For 5 festive, fun-filled weeks, from November 24 to December 31 2017, the cobbled streets and pretty squares of Brussels spring to life with Winter Wonders, a 2 km-long stretch of snow-dusted market chalets, buzzing bars and pop-up restaurants.
Browse the markets for last-minute stocking-fillers, get a bird's eye view from the top of the Ferris wheel, or take a spin on the merry-go-round as the sweet, spicy scent of waffles and glühwein drifts through the chilly air.
Getting there is quick and easy with Eurostar, direct from St Pancras International in just over 2 hours, so it’s perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Head to the Grand Place to see the massive Christmas tree and a magical music and light show. You’ll find merry-go-rounds on Place Sainte-Catherine and the big wheel and ice rink at Marché aux Poissons
If all this activity has got you feeling a bit peckish, settle in to a cosy café with a warming bowl of carbonade flamande, a rich beef stew, to watch the world go by. Even better, buy some warm, chocolatey waffles from a stand and eat them as you browse the hundreds of brightly lit stands. Bliss.
Where to find the markets
Brussels Christmas market takes place on and around Grand-Place, Bourse, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons.
The biggest indoor Christmas market in Brussels is on Place Flagey. Here you’ll find craft workers from all over Belgium, France, Germany and Hungary, so it’s a great place to find original gifts and stocking fillers.
If you are in Brussels between December 13 and 17, head to the Xmas festival on Place Dumon in the Wouluwe-Saint-Pierre district. The Christmas village is housed in a massive, heated marquee so the weather won’t be a problem and, with more than 130 stands, you should find everything you need to keep the family happy on Christmas morning.