Bruges is truly beautiful, a great place to visit for so many reasons. Unfortunately this year's Christmas Market is not one of them.
Just back from Bruges and in my opinion this ''Attraction'' is bound to disappoint. It's way too small in scale to be billed as a tourist attraction in any case. But Christmas Market? No way!
Spread over several small areas - it basically consists of a number of over priced/sub standard catering stalls, and a few others selling rubbish tourist tat - i.e. poor quality hats, gloves, jewellery etc. Most of it looks cheap, yet its marked up to be absurdly expensive. The sad fact is its just the same boring, poor quality stuff you'd find in your local market at home in the UK, (at any time of year, at a quarter of the price) So I wonder why it's called a Christmas market? Maybe its because there's a small, very overcrowded ice rink?
I've been to Bruges before, and would highly recommend it. I would also recommend NOT going there during late Nov-Dec while this market is on.
Without showing prejudice, I asked several locals for their opinion and could not find one who had a good word to say. Some said they were embarrassed by it, some said they had personally complained to the local authorities, some blamed poor council planning, and all thought tourism would be damaged as a result of this market being so poor.
Avoid the crowds, and wait until it's over to visit Bruges. Or if looking for a Christmas market try elsewhere.