What can you do and see?
You will not get bored easily at the Christmas market in Brussels. There is so much to do and see that you can easily spend a few hours or even a full day here. Don’t forget that you can also visit some winter markets in the outskirts of Brussels.
Here are some of the best things you can do:
The Christmas market of Brussels
Scattered around the center of Brussels you’ll find all kinds of cozy Christmas stalls with an extensive range of treats, nice Christmas presents and original gadgets. Around the square of the stock exchange (‘De Beurs’) is a first, smaller Christmas market. A bit further you’ll pass the charming Sint-Katelijnenplein where you can see the largest Christmas market of Brussels: the ‘Vismet’.
The Christmas market around the ‘Beurs‘ is characterized by small wooden chalets where you can buy food. In front of the stock exchange building you’ll encounter some guests of Winter Wonders Brussels.
In 2017 Mongolia and Tirana, the capital of Albania were welcomed. At these stands you can get acquainted with tasty dishes from these countries, but also the traditional costumes and their local culture and habits are put in the spotlight.
On the Sint-Katelijnenplein there is a beautiful carousel with some strange figures. Great for the little ones to sit on, but at least as beautiful to look at for the grown-ups! Also on this square you’ll find a lot of teats to appease hungry stomachs, and if you’re on time you can head to a Christmas concert in front of the cathedral with a delicious Belgian waffle in hand.
If you just keep following the crowd, you’ll end up on the Vismet. The heart of the Brussels Christmas market.
This gigantic, rectangular square is covered with more than 200 wooden huts during the winter months. This place is decorated with false snow roofs, beautiful Christmas lights and a whole lot of decoration. Once you see the coziness of this place, you’ll be immediately enchanted by the magic of Christmas.
Flashy Christmas baubles or funny hand puppets get your attention right away, and when you get tired of looking around, you also have plenty of opportunities here to take a rest. The cozy pop-up bars offer hot drinks such as chocolate milk and mulled wine, as well as tasty Belgian beers or exotic wines. Are you still not feeling a little warmer inside? Then there are plenty of stands that sell tasty gins.
Do you want to see the Christmas market on the Vismet from a unique point of view? Then buy a ticket for the Ferris wheel. Especially in the evening this is really a wonderful experience. But dress well, because it can get very cold all the way up!
Other winter villages
The heart of Winter Wonders or Plaisirs d’Hiver is of course in the city center. But also in the other neighborhoods of Brussels you can celebrate this joyful time!
For several years ‘Winter Pop’ has been organized at various locations. For four weekends, a certain district in Brussels will become the winter pop village of Brussels. At these locations you’ll find beautiful decorations in which storytellers, musicians and circus artists give the best of themselves for young and old. Of course you can also enjoy tasty snacks and hot drinks here.
Would you like to know what goes on where? Then look at the schedule online.
An ice-skating rink can not be missed on any Christmas market, so you’ll also find one in Brussels!
On the ‘Muntplein’ you’ll find an icy, mirror-smooth skating rink where you can show your best ice-skating tricks to the many bystanders. Anyone who does’t skate can enjoy a drink with a view on the exceptionally beautiful illuminated ‘Munt’.
The Christmas tree on the Grand Place
Every year the famous Grand Place (Grote Markt) of Brussels is decorated with a gigantic Christmas tree. Between the cobblestones and the gilded facades, this mastodon will really amaze you. Gigantic Christmas baubles, almost as big as your head, sparkle among the beautiful Christmas lights that are draped between the branches of the pine. Near the tree you’ll also always find an equally impressive nativity scene. Real animals walk between the images of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and all the others of the famous Christmas story and give an all-round Christmas feeling to all bystanders.
Sound and light show on the Grand Place
If you’re visiting the ‘Grote Markt’ / ‘Grand Place’, I also recommend seeing the light show. Depending on when you visit this square (and if it’s already dark enough!), The Christmas tree and the facades of the guild houses will create a beautiful light show, perfectly in sync with beautiful Christmas music.
All the colors of the rainbow are seen and with a little bit of imagination the Grote Markt comes to life. What a spectacle!
Since a few years, not only the Grote Markt is lit by colorful lights. On weekends, a cheerful bunch passes through Brussels all night long. With their luminous suits and acrobatic tricks, they are an enchantment for young and old. These men and women ensure that a visit to the Brussels Christmas market becomes magical for everyone!
Decoration on iconic places
Naturally, Christmas in Brussels is not only celebrated on the most central places. Brussels most famous sights are also immersed in the Christmas spirit.
Be sure to take a look at the Galeries Saint-Hubert. The ceilings of this beautifully covered gallery are carefully decorated with golden Christmas balls and beautiful Christmas wreaths. The showcases of chocolatiers and other items are also beautifully decorated during the Christmas season with miniature winter landscapes or other Christmas decorations.
Of course, the iconic Manneken Pis can’t start the holidays without dressing up in his most beautiful costume, and the Atomium changes into a luminous crystal structure of iron especially for this time of the year.
Scattered throughout the city you’ll find beautiful Christmas decorations and dreamy winter landscapes. What are your favorites?
How do you get to the Christmas market in Brussels?
The easiest way to get to Brussels is to travel by public transport. The central station of Brussels is right in the center, and in just five minutes you have already walked onto the Grand Place where you can see the beautiful Christmas tree and the light show.
Also remember that the trains are safer (and faster) during the winter period. Slippery or snowy roads can cause accidents or major delays.
From Brussels you can also easily commute to the Christmas market in Leuven. This way you can immediately make a full day trip to two of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Belgium.
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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.