Winter is fast approaching and bringing a touch of seasonal magic to the capital of Europe. Brussels is getting ready to charm visitors and residents alike. Every year, our capital pulls out all the stops to offer them an unforgettable experience. Cosy Christmas markets, magical illuminations and crazy attractions transport the public to a winter wonderland. A destination worthy of the finest fairy tales, Brussels is the perfect place to spend Christmas.
One of Europe's most beautiful Christmas markets
Located in the historic city centre, the largest and most famous Christmas market has over two hundred wooden chalets. There's nothing more fun than wandering around and browsing through all the trinkets on display. There is plenty of time to stock up on Christmas gifts!
The twentieth edition of Winter Wonders will be taking place from 26 November to 2 January. Many other Christmas markets will also be held in the capital's various communes.
Eye-catching Christmas lights
Even in deepest, darkest winter, Brussels is a shining light. The autumn edition of the Bright Brussels light festival has just finished, but thvere's no question of letting the darkness set in. This year, no less than 152 shopping streets are being decked in lights. It's an invitation to admire the superbly decorated shop windows and do a spot of Christmas shopping. Need a bit of light to get you through the long, dark days of winter? Then mark your calendar for the weekend of 10 to 13 February and the next edition of Bright Brussels.
A sound and light show on the most beautiful square in the world
How does a spectacular sound and light show in a stunning setting sound? A visit to the Grand Place in Brussels never leaves anyone cold, but at Christmas this UNESCO World Heritage Site takes on a whole new dimension. A few steps away from the majestic Christmas tree in the centre of the square you'll find the traditional nativity scene. The programme includes many other surprising artistic installations, such as a video projection on place du Musée, a luminous castle on the Schuman roundabout and a trompe-l'oeil in Brussels' underground network… Thanks to our interactive map, you won't miss a single attraction!
A whole host of fun activities for young and old
Great news: the ice rink on place De Brouckère and the Ferris wheel on place Sainte-Catherine are back! These Winter Wonders institutions delight young and old alike. But that's not all. This year, you can enjoy a second ice rink in the Bois de la Cambre. You'll find a magical winter village, with sledging and curling runs and monumental light installations.
Your little ones will be spoiled for choice too, with a programme tailor-made for them including carousels, a 45m dinosaur and virtual reality encounters with dragons.
Enjoy a relaxing moment at the après-ski village and winter gardens
It's a first for the city: to recreate the atmosphere of a mountain holiday, place de la Monnaie is being transformed into an après-ski village, with sledge runs, chalets and, of course, a bar-restaurant. You'll be transported to a small mountain village... in the heart of the city!
This year, nature is the guest of honour, as shown by the attractions in the Bois de la Cambre, the green lung of Brussels. Also new this year is the Jardin Winterfest. Seven days a week, from noon to midnight, the public can enjoy the two large interior gardens of the Grand Hospice, thanks to a temporary occupation of the 16,000 m², listed complex. Food trucks, illuminations, performances and DJ sets transform these winter oases into the heart of Brussels life.
A winter wonderland for gourmets and those with a sweet tooth
In Brussels, you'll find something to tantalise your taste buds on every street, no matter the season. Yes, even in winter! Go for a stroll through a symphony of flavours... Believe us, you'll find it hard to resist all the delights on offer. Treat yourself to some delicious Belgian specialities: beer (particularly Christmas beers), mussels with chips, waffles and chocolate. At Christmas, Belgians also enjoy other, lesser-know delicacies, such as cuberdons, snails, stoemp and genever. Do you prefer foreign winter recipes such as tartiflette, churros and a nice cup of mulled wine? There's something for everyone. In addition to countless food stalls, Brussels is also home to hundreds of excellent restaurants. Last, but not least, make sure you wander through the trendy food stalls at Wolf and the brand-new food hall of the Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis, within walking distance of the city centre. Discover even more savoury suggestions here.