The Christmas market in Brussels is an enchanting experience that transports visitors to a magical world during the holiday season. This magical event is an integral part of the Winter Pleasures, an annual celebration that transforms the Belgian capital into a true winter paradise. Let’s explore the main Christmas markets in Brussels, highlighting their unique attractions, key dates and unmissable activities.
Winter Pleasures : A Haunting Celebration
The Brussels Christmas Market is the glittering jewel of the Winter Pleasures event, which runs from 24 November to 31 December 2023. Every day, from noon to 10 pm, the streets of the city come alive with a festive atmosphere, offering visitors a multitude of magical experiences. In addition, the market remains open until 18:00 on 24 and 31 December, offering an additional opportunity to celebrate the magic of Christmas.
Highlights of Christmas Markets in Brussels
1. Grand-Place : The Sparkling Heart
If you were to visit only one Christmas market, let it be the Grand-Place. Located in the heart of the Winter Wonders, this iconic market offers an unforgettable experience. Around the Grand-Place, the Aris and Alma Grand-Place hotels welcome visitors, immersing them in the warm atmosphere of the festivities.
The Grand Place Market offers over 200 cottages, rides, a ferris wheel, curling and an ice rink. However, the highlight of the show remains the spectacle of sound and light, illuminating the facades of historic buildings every half hour. This show continues until January 7, 2024, extending the magic beyond the Christmas period. Bright colors, enchanting patterns and festive music make each performance an unforgettable moment for visitors of all ages.
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2. Marchés aux Poissons : An Authentic Tradition
The Fish Market offers a traditional Christmas atmosphere. Nestled in a picturesque neighbourhood, this enchanting market is the perfect place to discover local crafts and taste seasonal culinary delights.
3. Brussels Stock Exchange: Winter Elegance
The Brussels Stock Exchange turns into an elegant Christmas market, offering a refined selection of handcrafted products and unique gifts. The majestic architecture of the Exchange creates a perfect setting for a winter shopping experience.
4. Place Sainte-Catherine and Place de la Monnaie: Charm and Entertainment
These two squares complete the Christmas market experience in Brussels. Place Sainte-Catherine offers concerts at the local church, while Place de la Monnaie offers cultural activities, choirs and Magic Sundays to brighten up your winter days.
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- Grand Christmas Parade
Every Saturday evening in December, from 6pm to 8pm, the Grand Christmas Parade invades Brussels city centre. An enchanting show that transports young and old in a world of dreams and magic.
- Ice Rink and Curling Rink
Place De Brouckère turns into a winter paradise with an ice rink and curling rinks. A perfect opportunity for winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy the festive spirit.
The Brussels by Lights light festival illuminates the city’s streets and shopping streets until 31 December. A visual experience not to be missed
- Concerts and Cultural Events
In addition to the main attractions, the Brussels Christmas Market offers a diverse range of cultural events. From concerts at Sainte-Catherine Church as mentioned above and Saints-Michel-et-Gudule Cathedral to choirs and Magic Sundays, every corner of the city resonates with festive melodies and engaging activities.
- Guided Tours and Brussels Panorama
For a unique experience, consider participating in guided tours. Use public transport to get a 360-degree panoramic view of Brussels from the City Hall tower. Climb a 200-step spiral staircase from the courtyard of the City Hall to enjoy this panoramic experience (paid access on reservation).
The Christmas market in Brussels in 2023 is a complete immersion in the festive spirit. From traditional stalls to modern attractions, shows and festivities, the Belgian capital offers a magical experience for all. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts, seasonal culinary delights or simply the warm atmosphere of the holidays, this is the perfect place to celebrate the winter season. So get ready to get lost in the illuminated streets and let yourself be carried away by the timeless magic of Christmas in Brussels.