The Brussels Lights 2016
If you plan to visit Brussels this Christmas, why not follow the City Lights Path? I explored the centre this Saturday and discovered the beautiful light shows and the Christmas Market. It was simply breathtaking and for once, I feel that the "Plaisirs d'Hiver" lives up to its name...I spent a very pleasant moment!
I decided to take the bus and hop off at the Sablon, a neighbour with beautiful buildings from the 16th - 19th Century. You can find a lot of antiquaries and many luxury brands around the square such as Flamant, Louboutin, Wittamer, ... As you can imagine, these shops are richly decorated with christmas trees, colourful lights and sometimes even the entire facade is set up like at Marcolini.
Make sure to spend some time looking at the delightful windows, do some Christmas shopping maybe? Then I suggest you take the Lebeau Street and head downtown to the Place Saint Jean. Just follow the street, pass the Boulevard de l'Empereur and keep walking, it's a total of 500m. What awaits you at Place Saint Jean is the Angels of Freedom: Colourful angel wings ready for you to pose. This is a really creative and beautiful concept by day or by night, I really loved it and judging by the number of people queuing to take pictures, I wasn't the only one.
The next step on your Christmas Journey is to keep heading downtown to the Grand Place to watch the light show. Our market place is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in Europe so make sure to stop there. It is even more beautiful with the light show! Now you should be aware that shows are about 30 minutes apart so do not worry if you do not see the city hall colourful, it will come and in the meantime, why not enjoy a few praline from Godiva?
After this ferric moment, maybe you feel a little hungry? Or want to get to the fun part = Christmas Market and Shopping! It is not far away, it start at La Bourse and continues to St Catherine. In short, you can expect about 200 huts selling food, drinks, craft products and more. There is also a big wheel and an ice skating rink (close to De Brouckère) so lots of fun ahead!
Getting to the Christmas Market is easy, you keep heading downtown and you will find it. Or follow the mass of tourists and Brusseleirs making their way through the city. While walking you will see the many chocolate, beer and souvenir shops in this particular area, you can always make a first stop there.
While walking, you will see the church on Place Sainte Catherine light up as well, with an origami show. It is stunning and reminds you of the good relationship between our countries :) If memory serves, the flower carpet from the Grand Place was also designed by a Japanese artist this year. It is quite symbolic!
In the Christmas Market, you will definitely find something to suit your tastes :) Remember that when buying a drink you pay an extra 1€ for the cup. Once you return it (at any hut) you will get your 1€ back. For the rest, have fun :D
Now last but not least, should you need to go back to Gare Centrale / Central Station because you have a hotel there or need to catch a train, you could eventually quickly visit the Galeries Royales St Hubert which are decorated and some shops are open late. They were inaugurated back in 1847 and are exquisite!
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