To be honest, Belgium is not a photographer’s paradise. When you hear of travelers talk of Belgium, you do not hear them speak much about beauty and scenic landscapes. Rather, you hear them talk about two deadly sins… beer and chocolate. This is why you should come here too, as you can see from the photographs we share with you here. So forget the camera and let your stomach do all the heavy work for once! Welcome to Belgium!
Uninspiring would be the first word in my mind at first glance of Beligum’s capital. An awkward mix of old and new, Brussels is nowhere near the same league as other legendary cities throughout Europe. However, with a closer look, the city gives visitors plenty to be inspired by. Sophisticated beer and chocolate culture await you along with Belgium’s revered art… graffiti. Brussels is a place to put the camera down for once and simply enjoy the culture and quirky spirit that makes this city (and country) tick. Find more information about Brussels in our post here.
Street art has an elevated status in Brussels. This one was our favorite.
Belgium is much more sophisticated with their beers than most places in Europe, yet according to American standards, they are still pretty strict and conservative. Throw all of that out the window at Brussels Beer Project where they are throwing everything into their beers, creating mouthwatering concoctions of goodness that is almost downright impossible to find elsewhere in Europe. Our favorite? The Salted Double Chocolate Stout!
Another fine example of street art in Brussels
No this is not a luxury brand clothing store… this is a chocolate shop…the treat is taken to a whole new level in Belgium. For more information on Chocolate in Belgium, visit our post here.
Again… Chocolate shop… not a jewelry store. For more information on Chocolate in Belgium, visit our post here.
Nope, this is not a wine cellar. These barrels are full of beer aging and fermenting the natural way. Belgium is one of the few places in the world where you can get authentic Lambic beers which only use what nature gives them to ferment and make beer.
Tin Tin, one of the more famous pieces of street art found in Brussels
If one place has its charms in Brussels, it is certainly the main square.
Lambic beer is the oldest style of beer. The beer can only be made in the winter time, when colder temperatures inhibit bacteria from growing so that the yeast can do its work.
Menekin Pis… the statue that not only represents Brussels, but the spirit of Belgium itself. The statue has stood here in different forms for centuries. Tiny, sarcastic, and one hundred percent Belgium.
Not all chocolate is expensive in Belgium. You can get our hands on some good quality chocolate for a decent price at places like Leonidas
This beautifully orchestrated hall is for all things chocolate
This is most of Brussels, not ugly, but also not inspiring
Views from the main square in Brussels
Inside the Lambic brewery. The only one that remains in the city of Brussels.
Bruges is as pretty as Belgium gets. Some parts of town feel like fairy tale land and it is easy to get swept off your feet as long as you avoid the hoards of tourists that descend upon the city throughout the year. Pull out you camera again and start snapping away! Want to go to Bruges? Find more information about the city in our post here.
Bruges is filled with canals like this one, making the city a wonderful stroll.
Bruges’ most famous line of buildings that can be found in the main square
Bruges: The gem of Belgium
The Begijnhof. An enclosed area that was and still is a convent for women. There is a sense of calm and peace here
Views from the main square in Bruges
Canals abound Bruges
Canal Views in Bruges
The best chocolate we had in Belgium comes from the small shop The Chocolate Line. For more information on Chocolate in Belgium, visit our post here.
A trip to Westvleteren is like taking a trip to the pearly gates of paradise. Alright, that’s probably an exaggeration but the best beer in the world can be found here and it is made by Monks so it can’t be too far off! While it takes some effort to get here without a car, the beer served here is worth all the while. Why not just buy this sacred nectar at a store in Brussels? Technically you can’t! The beer is sold ONLY from the Abbey and if you come across a bottle elsewhere, it is not technically legal and will cost you an arm and a leg. Read more about our pilgrimage and information about the other Trappist breweries here.
Westvleteren brews three different beers, but number 12 is the one the world craves the most (pictured on the right).
The stuff is too good to leave behind so we bought some to go! We sent two of these boxes home so that we could share our experience with loved ones back home.