Brussels is a city with an extraordinary atmosphere before Christmas. We all know how the Grand Place (Grote Markt) looks stunning all year round. Can you imagine what it looks like with beautiful lights on the different buildings during the Christmas market era before Christmas? The Grand Place isn’t the only location in the city center worth visiting for Christmas market enthusiasts coming to Brussels. The entire city center turns into a gigantic Christmas party with activities for adults and kids, stalls where you can buy presents, and of course, an ideal place for eating and drinking together with locals and internationals.
Do you want to know more about where you find the nicest Christmas markets in Brussels? Would you like to find out when the annual Christmas markets in Brussels will open and close this year? We have all this and much more information in this article!
Christmas markets in Brussels in 2023
When is the main Christmas market in the center of Brussels arranged in 2023?
November 24, 2023 – December 31, 2023
Those are the dates you have been waiting for. It is time to book a plane ticket and to book a hotel. Would you like a recommendation for where to live? Below you can see a map showing price estimations for hotels and apartments near Grand Place in Brussels. As a result, they are perfect not only for Christmas market shopping, but also for discovering everything that Brussels has to offer of attractions, activities, restaurants, and experiences.
To get exact prices, fill in the dates above or click the different hotels or apartments of interest.
What to expect if you visit the Christmas markets in Brussels?
The streets are filled with stalls and activities during this period. If you want to go ice skating, you will find ice rinks and a curling track at Place De Brouckère and Bois de la Cambre. Every year there is a big Ferris Wheel at Marché aux Poisson. If you don’t go for a ride, you should still take a photo as it looks absolutely stunning in the evening. Kids who want to have fun will for sure enjoy the carousels at Place Sainte-Catherine. At all these locations you will find lots of stalls where you can buy products as well, but the largest gathering of stalls in one place is normally at Place Sainte-Catherine.
There is a big and beautiful Christmas tree at Grand Place, and there is normally a special light show every hour between 17:00 and 22:00.
Below you can see a map presenting how the entire inner city of Brussels turns into a Christmas village, also known as a Winter Wonder, in the period of the Christmas markets.
Have you enjoyed the Christmas markets in Brussels? Do you want even more?
Christmas markets in Antwerpen and Bruges.
There are two Belgian cities you should visit if you come to Belgium, besides Brussels. Bruges is a fantastic city and it is packed with tourists during the daytime. In the evenings it gets quieter as most tourists are only coming for day trips which means they leave in the afternoon. That makes the Christmas market in Bruges extremely interesting and a bit more quiet than the busy Brussels markets.
The main Christmas market in Bruges is at the main square, and you will find it easily. There are some smaller markets elsewhere in town, but the most important is to walk up and down the city center and enjoy the architecture, the history, and all the delights available at the Christmas markets as you stumble onto them. The Christmas markets in Bruges is normally open from the last week of November until the end of the first week of January.
Bruges Christmas markets in 2023: November 24, 2023 – January 7, 2024.
Just like the city of Brussels turn into a giant Christmas market, the same is true about the city of Antwerpen. Here you find hundreds of stalls spread around the city on the large and small squares, accompanied by ice skating rinks, Christmas trees, and beautiful lights. The Christmas market in Antwerpen normally opens in the start of December and remains open until the end of the first week of January.
Antwerpen Christmas markets in 2023: December 8, 2023 – January 8, 2024.
What is the most important to eat and drink at Christmas markets in Belgium?
We love Christmas markets, and even though one would think it is all about shopping presents, it is much more about the atmosphere and much more about eating and drinking. So, what should you eat and drink as you walk around looking at the different Christmas market locations in Brussels, Bruges, Antwerpen, or elsewhere in Belgium?
It is quite obvious that you should buy Belgian chocolate at the Christmas markets. You probably know that Belgian chocolate is famous worldwide, meaning that it is ideal for immediate tasting, but also for bringing home to friends and family for Christmas.
But you shouldn’t start with the chocolate, as it is more of a dessert. It might not be traditional Christmas market food, but considering that Belgium is great at seafood, you will actually find seafood at quite a lot of stalls at the different Christmas markets in Belgium. Would you rather eat more traditional Christmas market food? There are lots of sausages (Bratwurst) to choose from, and of course, the famous Belgian french fries.
Are you a fan of cheese? You must definitely try the raclette sandwich. Eat a fresh baguette with lots of delicious melted cheese in the middle. It feels like heaven on earth!
When it is time for dessert, why don’t you eat some world-famous waffles, or would you rather have a pancake (crepes) packed with Nutella? Or just some basic Belgian chocolate? A last suggestion is to taste the local Croustillons (oliebollen). These are small sweet balls reminding of donuts, but looking more rustic. On the inside of these balls, you sometimes find raisins or fruits. There are lots of options, so bring enough money to taste it all!
After eating all this, you are probably thirsty. The most popular Christmas market drink is the glühwein, but the Belgians also love their local jenever, a gin served cold. Don’t worry, with 35% alcohol it still warms your body!
Are you ready to enjoy the Christmas markets in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium now? If you have further comments or questions, use the comment field below!