Christmas is right around the corner and if you feel like escaping the daily, hectic life that we all have, or if you are a fanatic of the Christmas markets, well this is the place for you. Bruges is a marvellous medieval city in Belgium, giving you the archaic vibe right from your first footstep on Flemish soil. The city centre of Bruges is one of the most well maintained medieval squares in Europe and therefor it is a U.N.E.S.C.O. monument.
If you are considering travelling by train then, make sure you’ll grab a city map when running out of the station. It is a very nice place to start the city tour, because all the touristy sites are one after the other until you reach the city centre and finally the Christmas extravaganza. So, even if you don’t have a map prepared, my advice is to follow the canal from the city train station, it will lead you to every monument there is to see. The canals in Bruges act as a map steering you to the well-known Kruispoort, The Béguinage, The Dweersstraat and finally The Provinciaal Hof.
After seeing and admiring the old buildings and the fairy-tale atmosphere that the city provides, you will undoubtedly spot the Christmas market, for which many tourists book their tickets to see. The market normally starts during November and it ends at the beginning of January right after the New Year’s Eve. Not only it is one of the most beautiful markets that Belgium has to offer but it gives you a homey, cosy feeling, maybe also because of the fewer market houses. I know, there are fewer Christmas houses but Bruges would not be a Christmas wonderland only because of its Christmas market, but also because of the countless Christmas shops that flood the city. So, don’t be sad if there are not enough market houses in the square, I guarantee you that there are enough Christmas shops. I associate them with the décor from a Christmas movie, this is how surreal they look. It simply feels like Santa’s village has been moved in the West of Europe.
Those Christmas shops have become a tourist attraction on their own, not only people step inside to buy souvenirs and gifts for their loved ones but also just to admire them and the intricacy of the indoor design and how well they are put together.
If you feel like spending a day in Bruges, start in the morning with a quick stroll through the city, maybe stroll through the shopping street as well, it includes multiple of department stores, discount stores and also unique designer shops.
When you feel like taking a break, visit one of the cafes and bars in the city centre and enjoy a typical Belgian cherry beer. For those with a sweet tooth I got you covered, you could try the Belgian waffles in the Christmas market or you could be very extra and visit one of the best waffle restaurants in the city “Lizzie’s Wafels” offers huge portions with extraordinary toppings. And of course, because you are in Belgium you cannot walk in the streets without noticing the chocolate stores and factories. My suggestion is “Home Sweet Home” a very nice chocolate shop very easy to find. The idea of the shop is to let their customers create their own chocolate boxes, so pick a box at the entrance of the shop and stat filling it with loads of unique and interesting chocolate types and let their flavour accompany you during your city stroll. To end the night stop for the last time at one of the Christmas food vendors, pick something traditional or something that you like and head back home with a smile on your face and the thought that you visited one of the few Christmas Wonderlands in Europe.
Author: Iris Antonie