Christmas festivities have been scaled back this year, though some markets — while they might not be in full swing — will open with COVID safety measures in place.
It’s the time of year when, under non-COVID circumstances, Europe’s best Christmas markets would be in full swing, and many would have travel plans to shop at their favorites — or to tick the cities and markets they’ve always wanted to visit off their bucket lists.
Though this year’s COVID regulations — which vary not only by country but also, in some destinations, by region — have scaled down their holiday festivities. Yes, it’s sad to see the Christmas spirit cut back this year, but as corny as it sounds, we can keep the Christmas spirit alive in our homes and hearts. Why not make our own gingerbread and mulled wine to get us through 2020, and we can (hopefully) celebrate next year. With that in mind, should you be in a position to move comfortably this year or happen to already be in one of these destinations, here’s a look at five Christmas markets that are happening in 2020. Just don’t forget to wear a mask and keep social distancing!
Note: This information is valid as of publication, but we encourage you to confirm directly with the destination before traveling and also to familiarize yourself with its current COVID regulations and safety measures.
1. Vienna Christmas Market
Vienna, all of Austria in fact, is a veritable winter wonderland. Set-up for the iconic market in front of City Hall came to a halt due to the country’s second national lockdown, which is in place until December 6. The market plans to open on or after December 7 with COVID regulations in place, and it should stay open until December 23.
2. Bern’s Christmas Markets
There’s something just so guilelessly romantic about the idea of Christmas in Switzerland — perhaps it’s all the snow-capped Alpine glory surrounding you? Several markets, including those in Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, and Montreux, have been canceled, but Bern’s Christmas markets are going forward with COVID protection measures in place. Bern Münsterplatz takes place from November 28 to December 24 and the Waisenhausplatz (Orphanage Square) Market is scheduled for November 27 to December 24.
3. Christmas in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
This amusement park in the heart of the Danish Capital never fails to enchant, but there’s just something about the holidays that ups Copenhagen‘s specialness factor. It will be open this year from November 13 to January 3 with special safety measures in place.
4. Tuomaan Markkinat, Helsinki
The Finnish capital’s oldest open-air Christmas market opens on December 5 and will go through December 22, showcasing more than 100 artisans, small producers, and restaurants. COVID measures will of course be in place. Also on the Helsinki front, the city’s restaurants have joined forces to form Raising HEL, a movement to shine a light on the city’s food scene and help boost its reputation both nationally and internationally.
5. Landshut, Germany
Germany hosts more than 2,000 Christmas markets, most of which are canceled this year due to COVID. However, Bavarian innkeeper Patrick Schmidt opened Christkindl Drive-in, a drive-through Christmas market in Landshut, a city just over 35 miles north of Munich. Artificial snow falls on the car upon entry, and all the typical Bavarian Christmas fare, from mulled wine to goulash to gingerbread cookies, are available to purchase along with gifts and other seasonal items.