Weekends away are beautiful things.
They get us excited to start the week, break up the long month ahead, and they also allow you to make everyone feel jealous when you walk into work on a Friday with a suitcase.
For your next weekend away, we would highly consider the often forgotten land of Belgium – it’s not all chocolate and beer you know…
Belgium is known for its fabulous array of deliciously flavoured craft beer.
It’s pretty much the home of hops. Rumours say that there are 2,000 beers in Belgium up for tasting, each with distinctly different flavours and deadly meals to match.
The actual land of chocolate – Belgium holds the top spot of chocolatiers in the world.
Don’t expect to come home slimmer, just FYI.
Called ‘The Venice Of The North’, this beautiful canal-laden town is filled with history, architecture and a really deadly Dali museum. A hidden European gem if there ever was one.
Oostende is a Belgian coastal city and municipality located in West Flanders that boasts beautiful seaside towns and gorgeous beaches for strolling, swimming and contemplating your next chocolate binge.
Believe it or not, Belgium’s national meal is Frites (chips) and mayonnaise. And oh, the mayonnaise…
They also serve up a sauce called Andalouse made with red peppers that is out of this world.
Might seem a bit random, but Belgian bakeries are as good as their French counterparts but are much lesser known.
And because bread > everything else.
7. European Union buildings
Brussels, as you may or may not know, is the centre of Europe. And as such, it hosts all the important European Union buildings within its humble boundaries.
Day in, day out – some of the world’s most important people travel through the city of Brussels, and their inspiring work can be seen echoed throughout the capital.
You buy these babies fresh from carts on the side of the road, and will never be able to recreate them at home for as long as you live.
And yes, they’re better than they look.
The story behind Napolean’s downfall and the infamously catchy ABBA song – this historic city boasts incredible statues and museums that are truly to die for.
Check out the man-made hill and the lion statue when there, where the lion is pointing in the direction of France, telling Napolean where to go.
Spa is a Belgian town, located in the Province of Liège, and is the town where the word spa comes from. The town of Spa is famous for its several natural mineral springs, and is also the location of mineral water producer Spa, whose mineral water is exported worldwide.
A total chill-out zone if there ever was one.
11. Mannekan Pis
Manneken Pis is a small bronze sculpture in Brussels depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin.
There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven when the troops of this two-year-old lord were in battle and put the infant lord in a basket and hung the basket in a tree to encourage them.
From there, the boy urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.
Mini-Europe is a miniature park located in Bruparck at the foot of the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium. Mini-Europe has reproductions of monuments in the European Union on show at scale.
It’s just incredible, and a must-do for any architecture fan.
13. And finally, the castles
Belgian still has a royal family, and following a long-standing tradition of royalty in the country, the land is littered with breathtakingly beautiful castles of various detail and description.
These homes boast utter luxury, many of which can be toured. You can even tour the current royal family’s castle one day of every year!
Have we persuaded you?
Would be hard not to after the first two reasons, in fairness…