Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, as the melody goes. But the Christmas spirit really comes alive in Belgium! The Christmas markets are a true wonder to behold, with an abundance of stalls, skating rinks, family activities and much more! Looking for the oldest, the largest or the most radiant market to experience with family and friends? Then check out the options below for an unforgettable Christmas!
Unravel winter cheer in one of the many Belgian cities this season! We put together the best Belgian Christmas markets for you, from winter jingles in Ghent to the lights of Liège.
1. The oldest Christmas village in Liège
Liège is proud to be the very first Belgian city to feature a Christmas market, also claiming to have the largest in the country. Downtown Liège transforms into a Christmas village during the holiday season where little wooden chalets let you shop to your heart’s content. The cathedral is host to the ‘Noélies’ of Liège, a spellbinding sound and light show telling the story of Christmas. The Christmas village also features an ice rink, the International Ice Sculpture Festival with amazing art creations and scores of other activities. The oldest Christmas market in Belgium is held from the end of November until just after the New Year.
2. The Ghent Winter Festival
The Christmas market in Ghent is much more than just a market; the city is home to a full-blown winter celebration! The Ghent Winter Festival is unparalleled, with over a hundred winter chalets and Christmas trees on the Saint Bavo Square, the Poeljemarkt, Little Turkey and the Korenmarkt. A merry feast to experience with live music, Christmas beer and glühwein (mulled wine). The Ferris wheel on the Saint Bavo Square offers a panoramic view of the city while the City Hall on the Emile Braunplein has a skating rink to test your skills. The Ghent Winter Festival starts at the beginning of December until the first week of January.
3. Antwerp’s stunning Christmas market
The amazing opening ceremony is what really makes the Christmas market in Antwerp stand out. The celebration starts with a spectacular parade through town with lots of live music and a light show. The Christmas market starts on the Steenplein and continues through to the Suikerrui and Grote Markt. You can find pretty much everything that defines a Christmas market on the Steenplein: a large skating rink, a Ferris wheel and hundreds of chalets selling Christmas goods. Looking for something a little more romantic? Tour through town in a horse-drawn carriage and be embraced by Antwerp’s Christmas spirit. The stunning Christmas opening can be seen on the second weekend of December. Another dazzling light and fireworks show draws the market to a close on New Year’s Eve.
4. A winter fairy tale in Brussels
The end of the year marks Brussels’ transformation from capital to winter fairy tale! The Brussels Christmas market starts earlier than most, towards the end of November. An enormous Christmas tree decorates the Grand Place, where over 200 stalls in wooden chalets line up in an illuminated trail. Take a winter stroll from the Grand Place to the Vismark, and from Sint Katelijneplein to the Oude Haven. Enjoy the Christmas cheer and the various attractions on the Muntplein like the Ferris wheel, carousel and skating rink. The festivities are held from the last week of November to right after the New Year.
Where will you be celebrating Christmas this year?