Striezelmarkt, Dresden, Germany
Germany's oldest holiday market, the Dresden Christmas Market, or Striezelmarkt, has been bringing holiday cheer to the city since 1434 and today attracts nearly 2 million visitors. The name is derived from a sweet, traditional Christmas pastry, Hefestriezel, now commonly known as Dresden Christstollen.
Set in the city center, with the dramatic Church of Our Lady as a backdrop, the Christmas market's highlights include one of the world's largest nutcrackers, and the Christmas Pyramid, a 45-foot-high wooden carousel with life-size representations of nativity figures and angels. Visitors can climb to different levels of the carousel to look out on the festival.
With more than 250 stalls, the fair is an ideal place to purchase traditional holiday gift from regional artisans, or simply to indulge in a warm slice of Stollen.