I am so excited to share my trip to Belgium with you! I went last year with my husband and it was so much fun to visit a second time. If you haven’t read my travel guide on Christmas in Belgium, I highly recommend reading my guide if you are wanting to make a trip there in the near future. We also visited The Netherlands on this trip, but have the most content to share about Belgium. I will touch a little on where we went – Amsterdam and Delft. Our time there was short and don’t have as many recommendations as I do for Gent and Brugge, however, we had an amazing time! Writing this, I also realize these were the same cities I visited before and know there are many other amazing places to visit in Belgium besides these two that I am covering. I would love to be able to explore more of Belgium someday but these are what I highly recommend and LOVED of both places.
My outfits are linked below each part of the trip but also have a designated page where you can shop what I wore here. I couldn’t have gotten through the trip without wearing these leggings underneath my clothes because it was COLDDDD.
We rented a car for this trip and highly recommend doing this as the easiest way to travel! Our first stop was in Gent and it was so exciting to be back. We stayed at the most unique hotel, 1898 The Post. It is in a great location close to some amazing shopping and was a post office that was converted into a hotel. The architecture was so stunning and each room had a beautiful view! I highly recommend this hotel (as I will be with all the hotels on the trip 🙂 ).
We had breakfast our first day at the hotel and it was the perfect breakfast for a day of shopping and exploring. They had a delicious assortment of meats and cheeses, omelets, and all different fruit juices. Their bar and dining room was beautiful and wish we would have had more time to grab drinks there.
Since we were so close to shopping and the town square, I was able to check out my favorites, & Other Stories, and a few other linen shops. Although the Christmas markets had ended, a lot of the boutiques that were closed last year during Christmas were open for us to wander through on our visit. We went back to Kloskanthuis Home Linen and it was just as adorable as I remembered. We also visited our favorite chocolate shop, Chocolaterie Luc Van Hoorebeke. I highly recommend getting some of their hot chocolate when you visit because it is sooo delicious and makes the cold and rainy weather a little more pleasant to walk around in.
We also went back to Pakhuis and had another amazing meal. We tried a different assortment of fish and of course we had to try their french fries :). They have their own own craft beer – Principale beer. This was one of our favorite things to try and highly recommend getting it even if you aren’t a big beer drinker.
It was such a treat to be able to go back to Gent. It was even more special this time around to show our family our favorite spots and share our memories with them.
The next part of our trip leads us back to Brugge! Last year, we only took a quick day trip to Brugge, so it was exciting to be back to explore for a few more days. We stayed at Hotel Van Cleef, another unique and adorable spot! This was such a fun boutique hotel that had such fun artwork in every room. The sitting room and breakfast room were my favorites (pictured below)! We all wanted all the adorable books and artwork displayed on all of the shelves and walls.
We stopped by all of our favorite places once again. Chez Albert was exciting to take our whole family to and try their waffles – they were just as good as I had remembered! We went back to the brewery that we had gone to before, De Halve Maan, and was a nice relaxing spot to have lunch after a long day of walking. We also visited several of the beautiful linen shops near Chez Albert and the town square that we had visited before.
One of the few new places we loved that we were able to try was Lieven. This restaurant had such a fresh menu and an amazing assortment of cheeses, yummy salads (much needed after a day of chocolate), and delicious fish and steak options. The restaurant had a fun modern vibe and was about a 10-minute walk away from the hotel. Couvert was another great spot and my husband’s favorite! It’s a cozy restaurant run by an adorable couple out of their home. It was a really pretty and intimate setting and a unique restaurant with a different menu every night. Mary’s Chocolate was another place we stumbled upon that we absolutely LOVED. Apparently, in Brugge, there are so many chocolate shops that it can be hard to interpret which shops actually carry authentic Belgian chocolate. Our hotel gave us the rundown before we went to explore and told us Mary’s was the place to go – and boy they were right! We went crazy in this shop and had the best time trying new flavors and bringing a few souvenirs back home. I highly recommend this spot when you visit Brugge and especially if you are looking for authentic Belgian chocolate.
Basilica of the Holy Blood was a beautiful church turned into a museum. It is in the main town square and can be a quick visit or a place you can enjoy your time in. It is very beautiful and definitely worth a trip. We also visited the Groeninge Museum and was really interesting to see the artwork throughout each time period and learn more about Flemish paintings and other artwork. We also stopped at this adorable studio Absolute Art Gallery and had the most interesting artwork by Zhuang Hong Yi. When you would walk by any of his paintings they would change colors – it was SO cool to watch! I kept walking back and forth watching the colors change every time in awe. I couldn’t take too many professional photos in the studio, but added the video to my stories on Instagram, in case you would like to see :). It’s always a fun memory of the trip to look back on! We also went to St. John’s Hospital Museum which was another really cool experience. They also had a really interesting apothecary exhibit and showed the different types of medicines and herbs used long ago. I definitely recommend this museum if you have a doctor in the family or history buff.
DELFT & AMSTERDAM
The last part of our trip we stopped in Delft for the afternoon and then headed to Amsterdam. One thing that I wish I would have known before going to Delft was that all of the stores close for lunch. We arrived right during the lunch hour and only were able to pop into a few stores. There are so many beautiful antique shops that you really can’t go wrong, and Chris and I were able to bring home an adorable treasure. Next time we are packing less and saving up more room for our Delftware. Or, just bringing a bigger suitcase, because packing less for me is never an option, hah! We also stopped in the Royal Delft Museum and was one of my favorite stops of the whole trip. They showed us the entire process from start to finish and it was so interesting to see – especially because I love blue and white!
We then headed to Amsterdam and had just enough time to go to the Van Gogh museum. I studied Van Gogh when I took art history and it was so exciting to see a full museum of just his artwork! They also have a Gaugin exhibit that I am dying to visit the next time we go. We also stopped by the Anne Frank museum and this is a must if you are in Amsterdam. I thought this museum would have been a little morbid and more daunting to see pictures of the Holocaust, but it was more about Anne Frank’s life and her family hiding in secrecy. It was very eye-opening to be able to tour where she and her family hid from the Nazis. It was also so interesting to see her diary and a bunch of other short stories she had written in person.
That about sums it up for my trip – we had such an amazing time! And just like all of my other trips, I wish we could have stayed longer! However, it was such a treat to be able to go back to where we went to Belgium just a year ago and explore both cities again. For more on Gent and Brugge, don’t forget to check out my post here. I love getting to share all of my travels with you and would love for you to post any questions you may have below! I can’t wait to share the future trips I have coming up with you all!