Bruges over the festive season is a sight to behold. As one of the best-preserved medieval cities throughout the world, this popular Belgian destination is one of the best places to enjoy the true fairytale essence of a European Christmas.
Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, Bruges boasts a wide array of well-preserved medieval architecture, which creates a unique atmosphere as you explore the city. Here are a few of the festive highlights you can include on your itinerary as you make your way around:
Christmas markets aplenty!
One of the most enticing reasons to visit is the presence of the wonderful Christmas Markets. They run from the end of November throughout December each year and are located in Bruges two market places – Market Square and Simon Stevinplein. Wandering around the numerous stalls is a true pleasure, as you browse handmade toys, gifts and decorations. If you grow peckish from the wafting scent of mulled wine, you can indulge in all manner of tempting treats, including hot waffles and world-famous Belgian chocolates.
There is also clothing on sale and many other assorted goodies. It is the perfect place to top up on some fantastic, last-minute Christmas gifts that are a bit different from those back at home. Beyond the shopping, there are many other aspects to enjoy. Should you wish, you can even skate around the centre of Bruges Market Square on the ice rink!
If there is one thing that Belgium is known for, it’s chocolate. Chocolatiers offer tastings all year round, but at Christmas you’ll be treated to some extra special festive delights. Here’s a nice roundup of some of the best chocolatiers in Bruges to include on your list; make a point of trying the hot chocolate – it will warm you right up!
If chocolate is not your thing, you could always explore the city’s many breweries. Some of the most popular Belgian breweries are located in Bruges. There are various world-renowned breweries like Bruges Zot or De Halve Maan that offer extensive tastings.
The city of Bruges is home to the annual Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival that takes place from the end of November to middle-January. This highly anticipated event is hosted at the railway station and comprises some wonderful festive entertainment alongside some of the most awe-inspiring ice- and snow sculptures to be found anywhere in Europe. Visitors who want to combine the wonder of Christmas with the splendour of professional flower arrangement can also head to the Magical Winter Moments with Flowers at the Old St John’s Hospital (formerly known as the Magical Winter Moments Christmas Happening).
Take a look at our winter and Christmas tours that visit Bruges here. If you’ve been to Bruges at Christmas, let us know which attractions and events you enjoyed most in the comment section below!