June 1, 2023

Vienna, Austria:

With its grand buildings and rich cultural history, Vienna is a great city to visit at any time of the year, but it takes on a certain magic at Christmas time.

You’ll find markets dotted around the city’s squares, with stalls selling freshly-baked pretzels and pastries, filling the air with inviting smells.

For the biggest market, make your way to the Rathausplatz, the square in front of the town hall, which provides a gorgeous backdrop for all the wooden huts.

Double-jabbed travellers can enter Austria without having to quarantine, but those who are unvaccinated will need to present a negative test and self-isolate for 10 days.

While in Austria, FFP2 face masks are compulsory inside enclosed spaces and on public transport. Proof of vaccination or a negative test is needed to enter hospitality spaces.

Cologne, Germany:

A trip to Cologne promises to be an authentic Christmas Ugly Sweater market experience – after all Germany is the country where it all began. Enjoy some of the best German cuisine including Bratwurst smothered in mustard and lightly-spiced Lebkuchen.

There are several festive markets to choose from at this popular destination, the most impressive one can be found by the city’s stunning cathedral.
You can enter Germany if you’re double jabbed from the UK, but if you’re unvaccinated you can only enter Germany if you have a significant link such as a German spouse or child or have an urgent need to travel, and they will be subject to quarantine.

All travellers entering Germany will need to complete pre-departure digital registration.

While in Germany masks need to be worn in enclosed public spaces and on public transport, while proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test is required for entry into various venues, including hotels and restaurants.

Prague, Czech Republic:

With stalls selling handcrafted toys, beautiful decorations and festive trinkets, Prague’s Christmas market is certainly full of charm.

Located in the heart of the city, the Old Town Square market is a Christmas card worthy scene, or visit Wenceslas Square where there is a tree lighting ceremony at 5pm each night.

Fully-vaccinated travellers can enter Czech Republic without needing to be isolated or taking a PCR test, those who are not double jabbed can only enter the country with an essential reason.

An FFP2 (or higher) mask is needed in all indoor public spaces and on public transport. Social distancing measures are in place inside shops and restaurants, and you may be required to show your Covid status to gain entry.

Strasbourg, France:

One of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, Strasbourg is certainly worth a visit with over 300 wooden huts selling festive treats.

Around every corner you’ll see buildings adorned with twinkling lights, while the city’s timber-framed buildings will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

Double jabbed travellers need to complete a sworn statement to enter France, but if you’re not fully vaccinated you’ll need an essential reason to travel to France.

Face masks must be worn in all enclosed public spaces and on public transport.

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