Festive breaks to Belgium
The best Belgian Christmas markets
Belgium’s picturesque squares and medieval architecture are always enchanting, but even more so at Christmas, making it the perfect time to plan a trip. With spectacular winter markets dotted across the country, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Browse handmade gifts and sample local delicacies like Belgian beer and Speculoos cookies.
Some of the best Christmas markets in Belgium include:
- Brussels Christmas Market
- Bruges Christmas Market
- Antwerp Christmas Market
- Ghent Christmas Market
- Liège Christmas Market
- Ostend Christmas Market
Read on to discover the delights of each destination before planning your perfect winter holiday in Europe.
Brussels Christmas Market
When: From Friday 24th November to Sunday 31st December
Located in the city’s famous square, Grand-Place, and extending across the Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine, Marché aux Poissons, and the Place de la Monnaie, Brussels’ Christmas markets are some of Europe’s largest. With over 250 stalls, an impressive Christmas tree, a light show, and a Ferris wheel, there’s plenty to see and do. Spend a day sightseeing in the capital before exploring the Christmas markets at night for a magical experience.
Bruges Christmas Market
When: From Friday 24th November to Sunday 7th January
Boasting one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, Bruges is a must-visit destination during the holiday season. With traditional market stalls selling locally made products and festive food and drink, visitors can experience an authentic taste of Belgian Christmas traditions. Plus, the beautiful medieval architecture and canalways look even more fairytale-like when illuminated by Christmas lights.
Antwerp Christmas Market
When: From Friday 8th December to Sunday 7th January
Antwerp’s Christmas market is spread across some of the city’s most beautiful locations, making it the perfect way to see the sights amidst a cosy, Christmassy atmosphere. This includes the Grote Markt, Handschoenmarkt, the Groenplaats and Hendrik Conscienceplein.
There's something for everyone here, with over 100 stalls selling everything from Belgian waffles to glühwein (mulled wine), an ice rink, and fairground rides.
Ghent Christmas Market
When: From Thursday 7th December to Sunday 31st December
Get into the holiday spirit at Ghent’s Christmas market, with over 150 stalls to explore across Sint-Baafsplein, the Botermarkt, Klein Turkije and the Korenmarkt. Whether you’re in the mood for some festive Belgian food and drink, want to try your hand at roller skating, or searching for the perfect gifts, head to Ghent this winter.
Liège Christmas Market
When: From Saturday 25th November to Saturday 30th December
Think ice rinks, live entertainment, delicious local goods and a European Circus Festival; this is Liège Christmas Market. Famous for being Belgium's biggest and oldest festive market, Liège glows at Christmastime.
Explore its 200 Swiss-style chalets, try a delicious boûkète (buckwheat flour pancake) and wander through Liège's vibrant alleys to soak up the charming atmosphere.
Ostend Christmas Market
When: From Friday 1st December to Monday 8th January
This charming coastal town hosts some of Belgium's best Christmas markets, with fantastic entertainment for the whole family. A particular highlight is the tunnel in the Adolf Buylstraat shopping street, illuminated by over 200,000 twinkling lights.
Flit between the chalets and browse unique handmade souvenirs, enjoy the local delicacies or spend a fun-filled afternoon at the ice rink.