As I mentioned in the last blogpost, I was in Belgium for a few days. The city where I stayed in Belgium is called Mons. It is not a famous city, but their public transportation is excellent and you can get anywhere you want, either by train or by bus. The other cities I chose to visit were based on the distance and the price of the train tickets from where I was staying. The longer it takes to get there, the more expensive the ticket are. In addition, I wanted to do day trips and not return to the hotel at night.
In case you don’t know, the main language of Belgium is Dutch (Dutch) and French, although some people also speak English. The main currency is the Euro and compared to the United States, I consider it an expensive country. An important fact that you should know, NEVER ask for French fries, they are called FRITES. I promise you, they will get offended.
I was staying near the city center in Mons, so I went walking to explore.
Event though there’s not much to do in this city, something that I really appreciated was the food and the good beer; I can say in any part of Belgium.
These are some of the restaurants that you can visit in Mons:
- MoMA Coffee Mons & Texas Coffee House
- La Marmite de Simone
- Brasse Temps
- Twenty Buns
- Boule de Bleu
The next city I visited was Leuven. By train it took me two hours nonstop. I bought the tickets online, through the app IC train and it was very straightforward and paperless.
Leuven is a college town so there was a lot of young people around. It’s located at the East side of Brussels (Belgium capital) and is known by its medieval architecture.
For a good coffee I recommend Koffie Onan or Noir Coffeebar. For lunch, Bistro Julia en Elias or De Werf.
The next city was Namur. The trip by train was 1 hour and 15 minutes nonstop and the ticket was for less than $20.
On the train I met a woman, who is a tourism teacher in this city. You will wonder, and how did I meet her ? While sitting, I had noticed her as she looked super stylish. To my surprise, she had also noticed me, as she said something to me. When I told her that I didn’t speak the language, she started speaking in English and she said she loved my style and wanted to know where I was from. And so, we kept talking, and we share our information. Until this day we keep in contact. This is one of the many benefits of traveling by train, making friends.
Although the city is quite small, in my opinion has a lot of beauty and history.
For coffee, I recommend Coffee and More and for lunch, Bistro Belgo Belge.
The last city I visited was Bruges. For this destination I drove as I was heading to Amsterdam. The trip was supposed to be 1.5 hours, but due to traffic it was 3 hours. I was only there for a few hours because it was raining, but ironically, it was the place that I liked the most of all Belgium. It is recognized for its medieval buildings, cobblestone streets and water channels. It’s so romantic! By the way, the vast majority of people rode bicycles as it is the preferred method of transportation.
I did not visit Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium since I prioritized to visit the “not so well-known places” to meet different parts of the country. At the time of traveling, if you have time and you are interested, try to visit the less touristy places, the lesser-known ones, and you will see that you will be tremendously surprised and your soul will be happier.
As you know, If you need help planning for your next trip, contact me!