With the way 2020 has gone so far, we don’t think many of you would be surprised if you were suddenly told that Christmas had been cancelled this year. And at the risk of sounding like a complete Grinch, the usual festivities will have to be set aside this year for something a little smaller and quieter, with many unable to travel, Christmas getaways cancelled and the run up to the big day being much tamer than we’re used to. For many of you, this also means missing out on a time-honoured tradition of browsing the Christmas markets, eating roasted chestnuts and drinking mulled wine as you go.
But there is some good news! Thanks to technology there are still plenty of ways you can enjoy the festive season (and we’re not just talking about binge watching Christmas movies on demand and playing with that hilarious electric-shock gag gift you gave to your uncle).
In order to keep the Christmas spirit alive, some of the world’s biggest and best markets have set up virtual tours and portals so you can continue to shop online. This means you can still partake in your usual tradition, even if these look a little different this year. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of eight virtual Christmas markets from around the world that you can visit from the warmth and comfort of your own home.
(Chocolates and mulled wine in hand optional but advised).
- Charlottenburg Palace Market, Berlin
There are usually lots of wonderful Christmas markets popping up around Germany at this time of year, particularly in the nation’s capital of Berlin. Sadly, that won’t be the case this year but lucky for you, you can still enjoy the Charlottenburg Palace Market with 360-degree virtual tour. So get your fire going and get your Bratwursts cooking because you can enjoy all the usual delights of the market from your sofa. And better still, if you have a VR headset there is also a version of the tour that has been formatted for VR so you can fully immerse yourself in the festive experience.
- Der Kleine Eistraum, Vienna
Der Kleine Eistraum (which translates to the Little Ice Dream) is one of the biggest and most popular Christmas markets in Vienna. Although the event is unable to go ahead, the event organisers have captured footage from last year’s market and put together an exciting tour that lets you see the market from every angle. You can watch people dancing around on the ice rink, get access to market stalls and walk through the glittering arches. Best of all, because there are people in the footage you can really feel like you’re joining them as part of the action.
- ChristKindl Christmas Market, Colorado, United States
As a result of this year’s unique circumstances, the ChristKindl Christmas Market has become the first virtual Christmas market of its kind in the US. This year’s market has been branded “Home for the Holidays” and has been set up to replicate a traditional German market. Through the online portal you can bring your Christmas spirit to life using the online marketplace and you can take part in family-friendly events and fun interactive activities for kids.
Running throughout the whole of December right up to the New Year, you can still make some special memories this festive season, even if things are a little different to normal.
- Albert Square Market, Manchester
Every winter, Albert Square in Manchester is lit up with a festive array of Christmas lights around its already beautiful architecture, including the town hall. This lovely, warming atmosphere is the perfect backdrop to the variety of stalls selling Christmas gifts, decorations, chocolate, cheese and other delicious comfort foods.
Of course, that’s not happening this year but thanks to Google Street view, you can take a virtual walk around the market and get your tastebuds tingling as you think about all the delicious festive treats you are going to enjoy this December.
- Tuscan Virtual Market, Italy
Because Christmas won’t be the same this year, the lovely team at Encompassing Destinations decided to do something pretty special. They have partner with a range of Italian vendors to create a fully virtual and informative Christmas market experience.
As well as their three country Christmas Market Tour, their dedicated site also shares plenty of information about their Italian vendors, their produce and where you can buy it for yourself. Because nothing says Christmas quite like a cheese board bursting with delicious Italian cheeses (and complimented with Italian meats and fresh bread of course!).
- Craftadian Holiday Market, Canada
Due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Craftadian Holiday Market has been cancelled. The good news is, this quaint craft fair is moving online to offer you an exciting festive shopping experience. From jewellery makers to artists and handcrafted stationary, this craft fair has something for every craft-enthusiast.
What’s more, as well as being able to find out more about the makers and artisans through the virtual platform, you can also watch DIY demos and instructional videos on how to make the most of their products. You can of course, then order these products through the site either for yourself or for a loved one as a gift.
7. Santa Claus Village, Finland
OK, so not strictly a tour of a market but no Christmas would be complete without a trip to see the big guy! That’s why you and your little ones can enjoy live streaming and Santa Television all filmed in the Santa Claus Village in Lapland.
You’ll be able to view video messages from Saint Nick himself and watch as the elves get to work preparing everything for Christmas Day. Because hey, the pandemic might have slowed us down and some events might be cancelled but Santa Claus and his reindeer will always find a way to be there on Christmas Day.
If you’re travelling home to be with your family this Christmas then My Baggage have got you covered. Get your luggage shipping quote today!