Christmas getaways in Belgium and Germany

Christmas is the joyous season of religious celebration and family reunion. As Orchard Road lights up annually for the occasion in Singapore, Christmas markets all around Europe have begun in December, until early January.

Each year, different cities would host various Christmas markets, where locals and tourists visit little huts selling a variety of items ranging from food to Christmas gifts, decorations and games with attractive gifts to be won. Christmas markets in the same country may overlap with huts selling food and beverages or Christmas decorations but it is not that difficult to spot the uniqueness of each Christmas market in a city.

Aachen, Germany

Aachen’s Christmas market was ranked by EuropeanBestDestinations.com as the second Best Christmas markets in Europe, outcompeting others in larger cities in Brussels and Prague.

Christmas market in Aachen’s city center

It may be small in scale but in it one would chance upon many interesting find and delicious little treats throughout the markets. Interesting to note, beverages sold in German Christmas markets are served in exquisite and specially designed mugs that differ among Christmas markets. It is worth a shot to enjoy the warm mulled wine while paying a deposit to bring he mug back home. The design varies each year hence annual visitors are sure to collect the designs.

Christmas market in Aachen’s city center

Some of the food sold are in fact local specialty and are not found even in other Christmas markets in Germany. For instance, Dampfnudeln was worth a try, steamed bun covered with specially prepared vanilla sauce with toppings to add the final touch. Here, Dampfnudeln was topped off with poppy seeds with a crunchy taste to it.

Dampfnudeln with poppy seeds

Known as the city where Printen originated from, it is tough for one to resist buying back some Printen pastries back for Christmas treats. It tastes similar to the usual gingerbread for Christmas but it has nuts added in and a heavier aftertaste of spices like ginger and cinnamon. Depending on one’s likings, there are a variety of flavours to choose from. Printen is also a must-buy in Aachen as gifts back, particularly so during Christmas as gifts unique from Aachen.

Printen pastries

Other interesting buys include Christmas decorations and toys. Here are some exclusively spotted in Aachen.

Christmas decorations formed from scented spices and dried products

Rubber duckies in different costumes

Snow globes and hanging decorations

Cologne, Germany

Cologne’s Christmas market was definitely worth a visit as its main Christmas market was held right beside the majestic Cologne Cathedral.

Christmas market in Cologne, by Cologne Cathedral

Here, one can find a different variety of food sold, such as Flammlachs, flamed salmon wrapped with lettuce in a bun with sauce, mouthwatering and tasty German sausages served with Sauerkraut, sour cabbage and a cup of warm wine to finish the meal.

Flammlachs

Hot sausages to be served with Sauerkraut

If the dishes above arent enough to satisfy, one can easily find Christmas treats just around the corner.

Christmas treats like candies

Not to be deceived by appearance, these are made of chocolates!

In Cologne, one could also venture beyond the main Christmas market to locate smaller markets along the River Rhine.

Christmas market in Cologne, by the Chocolate Museum

Here, one can even find seafood bars to savour fresh octopus, oysters and many others.

Christmas market by the Chocolate Museum

Christmas market by the Chocolate Museum

Leaving Germany into Belgium, there’s simply more food to try, especially the irresistible urge to savour Belgium chocolate

Brussels, Belgium

Christmas market held in Brussels is definitely on a different scale as it spans across a few streets in the city to link different areas together.

Map of Christmas market in Brussels

Christmas market in Brussels by St Catherine Church

Famous delights like Belgium and Liege waffles are definitely must-eat food along the way while spectacular rides just bring the inner child out of one.

Liege waffles

Merry-go-round in Brussels

Apart from the Christmas market, chocolate shops along the streets are also a fascinating sight with Christmas designs and decorations made of chocolates, causing one to be in awe of the craftsmanship and increase in need to fulfill the chocolate-y desire.

Chocolate decorations by the window

Liege, Belgium

Homeplace to Emperor Charlemagne, Liege hosts a spectacular Christmas village annually with over 200 wooden chalets serving food and beverages and Christmas items to over 2 million visitors.

Christmas village in Liege

The Christmas village comprises of two large areas in the city center.

Map of Christmas market

Annually, Liege’s Christmas village has topped charts as the Best Christmas market in Belgium and it is not surprising so with its scale, variety of sales available and the attractive winter wonderland theme with an ice skating rink surrounded by eateries and a long slide for the brave.

Ice slide with Liege’s Tribunal Court in the background

 

Ice skating rink in Liege

Amidst all the Christmas delights, Liege waffles are definitely a must-try dish here in Liege! One can have it plain or enjoy the richness of chocolate and cream topped onto the freshly prepared Liege waffles

Liege waffles

Two cities in two countries with different Christmas treats and delights to offer. Fancy a Christmas getaway next year? The above Christmas markets are definitely worth a visit, yet there are many more on the list to be ticked off 😀

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Christmas getaways in Belgium and Germany

  1. Pingback: Exploring German cities– Part III: Beauty of Cologne | The Fifth Parlour

  2. Pingback: Exploring German cities– Aachen, Bonn and Cologne | The Fifth Parlour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s