnachtsmarkt). Here are 10 good reasons why you should.
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What are the opening times for the Christmas Market in Meißen?
- Dates: Nov 21 to Dec 24, 2022
- Hours: 11am to 8pm (Sun-Thu), 11am to 9pm (Fri-Sat); 11am to 1pm (Christmas Eve)
What are the opening times for the Winter Market in Meißen?
- Dates: 31 December 2022
- Hours: 11am to 2pm
Why Visit Meissen?
The city is significantly intertwined with the state’s history and even deemed the “birthplace of Saxony”. It has a beautiful medieval Old Town and the Cathedral and Augustusburg towering above the city are gorgeous examples of Gothic architecture.
Another key feature of Meissen is the porcelain, which is world renowned. It’s also what put Meißen on the map. In 1710, Johann Friedrich Böttger invented the European white porclain and to protect its recipe and production, the royal factory was hidden inside the castle. At some point, this became known but the actual recipe was never copied elsewhere.
1. City Tour
When you walk from one Christmas market location in Meissen to the next, you will also get to know the beautiful historic town more. It’s the best way to combine sightseeing with a touch of Christmas.
There are various places that are interconnected, such as the historic market square with its
2. Best views over the market
One of the best views you can have over the Christmas market Meissen, is from the church tower of the Frauenkirche, which is right by the main market place. It is assumed that the tower dates back to the late 14th century but the tower watchman room is from the late 16th century.
(If you would love to read more about the job of a tower watchman or woman, check out my first hand interview with Martje Saljé from Münster.)
Besides the views, a specialty of the tower are its 37 bells that play different tunes through out the day: 6:30am, 8:30am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 8:30pm.
3. Various locations
For a few years now the Meissen xmas market is no longer centered only around the main market place in front of the town hall.
On top of this scenic location, you can walk down the street Elbstraße towards the river and then over to the Kleinmarkt square for more romantic views and Christmas huts.
4. Real life advent calendar & lottery
During Christmas in Meissen, the gorgeous town hall turns into a giant German advent calendar with its windows and doors revealing new pictures every day until Christmas Eve.
During the daily openings, there’s also a small competition in which you can win a little something, including the famous Meissen porcelain. A lottery ticket costs 2 EUR (2.22 USD).
5. Live Christmas ceremony
It’s a common Christmas tradition in Germany to attend church or listen to a reflective talk on the day of Christmas Eve. As such, a similar event is staged in the morning of December 24. Afterwards, the final prize of the advent calendar is awarded.
6. Castle Lookout
After your stroll around the Meissen xmas market, head up the stairs to the upper levels of the city. From then Cathedral hill you can enjoy sweeping views over the houses below (not so much the markets).
Do yourself a favor and enter the stunning cathedral and/or the museum. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions hosted here on the significance of the Lutheran Cathedral and the Reformation.
7. Giant swings and train tracks
The Xmas Market in Meissen does not have a ferris wheel or typical fair attractions. What you will find instead is a giant “pirate ship” swing for adults and a small fairy tale train for the little ones.
There‘s also a claw machine, should you want to (hopefully) stock up on cute plushies, and a wooden duck fishing game.
8. Musical entertainment
Every day, the little stage on the market square offers daily program with live music, entertainment for children.
Additionally, there are smaller events throughout the main attractions in town, such as an advent breakfast at the court theater Proschwitz, Christmas readings or castle tours with wine tastings. See the program (in German) here.
9. Christmas exhibition
In time for Christmas, the municipal museum is hosting a special exhibition as well. It centers around the topic of voltage and highlights experiments and discoveries on the topic, from lighting strikes to motors.
- Dates: 20 November 2019 to 23 February 2020 (closed 24 and 25 December 2019)
- Entrance: 3 EUR adults
10. Easy access from Dresden and Leipzig
If you are already exploring Dresden, you can easily get to Meißen. It’s less than an hour by train or car. And if you want to do a xmas marathon, start the day at Leipzig Christmas market, which is a little over an hour away by car and 90 minutes by train.
There are parking lots around the city center, such as at the foot of the Albrechtsburg by the river Elbe. Another one, with a wheelchair friendly elevator up to the castle lies below the northern edge of the castle. (It was much less busy too.)
More Christmas market tips
- The best travel books to read this Christmas
- Where to find Erfurt’s 17 Christmas markets
- How to celebrate Christmas in castles around Thuringia
- Why the Jena Christmas market is worth a visit
- Get cosy at the charming historic Christmas markets in Weimar
- 10 Good reasons to experience a Christmas market in Germany
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