6 Christmas Markets you need to visit in Belgium

By Charlotte Deprez Published 11/12/2018

Feeling like comparing mulled wines from all over Belgium? Or do you need an excuse to visit our small but beautiful country? What about a Christmas market marathon? Here are 5 of the most beautiful ones in Belgium, and a little bonus…

1. Liège

The name “Cité Ardente” (literally “Ardent City”) makes even more sense during the holiday season : the city literally turns into Santa Claus’ den. Moreover, Liège has been elected Christmas European Capital this year, making it pretty much the center of the world for the festive season. The city has been hosting the largest Christmas market in Belgium for 32 years now!

From November 30 to December 30, take a trip to Liège and wander in a fairytale atmosphere between the 200 wooden chalets. To find gifts, buy local specialties or enjoy the slides, place Saint Lambert is the place to be. For ice skating, mulled wine, raclette and an overall cosier atmosphere, you’ll love place Cathédrale!  

From November 30 to December 30, 2018. More info here.

2. Durbuy

The “smallest city in the world” knows how to celebrate the end of the year. As the holiday season approaches, Durbuy, already extraordinarily cute all year long, turns into a live Christmas tale. The city’s Christmas market takes place in its historic center, with about sixty chalets scattered throughout its picturesque streets. 

In King Baudouin Park, you’ll find an ice rink where you can ice skate before indulging in a hot chocolate, a Chouffe or a mushroom toast.  On top of that, the Durbuy Christmas market offers many activities for the whole family like bumper cars, a ferris wheel and even a Christmas musical train. No, it definitely doesn’t get more christmassy than Durbuy. 

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Waar zijn die jenevers?! ?

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From November 23, 2018 to January 6, 2019. More info here. 

3. Antwerp

The Christmas market in Antwerp has the particularity of being spread all over the city, in the streets around the cathedral. Head to the Steenplein for a cosy and festive atmosphere and, to soak up the holiday atmosphere, wander around the Suikerrui, the Handschoenmarkt, and the Grand-Place to see the giant Christmas tree. Antwerp also has its own beautiful ice rink, set on the Groenplaats. When you know how beautiful Antwerp is all year, you don’t wanna miss the festive season here!

From December 8, 2018 to January 6, 2019. More info here.

4. Ghent

Ever heard of the epic Gentse Feesten in the Summer? In December, Ghent dresses accordingly and welcomes you to the Gentse Winterfeesten! In one of the most beautiful cities of Belgium, you’ll have the chance to see the 140 little chalets beautifully decorated and, as in any Christmas market, eat like nobody’s watching and drink glühwein like it’s Earl Grey. To make sure you don’t miss out on anything, walk around the Sint-Baafsplein, the Botermarkt and along Klein Turkije!

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A Christmas market with a view ##GWF2013

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From December 7, 2018 to January 6, 2019. More info here.

5. Brussels

The Brussels Christmas market’s reputation is most certainly not misused: it was just voted 7th best Christmas market in Europe! With more than 220 chalets, whether you’re looking for local crafts or want to eat tartiflette, croziflette, raclette or basically anything in -ette (it’s good, trust us), you’ll be happy here. What we love most about this particular Christmas market is its sound and light show that goes on for 10 minutes every hour or half hour. Absolutely stunning, even for the cold-hearted Grinches reading us. 

The market goes one for kilometers (okay, 2,5 km, we’re overselling it a bit) in the historic center and features a huge ferris wheel, an ice rink right outside Muntpunt and big slides. And no, it’s not only for kids. 

From December 30, 2018 to January 6, 2019. More info here. 

Bonus : Aachen

Okay, we’re completely cheating here. If you skipped geography classes in school, Aachen is in Germany, but just next to the belgian border and at a one hour and a half drive from Brussels. So we decided that it’s in Belgium by extension. In the weeks before Christmas, the squares and alleys around the Aachen cathedral and town hall turn into a true fairytale village. 

The sparkling lights and scents of mulled wine give an extraordinary atmosphere to the place: Aachen’s Christmas Market is always in the top 10 of the most beautiful in Europe. Here, gingerbread is the star, as shown by the 6 meter high mascot they instal every year for some 1.5 million tourists. If you’re a true Christmas fan that is not afraid of crowds, this has to be on your bucket list. 

From November 23 to December 23, 2018. More info here. 

About the author Hello there! I’m Charlotte, a 20-something based in beautiful Brussels and passionate about traveling, food and photography. Follow me on www.thetinynomad.com.