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Antwerp Christmas Route

If you find yourself in Belgium for the Christmas holidays, you’re in for a treat. Antwerp does not hold back its festive flair during the Christmas Market, as buildings are adorned with golden and heavenly lights, and the streets and squares are packed with family-fun activities, great for the young and old. So come along for the ride to celebrate one of Europe’s best Christmas markets, for a good old time.

Route info

  • Route name: Antwerp Christmas Route
  • Start point: Grote Markt
  • End point: Handschoenmarkt
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Best on foot
  • Best time to visit: The Christmas Holiday season! November and December
  • Highlights: Grote Markt, Groenplaats, Museum Plantin-Moretus, Steenplein, Suikerrui, Handschoenmarkt

Antwerp Christmas Route

Christmas Market in Antwerp

One of the main attractions during the winter in Antwerp is the Christmas Market that runs through the winding streets from Groenplaats to Grote Markt to Steenplein. You’ll find all the main attractions here, so it’s only a short distance walking to see and experience everything from this festive celebration. This year, there’s plenty to do at Grote Market because over 100 stands and sellers will be present at the Christmas market. Make sure to drop by each and every stall to take a look at the specialty craftsmanship and artisanal goods, and take home some souvenirs for your loved ones. If you are with your significant other, make sure to pop under the traditional mistletoe for that romantic kiss!

One of the best things to experience is the food and drinks served during this season that will warm your hearts and bellies. Sip on some mulled wine or hot chocolate to keep yourself warm and ready to continue on your Christmas route. The ‘smoutebollen’ are a customary delicacy during this season, so make sure to stop by the fritter stand for some delicious fried donuts with powdered sugar. For anyone who wants to indulge in some tempting Christmas treats, try the bacon fries, advocaat, and Fresh Belgian waffles.

Ice Rink at Groenplaats

When you are in the City, you will catch the infectious joy of the Christmas celebration, with the Christmas Market spanning through the entire network of the center. At Groenplaats, you can show off your skills and skate in the outdoor skating rink. Go skating for €6 for adults, €4 for children under 12, rental skates are €3, and if you need additional assistance, then it will cost you €3. Whether you’re an amateur skater or a novice, there’s always room to enjoy this winter activity with the charismatic city environment.

Christmas History at Museum Plantin-Moretus

Stop by the Museum Plantin-Moretus, printing museum, which showcases their Neapolitan Nativity scene, consisting of 61 figures and is an elaborate display of the traditional origins of Christmas. You’ll find familiar characters along with an angelic choir to narrate the biblical story. Also, don’t forget to print your own Christmas Cards while you are at the museum! | Open: Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00-17:00

Tubing at Steenplein

Walk through the whimsical part of the city towards the river at Steenplein where you can prepare yourself for some energy rush. Here, you’ll find a giant ramp just for tubing! Since there are no real mountains near or around Antwerp, this is the second best thing. For €2, you can race down the slope against your friends, which has a fantastic view of the cathedral with a side of adrenaline.

Wishing wall at Suikerrui

Make a wish come true at the wishing wall on Suikerrui by leaving your wishes on the wall. Since the holiday season is meant for reflection and quality time spent with family and friends, you can contemplate on the past year and kick off with a good start for 2018.

Singing Christmas Tree at Handschoenmarkt

End your night belting your heart out to some familiar Christmas carols at the Handschoenmarkt. Sing along to some famous Christmas tunes with a hot chocolate or mulled wine in hand, as this spectacular event is free and only goes on for seven days. So make sure you get a front row seat! | December 18th - 24th from 16:30-18:30.

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