If it is your first time in Brussels, you might not be happy to discover that Winter usually lasts longer than three months. It usually arrives in Brussels in November and lasts until March. The capital of Europe is known for its cold temperatures and short days. Indeed, winter in Brussels is harsh, with temperatures ranging from 3 to 7 degrees during the day and dropping below zero at night. It rains frequently in the capital, so don't forget your warm raincoat! A hat is also an option not to be neglected because snow falls almost every winter in Brussels. But don't be afraid, during this period: the city has some nice surprises in store for you!
The winter season is the opportunity to discover Brussels under its most beautiful lights. Indeed, from November 25th until January 1st, one of the biggest and most splendid events in winter in Brussels takes place: Winter Wonders. The streets, the buildings, the whole city are transformed with the magic of Christmas (and the end of year celebrations). Between activities, walks and shows, this great festival will make you vibrate and dream! First, there is an incredible two-kilometer-long Christmas market on the Place de la Bourse (Nominated for the title of "Best European Christmas Market" by European's Best Destination, it is worth the detour). For several years, the market has been expanding into other areas of Brussels. Thus, you can stroll, in a warm and festive atmosphere, in the most beautiful streets and discover the typical Brussels specialties in winter.
With more than 270 stands, don't miss the succulent and traditional raclettes and tartiflettes, accompanied by mulled wine. It is THE drink by excellence of the Christmas markets. If you want more originality, opt for local specialties: the blackpudding/raclette sandwich, the pan-fried endive, potatoes and bacon, the boarstew with beer and mushrooms. As for the sweet treats, do not miss the cuberdons: violet cone-shaped handmade sweets filled with refined raspberry syrup. You will also find roasted chestnuts, Liège waffles or speculoos from the Maison Dandoy, without forgetting the shots of liqueur: Jenever that will warm you up! Winter's pleasure is full of thousands of nice places offering typical and original dishes.
Then the big wheel, on the Poelaert square, offers you a breathtaking view of the whole illuminated city. You must ride it at least once to see the magic from above. The price for anadult is 8€ and for children under 12 it's 5€.
Moreover, you will be subjugated by the enormous fir tree of Wallonia on the Grand Place. This place comes to life through breathtaking sound and light shows! There are also various carousels present in the historical center of the city for the most nostalgic of our childhood.
Winter Wonders is also “Brussels by light”. The capital is filled with thousands of decorations making the city magical. Hundreds of lights of different shapes and colors are installed to fill your eyes!
In addition to the inevitable Christmas market, the fifth edition of Winter Pop will take place during the three weekends of December 2022 (from 2 to 4, 9 to 11 and 16 to 18). Multiple events are programmed: concerts, bands, choirs, organized board games... There is something for everyone! The artists and local associations will transport you in a lively and very entertaining atmosphere.
If you don't want to go all the way to the center of Brussels, the famous Bois de la Cambre will also be in the festive mood. Between small merry-go-rounds, curling rinks, winter games, ice rink but also light installations: the place will make you vibrate. Winter in Brussels is the perfect time to bring your family and friends!
Finally, during and outside of the festive period, ice rinks which attract people from all ages, are places where people can meet and have fun. Thus, during the winter in Brussels, two ice rinks are set up in the heart of the capital. The first one, place de la Monnaie, measures 800 m² and is very appreciated by the inhabitants for the beauty of the buildings around which they skate. It is open every day from midday to 10 pm. The entrance costs 10€ for the 16 years-old and above and 5€ for the less than 16 years. Then, there is also the Poseidon ice rink, known for its removable roof which allows to be less cold but also for these Friday evenings: disco night which attracts a lot of students. This ice rink is open from Monday to Wednesday from 4:30 pm to 8 pm and from Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm. The entrance costs 7€ for the over 16 years old and 5€ for the under 16 years old. 3€ are to be added to rent the ice skates. A very good way to let off steam and have fun with friends, colleagues or family!
In winter in Brussels, we leave room for small pleasures! So don't miss the famous Belgian chocolates, with their unique flavor and original shapes. Leonidas and Godiva are the famous chocolate experts offering you many different ranges and styles. Then, there is the Liège coffee, speciality of Liège (stay tuned, an article is coming soon ;) ). And don't forget to taste the different Belgian beers: it's a real culture here! So what better way to warm up than in the bars and awaken your taste buds! La Sœur, the Delirium, the Ermitage, the Brocante,..., there are many bars to try.