Holiday season 2023: Our favorite Christmas Markets
As the dark nights close in on Belgium and the rest of northern Europe, cozy christmas markets festooned with twinkling lights are a welcome destination. At Morton Place, we have a couple of favorites which we have picked out, known for having a nice mix of food and fun, with a couple of insider tips should you need to step away from the busy stalls.
The Grandest market in Brussels, this market takes place on the Grand Place and extends in the side street for food shops and fun activity stalls. A city wide favorite, it’s rarely too full and the light show in the Grand Place is not to be missed.
– The light and sound show at Grand Place is a spectacle not to be missed. It paints a vibrant picture of the UNESCO world heritage site square every 30 minutes, lasting 10-15 minutes.
– The ice skating rink in front of Bourse and the majestic Ferris Wheel by Place Saint Catherine are must-visits.
– When you need a break, the bar l’Archiduc*’ is the place to be. Nestled in Dansaertstraat, this legendary cocktail bar is an oasis amidst the festive bustle.
-The heart of the festivities lies in Bourse and Sainte Chaterine areas.
How to Get There:
– The market is most easily accessible via Metro Bourse.
Ghent Christmas Market: 7 – 31 December 2023
Ghent is our favorite city day trip from Brussels. An energetic student town with a beautifully preserved historical inner city, the low key Christmas market is a great opportunity to discover this gem of a town.
-Belgium’s best-kept secret awaits! Ghent, with its beautiful canals and rich history, offers a charm that’s hard to rival. Unlike the museum-like vibe of Bruges, Ghent has a pulsating life, thanks to its 40,000-strong student population.
– For those who fancy roller skating, the Christmas roller rink at the City Pavillion is an ideal alternative to ice skating. And worry not about the weather, it’s covered!
– For a truly Ghent experience, head to ‘*t Dreupelkot*’ and savor a shot of Genever. With flavors ranging from mango and vanilla to the daring spicy variant, there’s something for everyone. Just remember, sip from the top!
-The Christmas market spreads from Sint-Baafsplein, through Botermarkt, and up to Klein Turkije, ending at Korenmarkt.
How to Get There:
– Direct trains from Brussels to Ghent take around 30 minutes. Once you arrive, it’s a short walk to the city center.
– Fancy roller skating? the Christmas roller rink at the City Pavillion is an ideal alternative to ice skating. And worry not about the weather, it’s covered!
For a truly Ghent experience, head to ‘t Dreupelkot’ and savor a shot of Genever. With flavors ranging from mango and vanilla to the daring spicy variant, there’s something for everyone. Just remember, sip from the top!
-A trip to Germany promises a festive experience like no other. The Aachen market, with its traditional *gluhwein*, printencookies, and the unique environment-friendly roller rink, is a winter wonderland in its own right.
How to Get There:
– Catch the ICE or Thalys from Brussels Midi station. The journey is roughly 1 hour 10 minutes.
– A must-try is the Aachener Printen, a local gingerbread cookie steeped in history.
– For those looking to try something other than gluhwein, the golden-hued Aachen Dom liqueur, adorned with the Cathedral’s image, is a treat.
– Don’t miss out on the Oecher Glühwein-Treffs, which takes pride in being the oldest gluhwein stall in the city since 1976.
The market is sprawled around the imposing Aachen Cathedral.
Don’t let the rain get you down! Every market, with its unique character and offerings, is an opportunity to get outside and share in one another’s holiday traditions. So, gather your friends and family, and dive deep into the festive spirit. Here’s to a joyous festive season! 🌟🎄