The city of Antwerp has announced plans for its winter festivities, extending activities far beyond traditional Christmas markets and running from 4 December to 9 January.
What's happening at the main market?
As always, the main market will feature the standard fare of winter food and drink with familiar classics to flavours from other countries. Market stalls will offer a range of gifts, while a giant fire bowl and globe will ensure everyone stays warm.
The Steenplein (by the river) will play host to Bar Den, a large wooden barn where visitors can eat, drink and attend DJ sets. Customers can relax outside in the winter garden with its terrace and food corner.
Closer to the centre, a 1,000 m² covered ice rink will be set up by the statue of Rubens, while an adjacent winter bar 'Den Après' will provide entertainment for those less keen on skating.
The opening weekend will see a special show, with figure skater Kevin Van der Perren performing on ice before the winter bars roll out their DJs.
What else is on?
Those looking to take part in more adventurous activities can grab a snack in the 55 metre-high Ferris Wheel or climb the watchtower of Het Steen to stargaze.
New this year is the Nocturnes museum activities, which will see several museums in the city open from 5:00 PM till 11:00 PM on Thursday 16 December. In addition to the permanent collections, visitors will be able to see special dance performances, reading sessions, and guided tours in the evening. The participating museums are:
- Red Star Line Museum,
- Museum Mayer van den Bergh,
- Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience,
As the end of the year approaches, the Winter Festival presents the New Year's Eve fireworks on the Scheldt. "During the traditional New Year's fireworks, the accompanying music will be played synchronously via the radio so that everyone can experience this magical moment," the press release explains.
- Extra measures are 'urgently needed' across Belgium
- Leuven cancels Christmas market citing Covid-19 risk
- Brussels announces measures for expanded Christmas festivities
More information – and activities – can be found here.
When is it open?
Monday to Thursday: 12 noon to 10:00 PM.
Friday and Saturday: 12 noon to midnight.
Sunday: 12 noon to 10:00 PM.
On 24 and 31 December: 12 noon to 6:00 PM
On 2 and 9 January: 12 noon to 6:00 PM
On 1 January: From 3:00 PM to midnight.
Are there any covid measures?
In the museums, visitors follow the measures in place there.
A Corona Safe Ticket is required for the winter bars and the ice rink.