Whether you like your Christmas markets big or small, traditional or original, you’ll find your favourite festive stop in Belgium. Stroll through magnificent streets illuminated by fairy lights and the warming glow of market stalls as the scent of freshly-sugared treats fills the air. Attracting a huge number of vendors from all over the world, these markets combine local gifts with international goods, making them the perfect place to stock up for your Christmas festivities. Here’s our pick of the best Christmas markets in Belgium.
While there’s no doubt that Amsterdam at Christmas is a yuletide wonderland, a visit to the Dutch capital doesn’t have to be all about markets, mulled wine and festive merrymaking. With fairytale architecture, cosy pubs and plenty of events to take part in, Amsterdam comes alive in the winter months, and is bursting with alternative activities to suit all.
You’ll find there’s plenty of things to do in Amsterdam for people of all interests. Here’s our guide to some of the best non-Christmas activities to enjoy in one of The Netherlands‘ most famous cities.
The lights of Amsterdam shine even brighter throughout the holiday season, when the cool air wafts the pleasant scents of sizzling oliebollen (sweet dumpling) and fresh stroopwafel (thin baked waffle) across the city. The Netherlands offers some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, offering a wonderfully festive experience as you hunt through unique gifts from a huge variety of independent vendors. Christmas in Amsterdam presents stunning winter backdrops and a plethora of events and activities. Here are just a few of our favourite Christmas markets to visit in the land of Sinterklaas (the beloved Santa Claus of the Dutch) this winter.
Often, the best thing about Christmas is the dramatic build up to that one big day. Throughout November and December, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little things that make the festive season extra special, from sipping cinnamon-spiked lattes to adorning snow-flocked trees with kaleidoscopic baubles. Before you know it, it’s December 25th and the holidays have whizzed by in a blur, leaving you with a serious case of post-Christmas blues.
We’ve got the perfect cure: a restorative getaway to one of Belgium’s most winsome cities.
Reminders of the Great War are present all along the Western Front. Trench lines can be seen for miles across the fields, while once beautifully thick woodlands remain flattened since the fighting and ponds have appeared in the craters left by shells. A visit to the First World War battlefields makes for a stark reminder of those lost in battle and is a moving way to mark Remembrance Day. Here’s our guide to the best routes for a World War I battlefield tour.
Sweeping from Inishowen all the way down to Bundoran, the northern headlands of the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal feature some of the most stunning coastline in Ireland. Whether it’s craggy cliffs or sandy beaches with pristine rolling waves you’re after, there’s a little piece of paradise here for every taste. Take a trip down the winding coastal roads and you’ll soon discover why locals are so proud of their beautiful region. Here’s a look at some of the very best things to do in Donegal.
Much like in Germany, Christmas markets in France are a traditional affair, but with the added bonus of delicious Gallic treats too. Otherwise known as Marchés de Noël, city squares across the country are transformed into winter wonderlands for the festive season, with merchants travelling from far and wide to sell the very best of food, wine and gifts. Every lovingly decorated display, Christmas tree and tasty French delicacy helps to create an unforgettable experience.
We take a look at some of the best Christmas markets France has to offer.