Destinations

Christmas markets: Belgium

Belgium

Where? There are markets in Bruges, Antwerp, Ostend, Ghent, Leuven, Mechelen and Ypres, all varying in size from 30 to 130 stalls.   Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp have ice rinks.

The big one:The Grand Place in Brussels.

Tell me more? Brussels goes Christmas mad from November 30 to January 1, when the Grand Place is transformed into a winter wonderland with a tree, crib and laser light shows. There are around 220 stall holders selling traditional gifts from Belgium as well as other European countries.

In the afternoons, there will be choir singing and concerts, and street artists to add to the fun. The market spills out into the streets all around the square, with a 48-metre high big wheel and fairground roundabouts to entertain the kids, as well as a 100-metre long skating rink at Vismarkt (fish market).

The Christmas market is open from 11am to 8pm Monday to Thursday, and from 11am to 10pm at weekends. The ice rink is open from December 12 to January 31 from 11am to 10pm and costs about £3.50 including skate hire.

Sample product: Leger Holidays has a two-night Brussels and Bruges break, with a day at the Christmas market in Brussels, from £125 per person bed and breakfast departing December 12, including travel by coach and ferry.

>> next page:  Christmas markets: Luxembourg

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