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Holidays in Europe: The places where the most festive events will take place this year

Holidays in Europe: The places where the most festive events will take place

Many of the traditional Christmas events in Europe have been canceled for the second year, due to the pandemic.

As travel restrictions have been tightened and some seats have been closed following the discovery of the Omicron variant, the chances are slimmer to feel the scent of the holidays.

But this does not mean that there are no places where you can be filled with the joy of Christmas.

Christmas in Wroclaw, Poland

While it may not be the first place you think about celebrating Christmas, Wroclaw has a lot to offer visitors who love the holidays.

Taking place in four different locations throughout the city, this Christmas market has been around since the 16th century and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Surrounded by fascinating architecture and buildings painted in pastel shades, the main place in Rynek Square is like something magical from a fairy tale.

With stalls selling handicrafts, local food and drinks, as well as delicious food from around the world, it is the perfect place to feel the Christmas spirit.

Open until December 21, there is no requirement for vaccination or testing permit and it is not mandatory to keep the mask off.

Lapland, Finland

If you are from an EU country and have been vaccinated or have a negative COVID test, then a trip to Finland is possible. This means you can make a Christmas trip to Lapland.

The capital, Rovaniemi, is the official home of Santa Claus. The elves say that his real home is somewhere in "Ra veshi" mysterious place, but since he is known only for some secrets, the cheerful bearded character has set up an office in the city.

The village of Santa Claus is technically open every day of the year and you can easily travel there by bus from the center of Rovaniemi as well as meet Santan himself. You can go on a tour with husky and reindeer, snowmobile tours, etc.

Dark winter days mean a chance to see the Northern Lights and the beautiful natural environment of the region.

Even if things change, many tour operators offer a full refund that new visitors book if the COVID-19 restrictions are updated and you can no longer travel.

Tallinn, Estonia

Legend has it that the first public Christmas tree in Europe was exhibited in Tallinn in 1441. And the festive spirit of this medieval city has continued ever since.

The festive market focuses on the town’s Town Hall square where the Christmas tree is on display. Decorated with lights and festive objects, traditional Estonian seasonal foods such as black pudding and sauerkraut are sold here. The market runs until January 2nd, so there is still plenty of time to check it out.

There is also a varied program of Christmas events held in the town square with trips and attractions for the kids as well. Instead of a traditional train, this year a double-decker bus will take visitors around Tallinn's old town.

Estonia is currently open to fully vaccinated travelers without restrictions.

Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona

This festival was once a one-day event to commemorate the feast of Santa Lucia on December 13th. It now spans a three-week timeframe with activities such as Christmas nativity scenes, festive stories and a pinata-style Christmas register known as caga tio.

There is also a Christmas market with about 300 stalls outside Barcelona Cathedral. Located in the Avinguda de la Catedral, it runs until December 23, the day before Christmas Eve.

Masks are mandatory when it is not possible to maintain social distance and the number of visitors can be limited on weekends when the market is busy.