What’s On in Dresden – End of 2018, Beginning of 2019

Feuerwerk ueber der Altstadt von DresdenFoto: DMG/Dittrich

As the end of the year approaches, it is time to look back and reflect on the moments that made the year so special. What defined 2018, what were its most important, most happy or sad moments of the year for you? Perhaps 2018 marked your move to Germany, the beginning of a journey towards a doctorate degree or perhaps it was the year you finally managed to learn the what once seemed impossible language that is German. Throughout the year we’ve published our weekly tips for every upcoming week and hope that at least a few led you to some of your year’s most memorable moments. Given that the Welcome Centre will not be open throughout the next week, we will not be able to publish daily tips for the next two weeks as you are all used to, however, we’ve decided to put together a short overview of the most important events taking place throughout the next couple of weeks which you definitely shouldn’t miss! The regular weekly “What’s On in Dresden” will then return on January 10th. Until then, we wish you all a very happy New Year and hope to be able to continue our journey together in 2019!

Until Sunday, 6 December: Dresden Rauhnächte & The Chocolate Girl (Exhibition)


The medieval Christmas market in the Dresden Stallhof is the only market in the city to continue on throughout all twelve days of Christmas, or the Rauhnächte as they are known in German. In many different European cultures, this time between the years presents a sort of opening between the physical and spiritual world, it is when ghosts, beasts and witches most like to roam around and in medieval times was a time where many people tried to make contact with the spiritual world. Until the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings’ Day, on January 6th everyone is welcome to visit the medieval Christmas market but do not be afraid if you are greeted by a ghost or a little devil!

Beginning: 11 a.m.; Admission: Free; How to get there: Dresdner Stallhof, Kanzleigässchen, 01067 Dresden; TRAM 1, 2, 4, 11, 12 ‘Postplatz’ stop.

The Chocolate Girl

Another great event taking place until January 6th is the The Chocolate Girl exhibition in the Old Master’s Gallery. The main focus lies on the pastel with the same title by Genevan artist Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789). Liotard enjoyed great success and was highly acclaimed as a pastel painter in his own day; even the most famous artist working in this medium at the time, Rosalba Carriera, declared The Chocolate Girl to be “the most beautiful pastel ever seen”. Now, this special exhibition presents The Chocolate Girl for the first time in the context of Liotard’s work as a whole. More than 40 pastels, oil paintings, drawings and prints illustrate the versatility of this artist, who produced not only portraits in pastel and genre scenes and still-lifes in oil, but also miniatures, figure and costume studies, as well as engravings.

Opening Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Fri until 8 p.m., closed Mondays; Admission: 12 EUR Regular, 9 EUR Reduced; How to get there: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Theaterplatz 1, 01067 Dresden; TRAM 1, 2, 4, 11, 12 ‘Postplatz’ stop.

More information: https://gemaeldegalerie.skd.museum/en/exhibitions/the-chocolate-girl/

Monday, 31 December: New Year’s Eve Concerts and Parties

Unfortunately, due to continued renovation works on the Augustus Bridge, Dresden’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks show and party in front of the Semperoper will for a second year in a row not take place. However, this doesn’t mean you will have to stay at home on the 31st, as a vast number of venues throughout town will be hosting their own New Year’s parties. Before the clock reaches midnight, those who prefer a more relaxed program will also find a number of concerts throughout town. A good option is the violin and piano concert in Pillnitz, with works by composers such as Mozart, Dvorak, and Piazolla. The Rundkino will also transmit the Berlin Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert live on the big screen. Links has been listed below. As for the parties, there would be too many to list them all here, nearly every club will host its own, including but not limited to Arteum, Club Puschkin, the Parkhotel Dresden, Atelier Schwartz, Kiezklub, and many more.

Pillnitz Concert

Beginning: 3 p.m.; Admission: 16 EUR Regular, 12 EUR Reduced, extra 2 EUR at the door; How to get there: Richard-Wagner-Stätten Graupa, Tschaikowskiplatz 7, 01796 Pirna; BUS 63 ‘Pillnitz Leonardo-da-Vinci-Straße’ then BUS 83 ‘Tschaikowskiplatz’ stop.

More information and tickets: https://www.wagnerstaetten.de/Veranstaltungen/Aktuell/468/?vid=6840

Rundkino’s broadcast of Berlin concert

Beginning: 5 p.m.; Admission: 20 EUR Regular, 16,50 EUR Reduced; How to get there: Rundkino Dresden, Prager Str. 6, 01069 Dresden; TRAM 3, 7, 8, 9, 11 ‘Walpurgisstr.’ stop.

Tickets: https://booking.cineplex.de/#site/224/performance/5AB41000023AZBYEWE/mode/sale/step/seating/

Tuesday, 1 January: Elbe Clean-up

The banks of the river Elbe are certainly one of the key features that makes Dresden such a beautiful city. Unfortunately, throughout the course of the year and especially during bigger events such as New Year’s Eve, many of the people visiting the river’s banks forget to throw away their trash properly which in turn leaves an ugly pile of trash lying around on the beautiful plains. To make sure that the banks are cleaned up and return to their wonderful state as fast as possible, the Pieschen organization “Pro Pieschen” will meet up with all who are interested in helping with the clean up on January 1st at 11 a.m. directly behind the Watzke brewery. The entire clean up is planned to last around 2-3 hours, however, everyone is free to leave earlier if need be. Trash bags will be available and in case you forget to bring gloves, a limited number will also be provided. Come out and help our river and its banks stay clean for a fresh start in 2019.

Beginning: 11 a.m.; Admission: Free; How to get there: Behind the Watzke Ballhaus, Kötzschenbroder Str. 1, 01139 Dresden; TRAM 4, 9 ‘Altpieschen’ stop.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/263855620973224/

Friday, 4 January: International Open Bottle Night

The Open Bottle Night at Dresden’s Craft Beer Store has already become a tradition, with tasting happening every week on Thursdays and Fridays. The beer tasting are open to everyone at the very accessible price of only 4 Euros per participant. Every first Friday of the month however, a special tasting occurs, namely the International Open Bottle Night. Once a month, guests with little or no German knowledge may also take part in this wonderful event as it is held in English. Come into the Neustadt’s beautiful Kunsthofpassage on the 4th and get an insight into the world of craft beer. Throughout the tasting, guests will have the chance to taste five different beers. In addition, guests also learn many interesting facts about breweries and different brews. Be sure to arrive on time, as places are limited on a first come-first serve basis.   

Beginning: 8 p.m.; Admission: 4 EUR; How to get there: Hopfenkult – Der Craft Beer Store, Görlitzer Str. 25, 01099 Dresden; TRAM 13 ‘Görlitzer Straße/Nordbad’ stop.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/301227970495512/

Saturday, 5 January: Laughter Yoga

The 5th has a truly funny event to offer. Regardless of how you arrive at the Air Yoga house on Saturday, you will undoubtedly leave with a better mood. Laughter yoga is a form of yoga practice involving prolonged voluntary laughing. It is based on the belief that voluntary laughing provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. At first it may seem a bit weird to bring yourself to laughter in a “fake” manner. However, slowly this fake laugh turns into real laughter until all reach a point where it is hard to stop. When was the last time you laughed until your tummy hurt? Do you remember how good it felt to laugh so hard? Come out on Saturday and laugh all of your worries and stress away for a relaxed start in 2019. Be sure to register in advance through the link below.

Beginning: 4 p.m.; Admission: 25 EUR; How to get there: Air Yoga Dresden, Bautzner Landstr. 62, 01324 Dresden; TRAM 11 ‘Am Weißen Adler’ stop.

More information and tickets: http://air-yoga-dresden.de/kursplan/?fbclid=IwAR3eLc6RWByEOI2wZ16-xbvXpyIEikSgSuqzrpGAApgmpD7EZAZTSWFeFJE&w=/event/1398573

Tuesday, 8 January: The Bookshop

A new year has begun but Unifilm continues strong at Dresden’s Uniklinikum. The project, which brings movie showings into German university movie theatres takes place every two weeks at the Uniklinikum and provides the chance to watch good movies on the big screen for free. For every showing, a movie in German as well as one in English with German subtitles is picked out. For the first showing in 2019, The Bookshop has been chosen. The movie takes place in 1959 England. Free-spirited Florence Green risks everything to open a bookshop in conservative East Anglian coastal town. While bringing about a surprising cultural awakening, she earns the polite but ruthless opposition of a local grand dame and the support and affection of a reclusive book loving widower. The Bookshop is an elegant yet incisive rendering of personal resolve, tested in the battle for the soul of a community.

Beginning: 8 p.m.; Admission: Free; How to get there: Unikino am Klinikum, Fiedlerstraße 42, 01307 Dresden; TRAM 6, 12 or BUS 62 ‘Augsburger Straße’ stop.

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