December 8, 2011

Bruges Christmas Market

After reading Lonely Planet’s article about 5 great cities for Christmas markets and seeing Bruges listed as #3, FBF and I decided to pay the city a visit in December.

Wrapped in scarves and warm winter coats, we spent a lovely evening in the medieval city turned Christmas village.

The actual marché (market) part was a bit disappointing. There was only one small square with cabins selling objects, where there were also carnival type rides (bumper cars for Christmas?), and then there was the central square where most of the cabins were selling only food and drink.

The central square also hosted an ice skating rink with a beautiful view of the city’s bell tower. FBF doesn’t like ice-skating, so instead we spent our evening wandering the city’s many charming streets.

All the already beautiful buildings became a winter wonderland transformed by garlands, lights, and Christmas trees. It was magical.

A Christmas tree at la place Burg.

Some buildings with Christmas decorations at La Grand Place.

View of the canal and the bell tower, plus lovely Christmas lights.

To top it all off, we found a small hidden courtyard decorated with giant light up swans, Bruges' symbol.

Me kissing the light-up swan.

We had a lovely dinner in the city, and after a last look at all the Christmas splendor we headed back to Lille.

I don't think that it should be #3 for the market, but instead for a romantic place to soak up the spirit of Christmas, as I was swept off my feet by the magical decorations of an already beautiful city.


  1. Considering Bruges was the freaking charming-est place I've ever been, I think I would die at the Xmas market. Cool you went to try it out!

  2. The buildings are really charming lit up and swans dazzled with lights is a pretty nice touch ;-)

  3. I've been reading a lot about a carnival atmosphere in some of the villages of other French cities? I don't get it? Rides, cotton candy?

    The lights are beautiful. I love driving around at night viewing Christmas lights. Not big on inflatable Santa's and Reindeers on roofs but LOVE beautiful sparkling white and blue lights.

  4. I'm dying to visit Bruges! However, I can't get Colin Farrell's "Fucking Bruges?!" out of my head every time someone mentions the city.

  5. Bruges is gorgeous ( I was just there in October), but I prefer Ghent - which is a 35 minute train ride East. Loved seeing the swan though - I had forgotten how many they had there in the canal.


  6. oh my! we were just talking about Bruges! wonderland, indeed. thanks for sharing this.

  7. Brenna: It was so beautiful! If you ever come back to Europe in winter you should definitely put it on your to-do list!

    Sara Louise: I was blown away by it all. If you're looking for a romantic get away with The Husband, I recommend Bruges in winter.

    Kris: The marché de noël in Lille is separate from the attraction type rides such as the ferris wheel and the carrousel. I like it better that way. Although I wouldn't mind it if Lille had an ice rink.

    chickster: That movie is so good! I don't know what Colin Farrell was smoking as Bruges is really beautiful and charming (especially at Christmas).

    Michelle: I loved Ghent as well. It felt more like authentic Belgium while still having a lot of Bruges' charm. FBF and I went to the castle turned torture museum there. It was awesome.

    Leslie: You're welcome!

  8. Lovely photos - I have only visited Bruges once but I thought it was an amazing place - I loved the chocolate shops too!

  9. That looks like fun, and I'm a Grinch.

  10. The houses with the lights look like gingerbread!

  11. Miss b: Thanks! As you can see it was really beautiful so I recommend heading back there for Christmas if you get a chance :)

    Joshua: It was! And don't be a Grinch. I'm sure Atlanta has to have some cool Christmas-y decorations to marvel at!

    JennAventures: I know! It's too charming.


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