Brussels Christmas Market 2017

From 25 November 2017 to 1 January 2018, Brussels City Centre is the place to be with the annual Brussels Christmas Market, a magical and unmissable event!

If a visit to the Brussels Christmas market doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will!

Brussels Christmas Market

Brussels Christmas Market

Every year, Brussels organises one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe. It’s probably the event that draws the most visitors to Brussels.
The market gains in size every year and this year, winter villages will pop up in four areas of Brussels: Quartier des Squares, Haren, Neder-Over-Heembeek and Laeken.

For one weekend in turn, four locations will host WINTER POP, a small but mighty popup village capturing Winter Wonders’ light-hearted atmosphere. Trailers will get the party started with numerous activities for young and old: storytelling, music, circus acts, cultural exchanges with local groups, snacks…

The City of Brussels is aiming to bring seasonal cheer to these four areas and so share the magic of Christmas with as many people as possible.

 

From 24 November to 31 December, the heart of Brussels will beat to the pace of the Winter Wonders !

From 24 November to 31 December, the heart of Brussels will beat to the pace of the Winter Wonders !

Winter Wonders, that's how the Christmas Market is officially called ( or "Winterpret" in Dutch), provides the perfect opportunity to discover Brussels from the angle of conviviality and magic. Let me take you for a magical tour around Brussels' Christmas market!

The Grand-Place

Starting point of my visit to the Brussels Christmas market was the Grand Place. Besides the impressive spruce tree in the middle of the market, the main attraction is the Seasons Sound & light show! The historical façades of the Grand-Place, which is included on the UNESCO heritage list, are lit up with LED spotlights, creating a magical light show triggered by a rhythmic soundtrack.

The Grande Place in Brussels

The Grande Place in Brussels

The historical façades of the Grand-Place

The historical façades of the Grand-Place

This definitely was one of the highlights of the Christmas Market which I tried to capture on video (I also streamed it live via Periscope) as best as I could and you can see the results in the video below.

The Bourse: Christmas Lights Video mapping Show

Most people visit the Brussels Christmas market for the great atmosphere, the lights, the chalets full of Christmas presents and, of course, the genever and gluhwein! Not a lot of people now there are also indoor shows, one of them located inside the Bourse Palace.

brussel christmas market de bourse

The Bourse: Christmas Lights

Positioned at the heart of the Winter Wonders, the Bourse is one of the main points of attraction. In collaboration with the Winter Wonders, the Tour des Site Organisation staged a magical video mapping in three languages (FR, NL, EN) evoking the history of the Bourse Palace at the heart of the
European capital. I included some fragments of the show in the video below!

While I enjoyed the 3D light show, the €10 price is perhaps a bit steep. I think a lot more people would enjoy this if they would make this part of the whole Winter Wonders experience and make it a free entrance.

The Magic Factory

Next in line was the light show on the renovated façade of the Sainte Catherine Church (the Periscope stream is included at the back of the video below). While I think this could have been a fantastic show with awesome graphics, I didn't enjoy it as mutch as the one at the Grand-Place, simply because the surrounding lights of the market square were too bright for the light show to really pop and the soundtrack was playing too soft and got overpowered by the belltower.

The Fish Market

Officially this market place is known as Place Sainte-Catherine, but most people refer to the area as it has always been used, simply as the fish market.

The Fish Market is the place to be to get an after work drink with the colleagues or shop around the hundreds of stalls for an original Christmas gift.

A drink with the colleagues

A drink with the colleagues

After some good food and and some drinks, it's time to go for a ride on the ferris wheel or if you have children they can take a ride on Andréa's merry-go-rounds, their famous hand-made characters will enchant children during a few magical moments in the atypical universe of Jules Verne.

christmas market brussels carousel

The beautiful Carousels at the Brussels Christmas Market

The Christmas Parade

And on Saturday, there was the great Christmas Parade!

The Christmas Parade

The Christmas Parade (photo credit: visitbrussels.be)

With this Christmas market, Brussels has put the recent Terror Threat on a back burner and brought back the real Christmas Spirit where people from around the world can enjoy each others company in a festive world of magic and tolerance.

Happy Christmas everyone!

 

I hope you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends or leave a comment!

brussels christmas market grand-place
brussels christmas market ferris wheel

 

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22 Comments on "Brussels Christmas Market 2017"

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Erica

I used to say that I would t want to go the Europe during winter. But I feel like he christmas markets itself is a good enough reason to plan at at this time of year! Looks absolutely magical over there.

Marta

I looooove Brussels! It was home for a couple of years and has a very special place in my heart. I only had one Christmas there and I remember the lovely stalls near la Bourse and the light in the grand Place: but can you believe I didn’t actually see the merry go rounds or the big carousel? I’ll tell myself they were not there at the time it was 12 years ago) or I might start worrying about my sight!! 😉

Yasha Langford

I do so love the Christmas markets in Europe. My experience of them has been confined to Germany where all of them are on a much smaller scale than this one in Brussels. It sounds like you really enjoyed it, although I think it might be just a bit over-sized for me…
But then a couple of cups of hot gluhwein can change my perception really quickly.

Hugo

Crazy winter this year! Also 16 here in London. Super warm 🙂

I really like those lights at the Grand Place and the parade. I’m usually not drawn by Christmas markets so I rather focus on the lights and photo opportunities.

Travelwith2ofus

I visited Brussels a couple years ago, even went to The Grand Place, but this Christmas market will make me visit Brussels again. I love Christmas and the lights and the parades, however I have not been in any of the European countries during Christmas holidays. Maybe it is time I start to plan!

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