Are you planning some Christmas travel to Antwerp? The whole city lights up around the holiday season with ice-skating, twinkling lights and Christmas markets to keep you in the festive mood. We’ve put together a short list of must-do Christmas activities to make the most of your time here.
Did you know that there are no less than 100 stalls in the Christmas market in Antwerp? These include a variety of local and international foods, drinks, crafts and fantastic gift ideas. The market is spread over different streets and areas which are all closely connected and walkable, The Grote Markt, Suikerrui, Handschoenmarkt, the Groenplaats, and Steenplein. The market begins on 8th December and continues through to the new year. Warm yourself up while you shop with a glass of glühwein (hot wine) and taste some local and very delicious smoutebollen (sweet Danish pastry).
Christmas in Flanders means one very popular activity is back, Ice Skating! Nothing says Christmas in Antwerp like watching your friends and family try to stay upright on the ice. It is a fantastic day out for families, couples or groups of friends. You can never count on our unpredictable weather so the ice-rink is covered so it can be enjoyed no matter what mother nature has in store. The ice rink is located on the Grote Markt, right beside the market and is great fun for everyone from beginners to experts.
If you want to celebrate Christmas in a more traditional way and you’re lucky enough to be in Antwerp for the opening ceremony of the Christmas market then you’re in luck. There will be a fantastic ceremony featuring dozens of choirs singing everything from gospel to classical music in the historic city centre. In another musical event, Johann Sebastian Bach leads a full choir and orchestra in an epic retelling of the story of the birth of Christ on 16th December in the concert hall, Amuz.
The city lights up, both literally and metaphorically, around Christmas time. There are thousands of twinkling and sparkling fairy lights scattered throughout the city for you to marvel at and plenty of picture-worthy moments. Absolutely every part of the city is bright and colourful, including the streets, windows and even the buildings themselves. There is even a colourful illuminated Ferris wheel dominating the skyline, right by the Christmas Market.
We all know the celebrations don’t stop when the big day is over. If you are planning to spend New Years in Antwerp too, make sure you are in a prime position to check out the amazing annual fireworks display. Order yourself a festive drink in the Winter Bar, grab yourself a spot along the river and enjoy a 20-minute spectacle of fireworks, music and pyrotechnics. There are a huge number of NYE parties in nightclubs and pubs to look forward to after, so you can dance the night away.
Christmas in Antwerp really is a magical time. To book your festive stay in Astoria Hotel Antwerp, contact our friendly reservations team today.