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Xmas in Belgium

My family is thinking of spending a week in Belgium this Xmas, visiting Bruges/Brussels/Ghent/Antwerp. does the country shut down on Xmas and Boxing Day? Public transportation still running? Restaurants open? Do shops stay open on 12/24 and 12/26? What about museums,public attractions, historic sites?
Thanks in advance for your help. Jane

Posted by
11613 posts

I was in Belgium for Christmas two years ago, museums close early on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, are closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Shop hours vary. Churches are open but with more services, so visiting hours may be limited.

Posted by
111 posts

I am also going to be in Belgium over this time and have spent a lot of time researching. What I have learned is that nothing is open on Christmas Day except the Christmas Markets and if you are in Brussels, you can also visit the Autoworld museum. That said, there are tons of Christmas markets -- Brussels is the largest, followed by Antwerp, Ghent, and Brugges. These all have shopping of course, but also food, ice skating, and entertainments. Obviously many of the churches will also be open so you can see those or just wander around and soak up the ambience, which is what we plan to do on Christmas Day. Many of the museums are also closed on Christmas Eve, but you will have to check each one that you're interested in as there are some open. I haven't seen anything closed on Boxing Day -- that is generally a British holiday. We are going to be in Amsterdam for about a week before Belgium and I can tell you that if you are so inclined to take a 2 hour train ride, everything is open in Amsterdam on Christmas -- Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, etc.

Posted by
1462 posts

In Belgium the second day of Christmas is just a normal day, meaning shops and restaurants are open. This year it will be a Saturday and expect Bruges will be very crowded with tourists and locals do their shopping as well.