The end of the year holidays are the perfect opportunity for an extended trip. Each year, we go somewhere for about two weeks for a chance to immerse ourselves in a different destination and give ourselves the chance to pretend to be locals. Previous trips include: Lisbon and the Algarve; Aix en Provence and Nice; Tenerife and Vienna; and Granada and Malaga Spain, This year, we visited Belgium and found that it was an ideal destination for the Festive Season. Here's why.
Cuberdon are sold by the bag full on the streets during this time of year. They are tasty little purple cones with a firm shell and oozy center. This treat is perfect for the holidays and unique Belgian.
Are you hungry yet? Belgian waffles filled with fruit are another fond memory from our trip. We picked up this one in Liege.
3. Christmas Markets
Every city in Belgium has one or more Christmas Markets. They are fun to stroll, do a little shopping, and have an indulgent treat. Liege has one of the largest Christmas markets in Belgium.
4. Light Show on the Grote Markt in Brussels
The Grote Markt in Brussels is transformed into a fantastic extravaganza of light. All the buildings on the square glow and change in color from one minute to the next. The effect is truly magical.
5. Hot Chocolate Cubes
Belgium is synonymous with good chocolate and in the winter time there is no better way to imbibe it than by melting a dense cube of dark chocolate in hot milk to make hot chocolate.
6. Atmospheric Pubs Full of Taxidermy
You may think this one is a bit odd but keep an open mind for a moment. Belgium is full of pubs with character selling a huge variety of Belgian beer. We noticed that these pubs seem almost obsessed with taxidermy with stuffed grouse, boar, and peacock as likely to be seen as the bartender. I equate this interior decoration with a hearth and roaring fire. There is nothing better than to sip a beer tucked away inside from the cold.
7. A Dusting of Snow
The festive season feels even more so with a light dusting of snow. On our trip, we got just enough snow to be scenic but not enough to be inconvenient.
8. Ten Trip Rail Pass
Belgium is an ideal destination for the holidays because the country is compact with all four corners accessible from Brussels within about a two hour train ride. We discovered that Belgian Rail sells a ten trip rail pass which is ideal for an extended stay with Brussels as a home base. We used our pass to get to and from the airport to Bruges and then for traveling about to Ghent, Liege, Mechelen, Lier, and Leuven.