Living in Malta for (nearly) fifteen years has meant (nearly) fifteen years of Christmases in the sunshine. For some people that may be envy inducing but for me it’s quite the opposite. In winter I live for cold weather, warm coats and and cosy nights in watching all of my favourite seasonal movies. You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Home Alone, The Goonies…I could go on but that’s for another post.
Living in Malta also means that before last year I had never visited a proper Christmas market. Sure, there are some small cabins set up outside of a shopping centre in Sliema but we’re talking about ten stalls.
We’re hardly spoilt for choice…
That may hopefully change one day but until then in order to see a proper Christmas market, sweet goods and all, one has to venture outside of this tiny island.
So we did!
Our main motivation for visiting Belgium was to visit the Christmas Market whilst sipping some mulled wine and eating waffles and we did all of that with gusto. But we also discovered much more!
1. Grand Place
You’ve seen it in all of the travel guides both online and in books but nothing will compare to seeing Grand Place with your own eyes. Take in the majestic architecture, the fine golden details and the cobbled ground beneath your feet. If you’re lucky you’ll also get to listen to a choir.
2. At Grand Place and Sainte Catherine Church they also put on the most fantastic light show every evening between the 25th November – 1st January.
Judging by Visit Brussels this year looks like a real treat! It makes you feel like you’re in a Disney movie when you’re gazing up at the spires of the Town Hall, the atmospheric music in your ears whilst sipping mulled wine. It’s truly engaging and left me with goose bumps.
3. Another pretty obvious one is seeing Mannekin Pis.
I know that you can see him anytime of the year but you may get to see him dressed up as Santa which would be pretty darn cool.
Did you know that Mannekin Pis has been stolen three times in his life? Poor little guy!
4. Belgian Waffles
I doubt that I need to say much more on this subject. Cover them in whichever delightful sugary goodness you deem worthy and make your soul happy.
5. The comic strip walls
How many will you find? This fantastically quirky art all has a story to tell and can brighten up even the most greyest of days!
6. The Christmas market
With hundreds of stalls overflowing with gifts from the most common to the most eccentric, you’re bound to find the perfect gift! Take it all in whilst sipping on a hot something’ somethin’. Mulled wine, mulled cider, hot chocolate – your choice!
7. The Ferris wheel
Take a ride on the ferris wheel at night time and see the city lit up. It’s pretty spectacular.
8. The architecture
For me, so far in my travels it’s second to none.
9. Belgian frites
Thick chips in a cone covered in sauce. You had me at chips.
10. Belgian beer
I don’t think that I could end this list without mentioning the beer. With so many types you’re bound to find one that takes your fancy.
Oh and don’t forget to bring back some Belgian chocolate!
I have to say that one of the highlights apart from everything above was seeing a couples proposal underneath the giant christmas tree at Grand Place ♡ I’m a sucker for some romance.
Have you been to Brussels? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!