Previous Christmases we would have stayed in London and probably visit the famous Winter Wonderland, but this year we decided to venture out a little; we took a short weekend trip to Brussels instead to celebrate Christmas. I heard that the Christmas market there is beautiful, and it’s only a short 2 hour journey there from London St Pancras train station if you’re taking the Eurostar! I’ve never been on the Eurostar before so this was a first, and it was exciting even though it’s only a train ride. I think it’s the fact that you are literally in another country without having to take a flight to get there that has me shook!
We stayed at the Best Western hotel located in Botanique, and it was really easy to get to from the train station. It’s also close to central where the Christmas markets would be, and everywhere is within waking distance in Brussels. Our hotel was very clean and modern, and although we only stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights, it was a lovely stay that actually didn’t feel short at all!
It was only a 15 minute walk into the main square from our hotel to reach the Christmas festivities. All along the streets were full of bright lights, the smell of Belgian chocolates wafted through the air, and each store greeted us with beautifully decorated window displays. It was exactly the kind of warm, bustling feel of Christmas we were hoping for.
Places to Visit:
Apart from the main Christmas market located in Grand Place, we also visited the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, where there were several shops and cafes, one of them being the famous chocolatier shop ‘Mary since 1919‘ and the amazing biscuit and waffle shop called ‘Maison Dandoy‘. Other places to visit include Notre Dame Du Sablon, Palais Royal, Atomium, Schaerbeek City Hall, Drachenburg Castle and Gent.
There was also a beautiful light show at the Grand Place, complete with a stunning Christmas tree and loud music that echoed through the whole square.
On the first day, we decided to check out a Korean café for lunch that was recommended to us by a friend, and they specialise in Korean bao buns. The place was called ‘Baogo‘. We ordered a fried chicken bun and prawn katsu bun, each came with a side of fries, which we chose sweet potato fries and chilli fries. We also ordered a side of Korean spicy chicken wings, which were so spicy but delicious! The buns were tasty but were such a huge portion size we couldn’t finish it all!
Brussels is famous for their delicious Belgian chocolates; everywhere we went there were stores selling them, and of course we had to get some for ourselves! We handpicked our own individual chocolates (the chocolate orange peels were one of ours favs) to give to our families as souvenirs. Their fries, waffles and churros in Brussels are also very good!
We tried a fish and chip shop called Bia Mara, another recommendation from a friend, and it was actually so good! It wasn’t your usual fish and chips as they infused them with herbs and spices so it tasted amazing and was cooked perfectly! We definitely recommend trying out this place if you ever visit Brussels.
On the last day, we visited the waffle and biscuit shop ‘Maison Dandoy‘ to satisfy our dessert cravings, and it was so delicious!
Overall we had a wonderful and festive time in Brussels soaking up the Christmas atmosphere! If you’ve ever been to Brussels before, let me know what you thought of it!
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