When you think of Christmas markets in Europe, Brussels might not be the first city that comes to mind. Christmas markets are usually synonymous with Cologne, Nuremberg, Düsseldorf, Prague and Vienna. But if you visit the Brussels Christmas markets, you won’t be disappointed! From delicious and affordable food to local handmade crafts, a giant Christmas tree to an ice skate rink, the Brussels Christmas markets were a glorious feast for the eyes. Here are six reasons why you should visit the Brussels Christmas markets this festive season.
1. For the amazing crafts
Some markets can be quite dull if the stalls sell more-or-less the same merchandise. But this wasn’t the case at all at the Christmas markets in Brussels. Aside from food and drink stalls, every stall was different from the next one. Custom knives, holiday cards, candles, lamps, fake fur blankets, paper lanterns, and pottery…This is only a taste of some of the unique crafts you can expect to see at the Christmas markets.
2. To see Manneken Pis dressed up
Every now and then, the infamous boy statue in Brussels, Manneken Pis, is dressed up. I was lucky enough to see him clothed as Santa, escorted by police and ladies giving away free candy.
3. For the scrumptious food
Oh, I love Belgium food! When it comes to sweets, no country does it better than Belgium. From chocolate to waffles and back to chocolate again. Need I say more? My favourite sweet treats at the Christmas markets were the chocolate covered marshmallows or Tete de Choco. Yum! With flavours like cappuccino, mint, lemon, caramel, and coconut, you’re in for a real treat!
But don’t expect to see only sweet treats at the markets, the savoury dishes were just as delicious. There was a chalet that sold more than 25 different quiches. I ate a vegetable quiche and it was the best quiche I’ve ever eaten. No lies!
4. For global culture exposure
Aside from all the Belgium food and crafts, expect to find other counties represented at the Brussels Christmas markets, including Albania and Mongolia. I loved the Mongolian themed stalls, from traditional foods and drinks to live performances. There was a stage where three Mongolian throat singers performed. Admittedly, this isn’t the style of music I usually listen to. But nonetheless, I enjoyed the performance very much.
5. For the Steampunk-themed Carousel
I’ve always liked the carousels at fairs and markets. But what is better than a carousel? I’ll tell you, a steampunk-themed carousel with bizarre machines and funky animals! From an ostrich to Pegasus to a chameleon and various machinery, this carousel is the stuff of dreams. And the children seemed to enjoy it too.
6. For the Giant Ferris Wheel
What better way to see the Christmas markets than from above? The Giant Ferris Wheel is called The View, and rightly so. The View delivers, well, the best view in the city! The pods are open at the sides, which means you can take some amazing photos. I was lucky enough to have one pod all to myself. At only €6 a ride, this was money well spent.
I loved the Christmas markets in Brussels for the delicious chocolate, the colourful lights, the incredible views, the festive atmosphere and the friendly people. The first chance I get, I’m going back again. Click here for more information about the Christmas markets (the times, dates and location).