Why Belgium? Lots of people asked this when we told them where we were planning as our next stop after Paris. We really wanted to go some where different, some where that we didn’t know much about. Belgium is between Paris and Berlin, so it seemed perfect. It’s a 2.5 hour train ride from Paris with super pretty scenery during the ride – or, it’s a great time to get some reading done as I did! After doing a little research to determine which town we’d stay in, Ghent sounded like the perfect town for us. It was probably one of our favorite parts of our trip! Seriously the cutest town. Much of the town made us feel like we stepped back in time, it was super clean and there were lots of rivers flowing through the town.
One of our favorite memories of Belgium and Ghent was drinking beer at the outdoor cafes along the river. This was the first place we stopped on our first afternoon and we just loved it. We ended up here every night and met some great people from all over the world. I couldn’t stop taking pictures – it was so magical…
Foodie Pick: waffles + beer! We aren’t big waffle fans…I find them too sweet for breakfast, but here they aren’t available for breakfast, but as snacks – perfect! We bought ours from street vendors with powdered sugar and they were probably the best waffles I’ve had! If you love Belgium beer (like we do) there are so many great options – and the beer is super cheap here! :) Some of the other great restaurants we tried and enjoyed were the korenhuis restaurant (amazing sashimi + wild boar filet with crushed hazelnuts) and grand cafe godot. Stir-fries are also popular here and we had some great ones at a cute cafe near the river. We were pretty impressed by the food overall here.
Don’t Miss! The Gravensteen castle in the center of town. Yep, there is a crazy cool castle right in the middle of Ghent originating from the Middle Ages. The name means “castle of the count” in Dutch.
So many bikes in Ghent! Loved that everyone seemed to bike everywhere.
We also took a day trip to Bruges (a nearby town – about a 30 minute train ride from Ghent), but found it a bit more touristy + crowded than Ghent although it was a really pretty town. The photos above are from Bruges.
We loved our room + the decor at the Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof. It is a modern + hip hotel just a few blocks from the center of town and very reasonably priced.
Honeymoon tip! A boat ride for two along the canals with champagne makes for a fun way to start your evening…
As you can see we totally fell in love with Belgium. If you are looking for a relaxed town to enjoy some great beers by the river, dinner and walks along the canals, Ghent is the town for you! I also think it is great paired with Paris as it is so different and gives you a bit of big city and small city. If you are wondering, Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. Lucky for us, most people also speak English. The only tricky part of our visit was navigating the train station – we almost missed our train when they switched tracks and we didn’t get the message since it was in Dutch! Luckily we made our flight to Berlin with less than 5 minutes to spare! I’ve never run so fast in an airport!! And next week I’ll be sharing our trip to Berlin so stay tuned! Anyone thinking of traveling to Belgium for their honeymoon or have any other tips to share with brides planning their trip?
all photos by green wedding shoes with the exception of the hotel photos + nighttime photo courtesy of Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof