🎼 “Oh baby it’s cold outside” 🎼 – we’re just full of Christmas puns with this article! But winter and Christmas time might really be best spent in Ghent. The lovely, medieval architecture, the pedestrianised city center and all the seasonal markets here set the scene perfectly. It just oozes romance, Christmas cheer and lights. Lights? Yes lights. Several important streets and monuments are lit up beautifully during the darkest month of the year. Get a map of the Historic Light Walk at your nearest tourist office to walk the route yourself!
Speaking of it being cold outside, you’ll definitely need to know about La Dolce Barista for your visit to Ghent. It’s a mobile coffee bar that warms up the market strollers in the city on a daily basis. Besides warm drinks, the mobile café also sells homemade cakes and chocolate buns to boost your festive spirit!
If you’re stressing out about getting a certain special female a thoughtful gift, local Tahnee is sure you’ll be able to find something at Au bon marché. An added bonus, she says, “in the winter months the store is decorated really nicely to get you into the Christmas spirit. It’s not just cozy, but it’s the kind of winter cozy you see in the Harry Potter movies!”. If it’s the opposite gender you’re shopping for, try Piet Moodshop on the Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat, which caters to all sizes and all genders.
Perhaps one of your Christmas traditions, or at least winter-season traditions, is to strap on some skates and glide around for a bit. From 9 December the city center will become a true winter wonderland, especially thanks to the ice skating rink (700 m2) opening under the City Pavilion. This also marks the start of the Gentse Winterfeesten, a month full of wintery and Christmassy events, such as live performances and animation, and over 130 Christmas stalls right in the center of town. You will find over 50 international stalls at this market, preparing delicious products from their home countries.
The medieval Gravensteen castle turns quite festive as well! The castle of the counts (dating back to 1180) changes into a winter wonderland castle, filled with light, festively decorated tables, Christmas storytelling, music, and much more. This is the third year the castle will be decorated for the season, last year’s theme was fairy tales and this year it will be ‘Midwinter and the festival of light’.
‘Tis the season! Be merry and bright and enjoy your stay!
This post was created in cooperation with Visit Gent.