So the Christmas is over. But the good news is that they will be back again in 11 months! 😉 I was quite busy over the holidays period so that I was not able to post this article about the Christmas spirit in Brussels earlier. Hopefully, it may serve you as an inspiration for the next Christmas! If you would like to visit another city during the Advent period, why not Brussels? Let me show you what to expect from Christmas in Brussels and what the Christmas markets in Brussels look like.
Christmas Markets in Brussels
If you search for the Christmas market on the major square – the famous Grand Place – you will only find a festively dressed up Christmas tree standing alone there and a crèche – the markets are apart. This year’s fir tree was 22 meters high and arrived from Slovakia to mark the end of the country’s presidency at the EU Council.
Every evening starting by the end of November until the first week of January, visitors can admire the most beautiful square in the world within a sound & light show. This year’s tracklist was made by Felix de Laet from Lost Frequencies.
Christmas markets take place in the center of Brussels from the end of November until the 1st January and are officially called Plaisirs d’hiver (Winter Wonders). Yes, as we live in a multicultural society, we need to leave some traditions behind so that we don’t offend anybody. But anyway, we still call it Christmas market among friends 😉 I was not joking about the previous phrase. In 2012, there was no real Christmas tree in Brussels, but these flashy cubes at Grand Place:
As said previously, the Christmas markets in Brussels can be found 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from the Grand Place. There is a smaller market around the Bourse where you find some craft products as well as places to eat.
The large Christmas market is located at Place St. Catherine. Many stands sell handcraft goods and food alongside two streets lined with a red carpet that leads to a Ferris wheel. If you feel like a panoramic view of Brussels, now is the time when all the lights are on!
If you come here with friends or colleagues, you will for sure not miss the beer temple or the champagne bar. If you come here with kids, let them enjoy the fairytale carrousel or the Ice Monster – 45 meters long dinosaur providing a frightening and educational visit. The ice skating rink is few steps from both markets at Place de la Monnaie. For a small fee, you can rent skates and enjoy some winter fun.
But the main reason why people living in Brussels go to the Christmas markets here is the food! It is a mixture of traditional meals from Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and some others. What is very typical to Belgian Christmas markets, are among all fries, tartiflette, raclette, and from sweet food crèpes, waffles, and churros. As a vegetarian, I love the raclette being served on a slice of bread or empanadas from the Argentinians. With girls, we love to come here for crèpes with homemade chocolate spread and ‘vin chaud’ (hot wine).
If you decide to come and experience the spirit of Christmas in Brussels, here is some useful information regarding the Plaisirs d´hiver (Christmas markets). Don´t forget to pin this post for later!
Have you ever visited other Belgian cities during Christmas? What was your favorite one? Tell me about it in the below comments!