Last weekend I went to Belgium for the first time. I took the Eurostar train from London to Brussels, and then an IC (inner city) train to Brugge.
Brugge is a UNESCO World Heritage site since its a well preserved medieval town. It truly is postcard perfect – exactly what you’d imagine a quaint European town to be. The only confusing part about Brugge was that since Brugge is in the Flanders region of Belgium they speak Flemish (similar to Dutch), while the southern part of Belgium and Brussels speak French – I speak some French, but I don’t know any Flemish. Luckily most people speak English, so it wasn’t a problem.
I started my time there by doing a walking tour Saturday morning where we got samples of Belgian chocolate and a waffle. After seeing the town by foot, I went on a canal ride and got to see a bit more of it by water. Then I took a brewery tour at De Halve Maan (the Half Moon) brewery, which ended with a delicious Belgian beer. I ended the day having a few drinks with people I met at my hostel.
Sunday morning I took the train from Brugge to Brussels. I only spent a few hours in Brussels, but I tried to maximize my time. I did a walking tour to learn more about Belgian history and explored Grand Place (the main square in Brussels). On my walking tour, I got to see the famous Belgian statue Manneken Pis “Peeing Kid”. In light of the attacks in the city a few weeks ago, I noticed lots of police around the city and at the train station, which was reassuring. Overall I felt Brussels was a nice city in its own right.
The food! There are a few specific gastronomic things that Belgium is known for: Waffles, fries, beer, and mussels. Naturally, I had to try them all on my trip (and fortunately walked enough to burn them off!).