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BELGIUM

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24 Nov - 31 Dec 2017

Capital of the kingdom of Belgium is also the capital of Europe.Of course, it's well known for its Grand-Place, its Atomium, its Manneken-Pis, its beers, its waffles and its chocolates . But, just one tip: take the time, too, to soak up the very special atmosphere of its many different districts. You'll discover a Brussels thats in the spirit of the times, a capital thats relaxed and comfortable, as much in its history as in its present-day reality. Very fashionable. Very designer. Very creative.

Every year Brussels delights locals and visitors alike with its yuletide festivities and displays complete with giant Christmas tree, ice rink, illuminations, festive events and carousels. 240 wooden chalets sell all manner of gastronomic specialities, handicrafts and other unusual stocking-fillers and over a period of three weeks, shops remain open all weekend. The ice rink in the Place Ste Catherine is reputed to have the best ice in Europe. There will be a new sound and light show this year on the Grand Place,

Timings
Mon - Thur 12 -22.00
Fri - Sun 11 - 22.00
NB Christmas Eve and New Years Eve closed at 21.00
Christmas Day 12 - 20.00

www.plaisirsdhiver.be
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Belgium

Antwerp
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Brussels
Durbuy
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Mons
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How to say "Merry Christmas" in Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar

Good buys: Chocolates

Local Dishes: Moules frites (mussels and chips), waffles , steak (horsemeat) and chips

Brussels - Grand-Place during Advent
The Fish Market is transformed into a temporary ice rink in December, making it a big attraction for locals. Carols are filtered through loudspeakers, and jugglers, street musicians and painters brave the cold to entertain the crowds.

From December 23rd, many of the stalls switch hands, and the market becomes more of a gastronomic affair.

Brussels - Place St Catherine

Ice skating on the Grande Place, Brussels, during Advent

Things to see and do in Brussels

Cinquantenaire Museum
Foremost among Brussels' attractions is the Cinquantenaire Museum, which is home to a staggering 350,000 artefacts from across the globe. Everything from antiquity to European and non-European arts and culture has its place here. If you have a day, it's definitely worth a look.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica
The world's fifth largest church and one of the most impressive Brussels sights is the gargantuan Basilique Nationale Du Sacré-Cœur. You'll find it at the end of Blvd Léopold II in Koekelberg, and for a small fee you can even climb its 90m-high dome.

Costume and Lace Museum
No Brussels sightseeing excursion would be complete without a trip to the Costume and Lace museum, which celebrates the country's lengthy cloth and lace making history. Everything from spectacular evening gowns to old world lace underwear is on display here. If you're into your fashion, this is for you

Bruparck
Looking for places to visit with the kids? How about Bruparck with its waterparks, multiplex cinemas, IMAX, and on top of all that, a spectacular miniature Europe with hundreds of famous monuments from different cities? A great day out for the whole family.

Ancienne Belgique
If you want to check out some bands, local or international, this is the place. Particularly strong for rock music, there's a great bar too.

Chocolates
Well any trip to Brussels wouldn't be complete without sampling some of its more famous delights. Learn about the craft of chocolate making in the Chocolate Museum and then head down to Wittamer, the famous chocolatier that has been in business since 1910.

Atomium
For some of the best views of Brussels go to the top of the Atomium. This strange looking structure was built in 1958 to resemble an atom and is one of Brussels' more quirky structures. At 102 metres you can expect a fabulous view.

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