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Antwerp Christmas Market: 2024-2025 Dates & What to Expect

Antwerp Christmas Market: 2024-2025 Dates & What to Expect

Are you thinking of visiting Antwerp Christmas Market in Belgium and wondering when it’s open, where exactly to go, and what to expect? This short guide should answer all your questions. Find out!

Christmas markets are very popular in Belgium. But if you visit just one, which one do you choose? They all have something similar and something unique.

We live in Belgium and Antwerp Christmas Market is one of our personal favorites of all the biggest Belgium Christmas markets, mainly because of its most spectacular setting.

In this article, you can learn more about the Antwerp Christmas market and find all the practical info and some insider tips. Read on!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Is Antwerp Worth Visiting?

Antwerp Steen castle lit at night during annual Christmas market, Belgium
Het Steen Castle in Antwerp

Where to Find Antwerp Christmas Market

Antwerp Christmas market is normally spread over different squares in the historic city center: The Grote Markt, Suikerrui, Handschoenmarkt, the Groenplaats, and Steenplein at the foot of Antwerp Steen Castle.

Recently, there have been some big works at Steenplein, so that location is replaced by two new ones: Hendrik Conscienceplein, a cozy square in the old town, and also Operaplein, which is located halfway between the central railway station and the old town.

These are one by one the nicest places in Antwerp, so the Christmas Market setting is always very picturesque and cozy.

Grote Markt buildings lit at night during Antwerp Christmas market
The buildings of Grote Markt
Christmas decorations in Antwerp Belgium
Christmas decorations near Operaplein.

When is Antwerp Christmas Market Open

The Christmas market in Antwerp is an annual event, and it’s usually open from the first weekend of December until the first weekend of January.

In the 2024-2025 winter season, the Antwerp Christmas market will be open from December 6, 2024, until January 5, 2025.

During this period, Antwerp Christmas Market is normally open daily, from noon to 10 PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open until midnight. On December 24th and 31st, the market closes at 6 PM.

On the first day the Christmas Market opens, it’s typically open from 4 PM to midnight, and there are some special events to celebrate the opening. On the very last day of the Christmas Market, it closes at 6 PM.

Christmas Market on the Grote Markt in Antwerp
Christmas Market on the Grote Markt in Antwerp

What to expect when visiting Antwerp Christmas market

Antwerp Christmas Market typically has over a hundred market stalls and is spread out over some of the most beautiful locations in the city center.

Just by walking from one place to the other, you will see many of the main landmarks in the old town.

The atmosphere is great and even if you don’t buy anything, you can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of glühwein, taste some Belgian waffles and smoutebollen, or go ice skating.

Antwerp Christmas market and ice skating rink
Ice skating rink in Antwerp

You can easily visit Antwerp Christmas Market with your friends, family, or young children as there is plenty to do for all ages.

A fair with some children’s rides and a Ferris Wheel is usually located at the Scheldt River next to the Castle. In some years, they move it to Astripdplein, the big square next to the Zoo in front of the Central Station.

The ice skating rink can usually be found on the Groenplaats (location varies in some years). There are plenty of other family-friendly activities in the city to keep you entertained during the day as well (zoo, aquarium, museums,..).

TIP: See our guide to Antwerp with kids for some inspiration for fun things to do in the city (not just for families!).

Antwerp Ferris Wheel and Christmas market lit at night
Antwerp Ferris Wheel and Christmas market

Antwerp in winter

If you are looking for a short winter getaway in Europe, Antwerp is a great choice. It has plenty to offer for young and old.

Antwerp is the home base of Rubens, the world diamond center, it also provides some of the best shopping in Belgium.

Furthermore, there are lots of dining options for any budget, all in a beautiful historical setting. Add the warm Christmas atmosphere and you cannot go wrong with visiting Antwerp in December.

TIP: In the past, Antwerp Zoo organized a really nice light event called China Light. It’s absolutely worth a visit as well! Last winter, however, this event took place in Planckendael animal park which is located near Mechelen, and not in Antwerp Zoo itself. So you may have to make a separate trip if interested.

For some more ideas on what to see and do in Antwerp, make sure to check our city guides below!

READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Antwerp & The Hidden Gems of Antwerp

TIP: If you can, plan on spending a weekend in Antwerp and staying for at least one or two nights. That way you can experience more of what this great city has to offer. See some hotel suggestions below.

Antwerp in winter - holiday season decorations near Opera Square
Holiday decorations in Antwerp.

Where to stay for the Antwerp Christmas Market

Here are some of the best-rated hotels in the heart of the old town, close to everything and perfect for sightseeing and the Christmas market:

LEARN MORE: Where to Stay in Antwerp (Best Areas & Hotels)

Kids at the Grote Markt in Antwerp in winter
Greetings from Antwerp

If you are looking for more travel inspiration and tips for visiting Belgium, please check our other articles via the links below.

If you are planning a winter visit to Belgium, but are not sure what to expect in terms of the weather, check out our guide to traveling to Belgium in winter.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO VISIT Brussels Christmas Market & Bruges Christmas Market & Best European Christmas Markets – Hidden Gems

Belgium travel guides:

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Antwerp Christmas market in Belgium

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Monday 27th of November 2023

Hello, are the Christmas markets walkable from the main central station? How far away would they be from the central station? Thank yo :)


Monday 27th of November 2023

@Jurga, thanks for the quick answer! Great blog too! That's great to know about how walkable it is. I'll be coming from Utrecht most likely.


Monday 27th of November 2023

Hi Chandra, the Christmas Market is spread out over several different areas, but they are all in the same direction from the station and all within easy walking distance. For example, Opera Square is just 5 minutes walk, and the main square (Grote Markt) is about 25 minutes.


Sunday 1st of October 2023

Hi there, thanks for article - it was very helpful. May I please confirm if the Christmas market will be open on Christmas Day 25th of December? And if there are restaurants/cafes open this day also?

Thank you!


Monday 2nd of October 2023

Hi Claudia, yes, of course, as said in the article, the market is open daily during its opening season, so also on Christmas day. It should be open from noon. As for the restaurants and cafes, it depends. Many restaurants close on 24-25/12, but some are open. If you want to dine at a specific place, you should check with them in advance.


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Hello, We will be in 8th December in Antwerp. It says christmas market opens in that day. It's friday so it's going to be open at night or the saturday morning? I am little confused about it. I have only weekend in Belgium and İ want to visit Brugge after Antwerp.


Monday 25th of September 2023

@Jurga, thank you so much!! I can’t wait to be there.


Monday 25th of September 2023

Hi Meo, the market opens on Friday so there will be some special activities that day. I'm not sure what time it will start exactly, but in the evening, it will definitely be open.

John Thompson

Thursday 24th of August 2023

Good afternoon We are on a cruise which arrives in Antwerp on 7 December 2023. I understand the Christmas Markets open on 8 December 2023. Although officially opening on the 8th December will some market stalls be open earlier say on the 7th December

If not what would you recommend, prefably with a Christmas theme, for a day tourist coming off a cruise ship



Friday 25th of August 2023

Hi John, it's unlikely that any market stalls will be open a day early, but most shops and street lights will likely be in Christmas theme already. There is also plenty to see and do in Antwerp without the Christmas Market. See here and here for some inspiration. Have a great trip!


Friday 9th of June 2023

Hi we are a party of 13 staying in Antwerp for New year 23-24. We are mostly 65 plus, but have 2 younger family members visiting from Oz. Can you suggest somewhere for our NYE dinner? we want somewhere nice but not too 'posh' any suggestions would be helpful, we want to get it booked as there are so many of us!


Saturday 10th of June 2023

Hi Julie, there are so many nice restaurants in Antwerp, and yes, it's a good idea to book well in advance for New Year. RAS by the river could be great, but it's a bit on a pricier side (still not too bad compared to many others). The fireworks should be visible right from the restaurants. ARTE Italian restaurant has excellent price-quality and is also very centrally located. The restaurant is rather narrow however, so you would have to check with them if they can accommodate you. But there are really way too many to mention - different styles, cuisines, prices, location, etc. etc. I suggest you simply open Google Maps for the location you like, pick the type of food you like, and then check reviews of the restaurants in that area. Good luck!

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