6
 Days
 Day

Europe Christmas Markets

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Created by
Flora Forgacs

Embark on a captivating 6-day European adventure that takes you through enchanting cities and vibrant Christmas markets. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you explore the highlights of France, Belgium, and Germany. Indulge in local treats, marvel at iconic landmarks, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Join us on this incredible journey, where each day brings new delights and unforgettable experiences.

Trip Highlights:

  • Experience the magic of Lille's Christmas markets
  • Discover the charm of Brussels
  • Explore the festive Christmas markets of Düsseldorf and take in breathtaking views from the Rheinturm tower

Day 1

Your adventure begins at Charleroi Airport, Belgium. From here, you'll take a scenic drive to Lille, France. Next you’ll visit the quaint town of Arras, just 40 minutes away from Lille. Here, you'll be enchanted by the vibrant Christmas markets. Stroll around and soak in the festive atmosphere as you explore unique stalls and street-side attractions.

Day 2

Day two sees you exploring Lille. The main square comes alive with the Christmas markets, featuring a large Ferris wheel. Climb aboard for a mesmerizing view of Lille from the top—it's truly a sight to behold. Don't forget to try a Merveilleux, a traditional sweet treat from Northern France. Watch the preparation of these delicious treats at Aux Merveilleux de Fred for an added touch of authenticity.

Day 3

On day three, you'll drive from Lille to Brussels and later to Antwerp. In Brussels, you can take a leisurely stroll around the Grand Palace, Manneken-Pis, Parc du Cinquantenaire, the European Parliament, and the Brussels Parliament. Be sure to try local fries—despite what you've heard, they originate from Brussels! Once in Antwerp, visit Mini Europe and Atomium. The giant sculptures and the illuminated Atomium are a sight to behold.

Day 4

The fourth day begins with exploring Antwerp in the morning before driving to Düsseldorf, Germany. Be sure to take a stroll to the waterfront in Antwerp - its sight is breathtaking! After settling into your hotel in Düsseldorf, head to the town center for dinner at the Christmas markets. The festive atmosphere, bustling stalls, and music create a truly memorable experience. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel overlooking the Rhine River for an unforgettable view of the city.

Day 5

Day five promises more excitement as you ascend the Rheinturm in Düsseldorf. Enjoy panoramic views of the city while sipping a hot drink at the café atop the tower. Then, drive to Köln, where you'll spend the evening at the Christmas markets near the Cathedral. You’ll have the opportunity for ice skating, adding to the festive spirit of Köln.

Day 6

Spend the morning revisiting Köln's Christmas markets. Don't miss the local zoo, botanical gardens, and the chocolate museum. After indulging in a German chocolate crepe for lunch, it's time to drive back to Charleroi Airport, marking the end of your magical European Christmas journey.

Weather & Climate

Belgium

Belgium is known for its temperate maritime climate, with cool summers and moderate winters. The average temperature ranges between 17°C (63°F) in Botrange to 24°C (75°F) in Antwerp during the warmest month, July. Brussels, the capital, has a yearly average high of 72°F and low of 57°F. Expect evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year, slightly increasing during the summer months.

France

France enjoys diverse climates, from oceanic in the north and west to a Mediterranean climate in the south-east. The weather in Lille, located in the north, is characterized by mild summers and cool winters.

Germany

Germany experiences a temperate seasonal climate, with moderate to heavy rainfall throughout the year. Düsseldorf and Köln, located in the western part of the country, have mild winters and moderately warm summers.

Culture & Events

Belgium

The culture of Belgium is a blend of French and Dutch influences, reflected in its languages, architecture, and social customs. Major events include the Brussels Summer Festival and the vibrant Christmas markets.

France

French culture is renowned worldwide for its sophistication and elegance. Events such as the Cannes Film Festival and Bastille Day parade are globally acclaimed.

Germany

German culture is known for its precision and efficiency. Major events include Oktoberfest in Munich and the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin.

Local Cuisine

Belgium

Belgian cuisine is famous for its fries, waffles, and chocolates. When in Brussels, don't miss out on Stoemp - a delectable dish of mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables.

France

The cuisine in France is justly famous, with dishes like Coq au Vin and desserts like Tarte Tatin. Don't forget to try the local cheese and wine. In Lille, try Merveilleux, a traditional sweet treat from Northern France. 

Germany

German cuisine varies by region but includes popular staples like Bratwurst (sausages) and Sauerbraten (pot roast). Also, German beer and bread are considered some of the best in the world. In Düsseldorf try the Altbier, a specialty local beer. In Köln try the Labskaus, a mix of corned beef, beets, and potatoes.

Nightlife

Belgium

Nightlife in Belgium offers something for everyone, from bustling nightclubs in Brussels to cozy pubs in smaller towns. The Delirium Café in Brussels holds the Guinness World Record for the most varieties of beer available.

France

Nightlife in French cities like Lille offers a mix of traditional bistros, modern nightclubs, and live music venues. Lille's Wazemmes district is particularly known for its vibrant nightlife.

Germany

Nightlife in Germany offers a wide range of experiences, from techno clubs in Berlin to cozy beer gardens in Bavaria. Düsseldorf's Altstadt is dubbed 'the longest bar in the world' due to the high concentration of bars and pubs.

Gardens & Parks

Belgium

Belgium boasts beautiful gardens and parks, such as the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken and the Sonian Forest near Brussels.

France

France's parks and gardens, like the Palais-Royal Garden in Paris or the Parc de la Citadelle in Lille, offer tranquil retreats amidst urban landscapes.

Germany

Germany is home to numerous parks and gardens. The English Garden in Munich and the Botanical Gardens in Berlin are worth a visit.

Transportation

Belgium

Belgium's transportation system is well-developed, with extensive rail networks and tram services in major cities. Renting a bicycle is also a popular way to explore Belgian cities.

France

France has an extensive transportation network comprising high-speed trains, buses, and trams. In cities like Lille, you can also rent a bike to explore the city.

Germany

Germany has an efficient public transportation system, with extensive rail networks, trams, buses, and ferries. Bicycles are also widely used in many German cities.

Local Tips

Belgium

  • Carry an umbrella or raincoat as rainfall is common.
  • Try the local beers - each one is traditionally served in its unique glass.
  • Visit the Grand Palace in Brussels, especially at night when it's beautifully lit up.

France

  • Learn a few basic phrases in French to navigate better.
  • Visit a local bakery and try a fresh baguette or croissant.
  • Explore the local markets for unique souvenirs and local produce.

Germany

  • Germans are punctual, so make sure to be on time for any appointments.
  • Try Currywurst - a fast food dish of German origin consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage.
  • Visit a traditional Christmas market if you're visiting in the festive season.

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