I just got back from lovely Belgium and I couldn’t wait to share with you my experience, the best tips and some beautiful photos!
We stayed in Belgium for a total of four days: two in Belgium, one in Bruges and one in Gent and I would repeat the experience any given day.
HOW TO GET THERE: by plane (unless you go from Paris or Amsterdam or other close cities). We traveled with Wizz (although I said we wouldn’t anymore after an unpleasant flight to and from Oslo), but this time all went smoothly. When we returned, we chose Blue Air and we were very satisfied, even though the arrival and departure airports were different due to our choice of airline companies.
WHERE TO STAY: central or close to a metro station. Our hotel was both of these.
Tip: Remember you have to pay a city tax of 5 euros for every night you stay in town.
HOW TO GET AROUND: by metro (super well organized!), by bus, by tram, by whatever! The public transport system is impeccable and with reasonable prices. Beware of taxis, they are way more expensive in comparison to the public transport.
WHAT TO SEE:
The classic sights: Manneken Pis (although it might disappoint you) – you can read its legend here, La Grand Place ( a bit too kitschy with all the golden details, if you ask me), Atomium ( it’s nice, but don’t expect to be stunned – yes, the view is great and the tunnels between the balls are amazing, but to me it seemed like you weren’t receiving as much as you were giving), Mini-Europe (must see – it’s fantastic and very well done), The Museum of Musical Instruments (my personal recommendation if you enjoy music, but don’t go after 4 o’clock because you won’t have time to see it all) and so on.
I personally recommend you go and explore the city, it’s very beautiful and green!
WHAT TO EAT:
Chocolate. Duh. Lots of it. It will be the best you’ve ever had.
Gaufres. Simple, just with powdered sugar are perfect.
Specialties. Anything from paté to cornichons to fromage fondue, everything will be delicious. Try the orange cheese if you can. It is sometimes called the Cheese of Old Brussels.
Grilled mussels. Only if you are a fan.
Snails. For connaisseurs.
WHAT TO DRINK: local beer.
My favorite one was the beer with cherries – it was super good!
Other useful tips:
- Walk. As much as you can and even more. It’s the only way to take it all in.
- If you speak English, French, German or Dutch, you will have no problem.
- Rent a bike and explore the city. (It’s very bike-friendly!)
- Always carry an umbrella with you as it rains almost daily in Belgium. Also, sandals are a bad idea.
- Museums have a strict program until 5 in the evening, so make a good schedule for visiting.
- Read something about their local festivals. You might be able to catch some parts of one. For example, we went to a Folklore Festival and it was so much fun!
That would be all in a super concentrated manner.
Don’t forget to read about Bruges and Gent too!
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Have a great day!