Christmas 2021 in Brussels: what to do, practical info and advice

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium, but also the seat of the European Parliament and is therefore one of the most important and multi-ethnic cities in the world.
This beautiful town full of architectural wonders becomes even more enchanting in winter thanks to the white snow that gives its characteristic streets a fairytale charm. If you want to immerse yourself in a magical atmosphere, find out how to spend the Christmas in Brussels.


Index

  1. Brussels Christmas markets
  2. Get on the Ferris wheel
  3. Girocittà on foot or by bus between the Christmas lights
  4. Admire the Son-et-lumière show in Grand Place
  5. Attending the Christmas mass
  6. Taste the typical specialties
  7. Christmas shopping
  8. Which museums and attractions remain open?
  9. What means of transport are available?
  10. Climate in Brussels at Christmas
  11. User questions and comments

Covid-19 emergency: events, concerts and demonstrations could undergo last-minute changes due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We recommend that you inform yourself well about the situation of the destination you intend to visit before departure. If you are planning a trip, follow government guidelines and make sure you are in line with safety measures.


1 - Brussels Christmas markets

The Christmas markets are one of the most beautiful traditions of the city, certainly one of those to which citizens feel most connected.

Tutto the center is dedicated to the Winter Wonders: glittering stalls, huge decorated trees, an ice rink and even a large Ferris wheel await you, concerts, events and much more ...

The "Plaisirs d'Hiver" and the "Winter Wonders" Christmas Markets are located in the city center, between Piazza Santa Caterina and the Grande Place, from the last week of November until 06 January.



2 - Get on the Ferris wheel

The most popular attraction of the markets is probably the large Ferris wheel which offers a breathtaking view over the whole area.
Costing around € 7,00 per adult, the Ferris wheel at one end of Place Sainte-Catherine is the perfect way to admire the city skyline. Do not miss the experience of climbing this attraction, but be careful to cover yourself well: it is very cold up there!

3 - Girocittà on foot or by bus between the Christmas lights

When Brussels lights up for the Christmas celebrations, it is as if it were transformed! The city takes on unprecedented outlines and colors, especially in the Grand Place. With a tour on a panoramic bus you can enjoy the show and above all stop whenever you want, with stops between shopping centers or Christmas markets, and then go up and continue the tour. With a guided walking tour of the city you can experience a more intimate atmosphere, together with a guide who will tell you the thousand stories of Brussels!

4 - Admire the Son-et-lumière show in Grand Place

During the Christmas celebrations, the 35 facades of the Grand-Place in Brussels are illuminated every evening thanks to an LED lighting device. Bathed in soft, white light, the stunning UNESCO heritage is more dazzling than ever in all its glory. It is about a grandiose light show that includes evocative projections and sounds.
The show lasts about ten minutes and is repeated every hour (half an hour on weekends) approximately between 17:00 and 22:00 from the end of November to January 1st.



5 - Attending the Christmas mass

If you are in Brussels just for Christmas and you want to attend the Christmas Mass in an exceptional location, choose one of the most beautiful churches in the city, such as the Co-Cathedral of San Michele and Santa Gudula, the church of St- Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, Notre Dame de la Chapelle, the church of Santa Caterina, Our Lady of Finisterre, the church of Santa Maria della Maddalena (Chapelle de la Madeleine) or the Church of San Nicola.

As for the possibility of attending a mass in Italian, some services are usually celebrated in our language in churches such as Sainte-Alix or the Chapelle Saint benoit Foyer Catholique Européen. To be sure of the Italian masses celebrated in Brussels we recommend that you visit this site.

6 - Taste the typical specialties

Brussels is one of the world capitals of street food. During your stay you cannot fail to taste the typical frites (french fries), often accompanied by moules (mussels). Among the desserts, the waffles (waffles), with whipped cream and melted chocolate, or the croustillons (sweet pancakes) are worth mentioning. You can taste these and many other specialties strolling through the markets and sipping the classic Vin Chaud (Vin Brulé) or a very sweet Chocolat Chaud (hot chocolate).

A traditional Belgian Christmas dinner is usually a three-course meal with a main course of game, roast or seafood. A traditional Christmas cake is Bûche de Noël (Kerststronk in Dutch), which is a chocolate-covered sponge cake decorated to resemble a log of wood. There aren't many restaurants open on Christmas Eve, you might find some near Place St. Catherine or Grand Place, but you'll need to book well in advance to secure a spot. Probably the best solution is to have dinner directly in your hotel restaurant.



7 - Christmas shopping

Brussels offers many opportunities to buy unique Christmas gifts and souvenirs, both among the wooden stalls and chalets of the market, and among the fascinating shopping galleries. From arched glass roofs, to magnificent marble facades, not forgetting the intricate lights, Brussels' shopping malls and galleries are as beautiful as they are they even date back to the th century. The Galerie Bortier, Passage du Nord, Galerie du Roi, Galerie de la Reine and Galerie des Princes are perfectly preserved and literally wonderful to walk through!

Which museums and attractions remain open?

Museums, shops, clubs and almost all restaurants are they close from 14:00 onwards on Christmas Eve and remain inactive for the whole of Christmas Day.

The only open entertainment activities could be the skating rink in Ste. Catherine and the Christmas markets (which should be open for at least half a day), furthermore the decorations (living nativity scene ..) will be "lit" in the Grand 'Place and the last year this included a son-et-lumière show - I haven't seen the plans for this year


Most museums resume regular activity on December 26, including the Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, which include the Magritte Museum, the Musée du Fin du Siècle and the Wiertz Museum.

What means of transport are available?

The means of transport in Brussels are adapted to the holiday season. On days between 22 December and 2 January, the services are reduced but still remain active (the guaranteed number of trips is almost equal to that of common holidays, such as Sundays).

As for the New Year, public transport is intensified and made free, with a greater number of trips and an extended timetable until 2:00 am, in order to allow citizens to be able to return home from the réveillon.

  • Getting around: We recommend traveling by Bus or Metro. For more info on timetables and prices for means of transport, refer to the article on how to get around Brussels.
  • Useful passes and cards: A great way to save on travel is to purchase the Brussels Card, which includes unlimited transport, free admission to 30 museums and other discounts at attractions and restaurants.

Climate in Brussels at Christmas

The climate is snowy, with minimum temperatures close to 2 ° C and maximum 6 ° C. December is the wettest month in Brussels, so expect it frequent rains and don't forget umbrella, shoes and waterproof coat. Although less frequent, snowfalls can occur (on average in December it snows for 4/6 days).

Christmas offers in Brussels: Flight + 4 nights in Hotel

  • Return flight Rome - Brussels from € 99,00 -
  • 4 nights in Hotel from € 277,00 per couple -
  • Flight + hotel package:
    Return flight + 4 nights / 5 days in 3/4 star hotel from 23 to 27 December - from € 475,00 per person - see the offer

Tickets, tours and bookable activities

We propose some activities and tours to do in Brussels. Click on the tour you are interested in for more information or to book.


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