WHERE: Bruges, Belgium
WHEN: from 24 November 2023 to 08 January 2024
“His appearance is more than impressive. The memory of the old times seems to have settled in it, undisturbed by innovation and caprice”.
Here, in the nineteenth century, what the Irishman Thomas C. Grattan wrote about Bruges. A definition that would fit like a brush even today. The city of Flanders is a real jewel. Impossible to remain indifferent to its marvelous architecture, the historic center, the medieval streets, its canals….
A beauty and a charm that acquire even more suggestion during the Christmas period. You will be greeted by a whirl of lights, colors and flavors. A truly magical place that, even in December, will warm your hearts. Markt Square e Simon Stevin Plein, they are the most important places where to find the famous Bruges Christmas markets. But, a little ‘everywhere, you can admire buildings, houses, squares dressed for the occasion.
After all the Bruges Christmas markets are considered the most beautiful in the world. Also in 2023, in fact, they were included in the top 20 of European Best Destinations.
Photo ©, VISITFLANDERS
It might seem quite strenuous, climb up the 366 steps that lead to the Belfort Tower, but the best start could not be. We recommend doing it in the evening. From the top of its 83 meters, you will have a really fantastic view of the whole illuminated city. A straight shot to the heart.
The place symbol of tradition of Christmas in Bruges. During your Christmas holidays, you will often pass through this square. The stalls close a wonderful ice rink in the middle. Beside the latter, you will find a beautiful nativity scene. You can have fun with all your family, skating and shopping among the many vendors, housed in typical wooden houses.
You can bring home many souvenirs or handicrafts. The most gluttonous, can delight with sweets of all kinds. Do not miss the Buche de Noel, a roll of sponge bread stuffed with rum and cream, or the Speculoos, traditional sweets from the shape of St. Nikola.
The markets are open every day, starting from 24 November, from Sunday to Thursday, from 10:00 to 22:00. Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 to 23:00.
Photo ©, Sam DeLong
A few hundred meters from Grote Markt, another icon of the Christmas in Bruges Markets. In addition to the many stalls, you can go shopping in what is considered the most commercial area of the town.
In the square you can admire the beautiful decorated trees. Do not forget to bring home some souvenirs, and taste the delicacies of Flanders. If the cold were too pungent, and your partner could not get too much heat (!!), a nice glass of gluhwein, it could be for you.
The street markets observe the following times: from Sunday to Thursday, from 10:00 to 22:00. Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 to 23:00.
Unmissable appointment for those who spent Christmas in Bruges. On 24 December, at midnight, many people gather for mass in the church inside the Begijnhof in Bruges.
If you are in the main square, you can hear the wonderful symphony of the 47 bells that resonate throughout the surrounding area. Really magical.
Also this winter, a romantic and suggestive Ice Rink awaits you, along the central area of Minnewater. Many call it the “Lake of Love” for its romantic and relaxing atmosphere.
Right here, from the end of November to the beginning of January, an ecological artificial ice rink awaits you, and a charming winter bar with a terrace of about 300 m2.
The ideal place for families, couples and children.
Open every day, from Sunday to Thursday, from 11:00 to 21:00; Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 to 22:00. On 24 and 31 December it closes at 5pm. On Christmas day and January 1st, however, it is open from 14:00 to 20:00.
The ticket costs 7€ for adults and children. Free admission for children under 3 years (prices and times of the track still to be confirmed).
Photo ©, Steven Lek
For the sixth year in a row, the illuminated paths will make the city shine like never before.
A path through 8 light installations that awaken the city when darkness falls, among greenery, water, parks and squares. Ancient and modern iconic places of Bruges will magically shine during the night!
Even simple shrubs, or even benches, can be admired in … a new light.
The installations will be located at BMCC – Oud Waterhuis (Vesten) – Sint-Godelieveabdij – Kapucijnenplein – Koning Albert I Park – Fontein Koning Albert I Park – Begijnenvest – Minnewater (Schaatspiste).
If you intend to celebrate the arrival of 2024 in the city, the appointment is set, as usual, for 10.45 pm in Zand. Orchestra and choir will perform a show that warms your heart.
The stands and the bar nearby are ideal for a drink or a snack.
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