The winter season is simply remarkable in Brussels. The city centre of the European capital transforms into the largest Christmas market on the continent! This phenomenon is called ‘Winterpret’, or winter wonder when translated. The impressive Grand Place (Grote Markt) in Brussels is already amazing all year round due to its historical monuments alone. Winter adds a magical element however when it serves as the backdrop of ‘Winterpret’. The square is decorated in beautiful winter gear with plenty of activities. So what can you count on seeing in Brussels during the winter festivities?
‘Winterpret’ in Brussels: a magical 5-week period packed with attractions and the largest Christmas market in Belgium! Stimulate all senses and spark your imagination during ‘Winterpret’ in Brussels.
Brussels: a city overturned
The entire city centre of Brussels is thrown upside down during this end of the year mega-event. The nucleus of ‘Winterpret’ is the Grand Place and kicks off in late November. Once the enormous Christmas tree is erected and officially inaugurated, winter in Brussels begins. For five weeks you can enjoy and take part in numerous events, from ice rink to Ferris wheel and entertainment. A trail starting at the Grand Place takes you through several of the winter stalls and attractions. These include amazing sights at the Beurs (Stock Exchange), Sint-Katelijnplein, the Vismarkt and Muntplein.
The largest Christmas market in Belgium
The Christmas market in Brussels, found trailing through its centre, is the largest in Belgium. It spans a total length of over 2 kilometres! With more than 230 stalls, winter shopping has never been so abundant in choice. You’ll find everything here from fresh produce to clothing to rare and unique merchandise. The main shops are open as well, should you have enough energy reserves left for a gander. You can warm up anytime in one of the heated terraces and enjoy winter delights topped with Brussels’ hospitality. Prefer some peace and quiet? Then make your way to St. Catherine’s Church to gather your thoughts in this impressive structure.
The ’Winterpret’ festival is jam-packed with surprises each year. Amusement rides such as Ferris wheels and carousels are found spread throughout the different squares in the city. Muntplein offers an icy adventure on the skating rink, a rink where ice shows and concerts are also held. A spectacular light and sound show is displayed from the Grand Place during nightfall, an absolute must see! Artistic exhibitions are found along the trail and by the Beurs. The icing on the cake is a wondrous Christmas parade and classic city waltz organised in December. The message is clear: ‘Winterpret’ is truly a feast for all ages!
The best part about ‘Winterpret’ in Brussels is that it’s absolutely free! The event takes place in the last five weeks of the year, from the end of November until well after the New Year’s countdown. The Christmas market and varying attractions are usually open from 12pm onwards. Bear in mind that the city centre is virtually inaccessible by car but plenty of alternatives are available. Buses, trams and metro will escort you to the bustling heart where the winter fun starts.