With most European Union and Schengen area member states locking in and imposing entry bans, Christmas travelers wanting to experience how Christmas is celebrated abroad are unable to visit some of Europe’s most iconic cities, wellknown for their Christmas atmosphere. But the well-known European news agency “Schengenvisainfo.com” suggests to Europeans some very good opportunities for those who want to spend Christmas in Europe. Germany, France and other EU countries may be known for their Christmas markets, but other countries like Albania, Turkey and Russia celebrate Christmas on a whole different level.
While travelers can get a taste of a western Christmas in these places, they will also encounter local Christmas traditions; even Christmas celebrated by other religions, or on a completely different date.
“Schengenvisainfo.com” writes that Albania is known for its long and hot wines, its beautiful coast and cultural heritage. However, it is also a great destination for those who want to spend the holiday season abroad.
With over half of its self-proclaimed Muslim population and only about 10 percent Catholic and seven percent Orthodox, one would wonder how it is possible for Albania to be a Christmas destination. Often called “the last beacon of religious tolerance in Europe”, Albania is a country of religious harmony and all religions live together, not only without disturbing each other, but also celebrating with each other important religious dates. “Schengenvisainfo.com” states that Tirana is cloaked with lights during Christmas and a giant tree is decorated in the main square of the capital, while other trees are placed throughout the city.
“Christmas markets are also usually organized. The most important thing you need to know is that currently, Albania does not have an entry ban. Although there are health screening procedures at airports and other gateways, no negative COVID-19 test is required,” writes Schengenvisainfo.com.