The Port House (c) Havenbedrijf Antwerpen - Peter Knoop

Enjoy winter and the magical Christmas atmosphere in Flanders and Brussels. Invite your family and friends to experience our winter events, festivals and exhibitions. Did you know that Flanders is one of the most culturally sophisticated regions of the world? A masterwork on your plate and an amazing cultural offer during the coziest time of the year. What else do you need?

1. 500 Years Utopia

Op zoek naar Utopia ©Jan Gossaert, Portret van een jonge prinses met armillarium, c. 1530. The National Gallery, Londen

It was exactly 500 years ago that the book Utopia, an iconic work of the humanist Thomas More, was published in Leuven. Leuven celebrates this historical moment with an array of special events all over the city on the theme of innovation and discovery. 

What would you like to see and when? Plan your visit yourself on A must-do: In Search of Utopia at M – Museum Leuven.

2. The Groeninge Museum in Bruges

Visitor between 2 paintingsat the Groeninge Museum - Bruges - © What if - Kris De Smedt

Welcome to the Groeninge Museum, a museum with an outstanding international reputation and the oldest Museum of Fine Arts in Bruges. Van der Weyden, Van Eyck, Memling, Brueghel, the Flemish Primitives … all housed under one roof.

3. The Port House in Antwerp

The Port House (c) Havenbedrijf Antwerpen - Peter Knoop

Architect Zaha Hadid left the Antwerp skyline an architectural masterpiece. The new Port House symbolizes the dynamic, ambitious and innovative nature of the Port of Antwerp. This stunning building is a meeting place for the many international contacts of the Antwerp port community. Visit the Port House with a licensed city guide and enjoy the panoramic winter view over the harbor and the city of Antwerp.

4. Stadstriënnale Hasselt-Genk

Triennale Hasselt-Genk © Kristof Vrancken

100 days of contemporary art, fashion, design, photography and music. That’s what this festival is all about. The Stadstriënnale focusses on TRADEMARKS and explores the tension between what’s artistic and what’s commercial. 

Curious about the stories behind originality, innovation and personal branding? Visit all different locations in Hasselt and Genk, including Modemuseum Hasselt, C-Mine and the Jenevermuseum. By the way, don’t forget to drink a jeneverke at the end of a cold winter day: cheers!

5. A ‘plate’ of art

Julie Baekelandt

Flanders tells you the story of brewers, chocolatiers, friendly pub owners, local producers with lots of passion and talented chefs. A small region full of culinary craftsmen- and women! Stop, for example, by our Lady Chef of the Year 2016, Julie Baekelandt. 

She is at the helm of restaurant C-Jules in Zottegem. For other great culinary addresses in and around Ghent, we proudly refer to our Flanders Kitchen Rebels.

6. War in short pants 14-18

War in Short Pants

Look at World War I through the eyes of children in the st peter’s abbey in Ghent. Seven children from seven different countries take you back in time to ’14-’18. Each of them lived their own personal war: close to the front perhaps, fleeing the enemy, on the other side of the world … 

Historical toys and other children’s items bring back to life the world they grew up in during the war. A unique design, a unique exhibition.

7. Art town in the city of Brussels

Magritte Museum Brussels © Charly Herscovici, with his kind authorization – c/o SABAM-ADAGP, 2011

Musée Magritte Museum, BOZAR, Musical Instruments Museum … Stroll from the Albertine garden to Rue de Namur, from Sablon to Place Royale. Wander around the museums district at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of Brussels.

8. Winter shopping in Flanders

Christmas in Brussels (c)
Go window shopping or searching for gifts in the many trendy boutiques, authentic specialty shops or cozy markets. Take a break in one of the many coffee shops, bars, heated terraces or restaurants. In the Art Cities, everything is within walking distance of each other. Nice to know: all major Flemish cities and Brussels organize Sunday shopping days during holiday season.

Things to do in Flanders and Brussels? Click here!
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