When you think of Flemish cities in Belgium with beautiful architecture, picturesque canals and delicious food, you will more than likely think of Bruges. But what you might not know is this also perfectly describes Ghent, another of Belgium’s wonderful, historic cities and one you might like to visit this winter. There are many things to like about the city and the Ghent Christmas Market is just one of them.
With 150 Christmas stalls lining the streets and squares of the historic old town, Ghent has become one of the most festive Christmas destinations in the region.
Ghent Christmas Market 2022
Ghent Christmas Market dates: 8th December to 31st December 2022.
Opening times: 12 noon to 11pm.
Location: Sint-Baafsplein and surrounding streets.
Reason to visit: Ghent is stunning, the market is compact and it’s less touristy than Bruges or Brussels.
Specialities: Ghent pralines, Tierenteyn mustard and kroakemandels (fried and salted peas).
Travel tips: Go inside Saint Bavo’s Cathedral at Sint-Baafsplein (the location of the Christmas market) to see the famous Ghent Alterpiece.
Where to stay: 1898 The Post is an absolutely incredible, unique hotel near Korenmarkt in the historic centre.
The Christmas markets in Ghent start at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, home to one of the most popular sights in Ghent, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, commonly known as the Ghent Altarpiece.
The Ghent market continues along Botermarkt, this is the small street that passes Het Belfort van Gent, the famous 14th-century belfry and watchtower.
From here you can follow the narrow street past Saint Nicholas’ Church for more Christmas stalls with delicious international food and Christmas decorations on sale.
The Christmas market finishes around the corner on Korenmarkt, another market square not far from the incredibly beautiful historic bridges in Ghent, Sint-Michielsbrug and Grasbrug.
What this means is you can experience the city’s wonderful historic sights while experiencing the warm, welcoming and festive Christmas markets.
Hotels near Ghent Christmas Market
The areas around the canal in Ghent Old Town, Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and Korenmarkt are all excellent locations for sightseeing and eating out in Ghent.
I suggest staying at 1898 The Post as it’s a stunning, historic hotel that’s only 3 minutes to the Christmas markets. It’s a sustainable hotel that uses 100% renewable electricity.
If you would prefer to stay somewhere else, these hotels near Ghent Christmas Market are well-located and cover all budgets.
Things to Do in Ghent in Winter
Of course, there are many things to do in Ghent in winter aside from the Christmas markets. The city is very walkable when the weather is good, otherwise, there are plenty of indoor activities and attractions.
- The ice rink is open on the same dates as the Christmas market, from 8th December to 31st December 2022. You can hire skates and spend some time on the ice.
- The Winter Wonderland Castle is open from 10th December until 8th January 2023. This event is at the stunning Castle of the Counts, one of the highlights of Ghent.
- Christmas lights adorn the city from 28th November until the 9th January 2023. There are regular lights and special fiery dragons (the city’s mascot) lit up around the city.
- Great Butcher’s Hall is the best place in Ghent for foodies, you’ll find incredible local Flemish produce that you can try or take home.
- Museums, churches and the belfry – are all excellent attractions to visit on a cold winter’s day.
For more destinations worth visiting this winter, my guide to Christmas markets in Belgium could be helpful.
If you’re visiting Ghent from the UK via the Eurostar, note that your train ticket includes the local train from Brussels to Ghent St Pieters train station. You can find the train timetable here.
From the train station, get the tram to Korenmarkt and you can ask the information desk if you’re unsure. Otherwise, if the weather is nice, it’s a scenic 30-minute walk to the old town.
Map of Ghent Christmas Market
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. When visiting the Christmas markets, it’s important to keep sustainability in mind.
Implement some or all of these simple measures to create a positive impact.
- Shop mindfully. Only purchase what you really need.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport to get around.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy.
- Stay in hotels. Short-stay apartment accommodation can lead to a lack of affordable housing for locals.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food where possible.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy.
- Be open to diverse cultures and experiences.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
- Visit fewer places but stay longer at each destination.
8th December to 31st December 2022.
If you have any questions or comments about visiting the Ghent Xmas market in 2022 or Ghent in winter more generally, please leave a comment below or leave a review if you have been before.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Ghent, Belgium. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.
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