Bruges Belgium Christmas Markets
From the intoxicating scent of warm, fresh waffles to the twinkling fairylights reflected in the canal, Bruges is hard to beat for a fairytale Christmas break. And that's before you've even hopped aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a snow-dusted tour of the cobbles.
You'll find the main market in Grote Markt, with its pretty, wooden chalets surrounding a glittering ice rink, where skaters swish and stumble in the shadow of the 83m-high belfry. If you can face the 366 steps to the bells at the top, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the chocolate box city below.
There's another market in smaller, tree-lined Simon Stevinplein, but with no shortage of cheery chocolatiers and cosy cafés en route, the short walk might take longer than you'd expect…
If you've over-indulged, a brisk walk in nearby Minnewater will help blow away the cobwebs and work up an appetite for the next course: a plate of warm, crisp kroketten made with shrimp or gorgeously oozing cheese. Perfect for a quick pit-stop before the serious business of shopping begins.