Guide to Exploring Charming Belgium

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Advisor - Katie Anderson
Curated By

Katie Anderson

  • Adventure Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Belgium

  • Europe

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Shopping

A huge white concrete building in Belgium
Curator’s statement

Belgium is a destination that really took me by surprise! I didn’t expect to love it, but I absolutely loved everything about it. From the beautiful architecture, the exclusive chocolate boutiques, waffles, and beer, Belgium has so much to offer. The gorgeous Grand-Place in Brussels is truly captivating and I loved getting lost in the historic neighborhoods and alleys nearby. The waffles were incredibly satisfying and I couldn't get enough of them. With short stays in Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruges, you will experience a good taste of all Belgium has to offer. Belgium is a fabulous destination for foodies and an absolutely wonderful place to spend a week. I cannot say enough good things about it and I can’t wait to return again!

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Where to stay in Belgium

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Things to do in Belgium

A high rise building in a river passing through the street

Take the Hungry Mary’s Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour in Brussels.  As a country known for chocolate and beer, this one is a must-do!  You’ll have the opportunity to sample upwards of 12 different varieties of Brussels’ top chocolatiers, in addition to at least six different Belgian brews.  You’ll also see a few highlights including the Manneken Pis and the Royal Galleries.  This tour is approximately 4-5 hours.

Go on a small-group bike tour around Brussels.  I’m a lover of bike tours.  They are a great way to get a feel for a layout of a city and scope out all the sights you may want to return to, while learning facts from a local guide.  Brussels is a fabulous city for a bike tour with a stop for Belgian fries and a refreshing beer along the way.  This excursion is 3.5 hours.

Visit the Choco-Story: Chocolate Museum in Brussels.  This is a fun way to learn about the history of chocolate and see how it’s made from bean to bar; it’s also an excellent activity if you are traveling with children.  You’ll have the opportunity to watch a chocolate-maker prepare pralines and then taste them.

For the foodies – take a Food Tour in Brussels.  Brussels is a phenomenal city full of delicious food!  You’ll indulge in a menu consisting of two starters, a main, and two desserts near the center of the city.  It’s a relaxing, social experience taking you to some hidden gems.  Insider tip: do not eat prior to this tour!  You could choose between a small group food tour or a private food tour with a local guide. 

Spend a morning or an afternoon at the Atomium - I loved this super cool structure with ascending stairs and gorgeous views.  It’s a unique structure comprised of steel tubes that connect the stainless steel clad spheres, escalators, and an elevator with a restaurant located in the top sphere.  The Atomium is a site that would take approximately 1-2 hours to explore.   It was originally constructed for the Brussels World’s Fair.  I found this structure fascinating!

Explore the historic city of Ghent on a day trip from Brussels.  Ghent has a medieval feel and is a city that you could do in a day.  You’ll explore Masons’ Guild Hall, Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, various castles, and the Friday Market Square.  As a day trip option, Ghent would be a nine hour roundtrip tour from Brussels.

Head to Bruges. I would absolutely recommend spending a few days in Bruges as opposed to a day trip. It's peaceful, beautiful, filled with delicious food, but without the busier feel of Brussels.  Bruges is one of my absolute favorite spots in Europe!

Take a Brussels Walking and Tasting Tour – this is another great food tour option that combines a walk to the major landmarks with samples along the way including the best fries, waffles, and of course an authentic local Brussels beer.   You’ll get all the historical facts and learn about Belgian culture along the way.

Take a tour of Flanders World War I Battlefields either as a group or on a private tour.  You’ll visit the monuments that commemorate the lives of fallen soldiers, view sculptures called ‘Grieving Parents’, and spend some time in Ypres and attend the Last Post Ceremony.  This is a full day (13 hour) trip from Brussels.

Places to eat & drink in Belgium

Chocolate served in a tray


When in Brussels, I would highly recommend a dinner at La Villa in the Sky.  This is a unique roof top restaurant with 360-degree views of Brussels and incredible food.  Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime or special occasion kind of experience with panoramic views and amazing food! 

Enjoy a nice dinner at La Table de Mus in Brussels.  Another wonderful culinary experience with a beautiful tasting menu.

Have a morning latte or tea and a yummy Belgian waffle at Aux Gaufres de Bruxelles.  I had the Belgian Waffle – Ice Strawberry which is featured in this guide.

For some delicious Belgian cuisine in a trendy restaurant, head to Henri for either lunch or dinner.

Another recommendation for a cozy option with French cuisine, located near the Grand Place, is Restaurant de l’Ogenblik.  Delicious food and fantastic service!


Try the 6 course tasting menu dinner at Assiette Blanche.  Exceptional food and very attentive service.

For another unique experience, head to Mozart, More Than Just Ribs, in a library type setting.  This is a fun atmosphere with music and delicious ribs that everyone will love!

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide Marvels of Madeira.

Advisor - Katie Anderson

Travel Advisor

Katie Anderson

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Europe.