Once we started planning our trip to Amsterdam, we decided pretty quickly that we also wanted to go to Belgium. I mean.... who doesn't want to go to a country famous for beer, waffles, and chocolate? After 2 days in Amsterdam, we trained down to Brussels and spent a night there before heading to Bruges.
Brussels is such a charming, underrated city. Belgium has both Dutch and French origins, and you can see the architectural and cultural influences across the city. Some areas of Brussels felt like a mini Paris, especially near the Royal Palace. One thing I loved about this Belgian gem is how accessible everything felt. We stayed near the Grand Place (arguably the most iconic part of Brussels), but nearly everything we had wanted to see was within a 15 minute walk of our Airbnb.
The photos from Brussels are in spots around the city, including this cute home/kitchen store I found, Dille & Kamille.
After our day in Brussels, we hopped on an early morning train to Bruges. While I gave credit to Brussels being accessible, Bruges is even smaller and easier to navigate. We ended up walking from the train station to the town square, Markt, in less than 15 minutes. Visiting Bruges was like traveling back in time; the historic architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and canals feel like a storybook, and I am so grateful we added this spot to our plans.
After climbing the [incredibly narrow] staircases to the top of the Belfry, we treated ourselves to delicious Belgian waffles from Chez Albert. From there, we decided to rent bikes and explore the city on wheels - by far our best decision of the trip. Biking was perfect, and it allowed us to get off the beaten tourist path to see unique areas of the city. We ended up going around the entire city, stopping for a beer in Minnewater park.
As you can imagine, Bruges was riddled with chocolatiers, but I also stumbled upon a few awesome decor stores (the shots below are from Just Be - Unique Living). If I wasn't so worried about my suitcase getting manhandled by airline staff, I would have taken a teal vase home with me.
If you ever find yourself in Belgium, DEFINITELY make a pit stop in Bruges. You won't regret it.