Belgium has become a haven for those looking for an authentic way to celebrate the festive season, thanks to the famous Christmas markets in Brussels offering yuletide gifts, snacks and entertainments in the heart of the historic city.
The two largest Christmas markets in the city – easily found at the Grand Place and St Catherine’s area, respectively – offer a plethora of attractions and entertainments for visitors of all ages throughout the Christmas period, a far cry from the overly commercialised and sanitised Christmas celebrations found in many cities in the UK and elsewhere.
Belgium may not have invented the Christmas market tradition – that honour belongs to Germany – but this smaller nation has undoubtedly taken the top spot in the minds of travellers from around the world, looking for a city break destination ideal for celebrating the season of goodwill. With fairground attractions including a big wheel and carousels, not to mention skating events held at the city’s ice skating rink, ensuring that 21st century kids will be just as satisfied with the entertainment on offer as older generations.
That’s not to say Brussels’ Christmas markets are all about exerting energy though, as the Brussels Winter Wonderland is packed with cultural attractions to appeal to lovers of the arts too – with a number of free performances and remarkable ice sculptures gracing the streets during the period. The market stalls themselves are a major highlight, of course, and whether you’re looking for home-made decorations, seasonal snacks or mulled wine, Brussels won’t disappoint.
The city hosts around 240 wooden chalets specially constructed for the winter season, where visitors can buy all manner of gifts, and they transform the Belgian capital into a true winter wonderland. The shops open late into the night throughout December – typically 9pm on weekdays and 10pm on weekends – meaning you’ll never feel rushed to get your Christmas shopping in during the day time. Even if you prefer to visit Brussels after spending Christmas at home with the family, the Winter Wonderland festivities take place right through to New Year.
Brussels’ Christmas markets are conveniently located if you’re staying near the city centre, whether at the Hotel Brussels Midi or other popular accommodation, and if you’re staying in Belgium for a longer period, you could also consider taking the trip to nearby Bruges. The markets here may be less impressive in size and scale, but the yuletide atmosphere is still on par with the best Christmas markets in Europe.
When you think of Brussels, you probably think of beautiful buildings and beer but did you know that an exceptionally diverse experience awaits you there? Because of its location, it has a wealth of culture and history and being the capital of Belgium, it stands ready to offer you all you could possibly want from a vacation experience but you need a passport to visit. If you go online to USPassportNow, all your passport needs will be met quickly and securely.
The traditional procedure for getting a passport was filled with endless lines and time delays and was quite a frustrating process. With online agencies available from the convenience of your own home computer, you can get a passport application expedited or have any other passport need met quickly and securely.
One of the highlights of Europe can be found in Brussels in the form of Grande Place. This is certainly one of the most beautiful town squares you will ever see. The central green space is surrounded by buildings that are over 300 years old and filled with culture and history. During the summer months, the buildings are light during the evening and music in the streets is expected and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
The Bruparck is a shopping and entertainment center. There is so much to see and do, that a trip here can take up more than half a day. Inside Bruparck is a reconstructed Belgian village, where you can actually experience what it was like way back then. It also features one of the largest movie complexes in Europe, as well as a water park. Both are good options for sunny summer days spent exploring the city.
The Musees Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire art museum and the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique provide a rich experience with art from all over the globe. There are two statues, however, that are quite well known and that attract many visitors. The first is called Manneken Pis which is an image of a boy relieving himself, perhaps after enjoying a little too much locally brewed beer. The Atonium is another famous statue that symbolizes a molecule and stands as a tribute to scientific progress. An elevator travels to the top of this sphere and provides the traveler with an unmatched view of the city.
Belgium is world famous for its beet so no visit would be complete without taking time to relax at one of the many brewpubs. Here you can sample domestic beer and enjoy the traditional frites which is almost identical to what we would call in America French fries. A mug of locally brewed beer and a side of frites provide an enriching experience into the local culture.
Everyone seems to want to travel to Brussels, Belgium. Currently there are over 1 million people living in Brussels the capital of Belgium it is also the country’s cultural and political center. The name actually mans “Marsh City” and the first people to take up residency settled there in the Sixth Century.
There are lots of places to explore in this charming city. Once you have been to Brussels, you love to visit it again and again. I would suggest you to start with a visit to Grand Place-Grote Markt. This is awesome place in the heart of city surrounded by city tower and beautiful buildings. If you will make a short walk from Grand Place-Grote Markt, there is another sight to see. It is called Manneken Pis, which is a statue depicting the strong spirit of Brussels holidays.
While many of us think of beer when Belgium is mentioned, it’s certainly not all that Brussels city has to offer – though it’s only natural that you’d want to sample some of the local goods. You’ll also find plenty of history and culture, from fascinating museums and architecture to colourful festivals, parades and parties – a far cry from the notion that all Belgium has to offer is some of our favourite lagers!
Plus if you decide to fly in to London and then travel on to Brussels from there you may want to consider letting the train take the strain. Today you can travel from Waterloo Station in London to Brussels on the Eurostar train. This journey takes approximately 2 ½ hours to complete and the service is available 7 days a week. Also you have a wide range of accommodation to choose from when it comes to travelling by this fast and luxury train.
The key to enjoying a vacation or visit to Brussels is making the trip your own. Plan an schedule that meets your needs, do as much as you can, and take pleasure in all of the sights, beauty, and historical past this charming area offers. Brussels has a rich heritage and is central to the current affairs of the European Union so you should appreciate a weekend break and soak up the way of life.