Posted on November 28 2020
Most of the EU and many Schengen countries have travel restrictions in place in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, there are still various options available for foreigners wishing to experience and celebrate Christmas abroad in general, and in a European country in particular.
While certain EU countries might be better known for their Christmas markets, countries like Turkey and Russia are not far behind in the festive spirit.
Here, we shall review the Top 5 cities in Europe to visit this Christmas.
St. Petersburg [Russia]
Formerly known as Petrograd and later as Leningrad, St. Petersburg is a city and port in the extreme north-western Russia. Lying about 640 kilometres to the north-west of Moscow, St. Petersburg is the second-largest city of Russia.
St. Petersburg is the ideal destination for those looking for a snowy Christmas. Do keep in mind that Christmas is celebrated on January 7 in St. Petersburg as the Julian calendar is followed.
For nationals of certain countries – the UAE, Japan, Britain, Egypt, the Maldives, Switzerland, South Korea, Turkey etc. – St. Petersburg is the perfect place to spend their Christmas this time around.
Even with Christmas being celebrated on January 7 in place of December 25, the last days of the month of December are nonetheless very festive.
With the temperature ranging between a minimum of 4?C on one hand to a maximum of 13?C on the other, St. Petersburg promises a completely white and snowy Christmas.
Formerly known as Constantinople, Turkey is the largest city as well as the main seaport of Turkey.
Istanbul is the perfect destination to spend Christmas, especially for those looking to avoid a commercialized version of the festival.
Even with a majority of the population being made up of Muslims, Istanbul is still covered in Christmas decorations and lights towards the end of the year.
A few days before Christmas, all the streets and stores in Istanbul are decorated in keeping with the festive spirit.
Currently, all arrivals into Turkey will be subject to a medical evaluation for COVID-19 symptoms. Those with symptoms will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test.
Those testing positive will have to quarantine, either at a facility determined by the Ministry of Health, or at a private medical facility instead.
Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik is located in the extreme south of Croatia.
As Croatia permits travelers to the country for purposes of tourism to enter any part of the Croatian territory, there are many an option available for those seeking to spend their Christmas in the city.
Furthermore, a Christmas fair – at the atrium of the Convent of St. Claire – is to be held in the city for this year.
To be held from St. Nicholas’ Day to January 6, the fair will be featuring traditional craftsmen that will be displaying their handicrafts etc.
The capital as well as the chief city of Croatia, Zagreb lies on the slopes of the Medvednica Hill to the north and the floodplain of the Sava River towards the south.
Croatia, the youngest EU country, has abolished the EU-wide entry ban for various categories. Travellers can enter the country for tourism and other business reasons.
Among the list of individuals eligible for entering Croatia are those “travelling for tourism or other business reasons or having other economic interest and passengers travelling for the purpose of education”.
For Christmas this year, a tourist can visit any of the cities in Croatia.
The capital of Albania, Tirana lies around 27 kilometres to the east of the Adriatic Sea coast.
Known for its hot and long summers, Albania has a rich cultural heritage and an amazing coastline. Albania is also a worthy destination for those looking to spend their end of the year holidays abroad.
Even with a majority of its population following Islam, Albania is nonetheless a country of religious harmony.
Covered in lights during Christmas, the capital city of Tirana is a wonderful place to be at.
Currently, Albania does not have an entry ban. Health screening procedures are being followed at airports as well as other ports of entry. However, no negative COVID-19 test is required.
There is a lot that goes into making Europe the best place for getting a Christmas experience. Vibrant festivals, bustling night markets, and many traditions are some of the reasons that Europe is a much sought-after Christmas destination.
For many cities in Europe, Christmas is not just a day of festivities, but one long month filled with celebrations.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate Overseas, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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