First time travel to Christmas markets

Travel Forums Europe First time travel to Christmas markets

1. Posted by bernadette.c (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

As Filipino expats in Norway, my husband and I are planning to visit Christmas markets this December instead of our usual trip to the Philippines. We secured employment in Norway without becoming fluent Norwegian speakers, so English proficiency would make travel and interactions much easier for our upcoming Christmas market trip. Could you please recommend some Christmas market destinations where we're likely to encounter few language barriers? We want to enjoy the festive atmosphere and local fare while minimizing communication challenges. Places with populations accustomed to English tourism would be ideal. I appreciate any recommendations that could make our holiday travels stress-free in a non-native language environment.

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5216 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

"...encounter few language barriers?"


Fly to London?

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4. Posted by zzlangerhans (Travel Guru 522 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

I can’t think of any Christmas markets where you are likely to encounter language barriers. English is widely spoken in Germany and Switzerland, as well as the parts of France which have heavy tourism. I would not worry about language barriers if you are a fluent English speaker.

5. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 5795 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

As zzlangerhans says, you're very unlikely to encounter any major 'language barriers' at Christmas markets in Germany or Switzerland.

The same applies to Sweden, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and also to Christmas markets in pretty much any visitor-popular city in the EU countries e.g. Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Zagreb, Rome, Lisbon......

English has long been widely taught in schools in the EU/Schengen countries. Younger people in all EU/Schengen countries are often fluent in English and even older people usually have enough to communicate. That's particularly the case in cities and towns which have a lot of visitors from elsewhere.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5216 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

Kumusta Bernadette.

I have been to Manila in September and was surprised to hear Christmas music in the Robinson Mall, Ermita and other places. For Europe you will recognize their style of Christmas celebration but probably not as early as your home country.

When I was last in Norway it was "in the time before the internet" and even then had no real problems. (Mostly Bergen area.) You should do okay, just go with the flow! Your fellow long term Filipino Expats can advise you too.

What exactly does a "Christmas Market" mean to you?

Good luck.

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8. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2028 posts) 9w Star this if you like it!

We visited the Christmas markets in Strasbourg in France and had no language problems. All those market stall owners want to sell you things so they speak several languages. If they don't speak English themselves, they find someone who does. We started conversations in French and they immediately switched to English. (Must have been our accents.)

We visited the Paris Christmas markets that same year and really liked Strasbourg better for Christmas. Obviously, there is no language problem in Paris.

You can also use Google translate on your phone. It talks now so is very convenient.

9. Posted by knowledgebee (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Sounds like a wonderful plan! πŸŽ„β„οΈ Have you considered Germany? They often have English-friendly Christmas markets. ✨🌍

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