December is all about winding down, putting up lights and of course Christmas. Therefore we love to visit a Christmas fair this time of the year. There are lots of fairs all over Europe, but there is a little difference between the different countries.
We love to visit Belgium Christmas fairs. First of all, because they are nearby and secondly because we love the Belgium Burgundian atmosphere. German Christmas fairs are more traditional with mulled wine, pretzels and bratwurst with sauerkraut. In the Netherlands, the best Chrismas fairs are in the South of the Netherlands and they are a mix of the German and Belgium fairs.
In this blog, we invite you to visit one of our most favourite Christmas fairs in Belgium. Don’t forget to get your hot Belgium waffle with hot Chocolate milk (especially the ones from a Chocolatier). There is enough to eat and to drink available, so dress warm and enjoy yourself.
Antwerp: The Fair in Antwerp is the biggest in Belgium. It stretches over the different parts of the city centre to the river ‘the Schelde’ and has over a 100 log cabins where you can buy all sorts of things. Many stalls are for the inner man but there are also various stalls with handcrafted products that will do nicely as presents under the Christmas tree. Of course, you can get a variety of small bites and drinks. There are lots of food stands with traditional Belgium food and drinks such as Jenever (kind of snaps, better know as Dutch gin). Locals will order a tray of different flavours of Jenever (chocolate is our favourite) and share them with there friends. Gather around one of the many firepits that burn all over the city. On the ‘Groenplaats’ is a big ice skate arena which is great for kids and adults to have a try. If you walk to the river ‘the Schelde’ you will see the Ferris Wheel beautifully lighted, surrounded by fairground attractions and more shops. Antwerp also has special Winter bars that pop up only in December where you can enjoy a Belgium beer, some food and lots of fun. You can visit the Antwerp Christmas fair from Saturday 8 December 2018 until Sunday 6 January 2019. For more information check out the official website: Visit Antwerp
Brugge: Brugge has a compact historical old centre which is a perfect decor for a Chrismas fair. At the small squares, you will find a lot of market stalls where you can buy all sorts of Chrismas presents, drinks and of course Chocolate, which Brugge is famous for. Due to the fact that the city is very compact and its old historical city, it is very crowded in December. Especially in the weekends, it is packed with people and it is impossible to have a quick walk around the city. Be prepared for a big crowd by taking a hot chocolate (with rum) for taking away and go with the flow. The Christmas fair in Brugge can be visited from 23 November until the end of January 2019. For more information check out the official website: Visit Brugge
Gent: The Christmas Fair in Gent is one of the most visited Fairs in the Benelux. They call it the ‘Gentse Winter Festival’ and there are over 150 stalls all around the city which sells various kinds of food, drinks, and gifts. Gent also has a Ferris Wheel and an ice skate arena that is located in the city hall. This location is great for rainy weather because it’s roofed-in. In the two special winter bars, you can enjoy your Belgium beer with some live music, dj’s or other entertainment. During the December month, there will be special entertainment in the streets of Gent to entertain the crowd. The most special about this particular fair is the light plan the city sets into work. Streets, buildings, and parks are lighted in a festive, decorative and artful way. This is well worth to walk around and feast your eyes on it. The Christmas fair in Gent can be visited from 7 December 2018 until 6 of January 2019. For more information check out the official website: Winter festival Gent
We hope that we have excited you to visit one of these Christmas fairs. We love to hear about your favourite city to visit in this time of the year. Let us know in the comments.