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Five Safest Christmas Market Destinations in Europe in Terms of COVID-19

The European Best Destinations (EBD) organisation has published a list of European cities hosting the best Christmas markets in 2020. The selection process had to factor in the COVID-19 situation this year. EBD picked the safest Christmas destinations across the EU based on the quantity of COVID-19 cases per million people, vicinity of airports, number of hospital beds per inhabitant, reinforcement of sanitary measures and hygiene in public places, provision of sanitisers and masks, as well as circulation routes inside the markets.


Without further ado, let’s review the top 5 places according to EBD



1. Madeira Islands, Portugal


Market dates: 1 December 2020 to 10 January 2021 (Market Night on 23rd of December).


Travel conditions: Here’s a form to be completed prior to travel.


Madeira tops the list as the safest EU destination this year. It revealed up to 12 times fewer infection cases per million people than other European cities.


Madeira authorities have established rigorous health protocols to host visitors safely while ensuring opportunities for leisure and discovery. 


There is no quarantine on arrival for visitors with a negative COVID test made up to 72 hours before travel. Scanning is performed at the airport, hydroalcoholic gels and masks are provided in abundance in public spaces. As for masks, they are a must-have requirement in some places, yet not on the beach.


Madeira’s Christmas market holds the ‘Best Sunny Christmas Markets in Europe’ award for its tropical vibe, charming lights, exotic fruits and local wines and brews.



2. Tallinn, Estonia


Market dates: 15 November 2020 to 5 January 2021


Travel conditions: Here’s a list of countries whose nationals may face special restrictions when entering Estonia.


Winner of the ‘Best Christmas Market in Europe in 2019’ award, the Estonian capital Tallinn ranks second this year. Tallinn is famous for its family vibe, bright illuminations, craft products and local delicacies.


Estonia has reported 18 times fewer severe cases of COVID-19 compared to the most affected EU regions. The country has managed to get back to "normal" retaining the social distancing measures, imposing mask wearing and providing sanitisers in public spaces.



3. Vienna, Austria


Market dates: 18 November to 26 December 2020


Travel conditions: Unrestricted entry from countries with a stable COVID-19 situation. More information and the entry form are available at the RIS website. 


Vienna has also been celebrated as one of the safest European destinations. Austria responded quickly to the pandemic and introduced efficient sanitary measures. As a result, the country has found itself up to 10 times less affected by the spreading infection than its EU neighbours.


Starting in mid-November, Vienna’s central squares turn into Christmas markets. Vienna’s markets cater to every gastronomic taste and keep up the cheerful holiday spirit. They will be deployed with COVID-19 measures in mind so visitors will find themselves in a festive, yet safe environment.



4. Craiova, Romania


Market dates: 28 November 2020 to 1 January 1, 2021


Travel conditions: Unrestricted entry from EU countries, except Luxembourg, Malta and some Spanish regions.


Capital of the Dolj County in Romania, Craiova offers COVID-safe and authentic local Christmas markets to locals and tourists. Romanian authorities acted fast in the face of pandemic and took preventive measures seriously. Healthcare-wise, Romania has had more hospital beds per capita than the UK or Norway.


EBD praised Cariova as a renowned hub for cultural and artistic events that capped the all-year tourist flow to offer visitors greater safety during the holiday season.


Travelers visiting from countries with a similar or lower rate of new COVID cases in the past two weeks can enter without limitations. Nationals of more affected countries will have to self-isolate or undergo quarantine for 14 days.



5. Prague, Czech Republic


Market dates: 28 November 2020 to 6 January 2021.  


Travel conditions: Unrestricted entry from EU countries, except those in a difficult epidemiological situation.


Czech Republic boasts 15 times fewer cases of COVID-19 per million people compared to the high-risk EU regions. Prague has been known for its sumptuous Christmas markets. This year, they will also be among the safest in Europe.


Event organisers have implemented stringent measures to ensure visitors’ safety. These include social distancing recommendations, sanitisers, full availability of masks and gloves, plexiglass protection and special procedures for food kiosks.


A traditional Czech marketplace will feature tens of wooden stalls with local goods and crafts, including blown glass balls, hand-embroidered tablecloths, toys and other traditional Czech products. Adults and children will enjoy gingerbread, typical Christmas biscuits, roasted chestnuts and delicious grilled sausages.


All in all, different rules apply for different countries. If the current COVID situation in your country of origin prevents you from visiting the EU, contact the Astons experts so we can come up with a relevant solution. A wisely chosen second citizenship will unlock visa-free access to the EU so you can travel without limitations even in pandemic times. 



Astons is a leading global property and immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including the UK, Turkey, Vanuatu, the EU and the Caribbean. 


For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at or call +44 207 292 2977.