I got this thing for Christmas markets. The atmosphere you find there is so wonderful: drinking mulled wine and ‘jeneverkers’, listening to christmas songs, enjoying the attractions… I just love it! It’s the most wonderful time of the year after all right?! As the Christmas market in Hasselt, is quite of a big deal for years now, Lil Sis and I decided to check it out and make a weekend out of it.
Lunch at Zuppa
We arrived in Hasselt around noon, and after a two hour trip, we were hungry, so time for lunch! When it’s cold outside there is nothing better that a freshly made pot of soup if you ask me. On that note we went to Zuppa, a hip soupbar located on the charming Botermarkt. At Zuppa they work with local farmers for their veggies, so the offer of soups is different every day. Exept for tomato soup which is available daily. As this is Lil Sis favorite soup, she had a bowl of that. I however was feeling festive and decided to go for the ‘Bisque d’homard’ hey… tis the season right! Both soups were very yummy!
Visit Winterland Hasselt
Every year, as from the end of november until the first week of January, the Kolonel Dusartplein transforms into a true winter wonderland. Winterland Hasselt consists of a large covered Christmas market, plenty of food and drink stands, an indoor ice rink and various of attractions like the ferris weel, a carrousel and even the ‘Home of Santa’. If you want to relax and enjoy a drink or bite in a cosy winter chalet, the Grand Cafe, is the place to be.
I had bought the tickets for the ice rink, carrousel and some drink vouchers in advance via Groupon, which was very handy as sometimes the lines to buy drink vouchers in the Grand Cafe were long.
There is so much to see and do at Winterland that we decided to save the attractions for the next day and focus on the market and Jenever bars first. 😊
There are plenty of food options at Winterland, but we did not exactly like the offer of German bratwurst, fries, churros, waffles etc… so we decided to have dinner at the hotel.
Stay at Holiday Inn Hasselt
We stayed at Holiday Inn Hasselt, a modern 4**** hotel located in the heart of Hasselt. Upon arrival the beautiful Christmas three and friendly reception staff made us feel right at home.
Our room was ready before the estimasted check-in time, so that was a nice surprise! The guest rooms are elegant and contemporary, with a spacious bathroom including rain shower and Rituals products. Hooray! The beds are very comfortable and if you like to have a different pillow, make sure to also check out the Pillows Menu. At Holiday Inn Hasselt, they make sure their guests sleep like babies.
We had dinner at ‘Brasserie De Boulevard’ and enjoyed a lovely meal. Both Lil Sis and I love shrimp, so we ordered the Red Curry with Shrimp and rice. Yum! I also really liked the easy going ambiance there. You really feel at ease.
The sauna and swimming pool of the hotel are the perfect way to relax from a busy day in town! #zen
At Holiday Inn Hasselt breakfast is a feast! You will truly find everything your heart desires; waffles, pancakes, eggs, different types of Danish, fresh fruit, yoghurt, … Honestly you name it, they have it.
Winterland part II
As we still had the vouchers for the Carrousel and Ice rink we decided to do that after breakfast. We were lucky, because it was still early and there weren’t a lot of people at Winterland. So no quies for us! Woop woop! Good times!
Lunch ar Marloo’s
Before catching the train back to Ghent, we enjoyed a late lunch at Marloo’s, a hip foodbar in the ‘Minderbroederstraat’. Because of it’s central location near the main shoppingstreet, things can get busy at Marloo’s, but luckely you don’t really feel that as a costumer as service is quick and the staff is friendly. The interior of the foodbar is modern and cosy. On the menu you will find a lot of classics, but with a Marloo’s twist, such as the ‘Club Sandwich Romain’ which I was really good!
Lil Sis and I had a great time in Hasselt. We loved the hotel and Winterland Hasselt really made it worth the trip! The ‘Gentse Winterfeesten’ are nice too, but Winterland Hasselt reminds me more of the traditional Christmas markets in Germany. I would love to go back to Hasselt in spring or summer and explore more of the city itself though. I’v heard that the Japanese garden is breahtaking that time of year.