Bruges already looks like something out of a fairytale with its medieval buildings and picturesque cobbled streets, but there’s something particularly magical about the Belgian city during the festive period.
In fact, Bruges is home to one of Europe’s best Christmas markets with heaps of traditional wooden stalls selling everything from handcrafted Christmas decorations to clothes, arts and crafts and trinkets.
Oh, and then of course there are stands serving up two of Belgium’s best foodie offerings; hot waffles and chocolate.
(Speaking of chocolate, the city boasts some wonderful chocolate shops if you want to pick up extra gifts or simply want to treat yourself).
The main festivities take place at the Grote Markt , also known as the Market Square.
It’s here where you’ll find the grandiose buildings and their eye-catching architecture, creating the perfect backdrop for the hundreds of stalls filling up the market.
The main market also offers up plenty of fun entertainment including an ice rink, fairground attractions and a wide array of street entertainment from musicians to magicians.
This year, the market will take place from Friday 22nd November until Sunday 5th January .
It’s worth noting that if you want to escape the crowds, there are some smaller markets to be found in Bruges, some of which are just a few minutes’ walk from the heart of the action.
For example, Burg Square is often popular with visitors thanks to its twinkling lights and brilliant line-up of food and drink stalls.
However, for the main stalls and the atmosphere, Market Square needs to be on your radar.
How to visit Bruges Christmas market on a budget
Eurostar: The high-speed rail service offers routes to Bruges via Brussels, and you can currently find fares from £69 each way for travel in November 2019, during the Christmas market dates.
Coach holidays: You can find luxury coach holidays which include Bruges’ festive markets – Shearings and Leger offer some great packages with luxury travel, a hotel stay and stops at magical European markets.
Flights: If you’re after cheap flights, your best bet is to fly to Brussels, and then get a train out to Bruges. British Airways has fares from £43 each way in both November and December.
Cruises: Want to visit a few festive locations, and make a holiday out of it? You may want to check out our round-up of the best Christmas market cruises .
Where to stay in Bruges
Alternatively, you can find properties on Airbnb which start from £16 a night .
Prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change and availability.