Lille and Bruges Christmas Markets
Get into the festive spirit with a trip to the Christmas Markets in Lille and Bruges. Beautiful cities at any time of year, during advent, the Christmas atmosphere makes these winsome towns irresistibly enchanting. Lille hosts Northern France’s largest markets, and at Bruges Christmas Markets in Grote Markt square there’s a large open-air ice rink.
From late November to mid-December, step into continental winter wonderlands. There, local crafts, handmade artisan objects and perfect Christmas gifts are aplenty. Mulled wines and hot chocolates steam warming your fingers and tickling your nostrils with their tempting aromas. Indulge in traditional Christmas Market foods such as Bratwurst, waffles and pancakes.
Perhaps take a stroll through the maze of cobbled lanes in Lille’s old town or wander along the charming canals in Bruges. See the towering Belfry dominate Bruges’ old market square, and then watch the swans swim serenely on the Lake of Love. Art lovers should take the opportunity to visit the Notre Dame church which houses Michelangelo’s Madonna. What’s more, the renowned Christmas markets in the beautiful cities of Brussels and Ghent are also in easy reach.
Late November - Mid December 2021
Arrive in Lille
Travel to Dover and board your ferry to Calais, travelling through northern France. Arrive in Lille and settle in to your hotel.
Perhaps begin exploring the local area. Northern France’s largest city, Lille is known for its outstanding Flemish architecture. Feast your eyes on the ornate 17th century Vieille Bourse, the city’s finest building, then perhaps stop in a café in the Grand Place and watch life unfold in the city’s favourite meeting place.
Lille’s Christmas Markets and Winter Wonderland
Today, explore Lille’s famous Christmas Markets. The old quarter is a charming patchwork of pretty squares, and the tangle of cobbled streets known as Vieux Lille is filled with boutiques, jewellers and antique shops. Lille is home to Northern France’s largest Christmas Markets, which are held on the centrally located Place Rihour. 80 different stalls offer all manner of festive surprises and culinary delights. Enjoy a spectacular view over the city by taking a ride on the Big Wheel. Below the Winter Wonderland will sparkle – the Christmas village is covered in artificial snow and an 18 metre tall Christmas tree evokes festive cheer. Be sure to sample some local delights and purchase some traditional Christmas presents to take home.
Bruges’ Christmas Markets and Ice Rink
Pop across the border to Belgium and visit the gorgeous medieval town of Bruges. Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, Bruges has a labyrinth of canals and well-preserved medieval buildings. Explore on foot, by boat along the canals (if not frozen!), or perhaps enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the magical festive atmosphere. Enjoy Bruges’ markets which form a ring around an open air ice rink, or perhaps enjoy a brewery visit or lace-making demonstration.
Return to the UK
If time permits, enjoy some final sightseeing or perhaps a last stroll around the Christmas markets. Pack up your presents and parcels, and begin your homeward journey.
Featured hotels – Inspected by Greatdays Staff March 2016
Ibis Styles Lille Marcq en Baroeul ***
This 3-star hotel features stylish, spacious and fully-renovated rooms. Located less than 15 minutes from the city centre, it is a great base for exploring Lille and popping across into Belgium. Facilities include a 24-hour reception, a restaurant, bar with terrace and conference rooms. The hotel is also located a short walk from a tramway providing direct access into Lille and Roubaix in approx 20mins. Free onsite coach car parking is also available.
Ibis Lille Centre Gares ***
The Ibis Lille Centre Gares is located in the heart of Lille, just 100 yards from Lille Flandres Train Station and less than a 10-minute walk from Lille Europe Train Station, so ideal for tours by train. The modern rooms feature free Wi-Fi, a telephones, desks and TVs. There is a business centre, TV lounge, bar and a contemporary restaurant with a dining terrace.
Ibis Styles Lille Centre Gare Beffroi ***
This 3-star hotel is located close to the Lille Flandre train station and just 10 minutes’ walk from the Lille Europe train station, Old Lille and the Grand Palais. The hotel has a colourful, contemporary and stylish feel and boasts a communal area. The rooms feature free Wi-Fi, satellite TVs and hairdryers. No onsite restaurant, but bar snacks are available and there are many restaurants in walking distance.
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|Ibis Styles Lille Marcq en Baroeul||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|November – December 2021||From £109.00 per person||From £56.00 per person|