A festive getaway to a European city for their traditional Christmas markets has long been on my travel to-do list (you can check it out here.) After deliberating about where to go, we finally decided on a long weekend in the picturesque city of Bruges, choosing the first weekend of December for our break.
Liam and I booked a charming hotel near the canal, while the girls stayed in an apartment just outside the city square. The great thing about the city is how compact it is, and many of its hotels and apartments are within a short walking distance. While our hotel had that lived-in, traditional feel about it and was incredibly comfortable, I have to say that the absence of a power shower was a bit of a minus for us!
The city itself is beautiful and you can't help but be enchanted by the festive feel of its bustling Christmas markets and the intricate labyrinth of streets and canal ways. We spent a lot of our getaway wandering around and taking in the sights - aside from the crowds, it was nice to walk among chocolate shops and horse-drawn carriages. Although the Christmas markets in Bruges are not as extensive as some European cities, we found some great souvenirs to take home - from tree decorations to handmade jewellery - and the markets serve as a wonderful place to indulge in a seasonal Bratwurst or a hefty dose of Gluhwein.
Aside from browsing the markets, we also took a trip up the Belfort to catch a glimpse of the Bell Tower and paid a visit to the Chocolate Story Museum. The best part of our break was the food, however and the Flemish Beef stew was most definitely a highlight. After filling ourselves with delicious Belgian fare, the best part was lingering around the ice-skating rink with warmed mulled wine - even the rain didn't dampen our spirits.