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?
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.
This winter (2023-2024), however, there are some works at Steenplein, so that location will be 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 market setting is very picturesque and also cozy.
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 2023-2024 winter season, the Antwerp Christmas market will be open from December 8, 2023, until January 7, 2024.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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:
- €€€€€ Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp (most luxurious).
- €€€€ Hotel Rubens-Grote Markt (most popular).
- €€€ Hilton Old Town (old grand hotel).
- €€ HotelO Kathedral (good value for the old town).
- € A-STAY Antwerp (close to the station, 20 minutes walk from the old town, but very good value if you’re looking for a nice place to stay on a lower budget).
LEARN MORE: Where to Stay in Antwerp (Best Areas & Hotels)
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.
Belgium travel guides:
- Belgium Itinerary – how to see the best of Belgium in 3-4 days.
- Top Things to Do in Brussels – all the musts!
- Where to Stay in Brussels – best areas for any type of trip.
- WWI Battlefields and Ypres – for history buffs.
- Bastogne War Museum & Mardasson Memorial – WWII history.
- Best Things to Do in Bruges – a must-see in Belgium!
- Best Theme Parks in Belgium – for families with kids.
- Brussels Flower Carpet – one for your bucket list.
- Facts About Belgium – a fun read to get to know Belgium a bit better.
- Manneken-Pis (the real story of this quirky symbol of Brussels).
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