Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Christmas
The magical world of Belgian Christmas markets TEXT: HELEN CULLEN | PRESS PHOTOS
Winter could be the most special time of year to visit Belgium; Christmas market season transforms its cities into festive wonderlands. Brussels is not to be missed but Antwerp, Bruges and Liège all become spectacular destinations. Even Durbuy, famous for being the smallest town on the planet, offers a sensational market all of its own. Winter Wonders, Brussels Grand Place to Place Ste Catherine Until 6 January Brussels enchants thousands of merry visitors every year. Over 240 traditional wooden stalls offer hand-made arts and crafts alongside the most indulgent gastronomical delights. It is a food lovers’ Christmas dream come true with a host of Belgian specialties: chocolates, artisan sausages, waffles, gingerbread, escargots, beers, mulled wine and so much more. Tradition and modernity blend beautifully with the 35 metres toboggan slope, 200 feet long skating rink and spectacular bigwheel that illuminates the sky with 18,000 twinkling lights. An authentic Swiss chalet offering traditional Helvetian fare will also embellish the market this year. Lastly, don’t miss the breathtaking sound and light
show presented in the Grand Place; an unforgettable experience. The city of Liège's Christmas Village St Lambert square/ Marché de Liège square Until 30 December Since 1986, Liège has established its Christmas village as the ultimate festive destination. Over 1.5 million visitors flock annually to experience the unique atmosphere created by the spirited exhibitors: The largest and oldest of all theBelgian markets, this village has a personality all of its own. An extravaganza of products and culinary treats will be presented in over 200 chalets. Antwerp Christmas market Market Square 6 December - 4 January Set against the backdrop of Antwerp’s historic buildings, this atmospheric market will extend this year to form a trail through the city from Steenplein to the Market Square. Steenplein also offers a unique opportunity to go ice skating while overlooking the Scheldt River. In addition to 90 stalls offering a myriad of Christmas wares, over 100 nativity scenes will be dotted throughout the market for visitors to enjoy.
TOP RIGHT: Durbury Christmas market. Photo: RSI Durbuy. MIDDLE RIGHT: Bruge Christmas market. Photo: Jan D'Hondt. BOTTOM RIGHT: Brussels Christmas market. Photo: Eric Danhier. BELOW LEFT: Ice skating at the Brussels Christmas market. Photo: WBT
Bruges Christmas market Market Square Until 2 January Medieval Bruges hosts one of the most famous Christmas markets in Belgium; the magnificent architecture becomes adorned with garlands of lights that infuse the canals with a magical glow. Transformed cobbled streets lead to the fairytale splendour of the Market Square: the heart of the spectacular Bruges Christmas experience.
Issue 12 | December 2014 | 19
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.