Christmas market stalls in BrugesJust when I thought I couldn't possibly love the city of Bruges more than I already do, I experience it at Christmastime.  Wow!  On the way back from Cologne (check out my guide to the best Christmas Markets), we stopped off in Bruges to experience the Christmas markets there for the first time. There's a different ambience to that of which can be found in Germany, though it still has an unique charm of its own thanks to the surrounding medieval buildings and cobbled streets.  Combine the historic architecture with thousands of twinkling lights, throw in the smell of waffles and top it off with the dark night sky, and you've got yourself a pretty magical experience...
Illuminated water fountain at Bruges
Medieval Architecture in Bruges at Christmas
Bruges at Christmas rainy weather winter
With just one evening to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible, we headed straight for The Markt of Bruges.  Sitting centrally at this main square is an ice rink, surrounded by Christmas market stalls.  It took around an hour to enjoy a couple of drinks and wander around the cobbled circle, after which we set off to explore the rest of Bruges, passing the 13th-century Belfry (with 83m tower with panoramic views) on our way.  And that's when things really became magical!
Bruges ice rink illuminated Christmas tree
Christmas market stall decorations in Belgium
A night in Bruges at Christmas by travel blogger
Children playing with bubbles on a rainy night in BrugesAs we all know, this girl loves Bruges (most recently popping there for my birthday in the summertime), but seeing the quiet side alleys and still canals by night and surrounded by Christmas lights was truly something else.  You find yourself caught up in the romantic atmosphere, and not looking for the next sight or 'big thing' - instead simply enjoying the moment.  And what could be better than that?  
Nighttime tour in Bruges at Christmas
Famous weeping willow over canal in Bruges
Romantic Christmas decorations in Bruges around windows
Bruges architecture at night during ChristmasIf you're planning a trip to Bruges, I can guarantee its beauty at any time of year.  Though a Christmas visit isn't complete without a trip to the beautiful Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop, warm drinks enjoyed at the markets and a wander through the quiet cobbled streets taking you past the Dijver Canal - where you can admire the sight of the (famous) weeping willow hanging over illuminated waters!

With love,

Gabrielle x