As the year ends, Flanders’ art cities become more enchanting than ever. Winter markets pop up, chasing away the dark with food, drinks, and the warmest possible welcome.
Winter Wonders’ 250 or so enchanting chalets radiate an atmosphere along a three-kilometer route through the city center, which includes the iconic Grand’Place. During these festivities, you’ll find a huge Christmas tree, a sound and light show, cultural activities, art displays, and live performances for both young and old. Haven’t you finished your Christmas shopping? Do so here, in an extra-wonderful setting. Brussels by Lights literally casts a festive glow on the capital’s shopping streets. These glittering illuminations make the city even more beautiful than usual.
Antwerp and Mechelen
A visit to Antwerp should always include a splash of grandeur; that’s why the city’s winter festival route starts at Antwerp Central Station. This “railway cathedral” is considered the most beautiful train station in the world. From here, a garland of lights leads you to the historic city center, where Winter in Antwerp welcomes you with such classics as the Christmas market and the ice-skating rink. If you’re in the mood for higher spirits, perhaps an aperitif or brunch on the Ferris wheel is for you. The view of the city is irresistible, as are the snacks and drinks. Why not be captivated by one of the city’s Christmas concerts? Enjoy! If you still haven’t had enough, a 20-minute train ride will take you to cozy Mechelen, a city that will charm you during this festive period.
This year, the Ghent Winter Festivities are giving their traditional end-of-year events a twist. The classic ice rink will be replaced by a delightful, vintage roller-skating track of no less than 400 m². This way, Ghent will save on cost, not on the atmosphere. In addition to the roller track, you’ll find everything for a warm winter experience here: cozy chalets and a Ferris wheel, countless food and drink stands, cheerful decorations, entertainment, and an indoor ski bar. All the classics are ready for you to enjoy.
Leuven’s convivial city center welcomes you to Winter Season, a joyful event packed full of wonder and fun: discover the Great Beguinage by candlelight, stroll through the light festival “(un)Holy Light”, or enjoy one of the Christmas concerts at various spots in this beautiful city.
Bruges is magical at any time of year, and its charm only increases during the winter thanks to Winter Glow. This holiday festival comprises not one but two Christmas markets: a classic version on the historic Market Square and a stone’s throw away, one that features food, artisanal goods, and other products with short supply chains. There’s also the Light Experience Trail, a beautifully lit route including waterways, parks, squares, and iconic spots. Of course, there’s also the darling skating rink in Minnewater Park.
Let Winter Glow wrap you in its embrace and warm you, as will the whole of Flanders in wintertime.