- Christmas markets are a cherished tradition in Europe, and usually attract millions of visitors every year.
- But this year, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced countries to cancel or diminish their Christmas festivities.
- Scroll down to see before-and-after photos of Europe’s famous Christmas markets.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Christmas markets are being canceled this year amid concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The markets are a cherished tradition in Europe, and usually attract millions of visitors every year.
But in 2020 the large squares where people would usually gather to drink mulled wine and eat festive Christmas treats, are looking eerily empty.
Scroll down to see before-and-after photos of Europe’s Christmas markets.
Some 85 million people visit Germany’s Christmas markets every year, according to Deutsche Welle.
Source: Deutsche Welle
AFTER: But Christmas festivities had to be canceled last month, leaving the city’s large square looking a lot emptier than usual.
BEFORE: In Frankfurt, Germany, the famous Christmas market usually looks like a Winter wonderland.
AFTER: But this year, the square has been left vacant and visitors can only view a single, large Christmas tree.
BEFORE: In Germany’s capital, Berlin, a Christmas market usually lights up the Gendarmenmarkt square.
AFTER: This Christmas, the square looks like it does all year round, with not a single decoration in sight.
BEFORE: In Dortmund, the Christmas tree is the annual attraction as it’s rumored to be the in the world.
The tree, which is usually surrounded by festive stalls, measures up to 150 feet tall every year, according to the market’s official website.
Source: Dortmund Christmas Market
AFTER: But this year, officials haven’t even put up the Christmas tree.
BEFORE: Other landmarks in Germany, including the Baroque Charlottenburg palace, usually also step up their decorations during the festive season.
AFTER: But the Christmas market in front of Charlottenburg Palace has also been canceled.
BEFORE: It’s not just Germany’s markets that are being called off. In Prague, the Old Town Square is usually packed with gingerbread-eating visitors.
AFTER: But this year, nothing but a lit-up Christmas tree remains after the market had to be canceled.
BEFORE: Strasbourg in northeastern France is known as the European capital of Christmas, with its incredible markets attracting 2 million visitors every season.
Source: Noel Strasbourg
AFTER: The city has still put up decorations and is running some activities, but officials have had to massively ramp down the usual festivities.
BEFORE: Brussels is also a popular city to visit during Christmas time.
AFTER: But its biggest event of the season, Winter Wonders, had to be canceled last month.