Durbuy is one of my favorites cities in Wallonia, in Belgium. Old stones buildings, cobbled streets, narrow alleys, photogenic little spots… It seems like a city frozen in time. I was there for the first time in October of 2016, and it was love at first sight. Before I left, I was already planning to come back, something that happened in the next year. Durbuy is beautiful no matter the season, but in December it gets an extra charm because of the Christmas decorations, the vibe is even more magical.
The Christmas market in Durbuy happens in December (the beginning and end date vary from year to year), at the historic center of the city. The event is small when compared to other markets that happen in the country – like the one in Brussels, for example -, but that’s where its charm comes from, the vibe is intimate and pleasant. The fact that the city is small reinforces the sense of “everyone is welcome”, making the atmosphere very welcoming, despite the low winter temperatures.
The tents of the Christmas market are all over Place aux Foires and the surrounding streets.
The crafts and decorations are cute, I want one of each, please!
At the food tents, you’ll find waffles, cheeses, caramelized nuts, roasted sausages, pasta, among other things. If the food options of the Christmas Market are not enough to fill up your belly, and you prefer to have a full meal, I suggest you choose one of the restaurants around the historic center. There are many good spots around the market, and all of them will be in the Christmas mood.
Now, what can’t be missing in any Belgian Christmas market (besides beer, of course) is jenever, a typical liquor much consumed at this time of the year. It comes in several flavors, make sure to try some of them. Melon flavor is one of my favorites, it’s dangerously sweet!
Durbuy is a busy town during the day, not just because of the tourists who are staying in the city, but also because of the Belgians who live in the surroundings and spend the day there. However, the busiest time of the Christmas market is at night, when the little lights are on, and the vibe gets even more Christmasy. The restaurants fill up, and the bars and drink stalls get more lively.
The whole city experience the event. My impression is that all the establishments in the historic center are part of the Christmas market. The doors are open, tables are placed on the streets (with many heaters around), and the visitors walk from one establishment to another, one tent to another. The vibe is all about union, just like a Christmas celebration should be. It’s impossible not to get involved and want to be part of it.