As we switch gears into Christmas mode (early, I know, but I’m convinced I was an elf in another life), one can’t help but wonder what Europe’s Christmas markets will look like this year… and especially whether or not they’ll be cancelled.
As an avid Christmas market fangirl, I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic. I’ve already assembled a list of Christmas markets in Germany that have been cancelled, but I figured a broader one for more of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets would be helpful, so here it is!
For the purpose of this article, I’m mainly discussing the countries in central Europe best known for their Christmas markets (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria).
I have also included cancellations across the UK as that info is readily available, whereas details on most other countries are not yet confirmed. I hope you find this all helpful!
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Christmas Market Cancellations in Austria
Those hoping to visit Austria’s scenic Christmas markets this year are in luck – the majority of the big ones appear to be moving forward.
At the moment, planning is already underway for the popular Christmas markets in Vienna, where new safety measures are in the works, including testing stations in popular spots like the City Hall.
Nonetheless, some smaller markets have announced cancellations already, well in advance of the Advent Season. Here are the Christmas markets in Austria that have been cancelled so far:
- Feldkirch Christmas Market: While the city’s main Christmas market is still scheduled to take place, the Blosengelmarkt in Felkirch has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Frankenmarkt Christmas Market: The Adventmarkt in Frankenmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020, according to the city’s main event page here.
- Gosau Christmas Market: The Gosauer Berg-Weihnacht has officially been cancelled for 2020 according to the main event page here.
- Johannesbachklamm Advent: Advent in der Johannesbachklamm has officially been cancelled for 2020, according to the event page here.
- Obernberg Christmas Market: The Kathrein- und Weihnachtsmarkt at Burg Obernberg has officially been cancelled for 2020 according to the official tourism page here.
- Timelkam Christmas Market: The Weihnachtsmarkt Timelkam has officially been cancelled according to the official event page here.
I will update this section as I learn more about Christmas market cancellations in Austria, but this page is a good resource for up-to-date cancellations for all events in Austria, organized by region.
Christmas Market Cancellations in Czechia
Czechia is becoming an increasingly popular Christmas market destination in Europe, thanks in large part to its tourist magnet capital of Prague.
And for eager visitors, the news seems pretty positive. So far, it seems like the Christmas markets in Prague will be going ahead. They’ve even announced the annual competition for their main Xmas market Christmas tree, so at the very least we know there will be festive decorations across the city.
Brno, another city known for Christmas markets in Czechia, has also begun the process of auctioning off stalls to different vendors (here’s a funny article about that), so we can infer that plans are underway there as well.
I will update this section as I learn more about Christmas market cancellations in Czechia.
Christmas Market Cancellations in England
While Christmas markets are usually a popular staple of the winter season across England, many organizers have already cancelled their winter events for 2020.
Optimistically, it seems like many organizers are cancelling their usual events in favour of alternative programs that allow for appropriate distancing, but the exact details of these are not yet known.
But, if you’re curious, here are the Christmas market cancellations in England we know of so far:
- Birmingham Christmas Market: The annual Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham has officially been cancelled for 2020 despite earlier predictions that it would still be able to go on.
- Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland: The popular Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland event has been cancelled for 2020 and will be instead replaced with an alternative 7 week program that complies with current hygiene and safety standards.
- Bristol Christmas Market: The popular Christmas market in Bristol has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Harrogate Christmas Market: The annual Christmas market in Harrogate has been officially cancelled for 2020, however they are looking into the possibility of hosting a market in the Spring to make up for it.
- London’s Winter Wonderland: The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, one of London’s most popular winter events, has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Leeds Christmas Market: The German Christmas market in Leeds has officially been cancelled for 2020, however the city is looking into alternative Christmas programs for the city center.
- Richmond Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Richmond has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Rochester Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Rochester has officially been cancelled for 2020, as has the Dickensian Christmas Festival.
- Stratford Christmas Market: The Victorian Christmas market in Stratford has officially been cancelled for 2020.
Christmas Market Cancellations in France
France is home to several world-famous Christmas markets and events. Christmas in Paris for example is a popular choice for many visitors from overseas, however with rising cases and uncertainty, concrete plans on what Christmas will look like across Paris (and France in general) are not yet known.
Christmas markets in the Alsace region are especially popular for visitors from around the world, however official word on the fate of these markets (which include big names like Strasbourg Christmas Market and Colmar Christmas market) is unknown as well.
As of early September, it was announced by the mayor of Strasbourg that the goal was to still hold the city’s Christmas market this year, but with a wary undertone of “anything can change quickly”.
Nonetheless, there are a few Christmas markets in France that have already been cancelled. Here are the ones that have been confirmed so far:
- Arras Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Arras has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Château d’Havré Christmas Market: The marché de Noël du château d’Havré has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Lauwin-Planque Christmas Market: The marché de Noël de Lauwin-Planque is officially cancelled for 2020.
- Provins Medieval Christmas Market: The medieval market that takes place at Place du Châtel is officially cancelled for 2020.
- Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire: The Christmas market in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Waimes Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Waimes has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Wiwersheim Christmas Market: According to the official event page here, the Christmas market celebrations in Wiwersheim have officially been cancelled for 2020.
Christmas Market Cancellations in Germany
While the situation seemingly changes day by day in Germany, the overall plan right now for most major cities is to proceed with Christmas markets this year, albeit with significant modifications to the market plans/programming to accommodate new hygiene requirements and social distancing. The main exception to this is Cologne’s Christmas markets, where two of the major markets of the city center have already been cancelled.
In Munich for example, while the airport’s annual Christmas market is cancelled, they say that the city’s main Christmas markets will continue this year with modifications, and the story sounds similar for other well-known markets like Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.
For smaller Christmas markets in Germany however, many organizers have decided to cut their losses early. Again, you can access a more thorough list of cancellations here, organized by state, but here they are at a glance…
- Auerbach: The town’s Bergwerksweihnacht celebration has officially been cancelled for 2020
- Christkindlmarkt auf der Fraueninsel: Officially cancelled for 2020
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen: The town’s annual White Night 2020 has been officially cancelled, and some sources report that the Christmas market will also be cancelled this year
- Lindau Christmas Market: Both the Hafenweihnacht und Jahrmarkt in Lindau have been officially cancelled for 2020.
- Miltenberg Christmas Market: Officially cancelled for 2020, and will be replaced by a new festive concept known as “Miltenberger Weihnachtszeit” (Miltenberg Christmas Time) which includes a program of festive performances rather than a traditional market
- Munich Airport Christmas Market: The Christmas market at Munich airport has been officially cancelled for 2020
- Rothenbuch Christmas Market: Officially cancelled for 2020
- Tegernseer Adventszauber: This lakeside Christmas event which includes 3 markets along the lake was officially cancelled earlier in August, but they are currently examining other smaller festive alternatives.
- Tischenreuth Christmas Market: The Kunsthandwerklichen Weihnachtsmarkt has been officially cancelled for 2020
NORTH RHINE WESTPHALIA:
- Cologne Christmas Market: The famous Christmas market in front of Cologne Cathedral has been cancelled, along with Christmas markets in the Old Town. In spite of these cancellations, city officials have said that they will still try to keep the Christmas spirit alive with festive decorations. There are also other Christmas markets in the city that have not yet been cancelled.
- Düsseldorf Christmas Market: While sources claim that Christmas markets in Düsseldorf are likely going ahead this year, the markets will look a lot different due to adjusted safety and hygiene regulations. It is said that there will be no market stalls on Flinger Str, and the Engelchenmarkt will be cancelled.
- Essen Christmas Market: Some smaller markets in Essen such as the Borbeck Christmas Market and Haarzopf have been cancelled, however the main market in the city center is said to still be in the works.
- Hohenlimburg Castle Christmas Market: The Weihnachtsmarkt am Schloss Hohenlimburg was already cancelled back in April 2020
- Hamm Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Rhynern has already been cancelled for 2020, as has the Tünner Weihnachtsmarkt and theWeihnachtsmarkt in Uentrop.
- Präst Christmas Market: The Praester Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled fo 2020.
- Calw Christmas Market: The Calw Christmas Market has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Donaueschingen Christmas Market: The Donaueschinger Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Eberbacher Christmas Market: Eberbacher Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020
- Heudorf Christmas Market: The Heudorfer Christkindlmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Königsfeld Christmas Market: The Königsfelder Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Lörrach Christmas Market: The Lörracher Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020, however they are planning a smaller alternative Christmas program for the year.
- Meßkirch Christmas Market: The Schlossweihnacht in Meßkirch has been officially cancelled for 2020.
- Rheinfelden Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Rheinfelden has been officially cancelled for 2020.
- Schloss Salem Christmas Market: The Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Salem has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Schönwald Christmas Market: The Schönwalder Weihnachtsmarkt (which bills itself as the highest Christmas market in Germany) has been officially cancelled for 2020.
- Schwetzingen Christmas Market: The Kurfürstliche Weihnachtsmarkt Schwetzingen has officially been cancelled for 2020, although organizers are looking into alternative concepts for festivities.
- Neuenburg am Rhein Christmas Market: The traditional market at Neuenburg am Rhein has been cancelled for 2020, according to the official event page here.
- Pullendorf Advent Magic: The Adventszauber in Pfullendorf (including both the Christmas market and the popular ‘Angel’s Descent’) has been officially cancelled for 2020.
- Triberg Christmas Magic: The Triberger Weihnachtszauber specacle at the famous waterfalls have officially been cancelled for 2020
- Überlinger Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Überlinger has officially been cancelled for 2020, however they are hoping to still have an ice skating rink this year.
- Winnenden Christmas Market: The Winnender Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020 however an alternative Christmas village program is being planned with some stalls and events.
- Vogtsbauernhof Christmas Market: The Weihnachtsmarkt im Schwarzwälder Freilichtmuseum Vogtsbauernhof in Gutach has officially been cancelled for 2020, however they are curently planning a digital alternative where you can view exhibitors online
- Brühl Christmas Market: The Brühl Christmas market is officially cancelled for 2020.
- Burgschwalbach Christmas Market: Officially cancelled for 2020 according to this announcement from the mayor
- Dudeldorf Christmas Market: Officially cancelled for 2020 according to the official tourism page
- Johanniskreuz Christmas Market: the Romantische Waldweihnacht in Johanniskreuz has officially been cancelled for 2020, however a Christmas tree sale/food stalls is slated to take its place, pending approvals and hygiene regulations.
- Koblenz Christmas Market: The Koblenzer SchängelMarkt appears to be cancelled for 2020 according to the official tourism page, but many sources including Koblenz Tourism say that planning is underway for other markets, with the castle looking like a strong contender for hosting a market of some kind.
- Rhens Christmas Market: Officially cancelled for 2020 according to the official tourism page
- Liebenberg Christmas Market: The popular Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Schloss und Gut Liebenberg has officially been cancelled for 2020
- Neuzelle Christmas Market: The traditional Weihnachtsmarkt in Neuzelle has been cancelled for 2020
- Zehdenicker Laternenzauber: The Zehdenicker Laternenzauber has been cancelled for 2020
- Biebertal Christmas Market: The Biebertal Christmas market has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Frankfurt Christmas Market: While Frankfurt seems intent on hosting some form of Christmas markets this year, the Christmas market at the Stadtwaldhaus has already been cancelled.
- Lohfelden Christmas Market: The Lohfeldener Weihnachtsmarkt has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Schwalm Christmas Market: The Schwalm Christmas Market has officially been cancelled for 2020 according to its website here.
- Witzenhausen Christmas Market: The Christmas Market in Witzenhausen has officially been cancelled for 2020, however they are planning an alternative Christmas program to take its place.
- Altentreptow Christmas Market: The “Treptower Wihnacht” has officially been cancelled for 2020, however discussions are still taking place regarding other Christmas markets in Altentreptow.
- Parchim Martinimarkt: The Martinimarkt in Parchim has officially been cancelled for 2020. NOTE: This is not an official Christmas market, but rather a winter festival at the beginning of November quite similar in nature.
Christmas Market Cancellations in Scotland
Christmas markets and festivals have become an integral part of the Scottish winter calendar, but one thing’s for sure: the events that do go on will look substantially different this year.
And while official cancellations for Christmas markets and festivals in Scotland are still quite limited, many areas have opted to cancel official switch-on events for Christmas lights this year, including Ayr, Paisley, Inverness, Bridgend and Felixstowe, however most of them will still have the lights, just without the usual switch-on ceremony.
Controversially, the Edinburgh Christmas Market is scheduled to go on this winter.
Here is what we know so far about Christmas markets and festivals that have been cancelled in Scotland:
- Aberdeen Christmas Village: The popular Christmas village in Aberdeen has officially been cancelled for 2020.
- Perth Winter Festival: The Winter Festival in Perth has officially been cancelled for 2020, along with the switching on of lights event.
Christmas Market Cancellations in Switzerland
Switzerland is home to some truly breathtaking Christmas markets (or Swissmas markets, as I like to call them) and so far, it seems most of the major markets are planning to still go on in some capacity, with revised hygiene concepts and programs to reduce crowding.
The mayor of Basel for example has insisted that the famous Basel Christmas Market will take place this year in some form. Plans are also underway for the Christmas markets in Zurich, as well as the lights-on ceremony for ‘Lucy’, Zurich’s beloved Christmas lights.
In Montreux, they have already presented a revised hygiene concept for the beautiful Montreux Christmas Market, and the nearby Bô Noël celebrations in Lausanne are also already planning ways they can host the event with revised safety measures. Overall, it seems like the event organizers in these regions are very opposed to cancelling the Christmas markets completely so (depending on how cases progress of course), we can likely expect them to take place in some way.
Nonetheless, some Swiss Christmas markets have announced that they will not be happening in 2020. Here are the Christmas market cancellations in Switzerland that we know of so far:
- Lucerne Christmas Market: While not all markets in Lucerne have been cancelled, the iconic Lozärner Wiehnachtsmärt in the city center (Franziskanerplatz) has been officially cancelled for 2020.
- Willisau Christmas Market: The Christkindli Märit in Willisau has officially been cancelled for 2020, with no plans for a “light” or alternative version in place.
- Zofingen Christmas Market: The Weihnachtsmarkt der Sinne in Zofingen has officially been cancelled for 2020, also with no plans to organize a ‘light’ version with reduced activities.
Christmas Market Cancellations in Wales
While many Christmas events in Wales have already been cancelled, the fate of the country’s major Christmas market in Cardiff is still to be decided.
For now, here is what we know about Christmas market/festival cancellations in Wales for 2020:
- Aberglasney Gardens Winter Fair and Carol Service: The Winter Fair and Carol Service at Aberglasney Gardens has officially been cancelled for 2020
- Blaenavon Christmas Market: The Christmas market in Blaenavon has officially been cancelled for 2020.
I will update this list as I learn more about Christmas market cancellations in Wales, but this page is also a great resource that is getting updated frequently.
Other Major Christmas Markets in Europe: Which are/might be cancelled?
Since Europe covers a ton of countries, there are still plenty of Christmas markets that I haven’t mentioned above.
Unfortunately, the fate of Xmas markets in many other countries is still a huge question mark, but here is what I’ve been able to dig up on some other major Christmas events. Let me know in the comments if you have additional helpful info that I should add!
The Christmas markets in Brussels, Belgium have already set the dates for their 2020 Plaisirs d’Hiver event, (from Nov 27, 2020 to January 3, 2021). However no announcements or updates have been made yet about whether the event will be impacted this year.
Many Christmas markets in the Netherlands have already been cancelled for 2020. This page (in Dutch) is a really excellent resource, so be sure to check it out for an up-to-date list on what Christmas markets have been cancelled in the Netherlands.
The Christmas markets in Budapest, Hungary have been voted one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe for multiple years, and while no official dates have been set for 2020’s markets, the prospects of international visitors coming in are quite bleak, given that they just re-closed the borders in early September due to surging cases in the country.
The Christmas markets in Tallinn, Estonia have also earned international acclaim over the past few years, but as of mid-September, their official pages still list only the market’s 2019 dates. I will update you as I learn more.
Do you have more European Christmas market cancellations I should add to this list?
Let me know in the comments below if I’m missing a Christmas market cancellation that you know of! Pooling all this information from scattered sources has been a huge challenge, and I did try my best but this info changes day by day so I can always use a hand in updating the list! Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you found this helpful.
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