Belgian Favourites

On the other side of the Hilton, is the city centre and the main shopping district. 

After a quick rest in the executive lounge and an energizing Coca-Cola, Sophie & I were back out on the town, determined to explore this different vibe.

the hilton antwerp

The Meir is a mainly pedestrian street, filled with popular shops, trendy boutiques, and luxury food items. Lined with a mixture of old and new buildings, it adds a certain feeling of class to your shopping experience.

meir antwerp

meir antwerp

meir antwerp

meir antwerp

antwerp meir

Now, there are two staple things the Belgians do best: chocolates and waffles. I had already had the first, but I needed the latter.

Earlier on, I had spotted a pop up waffle truck and I made it my mission to head back.

belgian street waffle Weaving out from the Meir, are a number of different areas, each with different vibes. Each turn takes you into a new area, filled with new possibilities for adventure.

antwerp

I took my time walking left and right at will, trust that Google maps would lead me back home if I got lost, and resisting the urge to stop in at every shop claiming to sell the “best Belgian chocolates” in the country.

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dsc08153I passed by Goossens – a well known pastry and bread shop – more than once, and each time there was a solid lineup out the door. The smell coming from the bakery was enough alone to entice me, but you also know that I’m not one to miss out on a good carb. So, I waited in line and snagged a few chocolate coated cookies for tea and a pain au chocolate for breakfast the next day.

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By the time I made it back to the old town, the sun had dimmed and the city lights were flickering.

It was the perfect opportunity to see the old quarter in a new light, and to explore some of the streets that I may have missed.

antwerp at night old town at night

antwerp old town at night

Back down the cobblestone path I went, turning whenever the scenery spoke to me most.

antwerp at night

antwerp at night

antwerp old town at night

antwerp old town at night

Ending in the Grote Markt, where the nighttime view was nothing short of spectacular.

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antwerp at night

antwerp at night

antwerp at night

antwerp city hall nighttime

antwerp city hall at night

antwerp grote markt at nightOf course, I knew I couldn’t just survive on a diet of sweets. I needed something a little more substantial.

But, at the same time, I was also on vacation and fully prepared to give in to any and all of my cravings. And, tonight, all I wanted for dinner, was a greasy slice of pizza. I found an underwhelming Italian restaurant nearby, where I enjoyed a basic margherita pizza and recharged.

Dessert, however, is something I take much more seriously. While any pizza can be half-decent, I’ll only splurge on a dessert that I know is going to be excellent.

Luckily, I already knew where to go.

Brasserie Flo was housed in the bottom of my hotel, and quite highly recommended and well reviewed. I likely should have visited for dinner – but sometimes you gotta go where your stomach tells you. I knew, however, that it would be an excellent place for dessert.

And the profiteroles, doused in chocolate fudge and paired with vanilla ice cream didn’t disappoint. Romantic dessert for one? Check.

brasserie flo profiteroles

After that, it was time to head back to the hotel, and sleep the night away. After a few busy weeks at work, the hectic schedule of moving in, and a bed that wasn’t nearly as comfortable as mine back home in Calgary, I was thrilled for the comfort that I found and drifted into dreamland within minutes.

Book your room here.

The next morning, I had a few moments left to explore the city before heading back to The Hague.

Luckily, the old town is full of hidden doorways and alleys that could keep me preoccupied.

antwerp old town

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antwerp old town

antwerp old town

You have to keep an eye out for the chalkboard signs directing you to turn left or right, but if you take a chance, it’s well worth it.

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antwerp old town

What you will want to keep in mind, however, is that on Sundays most shops, restaurants, and boutiques will be closed. Especially in the old town. It makes for a prime opportunity to collect photos, but not for much else.

So, after walking back and forth ensuring I hadn’t missed a beat, it was time to get back on the train and head home!

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