Brussels is one of Europe’s best winter city breaks. The city is home to great museums, concert venues and incredible art nouveau architecture. Many people visit Brussels purely for the food, whether that means eating out in top restaurants, enjoying street food like Belgian frites or treating yourself to the best chocolate in the world.
Brussels is also home to one of the most beautiful squares in the world, the Grand-Place and this is the location of Brussels Christmas Market, a wonderful winter event that takes place in November and December.
Brussels Christmas Market 2021
Brussels Christmas Market is known as Winter Wonders. It is more modern than the markets you typically find in Germany and Austria but it has traditional aspects such as drinking mulled wine while snacking on street food from the Christmas chalets.
During five weeks in the lead up to Christmas Day, around 240 wooden chalets are spread out around the Grand-Place and neighbouring squares. In the centre of Grand-Place are a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and Nativity scene.
Brussels Christmas Market dates: Still to be confirmed for 2021.
Opening times: TBA
Location: Grand-Place and extending to the Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine, Marché aux Poissons and Place de la Monnaie.
Reason to visit: Grand-Place is one of the most beautiful, historic squares in Europe.
Specialities: So many incredible food specialties. Chocolate, waffles, beer, fries, mussels, pastries. Prepare to eat a lot.
Travel tips: If you’re interested in architecture, Brussels is famous for its Art Nouveau mansions including the Horta Museum.
Hotels near Brussels Christmas Market: Located just behind Hotel de Ville de Bruxelles (the Town Hall) is Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo, a traditional hotel highly rated for its service.
Look out for the incredible light displays and artwork around the city, a Christmas event known as Brussels by Lights. Along with the artwork are 142 streets and shopping areas filled with lights, making Brussels at Christmas one of the most festive cities in Europe.
Hotels near Brussels Christmas Market
The historic centre of Brussels is packed with hotels, some of them are excellent but others are quite basic. We have listed what we believe are the best hotels near Brussels Christmas Market based on our experience from having visited the city on many occasions. These hotels are near Grand-Place except for one that is in the trendy Ixelles neighbourhood.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a foodie, I’m sure you’ll want to try some of the incredible local specialties while in Brussels. You can try some of these while at the Christmas markets in Brussels but some of the best food is in neighbourhood areas a little outside of Grand Place and the city centre.
- Belgian chocolate – it goes without saying Brussels is famous for chocolate. You’ll see plenty of well-known brands as you walk around but some of the smaller artisan chocolate shops are often the best. This list will give you some options for where to go for delicious handmade chocolate or head directly to Place du Sablon, the heart of chocolate in Brussels.
- Frites (fries) – Belgian chips or fries are one of the best street foods you’ll find in Brussels. You will find stalls at the Christmas markets but look out for the famous friteries located around the city, some of these are tourist attractions in their own right.
- Maison Antoine – Place Jourdan 1, Etterbeek. The most well-known, most touristy and still one of the best.
- Fritkot Bompa – Avenue de la Couronne 71, Ixelles. One of the best suburban frites shops, perfect if you’re staying in the fun Ixelles neighbourhood.
- Friture Pitta de la Chapelle – Place de la Chapelle. Good option if you like crispy fries and the handy location near Place du Sablon near many of the chocolate shops.
- Belgian waffles – Brussels waffles are the classic rectangular waffles that are typically offered with a huge number of decadent toppings. Liege waffles are the thick, rounder waffles that are rich, sweet and a little chewy, often eaten on their own or simply with powdered sugar. Try both and pick a favourite.
- Locally brewed beer – I’m not much of a beer drinker but Belgian beer is world renowned. There are plenty of breweries and pubs where you can try or visit a supermarket to pick out a few to enjoy in your hotel or back home.
There are too many food specialties to mention here, I recommend taking a Brussels food tour for a delicious overview of what you can find in Brussels.
To answer some common questions:
Does Brussels have a Christmas market? Yes, it sure does. Christmas markets are not a Belgian tradition, however, they have become popular in recent decades and you can now find them in many cities and neighbourhoods around the country.
Which Belgian city is famous for its Christmas market? Brussels has the most famous and biggest Christmas market in Belgium but Bruges and Ghent also have popular markets.
Where is Brussels Christmas market? The main market is in Grand Place (Grote Markt), the beautiful main market square in Brussels. There are also Christmas markets in front of the Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine, Marché aux Poissons and Place de la Monnaie. Many Brussels neighbourhoods also have their own winter markets and are nice to visit if you have the time. Some of these continue for Brussels New Year.
Location Map of Brussels Christmas Market
If you have any questions or comments about visiting the Brussels Xmas market in 2021 or visiting Brussels in winter more generally, please leave a comment below.
If you have visited the Christmas markets in Brussels and would like to leave a review, this would help people who are thinking about visiting or making plans for an upcoming trip.
Please be sure to follow all government travel guidelines and restrictions while in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium and be aware these may change at short notice. The latest information for locals and travellers is published by the City of Brussels.
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