Yes, Brussels really is the place to go for Christmas shopping. Check out this guide to shopping streets, markets, malls and arcades and be the best present giver this year. If Brussels is your Christmas destination this year then you are in for a treat. Shopping streets are a plenty, malls and department stores invite you inside a with delightful decor, and one of the best Christmas markets in Europe kicks off in November. Find out where to shop and what to buy to get all your Christmas shopping done in the Belgian capital.
The 'Winter Wonders' Christmas Markets
When December draws close, the Winter Wonders, Plaisirs d’Hiver, brighten the streets with Christmas stalls, Santa parades, lights shows and all things festive. With a waffle or hot chocolate in hand (or both!), you can continue your present finding adventure while lapping up a bit of that wondrous atmosphere you only find during Christmas. Read more about the Winter Wonders here.
Shopping streets are the way to go
Brussels is a city where you can find everything you need within a short walk. There are plenty of shopping streets allowing you to stretch your legs and get some fresh air while chasing up things on your Christmas list. So, what are the best avenues to explore?
This is the place where everyone on any budget can find interesting items or that nifty pair of socks for a long lost uncle. The street runs from Place de la Monnaie and goes all the way to the shopping mall City 2 and Inno Department Store. Psst! Stay at the Radisson Blu Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels and you'll practically be able to see the Rue Neuve from your room!
If your bank allows, you can have an incredible high street shopping experience at Avenue Louise. It is often referred to as a long catwalk for famous brands and is where you can pick up Chanel, Dior, Versace, Armani and more. Belgian designers also have a space on this avenue, so check them out and find a unique item.
Rue Antoine Dansaert
Dansaert is chic and stylish. It sprawls for a few hundred meters and is lined with restaurants and of course windows boasting quality designs. Step into the glamourous Annemie Verbeke store or indulge someone (or yourself) with handmade silk and lace lingerie from Carine Gilson.
Department stores and malls
If you want to escape the cold winter air, head inside to to find those perfect gifts. Try out the beautiful old arcade Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert (below). Take a walk through this incredible covered street and see some beautiful architecture from 1837 while you're at it. Here you will find delicious chocolates and specialty stores. If you're looking for a bigger selection, make your way to City 2., one of the main shopping malls in the city sitting at the start of Rue Neuve. Here you can find all the brand name stores you love, as well as the famous FNAC electronics store.
© Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Hidden streets and shopping ops
Joining the famed Rue Neuve and another shopping street, the Passage du Nord is a covered street known well to locals but is something you may miss when in a rush. Inside this passage, you will find that it is in fact an arcade in a six-floor building decked with incredible statues and architecture. Chocolate stores, a florist, luxury goods and an oyster bar are tucked inside. It is certainly worth a stroll.
Another great shopping opportunity presents itself on an unlikely day: Sunday. If it so happens that you are short on time and only have a Sunday to shop your way around Brussels, then don’t fret. Brussels has tried to make your life easier by letting you know where you can go on a Sunday spree. Visit I Shop on Sundays’ website to find out more.
No matter what kind of gifts you're after, you'll find them in Brussels. Use this helpful shopping map to plan out your day before you leave the hotel to be sure you hit all the best spots. Or, better yet, ask the hotel's Concierge for some insider tips. Why not visit Brussels in December and get all your gifts in one go?