Browse market stalls for fish, clothes and souvenirs, and visit medieval buildings that were rescued from the rubble of World War I.
Ypres Market Square (Grote Markt) is a delightful plaza in the heart of the city. The square is surrounded by historical buildings that loom over café terraces, gift shops, fountains and, on Saturdays, market stalls.
Much of the square was destroyed during World War I, but the buildings have been painstakingly restored to their original forms. Note the mix of medieval and Renaissance styles, both of which are characteristic of the historical architecture of Flanders.
Tour the square to check out some of these old structures. Order a drink and a snack in the Three Taverns, in the plaza’s northwest corner. The history of these three buildings dates back to the 17th century.
Visit the Cloth Hall, a major commercial center in the Middle Ages where cloth and wool was traded. Inside is the In Flanders Fields Museum, which covers the history of World War I in the region.
Marvel at the reconstruction of the 16th-century Kasselrij. This grand structure used to house the sheriff of Ypres and after the war served as the Town Hall for a while. On the eastern side of the plaza, find the Court of Justice. This building was once a psychiatric hospital.
Ypres Market Square is also worth a visit for the numerous events that are held here throughout the year. These include an international car rally, a memorial tattoo and the Christmas Market. Attend the weekly Saturday market and browse the stalls for food, clothes and plants.
In addition to the market and historical buildings, the square features numerous restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a snack or meal.
Find Ypres Market Square in the center of the city, to the west of the Kasteelgracht moat and close to St. Martin’s Cathedral and the Menin Gate Memorial. There is good public transport access and plenty of parking spaces, available for a fee, in the area.