Join the parade, be dazzled by the lights and step into the ultimate Christmas atmosphere at the Brussels Winter Wonders attraction.
Beginning November 27 and lasting until January 3, 2016, this year’s Winter Wonders are set to enthrall and entertain in more ways than one. Each year the city is transformed into a winter paradise filled with lights, decorations, markets and even a parade. The market has been crowned one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and all ages will get that festive excitement when seeing the parade and ginormous Christmas tree. Come and join the Winter Wonders chosen by Lonely Planet as one of the best Christmas attractions in the world. You are guaranteed to have an amazing time, come up with great gift ideas, and have the opportunity to try delicious local specialties.
Where to catch the wonders
The Winter Wonders events take place in a number of different locations around the city but the main highlights are found at Grand Place and around Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons. Grand Place is decked in beautiful lights and is where the city’s Christmas tree and nativity scene are set up. Every evening there is an incredible light show choreographed to music. The lights and colours reflect off the old gothic buildings of the square, which is packed with onlookers. Don’t miss it!
The magical Christmas Parade
Throughout the city center boulevards in December you may be lucky to catch Santa, his reindeer and a whole lot of other cool characters in the parade. Over 100,000 people watch this magical event each year and with good reason. More than 100 actors and dancers are dressed up as all things Christmas as they ride the floats handing out presents. Be sure to follow the Winter Wonders Facebook page for updated information on when and where you can catch the parade.
Shop around for that perfect Christmas Gift
Stroll around and shop for gifts and other Christmas specialties in over 250 traditional decorated wooden chalets, while enjoying local and seasonal specialties. You can pick up a souvenir or two from the stalls, or grab some last minute presents for friends and family. There are plenty of cool knick-knacks and decorations on display you never knew you needed. To top it off, there are lots of yummy treats to eat when you get peckish. This year, the market is promoting foreign cultures with a focus on The City of Quebec, which means you will be able to get your hands on some delicious Quebec delicacies from the stalls. The huge 22 meter tall Christmas tree in Grand Place is also part of the foreign focus and has come all the way from Riga!
Sample the local food and drink
Renowned for being home to some of the world’s best beers, Belgian Christmas beers are essential to any trip to Brussels. There is an abundance to choose from, but for the ultimate experience, visit Delirium. This bar is located in the older part of town and offers its guests an incredible menu of almost 2,500 beers. Their own branded Christmas beer is one of a kind and definitely worth a taste.
Similarly, the traditional Belgian waffle is served up all over the city. Visit any patisserie, café or street vendor for a taste of this delicious local treat. There is also an endless number of chocolatiers spread across the city for that much needed sugar boost whilst shopping. Try some of the favorites such as Choco Story, Neuhaus and Belgian Chocolate Village. If you manage not to eat them all, they also make the perfect gift to take home to your family and friends.
There are endless fun winter activities spread across 2km of the city’s streets to keep you and your travel companions entertained. These include a Ferris wheel for a birds-eye view of the amazing Christmas lights across the city, as well as merry-go-rounds, a sleigh run and an ice rink.
Are you planning to visit Winter Wonders this year? If so, make sure to book your stay at the stylish Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels, awarded Belgium’s Leading Hotel in the 2014 World Travel Awards. It’s ideally located right next to all the action at the Grand Place and is a great starting point when enjoying Brussels this Christmas.
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