I know, it’s only the beginning of November and I’m talking about the Christmas markets in Belgium already. Well, I have a good reason to. I want to give you an overview of the Christmas markets of Belgium’s 10 province capitals and Brussels before these markets start, so that you can take your pick and plan accordingly. We have Christmas markets starting in mid-November already, so I had to be early with this list as well.
Christmas markets in Belgium
1. Brussels Christmas market: November 25, 2016 – January 1, 2017
With a large part of the center of Brussels that has become car-free, the Brussels Christmas market now expands from the Grand Place until Place St. Catherine. It includes an ice-skating rink, a ferris wheel, a light show, a huge Christmas tree and, of course, the Christmas market with over 200 stands. Like last year, there’s also a guest country at the Brussels Christmas market and for 2015-2016 that’s Tunisia.
Center of Brussels: Grand Place, Place St. Catherine, Vismarkt, Place De Brouckère, Bourse, Muntplein
Opening hours Brussels Christmas market
To be announced
Thursday Dec. 24 and 31 : tba
Friday Dec 25 and Jan 1: tba
Read about my visit to the Brussels Christmas market last year.
2. Antwerp Christmas market: December 10 – January 8
It’s always fun to attend the Antwerp Christmas market as there’s something new every year. One year there are dancers, the year after there’s a choir… but the huge Christmas tree, the ice rink, the ferris wheel and the stalls on different squares are guaranteed.
Steenplein, Suikerrui, Grote Markt, Handschoenmarkt and Groenplaats
Opening hours Antwerp Christmas market
Monday – Thursday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday: 11.00 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday: 11.00 a.m. 9 p.m.
– December 24 and 31: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
– December 25 and January 1: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Ghent Christmas market: December 9 – January 8
At the Ghent Christmas market, you can go ice skating, ride the ferris wheel, watch street performances and wander along the more than 140 stands. There’s even a special Moose bar and a Children’s Village.
Sint-Baafsplein, Botermarkt, Emile Braunplein, Goudenleeuwplein and Korenmarkt.
Opening hours Ghent Christmas market
Monday – Thursday: 11 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
December 24 and 31: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
December 25 and January 1: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Bruges Christmas market: November 25 – January 2
The Bruges Christmas Market takes place at both the Market Square and the Simon Stevin Square. At the Market Square you can usually find the food and drink stands, as well as Christmas decorations. At the Simon Stevin Square you can find a bit of everything.
Market and Simon Stevin Square
Opening hours Bruges Christmas market
Sunday – Thursday: 10.30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 10.30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Dec 24 and 31: the Christmas market and ice skating rink close at 5 p.m.
Dec 25 and January 1: the Christmas market and ice skating rink are open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Leuven Christmas market: December 8 – December 21
Eating beignets at the stand of “‘t Wit Madammeke” at the Leuven Christmas market, it’s a tradition for many. The 140 stands mostly sell crafts, small interior decoration items and seasonal products, next to a lot of food and drinks.
Hooverplein and Ladeuzeplein
Opening hours Leuven Christmas market
Dec 8, 9, 15 and 16: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Dec 10 and 17: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Dec 11 and 18: 11 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Dec 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20:: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Dec 21: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Hasselt Christmas market: November 19 – January 8
The Hasselt Christmas market is part of Hasselt Winterland, where you can also find an ice skating rink, a carousel, a roller coaster and more. There are plenty of food and drink stands, as well as stands selling Christmas decoration and other seasonal products.
Opening hours Hasselt Christmas market
Monday – Thursday: 12 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
December 24: closes at 7 p.m.
December 25: opens at 2 p.m.
January 1: Opens at 1 p.m.
On December 31 the market’s Grand Café stays open until 2 a.m. for those who want to celebrate New Year there.
Wavre Christmas market: December 9 – December 18
The Wavre Christmas market is aimed at those who love to eat and drink, with stands selling waffles, tea, coffee, liquor, warm wine, oysters, cheese and snails. But there are also craftsmen selling their products and giving demonstrations. If you want to get active yourself, you can always do so in the ice skating rink.
Place Alphonse Bosch
Opening hours Wavre Christmas market
Friday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday December 11: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday December 18: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Namur Christmas market: December 2 – December 31
You won’t get bored at the Namur Christmas market! There are tons of stands with seasonal products, artisanal products, Christmas decorations and more. You can go ice skating and during the weekends there are performances by folkloristic groups and bands. Oh, and of course there’s also plenty of food.
Place de l’Ange, Place du Théatre, Place de l’Armes
Opening hours Namur Christmas market
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – between 8 and 10.30 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – between 8 and 11.30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – between 8 and 11.30 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – between 8 and 11.30 p.m.
December 25: 3 p.m – 11.30 p.m.
December 31: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Liège Christmas market – November 25 – December 30
The Liège Christmas market is the oldest one of Belgium and celebrates its 29th birthday this year. It has more than 200 chalets that attract more than 1.5 million visitors every year.
Saint-Lambert Square and Marché de Liège Square
Opening hours Liège Christmas market
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – between 8 p.m. and midnight
December 25: 2 p.m. – midnight
Arlon Christmas market: December 9 – 11
The Arlon Christmas market is a small but cozy market under a large, heated tent. Santa Claus is there to meet the children and there’s entertainment for all ages. The stands display artisanal products, food and drinks. There’s also an ice skating rink.
Place Léopold and the Old Justice Palace
Opening hours Arlon Christmas market
To be announced
Mons Christmas market: December 3 – January 8
The Mons Christmas Market is held under the theme “Heart of Snow” (“Coeur de Neige”). There’s a big ice skating rink that’s also accessible for people with reduced mobility, as well as a curling piste. At the Mons Christmas market you’ll also find a big Christmas tree, street artists and around 40 vendor stands where you can buy craft gifts and seasonal products.
Opening hours Mons Christmas Market
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Friday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Where to stay when visiting the Christmas markets in Belgium?
After a few glasses of Glühwein or typical Belgian jenever, you might not want to go far anymore. So why not book a room near the Christmas market of your choice?
If you’re looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I would recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first booking!
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