If you’ve never considered Brussels for your yearly Christmas getaway, it’s time for a change! With its stunning architecture and Christmas lights & decorations all around its city center, Brussels has everything it takes to light up the Christmas spirit!
Ready for an enchanted winter break filled with mulled wine, chocolate, Christmas shopping and ice rinks? Then it’s time for you to discover the best things to do in Brussels during the winter season.
1. Go admire the Christmas tree on Brussel’s Grand Place
Every winter, the Christmas tree placed on Brussels’ Grand Place attracts tourists and locals alike! Its arrival is awaited with great excitement each year. Honestly, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves! I genuinely think that The Grand Place is Europe’s most beautiful square, and the Christmas atmosphere only makes it better!
2. Stay on the Grand Place to enjoy the sound and light show
Now that you have admired the Christmas tree and done some window shopping around the square, it’s time for some show! Year after year, the stunning 360° sound and light show held at the Grand Place never disappoints. Fun fact: every year, the show is based on a different theme.
To quote the city of Brussels’ website, this year’s sound and light show (2022) is “based on the theme of a great musical exploration around the world.”
If you happen to be in Brussels during the winter season, make sure to drag it to the top of your bucket list!
3. Stroll through Brussels Christmas market’s alleys
If you’re looking for both a Christmas present and souvenir from Brussels, you’ll find it here! With its 200 chalets located in the center & Sainte Catherine area, the Christmas market will definitely keep you busy for a whole evening.
Tip from a local: make sure to taste cuberdons! Cuberdons are a delicious and typically Belgian type of candy which is declined in a variety of flavors: raspberry, lemon, pear, orange, you name it!
4. Check out the chocolate shops’ Christmas decorations
Every Christmas, the various chocolate shops around Brussels’ Grand Place decorate their storefronts to match the festive season’s atmosphere.
Personally, checking out their window displays decorated for the occasion is one of my favorite things to do in December.
5. Buy Belgian chocolate as Christmas presents
Chocolate/pralines are without a doubt one of the most popular souvenirs to bring back home from Brussels. At the end of the year, advent calendars and Christmas themed chocolate boxes start to pop up in every shop corner. And honestly, what better season than winter ton indulge ?
6. Put on your ice skates
Time to put those winter calories to use! If you have time, make sure to avoid peak hours (mostly during the weekend and in the evening). The skating rink – located on Place De Brouckère – is open every day from late November till the end of December (except on Christmas’ Eve and New Year’s Eve).
7. Warm up with a beer or a shot of Peket
Belgian beers need no introduction! However, have you ever heard of peket? Peket is a kind of fruity brandy made with juniper berries. The interesting part is that it comes in many different flavors. My personal favorite is violet!
8. Walk around the Grand Sablon Area
If you haven’t had enough of Christmas lights and decorations yet, the Grand Sablon should be the next stop on your itinerary!
My favorite Brussels park is also located in this area. If you’re curious, I mention it and share pictures in another article: The 5 Best Brussels Parks and Photo Spots in Autumn
9. Have a look at Andrea’s stunning merry-go-round
Time to let your inner child out! These 2 stunning merry-go-rounds have been a part of Brussels’ Winter Wonders for years.
They’re probably the most beautiful and original merry-go-rounds I’ve ever seen and look like they come straight out of a Tim Burton movie. Once again, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!
10. Take a well-deserved break inside surrounded with Christmas decorations
Bier Central in the city center (De Brouckere area) is a must-see in December! I went there for the first time this year and loved the atmosphere! They really go all-in with the Christmas decorations inside & outside of the café.
I recommend stopping by for a cozy break around a beer or hot chocolate. However, I would avoid having lunch or dinner there. The food is ok but overpriced for what you get. Save your pennies!
I hope you will spend a wonderful Christmas in Brussels! If you’re still looking for the best things to see and do in the capital city of Belgium during your stay, make sure to have a look at my other blog posts!
Happy travel and Merry Christmas!