Bruges Christmas Market

10 January 2017

The morning after visiting the Christmas market in Brussels, we set off to visit one of our favourite places, Bruges. Dan and I hold Bruges very close in our heart as it was the first place that we visited abroad together, and so it seemed very apt that we return the day after getting engaged. Bruges is only an hours drive from Brussels, so we set off at breakfast time in hope to get there around 10am.

It turns out that Dan and I both have rather sat-nav like memories. We were able to drive to Bruges without any help from a map or sat-nav, and even managed to park in the same car park that we'd parked in before, pretty much parking the car in the same car parking space - skills! For anyone driving to Bruges, we recommend the car park by the main Station - it's easy to get to and costs around 3 Euros to park for 24 hours.

We walked the 10 minutes into Bruges town, and into the main Markt Square by the famous Belfry. We had done all of the typical touristy things like climbing the Belfry, and going on a canal ride on our last visit, so just wanted to focus on eating all the Belgian frites and chocolate we could get our hands on this time. Needless to say, we were still very, very high up in the clouds from getting engaged the night before!

Bruges Christmas Market is a LOT more Christmassy than Brussels. There just seemed to be more of a Christmassy feel to the ambience, as well as typical Christmas decorations dotted around. The market was selling the typical market type gifts, and we bought some amazing baubles for our Christmas tree at home from a shop called Kathe Wohlfahrt. There was also a fantastic ice rink in the middle of the square which usually, I would have loved to get involved with, but I didn't think pregnant ice skating was really that good of an idea!

One thing we wanted to do was to pop to our favourite chocolate cafe which we'd discovered on our last trip to Bruges. You could easily walk past it from the outside, but upstairs is the most incredible hot chocolate cafe. Huge mugs of hot milk are brought to your table, and you get to drop a giant block of chocolate of your choice into it, and whisk away until it turns into the most luxurious hot chocolate you'll ever taste. I highly recommend the salted caramel - it's to die for!

After wandering around the market, eating and drinking our weight in Belgian delicacies, we head back to the car to take us back to Calais. Of course, no trip to France/Belgium is complete without a trip to Carrefour, and we made a quick stop to a giant complex just north of Bruges to stock up on Christmas treats for the family. We also managed to pick up some decorations for our Christmas tree at a teeny tiny price - winning!

Bruges is by far one of our favourite places, and it's so easy to get to it's almost silly. I have a rule that I like to visit new places every time I travel, but Bruges is so easy to get to and so wonderful that I know we'll be back many, many times in our lifetime.

It was our second visit, but it definitely won't be our last!

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