Heading into Belgium on a weekend road-trip, specifically to see Brugge and Gent, one can get excited at all the beer on offer from such a small country. Add to that the chocolate, tasty local stews, grand medieval architecture, and a good group of friends, and you have the perfect recipe for a fun time.
Starting with a quick walk exploring the city of Brugge, to get an idea of the place, you soon find yourself in a popular local eatery where delicious food, such as a good beef stew, are cooked up. This is important for the upcoming beer tasting, to help with the intake of heavy Belgium beer.
The beer in Belgium can be very strong, such as 10%, and can hit you fast. You could easily be fooled into thinking you were fine with just a few beers, only to be feeling tipsy after just one. That certainly can be the case after descending down the stairs into a basement bar to sample various beers.
That’s one great thing to do in when in a bar in Belgium, see if they have beer tasting. You can get 5 small glasses of different types of beer to taste shared between friends. Do this a few times with various beers, and you will get a good feeling for what the flavours are, and how they can vary.With over 400 beers to choose from in Belgium, it’s great to discover which beer may be your favourite.
Leaving the bars late at night giggling with friends, you wander around some of the beautiful old medieval city of Brugge on your way back to your hotel.
The next day it’s time to take a look at Brugge with less tipsy eyes, and discover it’s pretty canal ways and old buildings. A lot has been written over the years about Brugge, and with good reason, it really is a lovely little old city to get lost in.
You can do various things there apart from just wandering around. You could take a boat trip along the waterways, climb the belfry tower, or everyone’s favourite, discovering some of the sweet food.
Yes Belgium is famous not just for its beer, but also for its chocolates and waffles. What better way to start the day than with a nice warm waffle from the market. Follow this up later with grabbing a bag or two of chocolates to try, and you will be smiling. Just like with the selection of beers, there is a big variety of chocolate to try.
Now time for the next destination on the road-trip, the city of Gent. Gent, or Ghent depending on who’s spelling it, is only a short drive away from Brugge, so is easy to reach. Many people seem to just visit Brugge and don’t pay any attention to Gent, which is a shame, as Gent in some ways is an even better place to visit.
Gent is also an old medieval city, with grand buildings, a good bar scene for trying beer, and the cherry on top, a castle slap bang in the middle of it all. The castle is surrounded on one side by water, and the others by a square with cafes, and winding lanes filled with restaurants.
Exploring the castle is interesting enough, but if you are not into that sort of thing then you should at least enter for the good views across the city, from the ramparts on top.
The rest of the old centre has plenty of other buildings to discover, such as the impressive town hall. But after all you’re in Belgium, and soon enough it’s time to find a bar with outside tables to taste some more beer, and watch the scenes on the street go by. The local beer called Gentse Tripel is highly recommended!
Much later, again with huge smiles on your faces, you leave the bars late at night and head back to your hotel to pass out from the busy day, and off course the large consumption of beer.
The next morning the short weekend road-trip to Belgium is coming to an end, but there is a little side treat before driving back to Amsterdam at night. A trip across to the Mosel river in Germany to take a look at a quant medieval town named Cochem, with a castle on a hill above.
There you can wander through old streets lost in time, with gorgeous old buildings sitting pretty next to the river, all the while with the fairy tale castle looming above.
There are plenty of castles to explore down the Mosel river, but you will really need more time than just half a day to explore the region properly, especially if some hangovers may be slowing things down a bit from all that lovely beer from the night before.
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