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Hotel in Brussels, Places to eat and see in Bruges and Brussels?

We are planning to spend 1 day and night in Brussels in early August with our 2 teenage boys. Do you recommend staying near the Grand Place or Center Center?

Also, I am a vegetarian but my family is not. Where do you recommend eating in Bruges and Brussels?

Where can we go for the best chocolates?

What are some not to miss places to see/things to do: We will be in Bruges for 1.5 days and Brussels for 1 day.

Thanks for your advice!
Rose

Posted by
6728 posts

“Best” is relative to the person eating the chocolate. In Brussels, in and around the Gran Place is Mary (chocolatier to the royal family), Galler, and Neuhaus. Leonidas is good chocolate, but a step below the others. It’s the everyday chocolate. There are chocolate shops everywhere, so find one you like. In Bruges, Dumon had good chocolate as did Chocolate de Julie.

In Bruges, all the must see sights are near the Grote Markt and Burg Square, belfry, toll house and Van Eyck square, church of the holy blood, canal boat ride, windmills, old city gates, Saint Bonifacus Bridge and church of our lady, rozenhoedkaai area.

In my opinion, everything worth seeing in Brussels is near the Gran Place, which is very near the train station, so I’d recommend staying near it. There are plenty of hotels within a couple minutes walk of the plaza.

Posted by
301 posts

I just was in Brussels and Bruges two weeks ago.

I did a chocolate workshop and walking tour while in Brussels and can tell you there is a world of difference between the chocolate at Chocopolis and a Mary. I bought all my chocolate to bring home from Mary.

I stayed at the Metropole. A short walk to metro ride from Grand Place. There are a myriad of hotels depending on your budget.

I just went to Bruges for the day and learned there is a difference between first and second class tickets. There was a train strike the day before and that may have contributed to how busy it was.

I just walked around, did a boat cruise, climbed the belfry, went into the Church if the Holy Blood and had a lovely meal in one of the squares.

In Bruges I walked to and from the train station and took a detour to the Canada Bridge. It was Canada Day and that’s where I am from.

You will not be short of things to do, just be prepared for crowds and lines everywhere.

Posted by
307 posts

LOTS ofchocolate shops in Brugges.
Chocolate Line is good as well as Neuhaus.
Gollar is excellent.
Panierd'or in the square in Brugges provides a very good meal.

Posted by
28 posts

Any vegetarian food recommendations? Also, would you recommend staying at Hilton Le Place, Novotel, or Metropole?

Posted by
4684 posts

As well as Marys, other absolute top-grade places in Brussels are Pierre Marcolini, Wittamer, Blondeel, and Gerbaud. The best of the chains are, IMO, Neuhaus and Galler.

Posted by
106 posts

Passion Chocolate right by Wittamer Bakery in the Sablon. Pierre Marcolini for chocolate and macarons.