Belgium is primarily a state of mind. It is difficult to find it on the map, so you have to look for Belgium in your own way. And found, each one will be real, though complicated.

That I did not come up with this idea before to give you a few Belgian flavors. I dug in my memory until my first visit and scrolled the photos on my phone. Hence the idea 🙂

If I am to describe Belgium in a few words, I usually say that it is the country of potato (read fries), beer, chocolate and the most delicious waffles or rather wafers. I checked my phone and found a lot of pictures. For me it is a place with beautiful architecture. I remember my admiration with the townhouses in Antwerp during my first visit. I took pictures like crazy! I have a great feeling for this city and I always like to travel to it.

Belgium has 3 administrative regions: Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region. We live in Flanders, where the Dutch language is mainly spoken. The exception is Brussels – there you should speak in j.. French:) Wallonia is mainly French-speaking. There is also a small German-speaking fragment in this French-speaking part :)) I confused? It’s all Belgium 🙂 with its charm 🙂 when you travel around Belgium by car you will be surprised by traffic jams both on motorways and in cities. But because of the size of this country, you are able to visit it quite efficiently. It is worth noting that it is a very well-connected country. You can use cars, trains or buses. When moving by car, pay attention to speed limits and signs: Trajectcontrol. They will check if you are driving in accordance with the rules.

Here are some of the things that Belgium has to say the most. It will be mainly about food:))) but also about cool places that I like. I do not visit with guides – it is rather a swarming and looking into various corners – so if you like in guides – take them with you just in case. Or search the internet.

Here we go 🙂

A N T W E R P – this city just needs to be seen! Architecture, food! I usually leave the car in the same parking lot – because it is a good logistic point where I can wander further. You will find both underground and ground parking. To these underground usually there are quite tight entrances – such on the contact, so you have to be careful not to hit the rim, because you will feel it painfully. I once looked like an old one, but I fell!

A very characteristic place in Antwerp is the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From the outside it makes a huge impression, especially when it is already illuminated. It is also worth buying a ticket and going inside. It is a historic Gothic cathedral with a very characteristic spire, famous for its Baroque Rubens collection.

Rubens House- every time I wanted to go there, I was stopped by a crowd of people and as a result I did not enter. The building dates from the 17th century. It used to be Rubens’ home, and now it is a museum where you will see his paintings, sculptures and tapestries.

Antwerp Centra – the most beautiful railway station I’ve ever seen! This cannot be missed!:) I am sure that you will collect jaws from the floor from the impression:)

Some people from Antwerp may associate diamonds 🙂 – This is the Diamond District next to the station. Lots of jewelry shops. They do not look great from the outside, you will often see protection in the door, but if you want to go away with diamond prey – I think you will hunt something suitable. You can also do windows shopping 🙂

Shopping streets – Meir street is an overview of probably all chain stores from Primark, through Zara, HM and other brands. If you “twist” around these streets, you will find High brands such as LV, Chanel, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Hermes (look for streets: Komedieplaats, Schuttershofstraat). You do all this walking. It is worth to have comfortable shoes, because before you know it – you will make about 20 km 🙂

I like to push my nose into home appliances stores. There are two shops that have a very cool assortment and are affordable: CASA and Dille & Kamille. I guarantee that you will come home with some extra shells :)))

UNDERGROUND PARKING: Antwerp PARKING – Grote Markt. Ernest Van Dijckkai 3, 2000 Antwerpen. When you enter, you will take a ticket and then pay contactless before you leave.

B R U G G E – The city is famous for its lace and is called Flemish Venice because of the number of canals occurring. It is very cute and I recommend you to watch it. In the summer it is crowded there, but I did not experience the greatest intensity in the form of crowds. It was rather so moderate, so tolerable for me that I did not know in some small streets 🙂 If you like – it is worth to swim through the canals – you can buy a boat ticket and explore in this way. I chose to walk along the canals and in the old part.

Historically, Bruges, despite its remoteness from the sea, was one of the most important port cities in Europe.

Lace – this is such a taste of Bruges, next to canals, beer, chocolate, fries, shops, beautiful architecture and amazing climate. Bruges has been known since the 17th century for Brabant lace produced by the brick method. This technique involves interlacing in groups of four multiple threads wound onto blocks. Thanks to this, the so-called canvas is created, forming forms of ornament and various types of mesh in the background and filling motifs. The lace during creation is placed on a special pillow with a pattern placed on it. This technique makes it possible to obtain delicate openwork products with a wide variety of patterns. They look really interesting. You will find a few shops where you can see and/or buy them.

Walking you will definitely reach the Town Hall building – Stadhuis. It is the historic center of Bruges, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000. The facade of the town hall will make an amazing impression on you. On the facade were placed in special niches of sculpture – 49 statues with a height of over 175 cm each.

In the evening, this town has a nice atmosphere.

UNDERGROUND PARKING: Interparking Brugge, t Zand 17, 8000 Brugge. It is located on the road number R30. You will always see signs in advance indicating whether such parking has free spaces or not Then the text is highlighted in green.

G E N T – Here is the name Gent. If you look at Polish guides – you will meet the name Ghent.

Here I will start with the logistic part, because then it will be easier for me to guide you.

UNDERGROUND PARKING: Parking Sint-Michiels (P7), Sint-Michielsplein 8, 9000 Gent. It is a multi-level parking lot. You have to switch to very narrow entrances. They are enough to fit the car freely, but be careful not to rip the rim 🙂 From this parking lot you have close to probably the most characteristic place, which is Pont Saint-Michel. This is where your adventure and excitement will begin 🙂

You must have a photo on this bridge! Or the sight that will show you. Take a moment to look around.

You will be impressed by the old post office building. This is the 1898 the Post Hotel. In the building itself you will also find a nice cafe and showroom with clothes, accessories for the house. I was very reluctant not to buy anything there and not to carry these spoils with me later:)

If you get hungry to Gent, go here to eat – Pakhuis (Schuurkeenstraat 4, 9000 Gent). However, it is worth making reservations, because there is such insanely good food that it is very difficult to have a free table. You can make a reservation by going to Google maps and there you will see the option of booking. Alternatively, you can choose one of the restaurants located just above the water.

Het Belfort van Gent – your attention will certainly not miss the bell tower. You will see her from the bridge. This tower also serves as a vantage point in Gent/Ghent and is a symbol of the autonomy and independence of the city.

Church of St. Santa Claus in Ghent and the Cathedral of St. John Bawona – these are another beautiful historic churches. They are located close to each other – so it is worth seeing. And hard to miss:)

The building belonging to the city: Ghent City Hall! Fall in love with the facades of the buildings you will pass! I promise 🙂

Gravensteeen. Sint-Veerlein 11, 9000 Gent. This is a very interesting castle 🙂 It is a very well preserved castle on water from the 10th century. Inside is a museum of weapons. Tickets are at available prices. We visited it during my first visit to Belgium – and exactly we blew before the rain:)

Interestingly, Belgium has quite a large number of objects, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are 13. In Poland, there are 16.

I recommend hiking along the canals or a boat trip – a very nice experience. The guide will talk about historical places and will throw interesting facts. Wear your sunglasses and relax.

The streets of Vogelmarkt and Brabantdam are shopping places. There you will find plenty of boutiques and cafes to relax.

K N O K K E – H E I S T — I refer to this coastal town as the Belgian city of Dubai. It is probably the most popular and most expensive resort on the coast. Knokke-Heist is located right on the border with the Netherlands. Being in the very center and close to the sea, you may have the impression that this is a very inaccessible place due to what brands you will see in front of you – especially cars. It is famous for its expensive boutiques, lots of art galleries. I like to watch the fashion aspect of this place. I feel like I’m watching a few famous designers at the same time, even though I’ve never been there. You will also find a beautiful long promenade and you will be able to enjoy the view of the sea. Of course, restaurants with delicious food. The architecture is very characteristic of this place. In line by the sea tall buildings with apartments with huge windows – to have such a view from the window is something amazing! It is worth noting that this city lies at the northern end of the coastal tram line that connects it with other Belgian resorts – so you can equip yourself with a ticket and take a small trip. Going there by car, conveniently park in the underground parking lot – I usually do this – I have all my parking places remembered on the map. In the season and on warm days it is difficult to find a free place there. And people often travel with Melexos, such as golf courses 🙂

On the beach you will see characteristic small white houses. It is a private property and is mainly used to store beach grats during the season. This is quite popular in coastal areas.

A A L S T CARNIVAL – here the photos will tell you everything about it 🙂 the annual music and dance event, organized during the last three days of the carnival. On Sundays there is a solemn procession of the participants of the carnival through the city – the parade is attended by figures of giants – you will see a few photos below. This is a very interesting event and a lot of people are coming to it. In the evening, after the parade ends, the residents and not only – go to celebrate. And 99% of people are dressed up 🙂 the theme of the costume is invented and everyone organizes a costume. I got a wig 🙂

Tomatoes stuffed with mini shrimp. The simplest recipe ever! You drill tomatoes, add mini shrimp inside – I rinse them and season them before. You can add chopped parsley.

Stoemp – mashed potatoes with vegetables. It is a great solution and very tasty. You can add carrots (this is my favorite version), Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli. Herbs and fried bacon can be added to the taste. Next to it can be fish, or such a traditional local sausage fried in a pan. You will certainly find them in the restaurant.

Stoofvlees – is beef stewed in beer, a dish with an amazing aroma. If you like stew dishes, you may like it. At the end of the stewing, bread smeared with mustard is added to thicken the sauce and give it an unusual taste. Stoofvlees tastes best with… fries.

Fish and seafood. It is the domain of Flanders. Belgians eat huge amounts of fish and seafood. Famous here are mule (mussels) served in various forms: In white wine, with garlic, in mustard sauce, and of course in beer. During my first visit I was slightly surprised why I got fries as an addition to mules :)) and it could be a national dish – mule with fries (moules et frites). I like the ones stewed in white wine and those with the addition of celery. Prawns croquettes are very popular – on top they have a crispy batter and are usually ordered as an appetizer.

French fries – you can almost find them here on every corner. They will taste everywhere! I don’t know if you know, but they were discovered in Belgium. The secret of the taste of Belgian fries is special potato species and their cutting. They should be fried at two different fat temperatures and preferably animal.

Raclette – home grill that you place on the table and grill pieces of meat, fish, vegetables. In the store you can find already prepared sets of meat, which is enough to unpack and grill 🙂 I recommend a friendly restaurant: – Fondue & Gourmet Le Bourguignon Aalst. On the menu you will find a wide selection of fondue, meat, fish and cheese fondue, raclette, gourmet and stone grill, all starting from 19 euros.

Waffles. The best ones are still warm in caramelized sugar. You can also order with whipped cream and fruit or with powdered sugar. Walking through the streets you can buy them in trailers with sweets. I even tried to do it at home. You need pearl sugar – these are sugar pearls that dissolve during baking and caramelize, thanks to which waffles gain a unique, brown, slightly shimmering color. Thanks to the sugar added to the dough, they are sweet, rather not sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Steaks – you will eat really delicious here! Usually with the addition of vegetables and of course potatoes in the form of puree.

Beer – probably in every village there is a brewery – smaller or larger. I don’t drink beer and I don’t know much about it. In Belgium, you will find dozens of different types of beer. This small country is at the top of the world in terms of consumption and production of golden drink. A significant część́ of the best beer is produced by monks in monasteries, who guard their recipes passed on to subsequent continuators of brewing art. Beer is produced in breweries all over the country. Even in our small town we have one brewery – Malheur. In addition to strong and often dark beers, the choice of fruit beers is also impressive. I like the taste of raspberry and cherry.

Gin – if you like – you will find here many types and additives for gin. There is such a shop in Brugge – I took photos of probably all shelves:))

Chocolate – do not regret small purchases (or large ones) in the form of chocolate delicacies 🙂 Belgian chocolate contains a large amount of cocoa. It is produced as it was years ago – by hand and based on the best selected ingredients. The most well-known brands are Leonidas, Neuhaus, Wittamer, Guylian, Godiva and Galler. The latter is the official supplier of chocolate products to the royal court. Guylian chocolates are Belgium’s ambassador to the world. At the airport in Brussels (Zaventem) you will find plenty of them. They are beautifully packaged and taste unearthly! There is a chocolate factory nearby, Barry Callebaut. Even when driving, you can smell that crazy smell. I buy chocolate granules and then I can prepare a healthy nutella, or hot chocolate to drink or cake.

Speculoos – delicious spicy cookies! On the store shelves you will find a cream resembling peanut butter – I recommend to try it.

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