7 Christmas market alternatives in 2020

Dear 2020, Merry Christmas and ho ho… you ho*!

This year has been quite a ride. If like me you want to swear at it due to ruined plans, all the turmoil, and all things canceled, sending you a virtual high five! As we are nearing the end, I was really looking forward to turning things around just a little bit and to getting a handful of the holiday spirit and Christmas atmosphere, which is absolutely magical at the little markets, that are so popular in Berlin, where I currently live.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19, many cities, not only in Germany, Berlin included, but also all around Europe, have canceled this year’s markets. And understandably so, as you can imagine it is difficult to apply strict safety restrictions to such events and still keep them going.

However, before we all turn into Grinches, if you are still in the search for some Christmas spirit and joy, here’s a list of 7 interesting alternatives to the traditional European Christmas markets this year.

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Take a walk in Porto

There are currently two places in the world, that some of my friends have already learnt not to mention when I’m around. For one reason – I will never stop talking about them! One of the mystery destinations, that completely stole my heart, is Porto in the north of Portugal. Our first randezvous took place back in 2013, when I moved to do a part of my master’s degree at the local university. At Faculdade de Letras at Universidade do Porto, to be exact.

Ecstatic about the travel possibility, new experiences, meeting new people and trying new food, I didn’t really know what’s waiting for me there. I’ve never been to Portugal before and at that time it wasn’t a hugely popular tourist destination. Thankfully, it was love at first sight! The cobblestoned narrow alleys, colorful houses, palm trees popping up here and there, proximity of the ocean, and friendly people, made me feel right at home. So much, that I have revisited Portugal several times, even returning to the place where it all began recently.  Spending a weekend in Porto again was a dream come true. What makes it so special? Let’s see!

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