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Christmas in Brussels, Belgium – Ice Magic Festival, Skyliner, Iceberg, and More

By alison - December 27, 2013

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Christmas in Belgium.

Tintin on ice at the Brussels Ice Magic Festival

Tintin on ice at the Brussels Ice Magic Festival

Brussels, Belgium is a winter wonderland, this Christmas season, with a variety of brand new activities to enjoy over the holidays.

We’ve given you plenty of ideas to get in the holiday spirit in Belgium, with Christmas Markets in Bruges, Ypres, Ghent, and the Grottes de Wonck. But this year, in addition to Brussels’ spectacular Winter Wonders Christmas Market, there are a few good reasons to stay in the city. The best part is most of them are on going well into the New Year.

The Brussels Ice Magic Festival

We’ve long been fans of the ice sculpture festival in Bruges. When Brussels announced its own icy wonderland, we had to check it out. We didn’t have far to go. Ice Magic is located in a giant temporary building in front of the Palace.

Put on your mittens (it’s -6°C inside) and step inside an icy ode to comic strips. Twenty ice artists, from around the world, have sculpted 420 tonnes of ice into your favourite comic heroes. You’ll see Belgian favourites like Tintin, the Smurfs, Asterix and Le Chat, as well as superheroes like Spiderman, Wolverine and Captain America.

The world of Tintin in ice at the Ice Magic Festival

The world of Tintin in ice at the Ice Magic Festival

Icy Super Heros

Icy Super Heros

A world of Belgian comic characters

A world of Belgian comic characters: the Smurfs, Le Chat, Asterix and more.

The details at Ice Magic are incredible

The details at Ice Magic are incredible – Just look at that ice chalet!

Some of the ice sculptures are even interactive – You can step inside an ice Smurf house, relax in an icy hotel room, or grab a drink at the ice bar. You can even take a turn on the giant ice slide, like Andrew did.

Iterative ice at Ice Magic

Iterative ice – Chill out (literally) at the ice bar or ice hotel or have some thrills with your chills on the ice slide.

Brussels THE Hotel - in ice.

Brussels THE Hotel – in ice.

Ice cold drinks at the Brussels Magic Ice Bar

Ice cold drinks at the Brussels Magic Ice Bar

Warm your hands with a hot drink at the Royal Café in its own (much warmer) building, just outside the ice sculpture festival.

If the ice bar is too cold, warm up in the Royal Cafe

If the ice bar is too cold, warm up in the Royal Cafe

Brussels Ice Magic Tickets cost €15.00 for adults, €13.00 for students and seniors, €11.00 for children up to 12 years and free for kids under four. You can also buy a family ticket (max 4 people) for €44.00. For more information and to order, check out the website.

The Brussels Skyliner

To catch a view of Brussels, unlike any other, climb on board the Brussels Skyliner. This 85m steel tower offers views (on a clear day) of up to 12km over central Brussels.

The Brussels Skyliner towers over Place du Palais

The Brussels Skyliner towers over Place du Palais

The Skyliner rotates while you climb, so there are no bad seats. (It is pretty tricky to take photos through the glass at night, with all of the reflections, though!)

Brussels from above on the Skyliner

Brussels from above on the Skyliner

The Skyliner costs €8.00 for adults and €5.00 for children. You can book your tickets on-line.

The Brussels Skyliner and Ice Magic festival run until February 9, 2014.

Just down from the Skyliner, Mont des Arts is decorated in festive colours

Just down from the Skyliner, Mont des Arts is decorated in festive colours

The Iceberg

On the newly renovated Place de la Monnaie, you’ll discover a new addition to the Brussels Winter Wonders Festival. The Iceberg is an interactive installation meant to evoke the sounds and colours of a real Iceberg.

The Iceberg - light and sound sculpture

The Iceberg – light and sound sculpture

Visitors are part of the installation. As you walk through the Iceberg, lights and tones change – more people inside means more sounds and colours. It’s a unique and fun addition to the square.

Be part of the art inside the Iceberg

Be part of the art inside the Iceberg

Just down from the Iceberg we spotted some more unique installations.

Just down from the Iceberg we spotted some more unique installations. They reminded us of the Pixar logo!

Grand Place Light Show

After last year’s debacle controversy with modernising the Christmas tree, Grand Place is rocking Christmas ‘old school’ this year. There’s a big real tree, with plenty of twinkly lights and the light show is more conservative as well.

A traditional Christmas for Brussels in 2013

A traditional Christmas for Brussels in 2013

This year there are no elaborate projections on the Town Hall building, but instead, a colourful symphonic light display. We particularly enjoyed the rainbow colours at the end of the presentation.

Slightly less traditional but definitely Merry!

Slightly less traditional but definitely Merry!

However you spend your holidays in Brussels (and around the world), we wish you all the best for the New Year.

Looking for even more festive ideas? Don’t miss our Christmas Markets in Belgium and Europe page – compete with a Christmas Market schedule.

We’d like to thank Visit Brussels for inviting us to check out the Ice Magic and Brussels Skyliner and for their continued support in 2013. 


Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu She landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about this quirky little country. She loves to discover Belgium's hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She loves to travel the world with her husband, Andrew, and spend quiet nights reading with her cats and a glass of red wine. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
Curious about Belgian beer? The best place to start is with a truly unique Belgian style: Lambic. http://t.co/QY4rJRLJpY - 17 hours ago

2 comments

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison January 7, 2014 at 16:48

      Great photos Simon! We were there for the press opening and I was one of the first few people thro go the doors. I actually ran through grabbing as many photos as I could before it became too crowded. They didn’t restrict cameras that night on the skyliner but it was next to impossible to shoot though the glass without reflections anyway. Honestly you were probably better off with just your phone!

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