Winter Wonders ('Plaisir d'Hiver' in French, 'Winterpret' in Dutch) has been named the best Christmas market in the world by popular travel website Big 7 Travel, beating the famed festive attractions in Berlin and Dresden.
After two years of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns, Christmas markets around the world are back with a bang – reason enough for Big 7 Travel to rank the world's best, with Brussels' Winter Wonders bagging the top spot.
"For a serious dose of festive schmaltz, Winter Wonders is our standout Christmas market for 2022. Over 200 chalets crowd around the gorgeous Grand Place, illuminated by colourful twinkling lights," the website reads. "From here, the festival spreads across the centre with an ice rink, a big wheel, a traditional life-size Nativity scene and an 18-metre Christmas tree."
This year, the market is even celebrating its 20th anniversary, meaning visitors can expect a bumper festive edition with 360° audio-visual performances, films and concerts too.
- Traditional Christmas tree installed on the Grand-Place in Brussels
- A joyful guide to 2022 Brussels Christmas Market
"This is a real recognition for Winter Wonders," Brussels City mayor Philippe Close and city councillor for Culture and Major Events Delphine Houba said in a press release. "We would not be here without Brussels Major Events and all their teams who are extraordinarily creative and constantly do a great job. Thank you to them for their excellent work which is once again rewarded and recognised worldwide."
In second place is the market in Berlin (Germany), followed by Chicago (the United States), Birmingham (the United Kingdom) and Vienna (Austria). Rounding out the top 10 are the German city of Dresden in sixth place, followed by Krakow in Poland (7), Galway in Ireland (8), Zagreb in Croatia (9) en Sibiu in Romania (10).
To compile the top 10, the company took into account the diversity of market vendors, the quality of the food, the range of entertainment and the originality of local traditions. Other data, such as popularity on social media and visitor numbers, were also taken into account.
The full list can be viewed on the website. Big 7 Travel is an online travel site that offers different lists of destinations around the world according to several themes.