Where to eat, what to do, and food you MUST try in Bruges and Brussels.
I hadn't heard of Bruges until my roommate told me about it. To describe it best, Bruges is a wonderful fairytale-like city a train ride outside of Belgium. Even after all my travels this semester, Bruges remains one of my favorites.
Sites to Visit:
City center with colorful buildings, the Belfry tower and more. Markt is the colorful buildings. This is definitely a good place to walk around in, but stay away from food too close as it can be pricey.
Minnewater Lake & Park
A beautiful and whimsical park with an equally pretty lake. It was snowing when we were there, and half the lake was frozen over while the other half wasn't. Amazing.
What to Do:
Chocolate Museum with LOTS of free chocolate included. If you don't have time, this is something you can pass on. I was slightly underwhelmed, and most of the exhibits require lots of reading.
Cost: 7 euros
We did the Half Moon/Bruges Zot brewery tour. I 100% recommend doing this. The tour was affordable, informative and we got a blonde at the end. It took around 45 minutes, not including the time we took to drink our beers.
Cost: 10 euros
Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to do this, but everyone says it's well worth it to climb the 83 meter tower for a 360 degree view of Bruges.
Cost: 8 euros for students (ages 6-25)
Where to Eat
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
French pastry shop with the MOST AMAZING dessert. It's a thin meringue with whipped cream covered in chocolate shavings, depending on which flavor you get. My friend described it as "life changing," so there you go.
Books and Brunch
It's kind of pricey for brunch (13 euros), but there's a lot of food that comes with it and will keep you full for a while. This was the only place open at 10am on a Saturday, and I'm not sure why, but we needed food and cover from the snow.
A lot more modern than the whimsical Bruges. We only had a day here, but the city was amazing and so much more time could have been spent exploring all that Brussels has to offer. From street comics to peeing statues, Brussels is a catch.
What to Do
Free Walking Tour
We stumbled upon the free walking tours, and it ended up being the best move. Our tour guide was extremely informative and took us to all the main sites listed above. We had to leave halfway through, but it would've taken around 2 hours for the whole tour. The way a free walking tour works is that you tip the guide as much as you feel appropriate at the end of the tour.
Cost: Up to you...we paid 3 euros each
Where to Eat
We had tried these waffles in the morning, but during our walking tour, our guide confirmed that they were indeed the best Belgian waffles. The strawberry one is the belgian waffle, and the chocolate one is a liege waffle...the Belgian waffle was definitely the winner between the two.
Cost: 10.4 euros for both
Amazing. You absolutely must try this literal hole-in-the-wall frie shop. I cannot for the life of me remember what we ordered was called, but it was basically a sausage in a french bread bun topped with fries and sauce (we got giant sauce, but you can choose between roughly 20 or so sauces)...yummm. It was HUGE and kept both my friend and I full for the rest of the day.
Cost: 4.5 euros
I hope that you find these recommendations helpful. I absolutely loved my time in Belgium and hope to go back soon. If you'd like more recommendations or have any questions about what else I did in Belgium, feel free to email me through the contact/subscription form on the home page.
As always, I'm wishing you the best from behind the screen,
P.S. Check out this vlog I made of our trip!