Has the Grinch has arrived in Europe? No, but COVID-19 is taking away one of the highlights of the 2020 holiday season. Christmas markets!

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Europe for the world-famous holiday markets. It is THE place to be during the holiday season. People know how to celebrate here. You’ll find a festive holiday atmosphere, fabulous regional foods and beverages, and handcrafted gifts. Tiny clay houses are my favorite. Fill them with incense and bring holiday scents to your home.

a group of miniature houses

The Christmas market in Helsinki is another favorite. Yes, it is smaller, but the Scandinavian specialties will make your mouth water. There are even bonfires to keep visitors toasty as the temperatures drop. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy markets in most European cities this year.

a group of people standing under a sign

Leuven, a college town east of Brussels, hosts a lively holiday market.

Cancelled Christmas Markets

This week, Belgium announced the cancellation of all of its Christmas markets. Health and safety is more important than Christmas commerce this year. Markets in the Netherlands have also been cancelled. Even Cologne, where the renowned Christmas markets are spread throughout the city, has bid adieu to Christmas 2020. Markets have also been cancelled in Copenhagen, Geneva, Hamburg, Helsinki, London and Paris. And more cancellations are expected. 

Want to keep up-to-date on what’s cancelled and what’s a go? Click here for the latest details.