Published on December 1, 2010 | by Francy0
Christmas and New Year’s Eve for free?
Europe is within reach, even at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The flights offered by low cost airlines, now allow you to travel by spending a few tens of Euros. However, fun in the main European capitals is often quite expensive and therefore it is useful to have some guidance on what to do or see during your stay, cheap, or better, for free.
The great avenue of Champs-Élysées is definitely one of the best free attractions in Europe. Lights, colors, shops full of gifts, the Christmas markets, and especially the great Ferris wheel (free to photograph), offer tourists very special moments. Every evening, Santa Claus moves along the street on a sleigh.
One of the most exciting free events in London takes place on January 1st, with the London New Year Day Parade. A huge parade with more than 10 000 artists from around the world meeting up with their instruments, with games and masks, especially for the joy of children.
In Milan until January 9th, you will enjoy the ‘Villaggio delle Meraviglie’ in the gardens of Porta Venezia. This event is organized by the city administration and combines business and leisure attractions. In the Village there is a skating rink, a crystal castle, the home of Santa Claus and an area dedicated to Christmas markets, called the Market of the Elves. Walking and watching costs nothing.
The main free attractions of Vienna in this period of year are the Christmas markets. They are everywhere. In the City Hall Square, in the grounds of the City Hall and in Rathausplatz, where to buy typical food for a few Euros as the candied fruit and the nut brittle. And even in the beautiful castle of Schönbrunn all is for Christmas, with food, gifts and concerts.
New Year’s Eve in Berlin is now one of the most popular free mundane events in Europe. Throughout the period from Christmas to New Year’s Eve on the streets and squares of Berlin there are bands and DJs, but the highlight is the evening of the 31st, with the countdown at the Potsdamer Platz and the magnificent fireworks. The Brandenburg Gate celebrates with a stage for performances, big screen and food stalls.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the capital of Holland is transformed: the transgression gives way to the magic and romance. The main squares are filled with lights and colors: in Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein and Dam Square, citizens and tourists have a peaceful and serene appearance. The most beautiful show is at sunset, when all the bridges, monuments, historic buildings and of course the Royal Palace, light up simultaneously.
Needless to think it through. Barcelona these days of celebration is a whole mess of people having fun, running shops and improvising celebrations in the streets. Music and colors are the dominant features. One of the most striking shows, however, is still the Magic Fountain on Montjuic mountain, with its water in sync with plays, music and colors.
Rome, the Eternal City of culture and fun, is also the European capital home to Vatican City. The great square, embraced by Bernini’s colonnades, on Christmas Eve becomes an even more sacred place for the Christianity. At 10.00 pm the Pope celebrates the high Christmas Mass, attended by thousands of people, prelates and representatives of public administration. A very special moment that is worth experiencing, also for nonbelievers.