My husband is a school teacher so we have a couple weeks off in December for his break. He really wants to drink beer...I mean visit Belgium and I was wondering if it's ok to go over the holidays? I'm not concerned so much about the weather...more about things being open over the Christmas to New Years week. If not Belgium are the other places you would pick over Belgium? ALL thoughts and comments appreciated. Donna
I'm not 100% certain about New Year's, but restaurants usually close early on Christmas, and of course, stores will be closed. If your hotel runs a restaurant, it will almost certainly offer a special holiday dinner. That's really about it. For tourist attraction, I wouldn't expect anything to be open on the actual holiday, but check the websites of the particular destinations that interest you.
Be sure to check out Hasselt's Winterland.
I was in Belgium (Brussels) for New Year this year and some things were closed (museums, some shops) but enough was open to make a great day. City tours (buses and boats) were operating. Before Christmas I was in Bruges, Antwerp, and Ghent. I plan to return next year. The Cheistmas Markets will be in full swing, most open on the holidays.
I love Bruges and Ghent during xmas season. You can experience cold sunny days to cold rainy days. Its a fun festive time. Dont know much about after xmas though.
If you end up in Bruges, definitely check out the Vlissinghe pub. It's been run as a pub for over 500 years and the ambiance and beer are absolutely amazing... my mouth is watering right now thinking about their beer! They make a mean onion soup too.
I was in Bruges the weekend after Christmas 5 years ago and there was a Christmas Market going on. The shops and restaurants all seemed to be open too.
Hi Donna, Belgium is a great place to visit but if I were going somewhere else over Christmas, I might choose Germany. Nuremberg is supposed to have great Christmas markets and Berlin too. Lots of other activities (and beer) as well. I would visit Belgium on summer break (good weather) or spring break (lovely flowers, including Keukenhof in the Netherlands in the spring). Sounds like you'll be a winner wherever you end up!
Belgium actually has plenty of Christmas markets (Brugge, Gent, Hasselt, Leuven, Antwerpen). Nürnberg's is the most well-known Christmas market in the world, but it's really no different from any other you would find in any large German city. Meaning, worth a visit if you're there anyway, but not worth going out of your way specifically to experience.
Not necessarily concerned about the Christmas Markets. My husband is more interested in the Belgium beers! We are still considering our options but nothing is really grabbing my interest. Not sure why though. I keep coming back to the thought that 12 nights in Europe isn't worth the price of the flights since after June 2015 we can go for much longer as my husband will be retired and I have no real time off restrictions. Germany has been suggested by a few folks I've talked to...maybe I'll check that out.