The gorgeous little town of Brugge (or Bruges in English) is the perfect setting for Christmas markets. Lights twinkle from the rooftops, the central square hums with stalls and ice-skaters, and your walk home along the canals feels positively magical.
The Provincial Court – straight out of a fairytale
We took the Eurostar from London on a Friday night, which was my first time travelling to another country by train – amazing! I loved the whole journey, From the convenience of leaving from Central London to the mind-blowing moment of stepping off the train into Belgium, not to mention the smooth ride. After overnighting in Brussels, we arrived in Brugge, checked into Philip’s fantastic Air BnB apartment, and set out to explore the town.
I was completely charmed by Brugge. No amount of ‘In Bruges’ viewings or travel-blog lusting could have prepared me for exactly how picturesque and beautiful it was. Being small and flat it was a dream to wander about, and I loved soaking in the Christmassy atmosphere – I could have simply strolled for hours.
The Brugge Christmas markets are mainly staged in the Markt, the central square, with more stalls located in the nearby and aptly named Saint Niklaass Street. With the Belfort overlooking proceedings, revellers can ice-skate, sip gluhwein or ‘special’ coffees, and shop for anything from cosy hats to Christmas ornaments.
Kate, Stacey and I keeping our hands warm
If you’re as lucky as us, you might even end up chatting to Olivier, one of the contenders for Mr Personality Belgium – quite the charmer!
Some of the stalls lining St Niklaass Street
I loved the Brugge Christmas Markets – adding to my list of experiences that make a European Christmas so completely different to one in New Zealand! While they were pretty busy, the crowds were never too much, and the festive buzz simply added to the magical experience.
Have you visited a European Christmas Market? I ‘d love recommendations for next year!