Christmas markets are a key part of the festive season for many Europeans. In fact, countries across Europe are home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world. Unfortunately, though, they have been the target of deadly terror attacks in recent years, amassing fear among tourists. Are they still safe to travel to?
Ahead of the busy Christmas market season, the FCO has issued a series of warnings and advice for travellers hoping to jet off to European destinations.
One of these festive hotspots is Belgium, which has Christmas markets in Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Bassenge and Ostend.
While none of Belgium’s markets has been a victim of terror attacks, an attack by in March 2016 killed 32 civilians and 300 injured.
Since the fatal attack, the country has upped its terror precautions, particularly at busy terrorist times.
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What is the terror threat scale?
The FCO publishes a current terror threat scale year-round which works to gauge how safe your favourite holiday hotspot is.
The level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5) using national security information. It does not have an expiry date and can change at any time.
What attacks have happened ay Christmas Markets in recent years?
Although Belgium’s Christmas Markets have been sage from terror attacks in recent years, others have not been so fortunate.
In 2016 an attack on Berlin’s Christmas Market was reported to be the deadliest in 30 years.
As a result, 12 market-goers lost their lives and a further 56 were injured.
In France’s Strasbourg Christmas market, a similarly devastating attack in 2018 took the lives of five and injured a further 11.
Since then police presence and safety features have been amped up to ensure people can continue to enjoy the tradition without fear.