Antwerp is a Christmas destination above par. ‘Winter in Antwerp’ not only refers to the season but is a general understanding. Antwerp’s city centre is home to festive markets and activities, turning it into a winter paradise throughout December. This month Antwerp will kick off with a dazzling opening which will include live music, activities and fairs. With this, Antwerp draws Christmas shoppers far and wide from all over the Benelux! Taking into account the hustle and bustle, Antwerp is a go-to winter destination during the Christmas season.
Throughout December, Antwerp shows off its Christmas magnetism. From fairs and skating rink to enjoying a New Year’s drink; find out why Antwerp is a feast to behold!
Top attractions on the Steenplein and Groenplaats
Winter in Antwerp activities are spread out through the city and one such location is Steenplein. Armed with a colossal Ferris wheel, take in the breath taking views of Antwerp in full décor! A real fir-wood together with miniature golf top off the attractions this year. Get your ice skating fix at Groenplaats in a rink romantically illuminated by hundreds of lights. An amorous adventure for both young and old. There’s a small entrance fee whereby you can either rent skates or bring your own. Prefer to steer clear of anything physical? Then put your feet up at the winter-bar overlooking the ring.
Christmas markets in Antwerp
The Grote Markt in Antwerp is also transformed into a winter highlight. Quaint chalets in the form of market stalls decorate the square together with fire pits emanating a beautiful glow. A full-blown Christmas market is found on the Suikerrui. Take your pick from an infinite number of Christmas items and snack on goodies from all over the globe! A nativity is also present at the Handschoenmarkt, an extension of Suikerrui and across the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal.
Christmas shopping downtown
Stroll further down from the Cathedral to Antwerp’s primary shopping street, the Meir. Given the time of year, the area will most likely be filled to the brim with Christmas shoppers. Sunday shopping, or ‘koopzondagen’, are common and stores close a little earlier on Christmas Eve. Full (shopping) steam ahead however after the 25th!
More surprises around the corner
There’s plenty more to experience during Winter in Antwerp so indulge yourself! Live performances bellow from the many cafes on various squares in the city. Even Antwerp Zoo was entirely illuminated in festive lighting not too long ago. Several museums have open house as well. In concluding the festive month, raise your glass to toast the new year with the locals of Antwerp, a.k.a. ‘Antwerpenaars’. Do this at the Grote Markt and Suikerrui during what’s known as the ‘nieuwjaarsdrink’ or New Year’s drink. The best way to round off a visit to Antwerp wouldn’t you agree?