You Can Experience Some of Europe’s Best Christmas Markets From Home Thanks to These Virtual Tours

Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace

Few places do holiday cheer quite like Europe, with its festive Christmas markets all across the continent. In an unfortunate — though, at this point, mostly expected — turn of events, the bright lights, ornaments, and mulled wine have been put on hold as many European countries canceled their Christmas markets this year. Even Germany’s world-famous Nuremberg Christmas market has been canceled for the first time since WWII. 

While it’s another disappointment to add to the list of things that went wrong in 2020, there’s no reason to feel like a total Grinch. As with many of this year’s events and gatherings, there is a way to experience these beloved markets virtually from the comfort of your home. So, grab some eggnog or hot glühwein and pretend like you’re at one of these festive locations.

In Berlin, you’ll usually find several Christmas markets around the city. While that won’t be the case this year, you can still virtually visit the market at Charlottenburg Palace, thanks to this 360-degree tour. If you happen to have VR glasses at home, this tour also comes with a version formatted specifically for VR technology, allowing you to really immerse yourself in the middle of all the Christmas cheer.

If you have less than a minute to spare, you can transport yourself to London and admire the Christmas lights and displays with this video tour, which walks viewers through colorful Carnaby Street as well as past the sparkling lights of Oxford Circus and the giant ornaments and mistletoe of Covent Garden. Also a great fit for VR glasses, this tour is complete with Christmas music that’ll really get you in the spirit of the season. 

Der Kleine Eistraum, which translates to the Little Ice Dream, is one of Vienna’s largest Christmas Markets. With this virtual tour, you can explore the market from every angle, starting with the glittering arches of the entry to the market stalls and ice rink. Since this tour was made using video footage from a previous year, you’ll also see visitors walking around and enjoying the area, making it feel like you’re right there with them.

And because there’s no Christmas without the man in the red hat, you can also check out a livestream of Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland. The village also produces Santa Television with video messages from good ol’ Saint Nick himself.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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