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Which Christmas markets are open this year in Europe?! It’s been a crazy year, so I’ve got all you need to know about the European Christmas markets.

Christmas in Europe is the most magical place on earth. Hot mulled wine, glorious decorations, and the best part, Christmas markets filled to the brim with cheer. But 2020 is a tough year, and plans for many of the markets have changed. This post plans to help you stay safe and make the most of the holiday season. Find out everything you need to know about Christmas markets in Europe for 2020, which ones are open, which ones are closed and what you need to know to plan the best trip.

This post will be continually updated so you can ensure you will get the most up to date information.

Not only will I share information about the Christmas markets, you can also find out the safest destinations for Christmas during Covid-19.

*Due to the pandemic, please TRIPLE check any restrictions for each city you’re planning to visit and before you visit.

This post was painstakingly put together. However, information is changing daily. I will continue to update this post. If you see something incorrect feel free to let me know on Instagram @heleneinbetween.

Can’t travel? Experience the Christmas markets with my guides- chock full of images and descriptions that will make you feel like you’re there! I’m a self proclaimed European Christmas Market expert and have been to as many as I possibly can the past 3 years. If you'd like an overview of the history and traditions of the Christmas markets check out this post.

See the best Christmas Markets in Europe

Ultimate Guide for Christmas Markets

Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Best Christmas markets in France

What to Eat at A Christmas Market

Helpful resources

If you want to know whether or not you can visit a certain country and/or it’s restrictions, check out this very helpful guide by Timatic. I personally have been to Croatia from the United States this year and this map helped me figure out the rules, restrictions and options. You simply click on a country and it will tell you the restrictions, which countries' residents can enter, and when restrictions might be lifted.

Best Christmas Markets Open in 2020

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is one of the loveliest Christmas markets and even won best Christmas market of 2019! The whole city looks like a snow globe come to life! This year’s market will be a “dispersed market” taking place throughout the Old Town which will make it easier to social distance.

Restrictions: Estonia officially reopened their border for tourism on June 1, 2020, starting with select countries within the EU. However, as of July, Estonia has now reopened for additional third-party countries and will soon be launching their digital nomad visa program. You must quarantine for at least 2 days with a negative PCR test taken at the airport. If outside of the EU, you can visit Estonia but must quarantine for 14 days. Please note: US citizens can not visit.

Tallinn Christmas Market Dates: November 15, 2020 to January 5, 2021

 

Vienna, Austria

One of the most gorgeous cities in Europe, Vienna goes all out for Christmas. You’ll find decorations on every corner and on every street. The Christmas markets are spread throughout the city and offer so many options for things to do and sights to explore. This is a very safe place to visit for Christmas this year as they have very few Covid-19 cases. I also recommend the historic and Christmas filled town of Graz, Austria to visit! Hallstatt also boasts a very small, limited time Christmas market which is open.

Restrictions: You must only come from a country with a stable Covid-19 situation. An entry and transit declaration is required.

Vienna Christmas Market Dates: November 18, 2020 to December 26, 2020

See a full guide to the Vienna Christmas markets here.

Rothenburg Ob der Tauber, Germany

I adore Rothenburg. This medieval city looks like Christmas year round. With medieval walls still intact, a year-round Christmas Store and fairy-tale buildings you’ll have a blast just walking the city. But there is a small Christmas market that takes place in the heart of the city. Known as “Reiterlesmarkt” this market is definitely a delight.

Restrictions: If you’ve been in a high risk area you must self quarantine for 14 days or provide a negative Covid test. US citizens not allowed in Germany.

Rothenburg Christmas Market Dates: November 27, 2020 to January 6, 2021

 

Heidelberg, Germany {Update: Closed}

Heidelberg is the quintessential European town. A sandstone castle, 17th century buildings along a cobblestone road stretching over a mile, and a beautiful river. What could make it even lovelier? A Christmas market of course! I am a bit biased, since I lived in Heidelberg, but this Christmas market is my all time favorite. Throughout the Hauptstrasse you’ll find one of the best Christmas markets in Europe brimming with cheer, traditional wooden stalls, and delicious food. Guide to Heidelberg Christmas Market here.

Restrictions: If you’ve been in a high risk area you must self quarantine for 14 days or provide a negative Covid test. US citizens not allowed in Germany.

Heidelberg Christmas Market Dates: November 23, 2020 to December 22, 2020

Baden-Baden, Germany [Update: Closed]

A city so nice they named it twice. Truly, one of my favorite little towns in Germany. I am particularly fond of the smaller towns for Christmas markets. They seem to really get into the spirit! Baden-Baden’s Christmas market is known as one of the best in Germany. The city gets full swing into the spirit. Usually, this is a quiet little spa town. But during Christmas they ignite with absolutely beautiful lights and a lovely market.

Restrictions: Same as above.

Baden-Baden Christmas Market Dates: November 26, 2020 to January 6, 2021

 

Other German Christmas markets open that I recommend: Hamburg, Mainz, Dresden, Trier, Leipzig, and Mannheim. See the best Christmas markets in Germany here!

 

After

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s Christmas market always makes the top list as one of the best each and every year. Multiple markets take place in the city, but the market in the main square is really something special to behold. While Christmas markets are typically a German tradition, Prague pus a Czech twist that is a must see. From their delicious food, hand embroidered tablecloths and wooden stalls you could spend days just wandering the market.

Restrictions: Only EU countries are allowed in without restrictions and those countries that are not deemed high risk. Aka, Americans are a no go. You will have to fill out a passenger locator form. There are lots of safety measures put in place to keep patrons safe at the markets such as masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing.

Prague Christmas Market Dates: November 28, 2020 to January 6, 2021

Basel, Switzerland

Christmas comes to life in the unassuming town of Basel. We almost didn’t come here because it looked too industrial from the highway. But once you get to the city center you’re met with a beautiful and romantic view of gorgeous architecture. Also the Einsiedeln Christmas Market is open. See all my guides to Switzerland Christmas Markets and Basel, here.

Restrictions: Passengers can come from the Schengen area of Europe.

Basel Christmas Market Dates: November 26, 2020 to December 23, 2020

Florence, Italy

The Piazza outside of the Basilica di Santa Croce illuminates with a beautiful Christmas market. Here you’ll find a German inspired Christmas market with Italian flair. This market has been taking place for almost 500 years and boast 50 stalls.

Restrictions: Only citizens from EU may enter.

Florence Christmas Market Dates: November 27, 2020 to December 23, 2020

Copenhagen, Denmark

Each year Copenhagen offers a winter spread at their famous Tivoli gardens. This Danish amusement park turns into a dazzling spectacle of over 500,000 lights along with entertainment.

Restrictions: Copenhagen has very specific rules about who may enter. You can find that here. Please check before going.

Florence Christmas Market Dates: November 13, 2020 to January 3, 2021

Helsinki, Finland

This Scandinavian Christmas market takes place in the already wintry wonderland of the capital city. Called Tuomaan Markkinat you'll find a gorgeous vintage carousel, traditional Christmas treats (don't forget to eat a donut) and even a sauna! See my guide to Helsinki here.

Restrictions: Only citizens from the EU may enter. See a full guide to travel here.

Florence Christmas Market Dates: November 27, 2020 to December 23, 2020

Bratislava, Slovakia

This is an often passed over European country, but I found Slovakia to be a relaxing break from the typical busy European destinations. Bratislava is the capital situated right on the Danube river which spruces up their city center for Christmas time. The main square comes alive with festive Christmas traditions.

Restrictions: There are currently no restrictions in Slovakia if coming from the EU, however you must fill out the passenger locator form here.

Bratislava Christmas Market Dates: November 23, 2020 to December 23, 2020

Ljubljana, Slovenia

I adore Slovenia. It’s a beautiful place filled with tons of unexpected wonders, including a wonderful Christmas market in the small capital city. The streets are illuminated in top Christmas decor. 

Restrictions: US citizens are not allowed to enter. However, countries coming from the EU are allowed to Slovenia without restrictions.

Ljubljana Christmas Market Dates: November 29, 2020 to January 5, 2021

Gdansk, Poland 

Gdasnk is a bit off the beaten path but well worth it for their traditional Christmas market. Located in the historical city center you’ll find a perfect Christmas setting to celebrate the holidays surrounded by candy-colored architecture and the twinkle of Christmas lights and wooden stalls. You can also head to the Warsaw Christmas market in Poland.

Restrictions: Only EU countries are allowed to enter Poland at this time along with a passenger locator form. 

Gdansk Christmas Market Dates: November 23, 2020 to January 1, 2021

Barcelona, Spain

This historic market dates back to 1786 and has a focus on a beautiful nativity scene, crafts, and even a Christmas Parade. Called Fira de Santa Llúcia, this is a wonderful market that will put you in the holiday spirit.

Restrictions: Only those from the EU may enter Spain.

Barcelona Christmas Market Dates: November 29, 2020 to December 23, 2020.

Where can Americans celebrate Christmas in Europe?

The following destinations are open to citizens of the USA right now. I’m not sharing in alphabetical order, but instead my top picks, first. Each country will be listed along with restrictions. You may have to get off the beaten path when it comes to Christmas markets, which is a wonderful opportunity to avoid crowds and see some hidden gems.

 

Zagreb, Croatia

Most people don’t think of Croatia when they think of Christmas markets. But Zagreb’s market has even won best Christmas Market! Add in the fact that they’ve had very low Covid-19 cases, and this is a wonderful place to visit. 

Restrictions: This has changed quite a bit so please find up to date information here. US visitors are allowed who have a negative Covid-19 PCR test not older than 48 hours (starting from the time of taking the swab until arrival at the border crossing) to enter the country. You may enter for purposes of business or tourism. 

Zagreb Christmas Market Dates: November 27, 2020 to January 3, 2021

Cardiff, United Kingdom

Wales has a lovely Christmas market in Cardiff that is well worth a visit. For safety, the Christmas market is spread throughout the city center.

London has its own spin on traditional Germany Christmas Markets taking place in Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. This year, however, the Christmas market is closed. But there’s so much more to offer. Just walking around the city will make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. Each street is decked out with beautiful decor and lights. It’s really a magical sight!

Edinburgh just announced a few days ago they are canceling their Christmas market and will have a virtual celebration. More closures of markets are listed at the bottom of this post.

Restrictions: You must quarantine for 14 days before traveling in the UK and provide a Public Health passenger locator form upon arrival. 

Cardiff Christmas Market Dates: November 12, 2020 to December 23, 2020

More Christmas markets open in the UK: Plymouth, Darlington, Essex, Truro, York, and Manchester.

Christmas Markets That Are Closed for 2020

Christmas Markets Closed in Germany


German Christmas markets closed: Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Nuremberg, Aachen, Frankfurt, Stuttgart Christmas markets are closed.

French Christmas Markets Closed

Strasbourg Christmas Market canceled this year due to Coronavirus. Meaning, there will be no Christmas stalls or chalets. HOWEVER, the city plans to still decorate. So, you can still enjoy Strasbourg as there is much to see and do in this city, even without the markets! Check out my guide to Strasbourg at Christmas here.

 

Colmar followed suit to close, as well as Paris. Other smaller markets who have closed are Lille and Grenoble. See the best Christmas markets in France, here.

Austria Christmas Markets Closed

Salzburg, Austria Christmas Market closed. As well as Gosau, Obernberg, and Frankenmarkt.

Switzerland Christmas Markets Closed

Bern and Lucerne Christmas markets are closed in Switzerland. 

Italian Christmas Markets Closed 

Rome has closed their historic market in Piazza Navona. Also closed is the Trento Christmas market. 

Brussels, Belgium Christmas Market closed as well as Budapest, Hungary market. Also the Sibiu, Romania Christmas market is suspended. 

 

While many markets are closed it will still be a lovely time in Europe to see the lights. Many cities still plan on decorating so locals can still enjoy the magic of Christmas. 

Did I miss any? Feel free to let me know of any updates or cancellations!

Heading to the markets? See What to Eat at A Christmas Market.

 

See all my guides to the Christmas markets here.