One of the (many) things that had me excited about moving to Scotland was fairly easy access to European travel, especially during Christmas Market season. Christmas markets spring up all over Europe and Scott and I thought it would be a fun goal to hit as many as possible. Each market has a unique feel to it, but they all have a central area full of stalls selling food, drinks, and anything you could possibly want to buy. Whichever Christmas markets you decide to visit, you really should put a night at the Brussels Christmas Market on your itinerary.
The Brussels Christmas Market is actually one large market and four smaller ones. The main one has the ferris wheel and more stalls than the others, but it’s worth exploring all of them. There are themes, ice skating, crafts and of course, food and drink galore. Going around to all of the satellite markets is a great way to explore the city, too. You could see them all in one day or visit them over the course of 2-3, which is what we did.
Our favourite was the main section. It was laid out in two rows lined on either side with stalls. It was a bit more straightforward to maneuver than the satellite markets.
The stall decorations were over the top and it was so much fun to take it all in. The lights, greenery, and fake snow gave it a magical feeling, even on a dreary day.
There’s any kind of food option you’d want, from snacking your way down the stalls or getting a bigger meal. We opted for a combination of both because I can’t turn down food, especially at a Christmas market. And, of course, that refillable cup of gluhwein is something you can’t go without.
My favourite treat was a skewer of candied grapes. I got them because they looked cute, but I’m still dreaming of them. That bite sized candied crunch with the super juicy grape in the middle was Christmas market snacking perfection.
As it started to get darker, the atmosphere got even more magical. The lights twinkled more and the footpaths started bustling as more people arrived.
There were plenty of places set up where people could gather to eat, drink, and just be together. Some of them were attached to particular stalls, but some were in the middle for general use. It was fun to see families and friends meeting up for the evening.
The market definitely got more crowded once the sun went down, but it wasn’t uncomfortably so. Lines still moved quickly and maneuvering around was still easy. I actually love a good bustle.
My absolute favourite part of the market, though, was the band that wandered up and down playing Christmas music. We stood and listened to each set they played as we came across them. I remember thinking how much my grandfather would have loved them. The musicians were all ages and it was so obvious that they were having fun.
Now, if you know me, you know that I’m not much for ferris wheels. I’ll ride almost anything, but ferris wheels get to me and I avoid them at all costs. I got brave with this one, though (and the gluhwein I’d been walking around with definitely helped!), and I must admit that I had fun. It was fairly inexpensive, we could take our drinks with us, and got a good number of slow rotations in to enjoy the view.
We really enjoyed our time in Brussels and it’s so tempting to go have another night at the Brussels Christmas market this year. It’s definitely one not to miss!