The Christmas Markets of Bruges & Lille 2013
A superb Christmas Markets short break by train
Journey to Belgium and France to experience the enchanting ambience of the festive Lille and Bruges Christmas Markets. Medieval buildings are illuminated by twinkling fairy lights and pretty stalls entice visitors with their delicious, velvety chocolate treats and colourful gifts. There are also many other wonderful sights to discover when visiting Lille and Bruges Christmas Markets. Test your skills on the seasonal ice rink or perhaps explore one of the delightful museums before sampling some tasty crêpes and a glass of hot mulled wine.
Day 1 - To Bruges
We leave St Pancras International by Eurostar bound for Lille. From here, we continue our journey by coach to Bruges and our hotel for the next three nights, the Ibis Centrum. Tonight we enjoy dinner together in the hotel.
Day 2 - Bruges
This morning we discover Bruges, its rich history and medieval architecture during a guided walking tour. Having prospered originally as a port, much of Bruges' beautiful architecture has been preserved, and the city's historic centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Following the tour, we experience one of the country's favourite exports, with a visit to an enticing artisan chocolate maker. All of the delicious chocolates are made by hand, on the premises, to a traditional recipe. The rest of the day is free for you to spend in Bruges. The city is truly wonderful at Christmas, as the centre of Bruges is transformed by the small but charming Christmas Market. The traditional stepgabled buildings around the main square are decorated with sparkling lights, and the seasonal ice rink adds to the delightfully festive atmosphere. The stalls offer a variety of treats, including unusual handmade decorations, gifts, chocolates and lace as well as brightly coloured sweets. Following your look around the market, you may wish to enjoy a warming glass of mulled wine or relax in a charming Belgian tea room.
Day 3 - At leisure
You are free to spend today as you wish. You could visit some of the art museums, many of which celebrate works by Belgian and Flemish painters, or take in the brand new Historium Museum, which recreates the sights, sounds and smells of medieval Bruges. The Brewery Museum is well worth a visit, or you could take a tour of one of the city's many breweries - the De Halve Maan brewery is a great choice. For a more festive theme, be sure to visit the Snow & Ice Sculpture festival by Bruges station. Alternatively, Brussels is easily accessible by rail and has interesting Christmas Markets to explore, which are filled with a host of festive delights.
Day 4 - Lille & homeward bound
Today we depart Bruges, travelling by coach to Lille, where we enjoy free time to visit its attractions including the Christmas Market. Perhaps sample the waffles or a warming mulled wine, or take a ride on the Ferris Wheel for great views over the city. Held in the Place Rihour, Lille's small Christmas Market features arts, crafts, decorations and local cuisine. The city is illuminated for the festivities; the bright Christmas lights create a walkway down the Rue Nationale, and many of the streets in the area have their own seasonal decorations, making it a delight to wander around. After time to explore Lille and its shopping opportunities, we head back to the railway station and take a Eurostar service back to St Pancras International in London.
Meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday.
What is Included on a Bruges Christmas Markets Break?
Treyn is renowned not only for the fantastic destinations you can explore on a rail holiday, but also the wealth of interesting excursions which are pre-arranged for your convenience. Begin your exciting and festive break with a tour of Bruges' beautifully historic centre which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its charming medieval buildings. You will also have the opportunity to visit a local chocolatier where you can sample some of the country's most celebrated export. On a trip to Lille you can take a ride on the Ferris Wheel and admire views of the vibrant town below or amble around the wooden stalls. Lille and Bruges Christmas Markets are a great way to spend your festive break.