Christmas markets 2020: Which occasions are going on?

( CNN)– There’s absolutely nothing rather like a joyful market to highlight the Christmas spirit in individuals.

While these occasions can be traced back to Vienna– the city’s very first taped December market was in 1298— the custom has actually spread out throughout the world over the centuries.

From Germany, to Switzerland, to New York City, it’s challenging to discover a desired location that does not hold an excellent yearly arrival market.

In reality, some have actually grown so popular, they have actually ended up being traveler destinations in their own right.

Regrettably, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some popular joyful markets will not be occurring this year.

Here’s our rundown of the 2020 Christmas markets that will be going on, along with those that have actually been aborted.

All details is right since November 9, 2020, however please do examine prior to taking a trip.

Viennese Dream Christmas Market, Austria

Viennese Dream Christmas Market is one of the city's oldest and most traditional events.

Viennese Dream Christmas Market is among the city’s earliest and most standard occasions.

Lisi Niesner/Reuters

With reindeer flights, a huge ferris wheel and a traditional nativity scene to admire, Vienna’s wonderful phenomenon encapsulates the joyful spirit wonderfully.

Although there are around 20 Christmas markets in the Austrian capital to pick from, the Viennese Christmas Dream, kept in front of Municipal government, or Rathausplatz, is among its earliest and most standard occasions.

At the occasion, likewise called Wiener Christkindlmarkt, you’ll discover over 150 stalls providing yummy deals with like Austrian sausages and gingerbread cookies, in addition to homemade Christmas punch.

The popular Tree of Hearts, a huge maple tree dressed up with numerous flashing hearts, is a hot preferred with visitors and an excellent image chance.

Is it going on this year? Yes.

Viennese Dream Christmas Market will be accompanying a variety of extra precaution, such as compulsory face coverings for both visitors and staff members (other than while consuming food and beverages).
It was because of start in mid-November, however the opening date is now unofficial due to a multi-week lockdown released by the Austrian federal government that entered into impact on November 2.

Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland

Basel Christmas Market consists of nearly 200 wooden stalls selling Christmas spices, decorations and candles.

Basel Christmas Market includes almost 200 wood stalls offering Christmas spices, decors and candle lights.


It’s difficult to discover a location that does Christmas much better than Switzerland.

Many Swiss towns are basically taken control of by joyful markets at this time of year and the environment is extraordinary. Basel Christmas Market is the most significant and perhaps the very best around.

Separated into 2 various areas at Barfusserplatz and Munsterplatz, it’s comprised of almost 200 wonderfully embellished stalls offering Christmas spices, decors and candle lights.

Households will especially take pleasure in the Christmas fairy tale forest at Munsterplatz thanks to activities such as gingerbread and candle light designing, a star workshop and a joyful train.

Is it going on this year? Yes.

At the time of composing, Basel Christmas Market was still due to occur from November 26 to December 23, 2020.

Strasbourg Christmas Market, France

Dating back to 1570, Strasbourg Christmas Market lights up this French city annually.

Going back to 1570, Strasbourg Christmas Market illuminate this French city every year.

Frederick Florini/AFP/Getty Images

Among Europe’s earliest Christmas markets, Strasbourg started back in 1570, however it’s progressed substantially ever since.

Spread over more than 10 areas, consisting of an area of the UNESCO world heritage website of Grande Île, the extremely popular market illuminate the city with countless shimmering Christmas lights and joyful accessories.

Each year an approximated 2 million individuals go to the marketplace, which includes around 300 wood chalet stalls offering whatever from decors and provides to regional Alsatian white wine.

Location Klebe is most likely its most popular area thanks to the Fantastic Christmas Tree on screen, along with the ice skating rink put up beneath.

However visitors will discover lots of wonderful sights while roaming through the city’s narrow alleys and quite squares.

Is it going on this year? No. While authorities were eager for the occasion to occur this year, last month mayor Jeanne Barseghian validated that the popular market has actually been canceled due to the increase in Covid-19 case numbers in France. The whole country is now in lockdown for the 2nd time.

Brussels Winter Season Marvels, Belgium

Brussels Winter Wonders is one of the biggest events in Belgium.

Brussels Winter season Marvels is among the most significant occasions in Belgium.

( Xinhua/Zheng Huansong through Getty Images

Brussels actually comes to life at Christmas time thanks to Winter season Marvels, which is more similar to a celebration than a market.

The yearly extravaganza, which extends throughout the Bourse, Location de la Monnaie, Grand Location, Location Sainte Catherine and Marche aux Poissons, is among Belgium’s most significant and most popular occasions.

A light and sound program, ice skating, and fairground flights are amongst the activities to take pleasure in, while visitors can likewise check out 200 approximately chalets serving glühwein, Belgian beers and waffles and look in marvel at the massive Christmas tree put up in Grand Location.

Is it going on this year? No.

Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square Christmas markets, Prague, Czech Republic

Prague has several festive markets, but the main events are those in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

Prague has a number of joyful markets, however the centerpieces are those in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.


To state Prague goes for it at Christmas is something of an understatement.

The Czech Republic capital is the extremely meaning of a winter season wonderland throughout the joyful duration.

While there’s no lack of markets throughout the city, the primary ones are discovered in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

The good news is these areas are just a couple of minutes’ walk apart, so revelers can quickly go to both in a day.

Old Town Square supplies limitless home entertainment in the type of live programs, dance efficiencies and innovative workshops, while Wenceslas Square is excellent for handcrafted presents and residents deals with like klobasa (Czech sausage) and mulled white wine.

Is it going on this year? No.

Both markets have actually been canceled as an outcome of Covid-19.

” We are extremely sorry and it likewise impacts our business. Nevertheless, we appreciate the choice and provide the tree setup to the City of Prague for overhead expenses.”

Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona

Going back to 1786, Fira de Santa Llucia has actually grown from a one-day occasion to honor the banquet day of Santa Llucia, which falls on December 13, to a three-week fair.

Held right outside Barcelona Cathedral, the dynamic market is separated into 4 various areas.

The very first is nativity and figurines, where visitors can get nativity scene type decors and figurines. Plant and plants is loaded with both natural and synthetic trees and numerous kinds of plants.

The crafts area includes handcrafted items and precious jewelry, while simbombes is designated for musical instruments.

There are likewise numerous joyful activities like storytelling, a Christmas parade, and the caga tio, a massive pinata-style Christmas log that spills out sweet and presents when beaten with a stick.

Is it going on this year? Yes.

I Mercati Natale, Piazza Santa Croce, Florence

Piazza Santa Croce provides a stunning setting for the annual market that's brought from Germany to Italy each year.

Piazza Santa Croce supplies a spectacular setting for the yearly market that’s brought from Germany to Italy each year.

Massimiliano Donati/Awakening/Getty Images

There’s much to see at this captivating market, however absolutely nothing can top the lovely background provided by Santa Croce’s Franciscan Basilica.

Although this standard fair is transferred from Heidelberg, Germany to Florence every year, it’s an extremely Italian affair in numerous methods thanks to the surroundings and the numerous Italian deals with, such as panforte, for sale.

Nevertheless, there’s definitely no lack of gingerbread, strudel and standard Heidelberg Lebkuchen cookies.

Those who walk to the close-by Piazza del Duomo will be dealt with to a stunning nativity scene, along with an excellent Christmas tree that’s illuminated on December 8 for the Banquet of the Spotless Conception.

Is it going on this year? Yes.

Organizers informed CNN Travel that they are “working to be able to open” from November 27 to December 23, 2020.

Arrival in Zagreb, Croatia

The Croatian capital is buzzing with activity at Christmas, and Advent in Zagreb is undoubtedly its stand-out event.

The Croatian capital is buzzing with activity at Christmas, and Arrival in Zagreb is certainly its noteworthy occasion.

Antonio Bat/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

It’s simple to see why Zagreb was voted the “finest Christmas market location” in travel portal European Best Locations’ online survey for 3 successive years.

The Croatian capital actually goes to town throughout arrival. Believe live nativity scenes, ice sculpture carvings, outside gigs, pop-up bars and a Christmas cable car total with Santa and his fairies.

Arrival in Zagreb likewise has actually a location dedicated to “messing around” (or “fuliranje”) where you’ll discover thrilled revelers dancing in the street while consuming street food and listening to live home entertainment.

Is it going on this year? Regrettably this is still uncertain.

While Arrival in Zagreb 2020 hasn’t been canceled yet, and is presently arranged to range from November 30 to January 7, officials have indicated that it might not proceed.

” Conditions and possibilities of holding specific occasions have actually altered considerably this year, even for those outdoors in the fall and winter season,” Martina Bienenfeld, director of the Zagreb Traveler Board stated in a declaration last month.

” We are dealing with procedures and company, and if it [the market takes place, we will respect and insist on all the guidelines that will be recommended.”

Christmas in Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark

This Danish amusement park and pleasure garden is even more alluring at Christmas time.

This Danish amusement park and pleasure garden is even more alluring at Christmas time.

Lindblom Stefan/Stella Pictures/Reuters

Rumored to be the inspiration behind Disneyland, this Danish amusement park and pleasure garden is a dazzling place to visit any time of year.

But you’ll struggle to find anywhere as enchanting as Tivoli Gardens during the festive period.

With over 500,000 fairy lights adorning the beautiful grounds, and everything from fairground rides to a traditional Pixie Band for entertainment, it’s a winter experience like no other.

The annual Lucia procession on December 13, where more than 100 girls process through the gardens carrying candles and singing to mark St. Lucia’s Day, is a particular highlight, along with the firework displays that take place between December 25 and 26, as well as New Year’s Eve.

Is it going ahead this year? Yes.

Christmas in Tivoli is still scheduled to take place from November 13 to January 3, 2020. The amusement park now has a number of new safety measures in place due to government guideline.

Face masks are now mandatory on some rides and all restaurants and cafés, while guests are not permitted to “sing or dance to the music” during live events.

Tallinn Christmas Market, Estonia

Tallinn Christmas Market is  the Estonian capital's central winter event.

Tallinn Christmas Market is the Estonian capital’s central winter event.

Ints Kalnins/Reuters

The Estonian capital’s annual affair is one of the more modern European Christmas markets.

Set inside Tallinn’s Town Hall Square, it’s packed full of stalls with traditional Estonian cuisine, artisan bread and handicrafts for sale.

On the entertainment front, there’s a huge carousel, a winter grotto, an open-air ice rink and a Santa who rolls up on a sleigh complete with reindeers.

Visitors are also treated to regular performances by dance troupes and choirs.

But as with many such markets, the Christmas tree is the main event. Tallinn’s tree has been displayed here since 1441.

Is it going ahead this year? No.

Skansen’s Christmas Market, Stockholm

Skansen -- a classic annual winter fair in Sweden.

Skansen — a classic annual winter fair in Sweden.

Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Stockholm isn’t exactly lacking when it comes to Christmas markets, but none are more traditional than Skansen.

Set on the island of Djurgarden in the world’s oldest open-air museum, it’s a wonderful exhibit of Swedish culture with some added yuletide magic.

The historical houses on display in the museum are decked out in colorful decorations for the occasion and all the tables inside are set up for Christmas dinner.

Visitors can make their own decorations at Christmas workshops, take part in regular craft demonstrations or join in with the dancing games around the tree at Bollnäs Square, Skansen’s main site.

Is it going ahead this year? No.

Skansen’s Christmas Market has been canceled this year due to Covid-19. A guided Christmas walk will be held instead.

Tuomaan Markkinat, Helsinki

This wonderfully Scandinavian Christmas market is held in Helsinki’s Senate Square, near the Emperor Alexander II statue.

Tuomaan Markkinat’s center piece is a vintage carousel, but the nearly 150 vendors selling traditional Christmas delicacies, glogi, Finland’s non-alcoholic take on mulled wine, and handicrafts are also a big draw.

Younger attendees can visit Santa Claus, who has his own wooden cabin here, and join festive activities like Christmas cookie decorating.

The market’s food court is particularly impressive, with big names such as award-winning plant-based restaurant Grön listed among the eateries.

Is it going ahead this year? Yes.


Vörösmarty Square and St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market, Budapest, Hungary

The Vörösmarty Square Christmas market is relatively new, dating back to 1998.

The Vörösmarty Square Christmas market is relatively new, dating back to 1998.

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Budapest has two main festive markets — St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas market and Vorosmarty Square Christmas market.

The former takes place in front of the famous basilica, where crowds gather to watch the regular 3D light shows that are projected onto its facade.

In addition, there are over 150 stalls with vendors selling sweet treats, wine and arts and crafts.

Aside from the fantastic Hungarian foods that line its stalls — langos and chimney cake are particular standouts, its main highlight is probably a giant advent calendar that reveals a new window display on a daily basis from December 1 to 23.

Is it going ahead this year? No.

In October, organizers announced that the event had been called due to Covid-19. The Budapest Festival and Tourism Center (BFTK), has since launched a campaign to support the 120 or so Hungarian craftspeople who were due to sell their products at the annual fair.

Christkindlesmarkt and Gendarmenmarkt, Germany

Christkindlesmarkt has been around since the 16th century, drawing in close to two million people every year.

Christkindlesmarkt has been around since the 16th century, drawing in close to two million people every year.

Daniel Karmann/picture alliance/ via Getty Images

Open-air winter street markets have long been associated with Germany, and the European country is home to some of the oldest and most visited festive markets.

Capital city Berlin has around 80 to choose from, but Gendarmenmark is perhaps its most renowned.

Positioned between the Franzosischer Dom and Deutscher Dom, it’s a maze of wooden huts with Bratwurst, mulled wine and ginger bread for sale, along with unique Christmas gifts.

At night, visitors can enjoy nightly concerts with dance and musical performances.

Over in Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second-largest city, the famous Christkindlesmarkt has been around since the 16th century.

During the Christmas period, around 180 stands are erected in the city’s central market square and the whole area is abuzz with activity.

The market draws in around two million people every year and is undoubtedly one of Nuremberg’s annual highlights.

Are they going ahead this year? No.

Sadly both events have been canceled this year. Helmut Russ, organizer for Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt, described the historic market as “a cultural institution,” while expressing his disappointment that it will not be held in 2020.

“It’s incredibly painful to have to do this, because the Christmas market is also a cultural institution,” he said in a statement. “During dark times, it brings a bit of warmth and light into the city and into people’s hearts.”

Meanwhile Nuremberg’s mayor Marcus König released a statement announcing Christkindlesmarkt’s cancellation last month.

“This decision is very difficult for us,” it read. “After much deliberation, and in order to protect the population, we have come to the conclusion that the Christmas market will not take place this year.”

Toronto Christmas Market, Toronto

The Christmas tree lighting at Toronto's annual festive market.

The Christmas tree lighting at Toronto’s annual festive market.

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Held in the historic Distillery District, Toronto Christmas Market serves as a rather charming take on the traditional European festive market.

One of the largest festive markets in North America, it features a Santa’s Grotto, a gigantic light tunnel, fairground rides, a 50-foot Christmas tree, as well as beer gardens.

Visitors will be able to find everything from artisanal food, one-off gifts and festive cocktails at the numerous stalls here.

There are also regular musical performances from brass bands as well as Christmas carolers.

Is it going ahead this year? No.

Toronto Christmas Market 2020 has been called off by officials, who state that the crowds it attracts “are just too large for safe physical distancing.” However, the Distillery District will be open for holiday shopping.

Winter Village at Bryant Park, New York

Manhattan's winter wonderland takes place in Bryant Park.

Manhattan’s winter wonderland takes place in Bryant Park.


Each and every year, Manhattan’s Bryant Park is transformed into a magnificent wonderland for the Winter Village.

The renowned open-air market is a wonderful sight to behold, with over 100 custom-designed kiosks and a 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink that’s free to use provided you have your own skates.

Its food hall The Lodge provides an eclectic mix of eateries, along with an outdoor beer garden and a cocktail bar.

Outside the Winter Village, the Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain is at its most beautiful during winter time, when it regularly freezes over.

Is it going ahead this year? Yes.

The Winter Village is scheduled to run from October 30, 2020 to March 7, 2021, but the event has been scaled down considerably, with fewer vendors and wider walkways.

The elaborate tree lighting ceremony has also been called off and visitors will need to book ice skating sessions and rentals in advance.

Information correct at the time of publishing.

Joe Minihane also contributed to this article.

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