Which European Christmas markets are open in 2021?

EEurope’s Christmas markets have long been a highlight of the holiday season: fairytale villages, unique crafts, sweet pastries, spiced glühwein. This year, travelers are looking for holiday cheer more than ever. But due to rising COVID cases in Europe, some of the continent’s beloved Christmas markets are closing this season. No need to go deep into Scrooge just yet, as many classic markets are still open (often with new entry restrictions and health and safety protocols in place).

The information below is accurate at the time of publication, but anyone planning to cross the pond to a Christmas village this year should ensure that the markets they wish to visit remain open while planning their trip. There may also be specific requirements for entry, such as proof of a vaccine or reduced opening hours. Luckily, many of Europe’s loveliest Christmas markets still have their garlands lit for this festive season – here’s a list.

European Christmas markets open

Before we get into the markets that have (unfortunately) closed or pushed a pause due to a spike in COVID cases in Europe, let’s touch on the more uplifting list of holiday markets we love that are still active. Although this is far from an exhaustive list of the wonderful Christmas markets taking place across Europe, it does give an idea of ​​which ones are open and what kinds of restrictions are in place.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Christmas in Tivoli

Until January 2

One of the oldest amusement parks don’t let the pandemic dampen her holiday spirit. This year, most rides, games and attractions remain open, along with illuminated Christmas trees, seasonal light projections, carols performed by the Tivoli Youth Guard and a host of market stalls. A COVID pass – verifying vaccination, recovery from COVID, or a negative COVID test result – is required for entry.

Berlin, Germany

If you are in Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt is on.

Christmas magic police

November 22–December 31

Craftsmen, acrobats, angels on stilts, tons of sausages and cutlets, it’s starting again this year on the place in front of the majestic Berlin Konzerthaus. Like the Baden-Baden market, this one also has 2G rules requiring proof of vaccination or past COVID illness.

Burg Hohenzollern, Germany

Royal Christmas Magic at Hohenzollern Castle

November 25–January 9

In non-pandemic years, visitors flocked to a holiday market at this historic mountaintop castle, the ancestral seat of the Prussian Hohenzollern clan. This year the market is cancelled, but those looking for a royal Christmas (and who can show proof of full vaccination or proof of recovery from COVID) can still get tickets to visit the rooms of the festively decorated mansion and its park.

Amsterdam and Valkenburg, Netherlands

Make the holidays in the Christmas caves of Valkenburg.

Various dates

Despite recent protests against COVID restrictions in the Netherlands, Christmas markets are taking place in both cities and towns, including Amsterdam‘s sprawling Winter Paradise (December 19 to January 3) and Ice Village at the city ​​ice rink (December 15 to 26). In the southeast corner of the country, near Germany, Valkenburg market attracts fans for its unusual setting: not only does the whole town turn into a Christmas village, but the festivities also continue underground, with a market in the maze of hallways beneath the ruins of the town’s castle, aka the Grotto of velvet, and a nativity scene in the grotto of Wilhelmina. COVID has shortened market opening hours and added some entry requirements (check the Website FAQs for the latest info), but he didn’t cancel Christmas.

St. Gallen, Switzerland

St. Gallen Christmas Market

November 25–December 24

Every year, 700 stars (or star-shaped light installations) shine St. Gallen Christmas Market, which winds its way through the city’s Abbey Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery’s old library and baroque architecture add to the Old World, Christmas vibe of the experience, a magical experience that requires COVID vaccination for entry (travellers can obtain a Swiss COVID certificate here).

Budapest, Hungary

Bazilika Advent Market

November 19–January 1

from Budapest Bazilika Advent Market has over 100 craft gift stalls (think ceramics, leather goods, jewelry), near-daily shows, an ice skating rink, and a candle-lighting ceremony every Sunday. It’s a big bright spot on Vörösmarty Square, opposite St. Stephen’s Basilica.

European Christmas markets closed

Vienna, we will be back.

And now for the less happy news: the markets that have again been negatively affected by the pandemic. There is always hope for 2022 and beyond.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna Christmas Dream Market

Undeterred by recent protests against COVID restrictions, Austria has imposed a new nationwide lockdown in an attempt to curb rising case numbers. As a result, all Christmas markets are canceled until at least December 13, including the most beloved one in the country’s capital, Vienna.

Baden-Baden, Germany

Baden-Baden Christmas Market

After an opening ceremony on the evening of November 24, the Baden-Baden market closed on December 4, following the trend of other markets in Germany.

Bavaria, Germany

Christkindlmarkts in Munich and Nuremberg

The German state of Bavaria has canceled all its Christmas markets this year, including the large ones in Munich and Nuremberg. Partygoers will have to do without the famous bratwurst and its gingerbread this year.

Saxony, Germany

Leipzig and Dresden Christkindlmarkts

The Leipzig Christmas market is one of the oldest and largest in Germany. It dates from 1458 and usually has over 300 stalls. This year, however, that will take a break, as the state of Saxony tightens COVID safety restrictions and closes all Christkindlmarkts (including the one in Dresden, which also started in the 1400s).

Black Forest Highlands, Germany

Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market

One of the most picturesque markets in Germany, the Weihnachtsmarkt in der Ravennaschlucht (or Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market) is tucked away in the Black Forest valley of the Ravenna Gorge below the famous, much-photographed arched railway viaduct. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until next year to visit.

Prague, Czech Republic

Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square Christmas Markets

The two main markets of Prague opened for the season in November, but did not last.

COVID-19 travel restrictions in Europe

For up-to-date international travel restrictions, see the US State Department’s detailed page. Travel Information COVID-19 and country-specific notices, which are usually updated regularly. We often cross-check these references with the entry requirements published by each country’s foreign affairs or public health office.

US travelers should be aware that all international passengers aged two and over traveling to the United States (including returning US citizens and permanent residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding. on their flight to the United States.

Additionally, the CDC has detailed recommendations for the trip during the pandemic, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

Travelers should also check all public health measures and openings and closures in place across Europe. Some businesses and services may have limited opening hours or capacity restrictions, curfews may be in place and there may be additional ground regulations including COVID passes which are required for enter certain places such as France and Italy. These restrictions can change frequently, so it’s important to stay up to date.

>> Next: 9 European cities perfect for Christmas without the crowds

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