When you think of Flemish cities in Belgium with beautiful architecture, picturesque canals and delicious food, you’ll 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.
Ghent Christmas Market 2021
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. 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 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 watch tower. 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.
Ghent Christmas Market dates: 9th December to 31st December 2021.
Opening times: TBA
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.
Hotels near Ghent Christmas Market: 1898 The Post, an absolutely incredible, unique hotel near Korenmarkt in the historic centre.
Hotels near Ghent Christmas Market
If you are looking for conveniently located hotels near Ghent Christmas Market, read our guide where we list a range of accommodation types covering various budgets. These hotels in Ghent are very close to the markets and all of the main sights and attractions in central Ghent. We recommend staying in the historic centre where you’ll find everything at your door.
Things to Do in Ghent in Winter
There are many things to do in Ghent in winter aside from visiting Ghent Christmas Market. The city is very walkable when the weather is good, otherwise, there are plenty of indoor activities and attractions.
- An ice rink is open during the same dates as the Christmas market. You can hire skates and spend some time on the ice.
- The Winter Wonderland Castle is open from 11th December until 9th January 2022. This event is at the stunning Castle of the Counts, one of the highlights of Ghent.
- Christmas lights adorn the city from November until January. There are regular lights and special fiery dragons (the city’s mascot) lit up around the city.
- Great Butcher’s Hall – 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 – all excellent attractions to visit on a cold winter’s day.
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
If you have any questions or comments about visiting the Ghent Xmas market in 2021 or Ghent in winter more generally, please leave a comment below or leave a review if you have been before. This helps others who are looking to visit Ghent at Christmas.
Please be sure to follow all government travel guidelines and restrictions while in Ghent and Belgium and be aware these may change at short notice.
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