FOR INSTALMENT THREE, WE TRAVELLED TO BELGIUM TO ENJOY THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS!
Brussels and Bruges in Belgium is known for its beautiful and extravagant Christmas markets, higher-than-expected-percentage beer and fairytale like architecture. From the glubwein and waffles to curry ketchup sausages and mulled cider, it’s the place to go if you’re looking to throw yourself into the Christmas spirit.
If you’re travelling from London, Brussels is only a two hour train ride from the centre of UK’s capital city! From Brussels it’s a short train journey onto Bruges for a day excursion, and with weekend rail travel in Belgium being half the price of what it is during the week, there’s no better place to spend a winter Sunday then meandering through cobbled streets. You may happen upon the Christmas parade, which includes a full brass band, a precession and a myriad of farm animals. Marching through the Market Square, the parade is undoubtedly warming (especially so when paired with glubwein) and aims to raise money for the disadvantaged.
As the setting for the Colin Farrell film, ‘In Bruges’, there are plenty of sites to spot for film fans, including the Belfry of Bruges – a tower with over a 300 step climb to the viewing platform. Aside from the historical and cinematic significance of the charming town, there are handmade local gifts to peruse and ice skating to enjoy.
Brussels itself is host to one of the most extensive Christmas markets in Europe! With rich silky hot chocolates with amaretto to vegan hotdogs, the markets themselves are large enough to wile away an afternoon sampling Belgian chocolate and taking photographs. Aside from the festivities, there are lots of galleries and museums to visit, including the Rene Magritte gallery- where you can see paintings and graphic design alongside photographs of the famous artist with former US presidents!