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23 Best Christmas Markets in Belgium [2023 Edition]

A guide to the best Christmas Markets in Belgium this year

You can’t travel Belgium at Christmas without enjoying its magical Christmas markets! But where is the best Christmas market in Belgium?

Christmas in Belgium is the most important holiday period of the year. Just like any other European nation, Belgium has its unique style of celebrating Christmas.

Not only are there loads of typical food that await visitors, but every major town in Belgium takes care of its festive atmosphere.

Continue reading on to find out where to find the best Christmas markets in Belgium!

Want to visit the Belgium Christmas markets and buy great gifts? Here is a guide to the places to visit in Belgium during Christmas. It includes an introduction to the lovely Belgium Christmas Traditions and what Belgian food to eat at all the best Christmas markets in Belgium, as well as the when to visit and market opening times. #ChristmasMarkets #Christmas #Belgium #BelgiumChristmas #ChristmasMarketsInEurope #ChristmasFood #BelgiumXmas #EuropeanChristmas #ChristmasVillage #XmasMarkets
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Overview: Top 5 Christmas Markets in Belgium

  • Durbuy Christmas Market
  • Bruges Christmas Market
  • Liege Christmas Market
  • Brussels Christmas Market
  • Hasselt Christmas Market

1. Bruges Christmas Market

Bruges Christmas market, Scenic cityscape with the picturesque night medieval Christmas Burg Square in Bruges, Belgium
The Burg Square in Bruges, Belgium

As the winter knocks on the door, Bruges gets all fuzzy with its Christmas spirit.

This small and pretty medieval town starts looking like a fairytale as soon as the temperatures begin to drop.

You will smell the dazzling fragrance of freshly prepared waffles from a distance. The fairy lights up above you are covering the entire market street.

During Christmas time, Bruges, Belgium really turns into a Christmas fairytale town.

Due to its particularly quaint and historic town center, the Bruges Christmas market is considered one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium.

To buy fabulous Christmas decorations in Belgium, go to the Grote Market, Bruges. This Christmas market is prevalent for its Christmas items.

Another Christmas market that is quite popular is the tree-lined Simon Stevinplein.

It has a lot of cozy cafes and chocolatiers, where you can shop for all your upcoming Christmas parties.

Information about the Bruges Christmas market

When: from 24 November 2023 – 7 January 2024

Where: the Grote Markt, the Simon Stevin Square & ‘t Zand

Opening hours:

Open daily from around 10/11 am until 10/11 pm

This Belgium Christmas market remains open 7 days a week.
From Sunday to Thursday, you can visit the market from 11 am to 10 pm.
From Friday to Saturday, it remains open from 11 am to 11 pm.

Special opening times:

24 December – closes at 05:00 pm

25 December – open only in the afternoon

The most popular foods to try at the Bruges Christmas market:

  • Potato chips (which is the national dish of Belgium), are available here in the typical frites food trucks. There’s another reason why you should visit Bruges though; they have the only chips museum in the whole wide world!
  • Carbonades flamandes, a great winter warmer.
  • Waffles, chocolates, …

What else to do in Bruges?

Once you come to the Bruges Belgium Christmas market, make sure to go for a sightseeing tour as well.

You can go to the Belfry Tower, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and climb the 366 steps to get to the top of the tower and hear bells ringing.

Another popular local spot to visit is L’Estaminet, which is charming and one of the best restaurants in Bruges.

I also recommend cruising on the waterways at the Canal, The Lover’s Bridge, and the Lake of Love which are some of the best sightseeing spots.

Don’t forget to check out some of the best Instagram photography spots in Bruges.

Book here your Bruges Canal Cruise

2. Ghent Christmas Market

best Christmas markets in the world, Historical centre of Ghent with old post office, Saint-Nicholas Church and Belfry during Christmas
The Saint-Nicholas Church and Belfry during Christmas in Ghent

If you are not aware of this fantastic city, you are really missing out! And if you want to experience real Belgium at Christmas, then Ghent has to be on your list.

Ghent is one of the largest cities in the Belgian Flanders region.

Being one of the best Christmas markets in the Flemish Region, you will find an array of decorative items to buy.

The numerous canals of the city will lure you with their enchanting atmosphere.

No wonder that the city is often considered one of the most beautiful towns in Belgium!

If you are in Ghent and want to purchase some Belgian Christmas ornaments, the Christmas market in Ghent is the right place to be. If you’re wondering where to stay in Ghent, I recommend the town center.

You can come not just to do Christmas shopping but to go ice skating as well.

Watch the street performances and ride the Ferris Wheels! It’s great fun for young and old!

There’s the Moose bar in Ghent as well where you can try delicious cocktails and don’t forget to visit the Children’s village.

All in all, the Ghent Christmas market is a foodie’s heaven!

Information about the Ghent Christmas market

When: from 7 December – 31 December 2023

Where: the Groentenmarkt, the Korenmarkt, the Emille Braunplein, and the St.-Baafsplein

Opening hours:

Weekdays: 12 pm to 9 pm
Weekends: 11 am until 10 pm

Special opening times:

Dec 24th & 31st: 12 pm to 5 pm
Christmas day (25th): 2 pm to 7 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Ghent Christmas market:

  • Cheese or prawn croquettes
  • Gentse Kop (delicatessen) is the most popular dish of Ghent
  • Stoverij (a dish slowly stewed in beer)
  • Vol-au-vent (small hollow case of puff pastry)
  • Gentse waterzooi (stew dish)
  • Balletjes (meatballs)

What else to do in Ghent?

When in Ghent, you must stroll through the Patershol, go for vinyl hunting, and visit the independent record stores. Vynilla and Music Mania are the best places to visit.

Be sure to visit Gravensteen, one of the best castles in Belgium.

You can also visit the local favorite, Vooruit Arts Center, where you will see all the local artists hanging out.

Don’t miss out on the S.M.A.K museum, the graffiti by ROA, the impressive St. Bavo’s Cathedral, …

Book here your Ghent Canal Cruise

3. Durbuy Christmas Market

Durbuy Christmas market, Belgium, standing next to a carousel outside of the Christmas market
Winter carousel in Durbuy, Belgium

This cute little town surrounded by enchanting nature is located in the heart of Belgium.

Did you know that Durbuy is also known as the smallest city in the world?

Despite that, there are many fun things to do in Durbuy during winter, including a popular Belgium Christmas market.

Only 2 hours away from Brussels, Durbuy attracts a lot of tourists, especially during Christmas.

It has a rich history and the rural areas are filled with heritage and different flavors.

During the Christmas period, the town gets very festive and its numerous food stalls are inviting for food and drinks.

In fact, Durbuy is probably the best Christmas town in Belgium due to its festive atmosphere and fantastic Christmas market.

The atmosphere on the Durbuy Christmas market is a real party and that’s why many also consider it to be the best Christmas market in Belgium.

The Durbuy Belgium Christmas market lasts 4 weekends which lights up the mood of Christmas day.

You will see many local artisans selling unique gift items, handicrafts, and lots of delicious food.

On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, around 1000 candles are lit at 5.30 pm in the old town.

Information about the Durbuy Christmas market

When: from 24 November 2023 – 7 January 2024

Where: Old town center (Parc Roi Baudouin, Allée verte and site de l’Anticlinal)

Opening hours:

From 24 November to 17 December 2023 – Only open Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Friday – from 4 pm to 11 pm
Saturday & Sunday – from 11 am to 11 om

From 22 December 2023 to 7 January 2024 – Open daily from 11 am to 11 pm

Special opening times:

Dec 24th & 31st: closes at 6 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Durbuy Christmas market:

At the Christmas market Durbuy puts on, there are lots of good things to taste including:

  • Pralines
  • Local beers
  • Foie gras on a hot potato
  • Caramelized almonds

What else to do in Durbuy?

Get ready for some fun too along with the Durbuy Christmas market.

You can’t miss the Durbuy Topiary Park and the La Ferme Au Chêne Brewery to try some local beer.

4. Brussels Christmas Market

places to visit in Belgium during Christmas, Grote Markt place on a Christmas evening Brussels Belgium
The Grand Place, Belgium during Christmas

The Brussels Christmas market is very popular in Belgium.

This also makes Brussels one of the most beautiful places in Belgium.

The Christmas market of Brussels takes place on 2 of the most beautiful squares of the Belgian capital: it expands from the Grand Place to the Place St. Catherine.

Even though Brussels is extremely popular for its delicious waffles and chocolates, many travelers visit it because of the fabulous Brussels Christmas market. But there is so much more!

A real winter wonderland will be awaiting you in Brussels with plenty of food and Christmas lights.

It’s a must, even if you just spend one day in Brussels.

The beautiful Christmas atmosphere of Brussels is the reason why people come here in abundance during Christmas.

And in order to burn all the calories, why not go hiking near Brussels?

Information about the Brussels Christmas market

When: from 24 November 2023 – 31 December 2023

Where: the center of Brussels including the Grand Place, the Place St. Catherine, the Vismarkt, the Bourse, and the Muntplein

Opening hours:

Open daily from 12 pm – 10 pm

Special opening times:

Open Dec 24th & 31st from 12 pm to 6 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Brussels Christmas market:

Belgium, as we all know, is popular for its food and Brussels has many delicious meals to offer as well.

Luckily, if you’re wondering where to try Belgian food in Brussels during the winter, the Christmas market is the perfect place!

Some of the must-try foods on the Brussels Christmas market are:

  • Mussels
  • Fries (currently applying to become UNESCO World Heritage)
  • Meatballs
  • Flemish stew
  • Grey Shrimp Croquettes
  • Waffles
  • Paling in het groen (Eel in the green)

What else to do in Brussels?

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is a marvelous place for travelers.

It has a rich history and beautiful architecture to enjoy, and there are many fun things to do in Brussels.

Once you are done with your Christmas shopping, make sure to go to the Grand Place, check out the old England building, the Brussel’s Notre Dame Du Sablon, and of course the legendary Atomium building.

Although there isn’t a Sablon Christmas market, there are some great shops for holiday shopping in the district.

Nearby the market, you’ll find some of the best hotels in Belgium for Christmas markets to make your stay extra special.

Book here the best Brussels Food Tours

5. Antwerp Christmas Market

where to visit in Belgium in Christmas, Christmas on Grote Markt in Antwerp. Antwerp, Flemish Region, Belgium
Christmas on the Grote Markt in Antwerp, Flemish Region, Belgium

Nothing is better than shopping at the Antwerp, Belgium Christmas market.

The market in Antwerp comes with something new every year. It’s thus a great surprise every year you visit.

In some years, you can even play miniature golf in a fire forest. If you get on the Ferris wheel, you’ll enjoy spectacular views over the Antwerp Old Town.

The food in Antwerp is already fabulous but during the Christmas market, the town attracts foodies from Netherlands, France, and Luxembourg.

Information about the Antwerp Christmas market

When: From 8 December 2023 – 7 January 2024

Where: the Steenplein, the Suikerrui, the Grote Markt, the Handschoenmarkt and the Groenplaats

Opening hours:

Sunday to Thursday: from 12 pm to 10 pm
Friday & Saturday: from 12 pm to 12 am

Special opening times:

December 24th & 31st: from 12 pm – 6 pm
January 1st: from 3 pm – 12 am

The most popular foods to try at the Antwerp Christmas market:

  • Waffles
  • Bolleke (famous beer)
  • Belgian chocolates
  • Belgian truffles
  • Cuperdons (typical Flemish, sweet delicacies)
  • Speculoos (sweet biscuits with spices)
  • Antwerpse handjes (butter biscuits with almonds and chocolate)

What else to do in Antwerp?

Once you are here and thinking of doing more than just some Christmas shopping at the Antwerp Christmas market, head to the Antwerp Central Station.

It is one of the prettiest train stations in Europe!

Gain some knowledge about the press printing at the Museum Plantin-Moretus and then go to the Ruben’s House, Red Star Line Museum, and the Antwerp Zoo.

Book here your Antwerp Walking Tour

6. Hasselt Christmas Market

Christmas in Belgium, Hasselt city hall at night. Liege, Flemish Region, Belgium.
Hasselt city hall at night

Hasselt hosts a winter event along with the Christmas market during the Christmas holidays known as “Winterland Hasselt“.

The Hasselt Christmas market is the central heart of Hasselt during the holiday period.

There is the village of Santa Claus, an indoor ice rink, and lots of food and drinks. Come here to enjoy the Christmas lights but also a roller-coaster, and several carousels.

The winter atmosphere of the town can be seen and felt throughout the Kolonel Dusartplein.

Information about the Hasselt Christmas market

When: From 17 November 2023 – 7 January 2024

Where: the Kolonel Dussartplein

Opening hours: Daily from 11 am until 10 pm

Special opening times: December 24th: 11 am until 6 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Hasselt Christmas market:

  • Stoemp (stamppot)
  • Grey shrimp croquettes
  • Speculoos (a spiced shortcrust biscuit)
  • Waterzooi (a chicken or fish soup)
  • Waffles
  • Chocolates are a must-try

What else to do in Hasselt?

Opened in 1992, Hasselt houses the most significant Japanese Garden in the entirety of Europe.

After a hectic shopping day at the Christmas market Hasselt offers, you can come to the Japanese garden to relax.

Make a stop at Hasselt’s “Fashion Museum”, which is a favorite for fashion addicts.

This museum is dedicated to clothing and fashion. During winter, nothing can be better than exploring the Jenever museum and trying the local drink from Hasselt.

7. Leuven Christmas Market

Best Christmas markets in Belgium, Magnificent City Hall of Leuven and St. Peter's Church in Belgium
The magnificent city hall of Leuven and the St. Peter’s Church in Belgium

Visit Leuven during Christmas time, and you will be awestruck by its glowing beauty. Indeed, Leuven turns into a magical place during Christmas.

The cold easterly winds and people enjoying warm drinks in the numerous bars of the student city are some of the most seen scenes.

With the town hall festively illuminated, the Leuven Christmas Market has been chosen as the “coziest Christmas market in Europe“.

While everyone gets ready for the Christmas spirit, I recommend visiting the Leuven Christmas market in order to shop for decorative items for your Christmas tree and buy chocolates for everyone.

The tradition to follow is eating beignets, also known as “ollieballen” at “t Wit Madammeke”.

At the Leuven Christmas market, there are over 140 stands waiting for you. Many of them sell artisan goods and different seasonal products.

Information about the Leuven Christmas market

When: from 7 December – 21 December 2023

Where: the Hooverplein and the Laudeuzeplein

The most popular foods to try at the Leuven Christmas market:

  • Mulled wine
  • Jenever gin
  • Belgian waffles
  • Deep-fried oliebollen (beignets)

What else to do in Leuven?

Leuven is one of the prettiest cities in Belgium and is worth more exploration.

After visiting the Christmas market, visit Fonske. This quirky statue honors the city’s educational heritage.

It is located on the breathtaking historic square of Leuven.

You can visit the Stadhuis, and the Sint-Peiterskerk, and don’t miss visiting the local bars to try some drinks and foods.

8. Namur Christmas Market

Christmas market kiosk in Belgium, traditional hanging Christmas tree decorations
Traditional hanging Christmas tree decorations

Namur is located at the confluence of the Sambre River and the Meuse.

During Christmas time, Namur attracts visitors from entire Belgium and even from the Netherlands and France.

The Christmas market looks exquisite thanks to the town’s unique setting at the rivers.

You will see people selling seasonal products, Christmas decoration items, gift items, artisanal products, and many other great items.

Plenty of bands, folkloristic groups, and choirs will guarantee a very festive atmosphere.

There are over 100 lodges in the illuminated historic city center of Namur, and you’ll find some of the best hotels in Belgium for Christmas markets.

Information about the Namur Christmas market

When: from 1 December – 31 December 2023

Where: Main Square

Opening hours:

Open daily from 11 am – 8 pm with late evenings lasting till 10.30 pm

Special opening times:

December 24th: closes at 6 pm
December 25th: opens at 3 pm
December 31st: closes at 6 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Namur Christmas market:

Foods and drinks are available in Namur in abundance. You will never run out of choices.

Here are some suggestions while visiting the Christmas market Namur hosts:

  • Baked crusty rolls for breakfast with a delicious cup of coffee
  • Christmas cookies
  • Potato croquettes
  • Seafood 

9. Liege Christmas Market

Where to go during Christmas in Belgium, Christmas decorations in Belgium
Christmas market details

Liege in Belgium has the oldest Christmas market. You might not know it, but Liege attracts 1.5 million people from all over the world during their Christmas period.

This is without any doubt one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium. Come here to buy Belgian Christmas ornaments, have some food, enjoy, and relax.

The Christmas market of Liege looks like a village during the holiday period.

During your visit, you can’t skip the traditional cozy restaurants such as Le Chalet de la Gruyere, La Maison du Peket, and le Chalet.

The food at the Liege Christmas market is to die for and that’s why Liege during Christmas is one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium you can visit.

Information about the Liege Christmas market

When: from 25 November – 30 December 2023

Where: the Saint-Lambert Square and the Marché de Liège Square

Opening hours:

Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: from 11 am – 10 pm Thursdays
Fridays and Saturdays: from 11 am to midnight

Special opening times:

December 24th: closes at 6 pm
December 25th: opens at 1 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Liege Christmas market:

  • Peket, a sweet alcoholic drink
  • Belgian fries
  • Waffles from Liege which are distinct from the ones in Brussels
  • Plenty of cookies
  • Roasted almonds

What else to do in Liege?

During the Christmas period, try ice skating in Liege and finish your day with some delicious foods and Christmas drinks.

Other sights that you should definitely include in your itinerary to Liege are the Montagne de Bueren, the Curtius Museum, and the St. Paul’s Cathedral in Liege.

Definitely visit The Citadel of Liège, one of the best things to do in Liege.

10. Arlon Christmas Market

Traditional Christmas markets in Europe, bike with Christmas lights outside of a Christmas market

The Arlon Christmas market is not as big as the one from Liege, but it’s a must-visit as well.

It is small and cozy, and the Christmas market keeps the Christmas spirit alive in the best way.

Arlon is located at the border to Luxembourg at the south of the Wallonia Region in Belgium.

It has quite a unique charm that cannot be found in any other Belgian town. Bring along your kids to meet Santa Claus, because that’s a tradition they have been following for ages.

You can visit the Arlon Christmas market to buy different artisan, and typically Belgian products.

You can’t miss trying out some delicious foods and Belgian beers. During some editions, there is even an ice-skating rink waiting for you in Arlon.

Information about the Arlon Christmas market

When: from December 8 – 10 & December 15 – 17 2023

Where: the Place Léopold and the Old Justice Palace

Opening hours:

Friday: 4 – 9 pm
Saturday: 1 – 8 pm
Sunday: 1 – 7 pm

The most popular foods to try on the Arlon Christmas market:

  • Spicy-sweet speculoos
  • Traditional Christmas cookies
  • Waffles and chocolates

What else to do in Arlon?

After buying all the Christmas ornaments and decorative items at Arlon’s Christmas market, take out some time to explore the city.

Go to the Maison Gasper, the Eglise St Martin, the Musee Archeologique, the Areler Knippchen (the highest point of the town), and try out some delicious foods at Le Fils de Paul.

11. Louvain-la-Neuve Christmas Market

best Belgian Christmas markets, a person holding two mugs of hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is a tasty treat at Belgium Christmas Markets

The town square of Louvain-la-Neuve gets transformed each year when the Christmas market is set up.

Instead of open space, visitors will find themselves in a pop-up winter wonderland.

For the Belgium Christmas market in Louvain-la-Neuve, the square will be filled with dozens of decorated wooden huts dusted with snow.

Between these festive buildings will be plenty of snowy trees and Christmas lights. The picturesque look of this market alone makes it one of the best Christmas markets in the world.

There are so many different things to see.

Visitors can expect to find traditionally made objects, hand-crafted toys, and jewelry, as well as Christmas candles, lights, wreaths, and other decorations.

If you’re hungry, why not try out some of the different Christmas treats on offer?

Over 80 artisans regularly attend the markets, selling everything from candies and sweets to drinks and savory snacks.

Information about the Louvain-la-Neuve Christmas market

When: from 24 November – 20 December 2023

Where: Grand Place de Louvain-la-Neuve

Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday: from 11 am – 8 pm for the artisanal market, 9 pm for the Horeca chalet
Friday and Saturday: from 11 am – 10 pm for the artisanal market, 11 pm for the Horeca chalet

The most popular foods to try at the Louvain-la-Neuve Christmas market:

  • Belgian Spice Biscuits (Spéculoos)
  • Mulled wine
  • Sweet mini donuts
  • Jams and preserves
  • Foie gras

What else to do in Louvain-la-Neuve?

Louvain-la-Neuve is home to the Hergé Museum, where fans of the cartoonist can find out about his life and his most famous creation: The Adventures of Tintin.

For other learning, just head to Museum L, the University Museum of Louvain-la-Neuve.

If you’re feeling active, a good way of exploring Louvain-la-Neuve is to take a Segway tour.

To keep yourself refreshed, make sure to pick up a hot drink at Manhattan Barista Lounge, or grab a beer at the Beerlovers’ Shop if you prefer.

12. Charleroi Christmas Market

visit Christmas market Charleroi in Belgium, large brick building with rounded windows

The city of Charleroi is one of the best places to experience Christmas in Belgium.

It’s the largest city in the French-speaking district of Wallonia but gets much less of a crowd at Christmas time than more well-known places like Brussels or Ghent.

Each year, the citizens of Charleroi create a mini Christmas village in their town square.

These pop-up wooden lodges are occupied by a regularly changing range of different artisans, selling anything and everything you could hope to find at a Belgian Christmas market.

Along with seasonal foods such as cookies, chocolates, and mulled wine, why not try out some of Charleroi’s winter oysters under the warm cover of a heated terrace?

If it’s Christmas market gifts you’re after, you’ll enjoy walking amongst the stalls selling all kinds of homeware, festive crafts, and decorations.

As you explore, you might hear the sound of choral music coming from the town belfry, where a choir regularly performs festive Belgian folk songs.

Once you’ve enjoyed the market itself, make sure to head to the 700m² ice rink that gets set up each year for a festive skate.

And on Friday nights, you can dance the night away at the weekly neon disco party.

Information about the Charleroi Christmas market

When: From 24 November 2023 – 6 January 2024

Where: Place de la Digue, Place Charles II

Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday: from 10 am to 9 pm
Friday: from 10 am to midnight
Saturday: from 10 am to 10 pm

Special opening times:

December 24th & 31st: from 10 am to 6 pm
December 25th & January 1st: from 4 pm to 9 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Charleroi Christmas market:

  • Champagne and oysters
  • Mulled wine
  • Belgian waffles
  • Crêpes

What else to do in Charleroi?

There’s plenty to see in Charleroi for those interested in art.

The nearby Museum of Fine Arts has many 19th and 20th century works of Belgian art, including a large number of pieces by the famous Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte.

The Glass Museum of Charleroi is also well worth checking out.

13. Binche Christmas Market

Christmas markets in Belgium, section of Christmas tree with snowflake ornament

One of the best places to visit in Belgium at Christmas time is Binche.

This medieval city fills its main square every year with a vibrant Christmas market. Belgium has no shortage of these, but Binche stands out among the rest for its Christmas spirit and enthusiasm.

Among the 46 lodges constructed for the occasion, you’ll be able to find all sorts of seasonal treats, gifts, activities, and delights.

Don’t miss out on a glass of hot mulled wine as you peruse festive jumpers and hats, trinkets and ornaments, cookies, Christmas trees, and Belgium Christmas decorations.

Information about the Binche Christmas market:

When: 8 December to 17 December 2023

Where: Grand Place, 7130 Binche

Opening hours:

Wednesday: 1.30 pm to 8 pm
Thursday: 5 pm to 8 pm
Friday: 4 pm to 10 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 9 pm

Special opening times:

Closed 11th and 12th December

The most popular foods to try at the Binche Christmas market:

  • Handmade Belgian chocolates
  • Mulled wine or gin
  • Seafood
  • Waffles

What else to do in Binche?

Binche is an old walled city. Visiting the former ramparts is a must for history lovers, who can enjoy the tall stone walls and rounded towers from the 14th century that still stand today.

Every year on Shrove Tuesday, the city celebrates with a UNESCO recognized carnival event.

This event sees people dress up as masked male characters called “Gilles”, with wooden clogs and ostrich feathers.

These costumed characters perform dances and marches and occasionally throw oranges into the crowd from a basket.

The festival is so important that there is a museum dedicated to it. The International Carnival and Mask Museum is open year-round and provides a fascinating glimpse into Belgian heritage.

14. Knokke Christmas Market

best Christmas markets Belgium offers, feet of someone ice skating on clear, thick ice

If you love ice skating, then the Knokke Christmas market is the best Christmas market Belgium has to offer.

That’s because although you’ll find shopping at the Knokke Christmas market, the main attraction here is the amazing ice rink!

It costs €7 for entry to the rink but includes skates. On Wednesday afternoons, it also includes free children’s make-up and a children’s disco.

The market itself is also popular for its food and drink stalls. You’ll find delicious Glühwein around, as well as tasty Belgium Christmas food and snacks.

Information about the Knokke Christmas market

When: from 1 December 2023 – 7 January 2024

Where: Alfred Verweeplein

Opening hours:

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm

Special opening times:

Friday, December 1 – Opens at 5 pm with the entrance of Saint Nicholas

Sunday, January 7 – Closes at 4 pm

Every Wednesday – Open as usual, but from  2 pm to 5:30 pm there is free children’s make-up and children’s disco

The most popular foods to try at the Knokke Christmas market:

  • Smoutebollen/oliebollen (deep fried sweet dumplings)
  • Kerststronk (a traditional chocolate Christmas log)
  • Glühwein

What else to do in Knokke?

Although Knokke is known as the Saint Tropez of Belgium due to its amazing beaches, there are plenty of fun winter activities to enjoy, as well.

One of the most popular things to do in Knokke in winter is grabbing drinks at the Ice Bar on Van Bunnenplein.

You’ll also want to make sure you have time to enjoy the incredible LightART festival.

In addition to the Christmas markets, you’ll also get the chance to enjoy lots of wonderful holiday shopping.

One of the best places is along Graaf d’Ursellaan, or at the beginning of December visit the Maison Collective which hosts a mini Christmas market with local upscale businesses.

15. Eupen Christmas Market

best Belgium holiday market, two people looking at Christmas ornaments at a market stall

Visitors to the Eupen Christmas Market won’t just get to enjoy one of the best Christmas markets Belgium has to offer; you’ll get to experience the cultures of Germany and the Netherlands as well.

Stall holders from all three countries will be there to help you enjoy the festive season, with floral arrangements, candles, scarves, snacks, Christmas decorations Belgium-style, and handicrafts for all ages.

There is a lot of visual spectacle on display at this event, so I recommend you take at least a little time to simply wander around and take it all in.

From the sparkling lights arranged into festive shapes to open roaring fires, live entertainment and performances, and music throughout the market.

Don’t miss out on any of the delicious foodstuffs; make sure to grab some hot roasted chestnuts or some grilled sausages. And, of course, a Belgian Xmas markets’ waffle!

Information about the Eupen Christmas market

When: from 15 December – 17 December 2023

Where: Alfred Verweeplein

Opening hours:

Friday 15 to Saturday 16: from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Sunday 17: from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Eupen Christmas market:

  • Waffles & pancakes
  • Roasted chestnuts
  • Belgian Christmas pastries
  • Mulled wine & hot chocolate

What else to do in Eupen?

The capital of the German-speaking part of Belgium, Eupen is most well known for its surrounding natural beauty.

Some of the most popular places to visit are Temsepark, Lae Eupen, and the High Fens-Eifel Nature Park.

However, these can be quite cold to explore in the winter, so pack warmly!

Otherwise, you can also enjoy the unique sites within Eupen, such as the IKOB Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Nikolaus Church, and the Cultural Centre Alter Schlachthof.

16. Maredsous Abbey Christmas Market

Top Belgian Xmas markets, Close up shot of gingerbread men and ornaments hanging by string from the roof of a stall at a Christmas market

Many visitors to the Maredsous Abbey Christmas Market will tell you that it embodies the true spirit of Christmas, and you can really see why.

Every year, the main courtyard of the abbey gets filled with over 60 chalets full of traditional Belgian Christmas decorations and delicious treats, and there’s an exciting festive atmosphere.

As well as the seasonal chocolate and pastries, don’t forget to sample some of the many cured meats on offer each year.

If you’re comfortable on the ice, Maredsous Abbey also puts up a large skating rink for some active family fun.

The scenery is a major part of what makes this event one of the best Christmas markets in Belgium.

With a layer of light snow, the Victorian abbey and the carefully cultivated grounds are exceedingly picturesque.

Information about the Maredsous Abbey Christmas Market

When: each weekend from 17 November – 25 December 2023

Where: Maredsous Abbey

Opening hours:

Fridays: 6 pm – 10 pm

Saturdays and Sundays: 10 am – 8 pm

Special opening times:

Sunday 24th December: 10 am – 4 pm

Monday 25th December: 3 pm – 8 pm

The most popular foods to try at the Maredsous Abbey Christmas market:

  • Maredsous blonde beer
  • Maredsous cheese, with bread and salami

What else to do in Maredsous Abbey?

There are two very important things to enjoy when visiting Maredsous Abbey, and those are beer and cheese. Both are made locally, and sold in local shops.

Maredsous cheese is still matured in the traditional way in underground caves, which is part of the reason it has such a distinct and enticing flavor.

Delicious Maredsous beer is still drunk by the monks at the abbey to this day!

The Maredsous Abbey itself is a stunning building, with very peaceful grounds that are perfect for wandering.

Make sure to take a guided tour of the abbey and the cheese factory!

I can also recommend taking a ride in a pedal cart along the nearby disused railway line for some amazing views, especially in winter!

Other Small Christmas Markets in Belgium Worth Visiting

Tasty Christmas food in Belgium, Belgian waffles with whipped cream, chocolate and strawberries on the display case
Belgian waffles forever

These are the best places to visit in Belgium during Christmas if you want to experience the Belgium Christmas markets.

However, there are other small Christmas markets in Belgium as well which might interest you.

Here’s the list of some smaller Belgium Christmas markets. They will surprise you with their cozy, winter charm.

1. Mons Christmas market

When: from 2 December – 31 December 2023

Mons is a great day trip from Brussels, especially during Christmas time. Indeed, the Christmas market of Mons is well known.

There will be a huge ice-skating rink awaiting you at the Christmas market Mons puts on.

Plus, you’ll get to experience a beautiful illuminated old town, and an artisan’s village where you can stock up on local goods and food.

The Mons Belgium Christmas market is undoubtedly one of the best small Belgian Christmas markets.

2. Wavre Christmas market

When: from 8 December 2023 – 7 January 2024

If you love to eat and drink, the Wavre Christmas market is the right choice for you.

Come to the Place Alphonse Bosch, buy some beautiful Christmas gifts, and try out some lip-smacking waffles, tea, liquor, and coffee.

It’s a tiny, yet very cute Christmas market in Belgium. 

3. Mechelen Christmas market

When: from 2 December 2023 – 8 January 2024

The beautiful illuminated town of Mechelen will lure you and make you feel like in a Christmas fairytale.

At the Christmas market Mechelen puts on there will be plenty of food stalls on the gorgeous square in front of the town hall.

4. Caves of Wonck Christmas market

When: 8 December – 10 December 2023

The Christmas Market “Caves of Wonck” in the French-speaking part of Belgium is great for those who want to celebrate Christmas off the beaten track. Indeed, the site is over 2000 years old.

There will be more than 75 stalls awaiting you in the underground galleries.

5. Ypres Christmas market

When: 1 December 2023 – 7 January 24

Visit the Christmas market in Ypres, Belgium, and buy loads of Christmas decorative items and gifts from the 23 stands.

The Ypres Christmas market doesn’t only attract you with its historical value, but also with its beautiful Christmas lights.

It’s foreseen that there will be an ice-skating ring waiting for you and your kids as well.

6. Ostend Christmas market

When: from 2 December 2023 – 7 January 2024

The Ostend, Belgium Christmas market, located in the biggest town of the Belgian coast is another small, yet colorful Christmas market.

Here, you can enjoy plenty of fresh fish and seafood from the Belgian Coast. 

Ostend is particularly popular among families and no wonder that it figures among the best beach resorts in Belgium.

You can also take a day trip to the Belgian Coast and explore some of the fun things to do in Knokke.

7. Kortrijk Christmas Market

When: TBA

At just 30 30-minute drive, the town of Kortrijk is a great day trip from Ghent and is a wonderful place to visit during the holiday season.

Kortrijk is a particularly popular shopping area for Belgians, so it’s no surprise it hosts one of the best small Christmas markets in Belgium.

Although the Kortrijk Christmas Market isn’t the biggest in the country, you can still count on festive decorations and food.

Plus, there is a large ice skating rink in the town center worth visiting, especially with the kids!

I hope this list of the best Christmas markets in Belgium inspires you to visit this amazing country during the winter holidays.

With any luck, you have also discovered some of the best places to visit in Belgium during Christmas to have a magical holiday season.

As you can see, Xmas in Belgium is an extra special time and definitely worth experiencing at least once.

After all, the Belgium Christmas markets are some of the best Christmas markets in the world!

where is the best Christmas market in Belgium? Hanging out at Durbuy Christmas market, Belgium

How to celebrate Christmas in Belgium

If you’re planning on visiting Belgium over the festive season, you are no doubt wondering: Just how does Belgium celebrate Christmas?

Belgium consists of a Flemish and a French-speaking part.

Each region celebrates Christmas differently. Santa Claus is called “de kerstman” in the Flanders and “le Père Noel” in Wallonia.

On Christmas Eve, many families prepare for a special Christmas meal.

Christmas food in Belgium starts with delicious appetizers and a boozy beverage, and traditionally, the main course will include turkey.

It is accompanied by a lot of vegetables and in most cases, a potato dish.

You will get to try many delicious Belgian Christmas food dishes at the various Christmas markets in Belgium.

Belgium in Christmas time is always joyous, and people during this festive period like to spend time with their family and relatives.

But the favorite activity of everyone in the week before Christmas is planning trips to the Belgian Christmas market to get ready for the Christmas holiday period.

The Christmas spirit can be seen and felt simply everywhere.

From the famous cities to the small towns, every street of Belgium is adorned with beautiful Christmas fairy lights and different decorative items.

Christmas markets in Belgium are also a coveted place for an after-work meet-up.

If you want to experience a true Christmas village Belgium is also a great choice as many of the cities and towns go all out during the holiday.

This post will give you plenty of inspiration when looking for the best and quaintest Christmas markets in Belgium.

However, don’t forget that this small and cozy country in Western Europe is often called “the kingdom of rain” due to the high amount of precipitation!

The winters in Belgium are pretty cold, with an average temperature of 0-3°C. However, it can go – 0°C as well due to the cold winds. Belgium does get to see snowfall, but not every year.

MAP: The Best Christmas Markets in Belgium This Year

christmas markets in belgium

Short FAQ About Christmas Markets in Belgium

When do Christmas markets start in Belgium?

The dates for Belgium Christmas markets change every year, but most Christmas Markets in Belgium begin in late November, either by the 3rd week or the 4th week of the month. With a few starting at the beginning of December.

When do the Christmas markets close in Belgium?

Like the start dates, these change each year, but unfortunately, most of the markets are only open through December. However, many of the bigger ones like Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp run until the beginning of January.

Which Belgian city is famous for its Christmas market?

Brussels has one of the most famous and well-known Christmas markets in Europe. People travel from all over the world to visit.

What are the most famous Christmas Markets in Belgium?

The Belgian Christmas markets of Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels are the most widely known internationally.

Is Brussels or Bruges Christmas market better?

It depends on your personal preferences for Belgium markets. Brussels Christmas markets are larger, but Christmas in Bruges has more of a charming character. It’s only a 90-minute drive from one to the other, so why not try both?

Is Ghent Christmas market worth visiting?

Of course! Ghent is such a lively place at Christmas, with things like live street performances and Ferris Wheels to enjoy, as well as all the best parts of other Belgium Xmas markets!

Where is the best place to celebrate Christmas in Belgium?

There are so many great places to celebrate Christmas in Belgium. From the big cities to the smaller towns, the best Belgium Christmas market is just around the corner!

What to pack for your Fall or Winter trip

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