First Year Anniversary, a Year Later (Finale, Belgium)
After a disappointingly short time in Paris, we take a quick 1.5 train ride on the Thalys over to Brussels, Belgium. It’s a little difficult to talk about our time in Brussels. There wasn’t a ton we could find to do and at this time we were getting tired and a bit sick.
The obvious place to hit up is the Grand Place, which is probably the best known tourist location in Brussels, which was quite beautiful.
Where to Stay
We stayed in an Airbnb east of town, which isn’t exactly convenient but with Ubers being so affordable we never had an issue getting in and out. For hotel lovers, the familiar Hiltons, SPGs, and Marriotts all have locations in convenient spots. There’s even a beautiful looking Design Hotel we didn’t get a chance to visit but looks beautiful.
Where to Eat
We had a few meals here, all of which we can recommend
Le Vismet - High end, beautifully done seafood restaurant. It’s a bit of an old school restaurant, but
Balls & Glory
Having not found much to do in Belgium, we took up on a friend’s recommendation to hit up Brugges and Ghent, both within a 2 hr drive. So we rent a car from Sixt, conveniently located in the HIlton at Grand Place, and make the 2 hr drive to Brugges. Driving was actually surprisingly normal: Right hand drive, fairly wide lanes, and fairly straight. If you’re a fairly confident driver this is a nice way to get up to Bruges.
Bruges is beautiful. Sometimes called the “Venice of the North,” there was truly a sense of historical grandeur. It’s not an enormous place, so we spend most of our time in Market Square, checking out the bakeries and chocolatiers. We make a pit stop at a beer bar “De Garre.” It’s pretty crowded, but if you can get a seat they have all the Belgium beers you could ask for. We warm up and head back down to Brussels, stopping in Ghent for a light bite along the way.
If we were to do this trip again, we probably would spend more time in London and Paris. We absolutely adored these cities. With only 10 days we felt we didn’t get enough time in either of those places to really get a good feel of the city. That being said, Bruges and Ghent are gorgeous and really only 1.5hrs by train from both London and Paris. If you find yourself in need of a short escape from the big cities, Belgium can be a good option!