Leaving the Neumarkt Christmas Market and crossing the Augustus Bridge over the Elbe one will enter the Christmas market in Dresden-Neustadt. One will not find much information about this suburb in any brochure, as the majority of the cityscape features the slab-shaped apartments that are the signature of East German architecture. There are a few points of interest in Neustadt that are worth seeing if the tourist does not mind the obstructive views of the slab of concrete that are everywhere, like the Church of the Three Kings, for example.
However, when the holiday season arrives, the people of Neustadt make sure that their Christmas market is something for everyone to look at. The key feature of the Christmas market is the 65 meter tall Ferris wheel, located at the south entrance to the market at the statue of Augustus. It is tall enough to be seen from the Residential Palace and Frauenkirche. But when riding it, one can see Dresden from various perspectives. While one can see the skyline of Dresden along the Elbe River clearly, when looking at the opposite direction and down towards the Christmas market in Neustadt, one can see the layout of the entire market from the Ferris wheel to the Christmas tree about 300 meters away at Albertplatz. The huts are lined up in a row, running parallel to the shopping areas lined up along Neustädter Markt and the apartment blocks that accompany them.
But walking along the rows of huts, one will find multicultural themes at the Christmas market in Neustadt, as businesses originating from Russia, parts of Europe, India and other countries offer a wide array of goods that one will not see in a German retail shop, let alone the local market in a small to medium size German community. This includes specialties like elk roast and mulled wine with currant flavor from Finland, stroganov from Russia, langos (a deep fat fried pastry) from Hungary, just to name a few. For those who care to stay at the market in Neustadt, there is a small amphitheater located at the halfway point of the market where small choral and band concerts take place. Yet one will have to be aware of the overcrowding that takes place at the market during the holiday season, which for the most part, overshadows the advantages of visiting this suburb. The best time to visit the market in Neustadt is in the daytime and early afternoon, when it is not as crowded as it at nightfall. There one will be able to maneuver around the narrow corridor lined with huts a bit easier. Yet by the same token as a photographer, the evening does present some gorgeous views of Dresden’s skyline that lights up the sky and can be seen from Neustadt. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why many Dresdners choose to live in Neustadt year round, which explains the near full capacity of the apartment blocks. And even if the apartments look hideous to the eyes of modern architects and city planners, the residents take care that they look nice for the holidays.
From the columnist’s point of view, Dresden-Neustadt is perhaps the dark horse of the Christmas markets one can see in Dresden. While the setting resemble that of the days of Communism with the architecture, the market is multicultural and there is a lot to see while there. But the visit is not complete without the ride on the Ferris wheel, the crown of the market which can be seen from the city’s Altstadt on the south end of the Elbe.