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!
Where to Find Antwerp Christmas Market
Antwerp Christmas market is 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.
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 2021-2022 winter season, Antwerp Christmas market was supposed to be open from December 4, 2021, till January 2, 2022. (see below)
During this period, Antwerp Christmas Market is 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.
Update November 27, 2021: Just a week before the Christmas market was supposed to start, the city has announced that the Antwerp Christmas market is canceled for this winter (December 2021 – January 2022). Also the New Years’ fireworks have been canceled. This is because of the soaring numbers of new covid-infections in Belgium.
That being said, outdoor events are in principle still allowed this winter, so quite some places and activities will be open, as planned. Ice skating and its bar will be open, just as the giant Ferris wheel and other attractions nearby. Also Joe Xmas House on the Grote Markt will be open, as well as Nativity Scene, and a few other events.
What to expect when visiting Antwerp Christmas market
Antwerp Christmas market has over 100 market stalls. 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 children as there is plenty to do for everyone. A fair with a Ferris Wheel and some children’s rides are located at the Scheldt river next to the castle.
The ice skating rink can be found on the Groenplaats (location varies). There are plenty of other family-friendly activities in the city to keep you entertained during the day as well (zoo, aquarium, museums,..).
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 wining and 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: Every winter, Antwerp Zoo organizes a really nice light event called China Light. It’s absolutely worth a visit as well!
For some more ideas for a family trip, please check this post about things to do in Antwerp with kids. Make sure to also check our city guide below!
READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in 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.
Where to stay for 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:
- €€€€€ Gulde Schoen The Suite hotel
- €€€€ Hotel Rubens-Grote Markt
- €€€ Hilton Old Town
- €€ HotelO Kathedral
- € 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)
If you are looking for more travel inspiration and tips for visiting Belgium, please check our other articles via the links below.
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!
- 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
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