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Quick Xmas Markets trip to Belgium

My wife and I are headed to Belgium for a few days in December to check out the Christmas Markets. Upon landing in Brussels, we're headed to Cologne for 1 day/night. Having been to a number of other German Christmas Markets, I think we know what to expect from Cologne. We are planning on spending the next few days using Brussels as a home base and likely taking the train to Brugges and Ghent for day trips. I was wondering if anybody's been to the Christmas Markets in Brussels, Brugges and/or Ghent and may have any opinion on them, or know of any other Belgian cities that may be worth seeing the Christmas Markets in? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
12040 posts

Haven't seen Ghent's, but Brugge's is pretty standard. Hasselt has a really nice winter carnival ("Winterland") that you may want to check out, especially at night.

Posted by
29278 posts

I agree that Brugge's is pretty much ordinary. They do have a small ice skating rink though, in the centre of the Grote Markt, and some rides.

The same thing, I feel, can be said about the Luxembourg City Christmas Market. Except I don't think that they have a skating rink, and they certainly have quite a few rides. Right in the centre, all along by the McDonald's and Quick.

Posted by
2 posts

I'm planning on going to the Brussels market for the first time this year, too. We have only one day before having to head south, so I decided between Brussels and Brugges (as well as Lille, France) based on this article I found:
http://travelingcanucks.com/2010/12/european-christmas-markets-brussels-belgium/
Looks like the Brussels one is more like the ones in the larger German cities, with several markets in different parts of town.
Have fun!

Posted by
32 posts

My husband and I were in Brugges last year for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The market was small, but it had everything you needed... food, ice-rink, trinkets, beer, wine... The small city of Brugges is worth the visit even without the market (go to DeGarre!). We were surprised that the Christmas market was open and bustling Christmas Eve until about 7pm. We were even more surprised to see that it was open on Christmas Day as well. I think it was open around noon. The stores and shops were open on Christmas Eve, but mostly closed on Christmas Day. It's worth noting that we had an incredible Christmas Day dinner at Brasserie Raymond www.brasserie-raymond.be We happened to be in Brussels on Dec. 26 for Boxing Day. We were less impressed with the markets and overall vibe there (although they were probably lesser versions of the pre-xmas ones.) Good luck! Have fun!