Most Christmas markets in Europe are given the green light for 2021

Most Christmas markets in Europe are given the green light for 2021

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

To the great joy and relief of many, most of the Christmas markets that make Germany one of the most festive places to be in the run-up to the holidays have been given the go-ahead by the appropriate health authorities. 

Fans of these events are naturally curious as to the status of Christmas markets throughout greater Europe as well. While most countries are moving forward with plans to stage their markets with the appropriate health precautions in place, they all come with a caveat: markets may be altered or canceled altogether, should it become necessary to impose more serious COVID-19 control measures than those currently in place. 

Here is a look at some of the continent's most famed markets, and where to turn to for information regarding inbound travel for the given country.

Austria: The Christmas spirit returns to the country’s capital Vienna from mid-November, with each of the city’s several different Christmas markets opening on slightly different dates. The biggest, that held in front of the Town Hall, takes place from Nov. 12 to Dec. 26. Note most food and drink stands can only be accessed by vaccinated or recovered persons. Another city that’s not to be missed in the Advent season is Innsbruck; the breathtaking Alpine beauty is poised to host its slew of markets from Nov. 15 through Dec. 23. Visitors must be either vaccinated or recovered here as well, so don’t forget to bring the appropriate documentation.

For information regarding travel to Austria, see austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information

Belgium: Brussels will once again brim with holiday cheer during its Winter Wonders and Christmas Market held in and around the Grand-Place. The event has been tentatively given the go-ahead to take place from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2.

Before planning a trip into Belgium from abroad, see info-coronavirus.be/en/travels/

Czech Republic: The Prague Christmas markets are slated to go ahead, albeit perhaps in a smaller size than usual. The main markets, held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, will be up and running from Nov. 27 to Jan. 6, 2022. Smaller markets, including the one in front of St. George's Basilica at the Prague Castle, are also back on the agenda this year.

For the latest regarding travel to the Czech Republic, refer to https://koronavirus.mzcr.cz/en/

England: London’s many Christmas markets are back on the agenda, but they’re far from the only option. The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, for example, consistently rates as one of the country’s most beloved holiday activities. German-inspired décor and treats bring the feel of a continental Christmas market to British soil through Dec. 23.

For current travel regulations for the U.K., see gov.uk/uk-border-control

France: Strasbourg’s Christmas markets are the stuff of legend, and they’re back on the agenda in 2021. Noël à Strasbourg transforms nearly every nook and cranny of the capital of the Alsace from Nov. 26 to Dec. 26. Those in search of post-holiday cheer can check out the Advent Village in Louise Weiss Square, which becomes the After Village from Dec. 27 through Jan. 6, 2022.

To learn about travel to France from abroad, see diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coronavirus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/

Italy: Christmas markets in northern Italy, particularly those of South Tirol, generally offer all the sparkle and magic a heart could ever desire. Christmas markets will be up and running in Bozen/Bolzano and Brixen/Bressanone from Nov. 26 to Jan. 6, 2022; Meran/Merano and Sterzing/ Vipiteno hold their markets from Nov. 25 through Jan. 6, 2022.  Another popular Christmas market is that held in Trento; this remains on the schedule from Nov. 20 through Jan. 9, 2022.

For the latest travel regulations regarding Italy, refer to salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioContenutiNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=5412&area=nuovoCoronavirus&menu=vuoto

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