Brussels is a complex city. Both historic and modern, ornate and sleek, busy and quiet, the city has different personalities in only the span of a few blocks. But despite these contrasts (or maybe because of them), there’s something new and different at every turn. And I loved every bit of it.
A small country in Western Europe, Belgium is unique in that it has two main languages—Dutch, which is spoken mostly by the Flemish population, and French, which is spoken mostly by the Walloon population. Luckily for visitors, English is also ubiquitous. Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy since 1831 but suffered heavily due to occupation and fighting during both World Wars. Thankfully, much of its fine art and its remarkable, intricate buildings survived the devastation of the wars.
Belgium is a great option for visitors. There are lots of fun things to do in Brussels, including walking the entertaining Comic Strip Route, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Grand Place, visiting Cantillon Brewery, and trying delicious traditional food. The smaller city of Bruges offers endless eye candy in the form of remarkable buildings and gorgeous canals that make you wonder if you’ve just stepped onto a movie set or into a fairy tale. Ghent and Antwerp also offer excellent options for cultural experiences and sightseeing.
Brussels is one of the most under-rated European capitals. It’s full of fun things to do and has stunning architecture and great food. Here are the best areas and properties to stay at when you visit Brussels.
There are so many fun things to do in Bruges, Belgium, even with limited time.
Decked out in twinkling lights, sprinkled with Christmas trees, and punctuated with delicious food and beverages to keep you warm, visiting the Belgian Christmas markets is a perfect way to celebrate the season.
The buttery vanilla scent of waffles, the warmth of velvety hot chocolate, Christmas trees lit up against the night sky—the Bruges Christmas market brings together the best of the holiday season.
The Christmas markets in Brussels attract 2.5 million visitors each year. They start at Grand Place and meander for over a mile, the whole area merging into one giant celebration.
Ghent may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think about traveling to Europe, and that may be one of the top reasons to go.
With amazing architecture, ancient history, and fun attractions, Ghent and Bruges are great choices on a trip to Belgium…but which one is the better fit for you?
Brasserie Cantillon is not your typical brewery. There is no walled-off, sterile brewing area, no stainless steel showpiece tasting room with fancy tap handles spouting pumpkin ale.
It’s not every day you step through the door of an upscale hotel and find a foosball table and bright red cartoons on the wall.