Belgium is a picturesque country to visit with numerous castles, cathedrals and medieval belfries. The cities flaunt their Renaissance period architecture which incorporates both Flemish and Italian influences. We chose Antwerp and Bruges to visit in Belgium
Four of us booked a bus to Antwerpen in Belgium which is 2 and half hrs away from Amsterdam. We arrived on Saturday morning at 1030 AM at Antwerp which was a good time to start the trip. Then began the never ending saga of rain which did not leave us throughout the trip.
Antwerp is a city where even the most common buildings have an artistic touch in it. The aspect about Antwerp that I was impressed with is its Central station. Most cities don’t have a castle, palace or cathedral that beautiful.
It has a magnificent interior and is a four floored train station. All the buildings in the city had been built with a touch of beauty and elegance. The bridges and hotels there look like they were built for kings. If you look at the horizon on the city you find tall spires of cathedrals and castles and they are all within 1 km radius ;so it is easy for tourists to roam around without a public transport which makes this a perfect one day trip destination.
STEP HOUSES-CROW-STEPPED GABLE
Belgium’s architecture is very similar to that of Amsterdam expect that they have the step roofs which makes it unique
Antwerp is famous for its demands we read in blogs and around the central station we saw an array of diamond outlets. We booked free tour in the ‘Diamond land’ where they showed us how a diamond is cut and polished. They were beautiful to look at. They sold cheap diamonds for 15 and 45 euros and we seized the opportunity and bought those diamonds as a sovenuir. The city is a paradise for architecture lovers .
CATHEDRAL OF THE LADY
Pretty cathedral in the middle of the city. It is surrpunded by many restruants which makes it a nice place to hang out. The entry is charged.
WAFFLES, BEER AND CHOCOLATES
They are offcourse the biggest attraction in Belgium. We went to authentic Waffle shops and had them freshly baked. We tried them in 4 different shops throughout the trip. The streets were lined with beer shops and Belgium beer is famous for its dubbel and tripel beers which have a strong flavour.
We did do some beer tasting. In every corner you will see chocolates in different shapes and sizes. Belgium is a heaven for chocolate lovers. I am happy I tried out the mussels which were another signature dish from Belgium.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE IN ANTWERP
GROTE MARKT AND ANTWERP CITY HALL
It’s the city’s square flaunting its architecture.
The castle overlooking the river.The entrance fee charged.
An ancient church around the center. A good place for people who love to admire church interiors. Castles and museums charge 5-10 euro per person. The rain ruined the mood for us by not letting us take pictures, forcing us to take shelter and not letting us look up to see those beautiful buildings. Antwerp should never be seen ona rainy day. Annoyed by the rain one of my friend cancelled the ticket and went back home that day :P
Two of us stayed back to visit bruge the next day. Bruge is a romantic and relaxing place to be seen with your partner or close friends.
It is truly called the love lake. With swans swaying their way across the bridges, charming houses and drooping laidback flora makes this place a must see one. There was a mild drizzle throughout the day which did not bother us too much.
Bruge is also a small town with all the touristic spots nearby – no need for public transport. We ended up seeing the same places twice due to redundant walking.
A museum which looks fabulous on the outside. Did not find anything good inside. Entry is chargeable – 8 euros.
One of the good forts in Bruges in which we can go to the top floors to see the aeriel view. Again chargeable ( 5-10 euros )and have to wait in a huge line.
There are many churches in bruges too. We skipped them because we got bored of churches. The canal streets are not to be missed. The movie ‘PK’ was shot here in bruges and the song “Chaar kadam” was shot in the canal streets. *Yay visited a Bollywood location
DE HALVE MAN
The most famous brewery in bruges. For a fee (8.5 euros) you can a tour of the brewary where they show how beer is made . They have a fireplace setting and sofas inside which makes you never want to leave the place. We missed the connecting bus to Ghent spending too much time in the brewery. We had to cancel and rebook our tickets back home.
This is what Belgium could do to you. Make you never want to go back.
This post was originally published on EXPLORING LIFE.