In spite of pandemic, Bratislava is preparing for Christmas markets

But there won't be an ice rink in Hviezdoslavovo Square this year.

The Christmas market on Main Square.The Christmas market on Main Square. (Source: TASR)

Citizens and visitors of Bratislava can look forward to the city's popular Christmas markets this year. Both the Bratislava city council and the Old Town borough have confirmed that they are working on the markets to make them safe for all participants. However, the markets will be held in a restricted format and under valid anti-pandemic measures.​

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Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide! Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide! (Source: Spectacular Slovakia)

​The main Christmas market, organised by the city council on the Main and Franciscan Squares between November 26 and December 22, will be adapted to the epidemic situation, including a limit on the number of visitors. The market will be defined as a mass event with controlled entrance and will be subject to the regulations valid during the time of its duration.

“Of course, if the situation is very critical, the city council will consider the possibility of not holding the event,” said Katarína Rajčanová, spokesperson of Bratislava, as cited by the TAS newswire. “However, we are currently taking all the steps to prepare it.”

The registration for stands has been closed and successful applicants have been announced. In the coming days, applicants will sign lease agreements. Registration for stands for non-profit organisations for symbolic rent is also underway, noted Rajčanová.

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The Old Town borough will hold the market on Hviezdoslavovo Square like usual; however, this year, there will not be an ice rink or podium for cultural performances in the square. But there will certainly be a Christmas tree, and a second one may even be placed on the Rázusove Embankment.

Stands will be arranged differently in Hviezdoslavovo Square than during the pre-pandemic years. Instead of the usual two lines of stands with space for visitors between them, the backs of the stands will be turned towards each other, creating more space for visitors to keep their distance. Restaurants lining the square should also get an opportunity to offer their products to visitors of the Christmas market.

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