Ok, so what do you know about Belgium? Waffes, fries & chocolate. -- You're not wrong! Belgium is filled with these delicious things so if you have a sweet tooth & like chocolate it might be heaven or even a bit dangerous to go to Belgium. But what I am about to tell you about are 4 important reasons why you should give this country a chance.
Brussels, Belgium and especially Leuven are majorly underrated compared to bigger cities in Europe like London, UK, Paris, France, Barcelona, Spain, Rome, Italy or Amsterdam in the Netherlands but it does have a lot to offer for less price.
1. Since Belgium is so small, it is very easy to get around. Public transportation such as the trains and metro stations run smoothly and on time. You can easily explore some of the best of Belgium in a small amount of time: Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges, some of the biggest tourist attractions are all within 1 hour by train. Also Brussels was chosen as the location that hosts the official seats of the European Commission Union for a reason. This small little country is centrally located and is less than 4 hours train ride to all the main European cities including Amsterdam, London, Paris & many other parts of Germany and others.
2. The chocolate really is as good as they say it is. Enough said. Almost a little too good. Be prepared to walk down the streets and every other shop to be a chocolatier. Also tip- pralines aren't the same in the United States as in Belgium. In Belgium they aren't nut filled chocolates but rather some sort of soft creamy inside- they can be addicting- can't say I didn't warn you. Also, Leonidas is one of the chain chocolatiers on the lower end, very delicious but while you're there try some of the artisan handmade chocolates from the local shops and it will be well worth it. :)
3. Belgium, Leuven in particular is a brilliant blend of both German and Dutch culture. The best of both worlds. In Leuven, they speak Flemmish which sounds like a mixture of both German and Dutch & the architecture is very similar to homes in the Netherlands like in Amsterdam. And the people are so very friendly- everyone walks or bikes everywhere, are well dressed & smile and have a positive countenance as you walk down the street- a bit different than the culture in Barcelona where people are friendly but not "street friendly" you may say.
Although it does get quite cold in the winters, I can absolutely see how this sweet town would be a lovely place to retire for elderly couples - it is so peaceful and honestly felt like I was in another world - maybe the world of Frozen for a day.
4. The street markets are fantastic. You can find both old & young at the street market in Leuven- not only fresh produce, cheeses, meats are available but also many different practical necessities - including mops being sold on the street haha. That was interesting!
5. The architecture is fantastic. For a small little town, Leuven has a lot to offer as far as visual sights go. The historic city town hall looks like THIS.
Each street is so immaculate and unique in its own way - I can imagine shooting a gorgeous winter engagement session in the middle of these darling streets or photographing an elaborate classic wedding on the steps of the city hall and it would look FANTASTIC-- any takers!?
One of the cutest gardening stores in all of Belgium - Dille & Kamille. I pretty much wanted to buy everything in that store but somehow my little Easy Jet backpack wouldn't permit it.
Have you ever explored the little hidden secret of Leuven, Belgium? I'd say it's for sure underrated and for me personally one of the top cities if not my favorite in all of Belgium. If you have been comment below & tell me your favorite part about it! I want to know :)