Exploring the Bruges Christmas markets

Exploring the Bruges Christmas markets
The Christmas market in Bruges' Markt.

The Christmas market in Bruges’ Markt.

The Bruges Christmas markets sadly doesn’t have that much to offer, but it’s still well worth visiting the city during the winter months to explore its gorgeous streets that are full of character, and to see the beautiful Christmas decorations that adorn the shop fronts.

The Bruges Christmas markets

I did expect a lot more from Bruges’ Christmas markets, but although the only thing I bought from the stalls was a hot dog, I still fell in the love with the city.

Much smaller than I expected, the market is made up of a number of stalls circling an ice rink installed in Markt – the city’s main square. Most appeared to be offering food and Gluhwein or gloves, scarves and comedy winter hats. I did see the odd craft stall scattered around, but sadly they were few and far between.

The Christmas market stalls in Markt, Bruges.

The Christmas market stalls in Markt, Bruges.

Why not take a horse-drawn carriage between the Christmas market squares?

Why not take a horse-drawn carriage between the Christmas market squares?

During my explorations I did discover that there was another gathering of stalls in the smaller square of Simon Stevinplein, but here it was simply more of the same on a much smaller scale. As you wander between the two however, you get to see some people really embracing the vibe and boarding horse-drawn carriages to travel between the two sets of chalets. Lovely!

Although disappointed with my first experience of a European Christmas Market  (I was expecting something on the scale of the German markets I see advertised every year!) I did come back with a number of lovely gifts from some of the many beautiful old shops scattered around the city. I thought the entire city was truly magical!

UKBA
Gorgeous facades overlooking Markt, Bruges.

Gorgeous facades overlooking Markt, Bruges.

A beautiful Christmas tree in front of Bruges' town hall, in Burg.

A beautiful Christmas tree in front of Bruges’ town hall, in Burg.

A city from a medieval fairytale

It was a real pleasure exploring Bruges, turning corners down unknown cobblestone streets to discover hidden squares, pretty shop fronts and lots of wonderful lights and Christmas decorations. I felt like I had entered some Hansel and Gretel-esque medieval world, especially with all the beautiful biscuits and chocolate I walked by every few minutes!

At night the city became even prettier, as some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks get lit up and the Christmas lights shine into the night and reflect off the cobblestone floor.

The unimpressive market didn’t mar my visit to Bruges at all – I actually enjoyed it so much I hope to go back! With hot chocolate and waffles to die for, plus so much history, amazing architecture and canals to explore I recommend a visit to Bruges any time of the year!

Christmas decorations done well in Bruges!

Christmas decorations done well in Bruges!

Nighttime light in Markt, Bruges.

Nighttime light in Markt, Bruges.

The Belfort lit up at night.

The Belfort lit up at night.

 

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Keri

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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