The Christmas market of Brussels
I can’t help but start with the Belgian capital.
Almost every year I visit ‘Winterpret’ or ‘Plaisirs d’Hiver’. A gigantic atmosphere market in the heart of Brussels, and in my opinion one of the best Xmas markets in Belgium.
Spread over various squares, there are wooden pavilions that sell beautiful gadgets, make delicious desserts for you or warm up your insides with hot and steamy drinks.
The crowd’s favorite is of course the gigantic Christmas market on the Vismet. There are no less than 200 stalls with a very extensive selling range. Christmas decoration, dolls and toys, good food and spicy drinks are sold all over the place. Between the wooden chalets you’ll also see some nice Christmas attractions (think of fishing for Christmas balls). How nice!
If you want to see the Brussels Xmas market from up high, you should definitely take a ride on the Ferris wheel. From here you get phenomenal views of the Christmas market, but also a unique panorama of Brussels itself.
The Saint-Katelijne Square
Don’t miss the Saint-Katelijne Square. This small square, located at the Saint Catherine’s Cathedral, is truly magical during Christmas. Between the wooden huts you’ll notice beautiful light decorations, and at the end of the plaza you can notice one of the most beautiful carousels I’ve ever seen!
Since a few years, the area around the stock exchange has been made completely car-free. As a result, there are way more Christmas activities here than ever before. The guests of Winter Wonders Brussels are presented at this location. Usually these are a few wintery countries or cities that want to share their culture, customs and dishes with the curious visitors. In the evening and at night, this square is beautifully lit up by the beautiful Christmas lights, but also by the cheerful light parade that regularly passes by.
The ‘munt’ (the coin)
‘De Munt’ is a bit further away. If you like to do something more active during Christmas, then you should definitely go here. A large slippery skating square is waiting for you. Show your skills and impress the other guests!
The Grand Place
The highlight of this beautiful Christmas market in Belgium is of course the Grand Place or the Grote Markt. There is not a Christmas market here, but you will find a giant Christmas tree and a hut in which Jesus is sleeping like an angel. The gigantic pine tree reaches almost to the roofs of the majestic guild houses, and with Christmas balls as big as your head it’s hard not to be impressed by this Christmas scene.
Don’t forget to come here in the evenings. A spectacular light show is performed every so often. The houses and the Christmas tree have a prominent role in this. On the beat of the beautiful music the whole square lights up.
Other Christmas markets in Brussels
Don’t forget that there are also other Christmas markets throughout Brussels. For example, there are moving Xmas markets which want to put other neighborhoods of Brussels on the map, with cool events and beautiful exhibitions.
Want to read more or see some pictures of the Brussels Christmas market? Read this article as well.
The Christmas market of Leuven
Close to Brussels is another wonderful Christmas market in Belgium; the one of Leuven.
Here too, many activities are organized every year. You’ll find classic huts with beautiful bargains, mulled wine and other drink stalls, incredibly beautiful Christmas attractions and of course a light spectacle throughout the city.
The Herbert Hoover Square
Most stalls can be found on the Herbert Hoover Square. You can easily spend a few hours here, because with more than 200 pavilions there is much to see and admire!
A lot of handmade items are sold, but they are getting some fierce competition from the sweet smelling delicacies that are offered elsewhere. Between all these stalls you’ll regularly find a nice attraction or Christmas activity. A nice carousel, a reading area for children or… The house of Santa Claus!
The Ladeuze Square
A little smaller, but at least as cozy, is the Ladeuze Square. This market is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings and evening lights that are just as beautiful. Just like on the Herbert Hoover Square you’ll also find lots of chalets that sell pretty much everything.
Here, the attractions seem a bit bigger; a toboggan, a Ferris wheel and a mechanical Christmas tree. Aweken the child in yourself and admire the Ladeuze Square from above!
The Town Hall
Around the famous city hall of Leuven you’ll find no -or little- exhibitors, but that doesn’t mean that you should skip this part!
In the evening, the town hall is beautifully illuminated, and the Christmas decorations truly are a treat to the eye. Beautiful Christmas landscapes take you to a magical world and the fun shows give an even cosier atmosphere.
Do you want to warm up? Then book a Christmas concert in the Leuven town hall. You’ll get a short tour after which you’ll be spoiled musically.
Want to read more and see some pictures of the Leuven Christmas market? Then also scroll through this article.
The Christmas market of Liege
When we talk about Christmas markets in Belgium, I can’t, of course, skip the Walloon (French speaking part of Belgium) markets!
The oldest Xmas market in Belgium has been in Liège for decades. The ‘Village de Noël’ is a short walk from the central train station, but once you arrive you are overwhelmed by conviviality.
On the way to this Belgian Christmas market, you may come across some squares where the wooden chalets and some attractions are already showing off. A skating rink and a nice carousel are hidden between the shopping streets of Liège, but the real Xmas market of Liège only starts at the ‘Place Saint-Lambert’ and the ‘Place du Marché’.
Place Saint-Lambert and Place du Marché
During Christmas, these two places actually become one combined market square of a new village; the Christmas village of Liège.
Hundreds of stands praise their merchandise here, and just like on the other Christmas markets in Belgium, you can find a lot of traditional, handmade or original products. In the evening the cabins light up nicely with warm Christmas lights, and if it gets too cold there are also plenty of mulled wine stalls and even some pop-up restaurants where you can warm yourself up again.
It seems like a Belgian custom to put a Ferris wheel on every Xmas market, because you can find one in Liège as well.
The Christmas market of Hasselt
Everyone who is curious about the Christmas markets in the north of Belgium should go to the Xmas market of Hasselt. This atmospheric bazaar is a bit different than the other Christmas markets in Belgium, but that’s why it might just be more fun too!
The Kolonel Dusart Square is transformed into a Christmas market of epic proportions every year for one month!
Where the focus of other Xmas markets is often on the stalls, here it all has to do with the many attractions.
Wild rides, a cool carousel, scary -but still with the Christmas spirit!- haunted houses, winter mirror palaces and more… Hasselt Winterland can best be compared to a Christmas fun fair.
All attractions are immersed in a lot of Christmas decorations and lighting, and it soon starts to look like the personal theme park of Santa Claus! You can even meet him here, by the way. For five euros you can make as many pictures as you want with this friendly man.
Between all these fairground attractions, you’ll also notice a lot of flashy trucks that offer great food. Poffertjes (a small delicious dessert), pancakes, waffles and of course also cotton candy and glazed apples are all sold here.
Who thinks that the Christmas atmosphere is lost between all these attractions is wrong, because the cozy mirror tent, the indoor Christmas markets, the beautiful Christmas decorations and the slippery ice rink ensure that the Christmas atmosphere is always present!
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.