Hot punch and mulled wine burning cold fingers until they get used to it. Ferris wheel and vintage carousels with horses bringing you back to childhood. Marshmallow on a stick covered with a tempting golden crust by the flames of a bonfire and melting in your mouth - then only try to wipe it off your fingers and nose! You drive off the rink to the side ruddy, hungry and buy a fondue made of 4 types of goat cheese, without taking off your skates.
The minimum task at the fair is to buy gifts and eat a couple of Oliebollen – giant Christmas donuts. And what about marzipans? And a spice cookie with hot chocolate?
Catch the list of the most atmospheric holiday venues!
Winter Wonders, Brussels, Belgium
11/29/2019 - 5.01.2020
Brussels Winter Wonders from a simple Christmas market has grown into an entire festival, attracting visitors from around the world. Here you have music and light shows, 260 chalets with gifts and delicacies, a Ferris wheel with carousels and an ice rink. The fair route reaches 2 kilometres! The organizers, by the way, are also shocked by the scope of Winter Wonders, so they came up with a special audio tour through fair’s locations in English. The last argument: this year Winter Wonders took 7th place in the list of “Best Christmas Markets in Europe”.
ICE Village, Amsterdam, Netherlands
12/13/2019 - 12/26/2019
Each year, Museumplein in Amsterdam is transformed into a magical Christmas village with an ice rink, entertainments, shopping stalls and an abundance of holiday treats. All of this is surrounded by the best museums of Amsterdam!
Castle Christmas Fair, Velsen, Netherlands
11/28/2019 - 12/12/2019
Perhaps the end of November is an early start for Christmas preparations, but not in the Netherlands! Locals go to the 15th century palace, surrounded by gardens, to spend a day in a fairy tale. Buy gifts, handmade Christmas tree decorations and local delicacies at one of the 150 stands inside and outside the old palace. Finally listen to the beautiful Christmas songs performed by the choir with live music. Warm up with Snert - Dutch pea soup with smoked sausages, which is traditionally cooked only in winter. No jokes - if you cook Snert at another time of the year, then only at home and in secret from everyone! Wash it down with mulled wine and catch snowflakes with your palms, if you're lucky.
11/22/2019 - 5/01/2020
One of the most picturesque winter bazaars of West Flanders snuggles in the heart of Bruges and turns the city into a Wonderland for a whole month and a half. Beautifully highlighted Gingerbread houses like in a fairy tale! Ice rink right on The Lake of Love, Minnewater, and even if you can only move along the sides, do not deprive yourself of the pleasure of laughter from the falls. On New Year's Eve, go to ‘T Zand Square to share a bottle of sparkling wine with strangers and see the fireworks.
Amsterdam Winter Paradise, Amsterdam, Netherlands
12/21/2019 - 5/01/2020
The vast territory of the RAI exhibition complex will again turn into the Winter Kingdom for adults and children. Get ready - it's noisy there! But where else can you have a look at night Amsterdam from a bird's eye view? Where else can you crash into a dozen of such amateur skaters as you to the sounds of the legendary disco at the rink with the size of 2400 square meters? Where can you buy marshmallows on sticks and sit under a canopy around a bonfire to fry it and slowly, savouring, send it into your mouth together with some mulled wine? When else will you play snowballs made of cotton? Rush on a rubber circle down the indoor ice mountain? Have you ever seen Santa's real truck from Coca-Cola ads? And what about ice racing on the Formula 1 track or enjoying winter virtual reality adventures? It is obvious to everyone: you can find it all here!
Floating Christmas Market, Leiden, Netherlands
12/13/2019 - 12/24/2019
Leiden’s residents surprise us with a Christmas market on the water! Yes, to get on it, you have to step on the pontoons right on the canal! We recommend that you go all out and go from the fair with one of the holiday boats on a mini-journey - you will be warmed-up with hot chocolate or warm wine with spices, and the city will open up to you from a completely different perspective. On the 20th of December, 1574 Santa ran through the streets of Leiden, and from the 23rd until the 29th of December a tent of the Christmas circus is spread out in the city’s old centre.
7/12/2019 – 5/01/2020
The culmination of the winter holidays in Antwerp will be a large-scale salute on the banks of the Scheldt and the very first party of 2020, but you can start to build up your festive mood in advance - at the Christmas market, which the whole city centre is turned into, with its ice rink, ice slides or Ferris wheel. Do not be too serious - leave your New Year's wish on an interactive wall of wishes. And let it come true!