City of Tongeren: Belgium-Tongeren Flea/Antique market
Tongeren flea/antique market.
Europes largest on every Sunday from 06.00am till 14.00.
What to buy: You can buy anything here from large furniture items to the tiniest nick-knack
Buyers from Germany,France,Holland,England and of course Belgium can't all be wrong.
Also the city cafe's offer a full range of refreshments including many of their 350 locally brewed beers. Snacks and meals all at competetive prices, make this a really enjoyable day out.
What to pay: You pay what you WANT to pay. Haggle away if you want. Prices are so cheap anyway. Buy quality at affordable prices.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
- School Holidays
+++ several names +++: Spirits...
Please, do know that there are alcohol drinks other than beer in Belgium.
The first ones I think of are Jenever (Peket in Walloon areas) and other eaux-de-vie.
Distillerie de Biercée is one of well-known brands here. Still sticking to traditional methods (with improvements though), they assert on their website that their products "do not contain synthetic flavouring, colorant, preservative or other additives." When entered the Biercée website, click on BONUS to have some cocktail suggestions... Quite interesting.
You can find their products in wine and liquor shops.. I would give addresses later.
Also, there should be other brands too but this one, I know it is a good one.. and the only I know, btw. :)
What to buy: You can try:
-Peket de Houyeu :35 % vol
-Fruits de la Forêt : 17 % vol (fruit basis: blueberry, blackcurrant, raspberry and black elder)
-Biercine : 35 % vol (fruit basis: seven plants chosen for medicinal features)
-Eau De Villée : 40 % vol (fruit basis: Murcie lemons and other secret fruits). This one has won an award in 2003.
-Poire Williams N°1 : 43 % vol (fruit basis: pear)
What to pay: Approx. prices for those I cited, check hereafter weblink though there are more Biercée stuffs than that.
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
- Luxury Travel
All across the souvenir shops: Beautiful Porcelain dolls
I visited Brugges and Brussels and saw many souvenir shops that had so beautiful porcelain and other dolls. I bought some of course, but very little and small in size to accommodate in my luggage. I thought the prices were relatively cheaper compared to other cities in Europe and the variety was definitely more beautiful and more traditional.
What to buy: Porcelain dolls, heks dolls etc
What to pay: reasonable
Act(e)2 Boutique: Second Hand Fashion
From their Facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=168214281074&ref=ts
Act(e)2, a new boutique located in Jurbise, near SHAPE, Mons. End of collections and second-hand clothing and accessories for women, men, and children.
Clients et amis de Act(e)2, une nouvelle boutique située à Jurbise, près de Mons. Fins de collections et seconde-main haut de gamme pour femmes, hommes, et enfants.
Found high end clothing and accessories for cheap cheap cheap. Got my wife a beautiful Delvaux bag (my one and only mission). Since bag was second hand (barely used - still smelled new) I was able to get her a Burberry jacket as well.
Found a great pair of Church's should but half size too small...C'est la vie!
Cat (the owner)is a doll. Married to an American (former GI). She speaks fluent English, and manages well in German and Spanish. She used to work for Franco Dragone of Cique du Soleil fame...Darn no tickets...
What to buy: High end handbags, jackets, shoes. They have new stuff as well...
What to pay: About 40 to 60% less or more.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Business Travel
Dandoy's & Wittamer's: Food Shopping
These two shops are great places to get some Belgian souvenirs for those back home and also great for getting a literal taste of Belgium for yourself.
Dandoy's is a "biscuiterie" which just basically means they sell cookies. Tons of cookies - more than you could think up - and they're all delicious. Most people, when they think of Belgium, don't think of cookies. They think waffles and chocolate and the frites just to name a few but for some reason, the cookies rarely get mentioned so that's why I'm mentioning it. A small sampler box of cookies made me very popular back home. The only problem was I wished I'd bought more.
There are a lot of chocolate shops in Belgium and that's putting it mildly. There's almost too many in a sensory overload type of way. And everyone has different tastes so you really need to check out the chocolatiers for yourself but the place I really enjoyed was Wittamer's. I thought they had a nice selection and the flavors are out of this world!
What to buy: Both shops have a wide variety of things. Wittamer doesn't have just chocolates, so you can buy whatever grabs your attention.
What to pay: The nice thing about buying cookies and chocolate is that each individual piece is small so you can stay within your budget by getting however much you want. At Wittamer's, I got a 9-piece box for 10 Euros (ouch) but Dandoy's was much more reasonabe.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Delhaize supermarket: Brussels
I was in Brussels for 2 weeks, and we often do grocery shopping at Delhaize. Fresh breads and fruits..Food are quite wide range. I like their grocery bag so much that i bough so many back as a souvenior ! :)
I can agree that the stinky fumes from the friteries in the streets of Belgium does not induce any pleasant sensorial experience. However, you will end up ignoring all the culinary guilty pleasures and all the profusion of untasty and unhealthy food of which so many Belgians are so fond. The reason behind that are the thousands of wonderful chocolate shops that can be found all throughout the country, from the most humble neighbourhood to the most sophisticated mall. I have never seen any society which has developed such a chocolate culture.
What to buy: There are tenths of brands that produce chocolate in Belgium, but Pralines, chocolate confections with different fillings, are de rigueur if you want to bring back home some chocolate as gift. They are sold by the box (ballotin), and you can decide the weight and even choose individually the pralines that you prefer.
What to pay: Many chocolatiers still produce their pralines by hand and are considerably more expensive than average, but there are also several larger companies with shops all across the country and even abroad. They still have very competitive prices when you compare with what you pay overseas. Every season, more and more sophisticated new lines are introduced so that you never get tired of consuming chocolate (as if that would ever be possible).
What to buy: As far as shopping goes, Belgian lace is probably the most well-known product, and the one most shoppers would want to buy while visiting Belgium. Shoppers can choose between several kinds of lace. Regular lace originated in Flanders in the sixteenth century. Needlepoint lace originated in Italy, but Brussels became the major manufacturing center for it. And finally, bobbin lace comes from Brugges. It requires thousands of meticulous movements of bobbins and pins during its manufacture.
Ironically, most of the lace available in Belgium nowadays comes from either China or Taiwan, where it is handmade, or from France, where it is machine-made. It can be difficult to find genuine Belgian lace, since even the most expensive shops do not differentiate between Belgian lace and that made outside the country. Once found, Belgian lace can be very expensive, due to the labor costs involved, and the fact that buyers are paying for the reputation of the product.
All over the country: Belgian strips
In any bookshop or even shopping centers, great or small, all over the country you will find a lot of belgian strips
What to buy: A lot of choice - all categories
- Comics - science fiction - semi historical strips - Horror : Just name it and look for it,
if it is to pleasure children at many occasions - if it is for yourself as an adult - do not be a shamed . Put the comics next to yr "Washington Post"-"Times"-"De Gentenaar" or why not?
Next to "Playboy" - "Penthouse" - they are not that different from a STRIP i mean.
What to pay: Depends on the kind ofRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
Belgium is the best beer country. There are many shops around the Grand' Place in Brussels where you can buy most of the Belgian beers. They sell boxes which contains a few bottles of the same or different beers or with the matching glass.
For those not knowing it: in Belgium every beer has its own designed glass. The beer doens't taste when drunk from a non matching glass :-).Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Everywhere in Belgium you'll find chocolate shops !
Jean Neuhaus from Brussels invented the praline back in 1912 and since then the chocolatiers create always new and tasty creations.
The most famous pralines - apart from Neuhaus - are Godiva, Guylian and Leonidas.
What to buy: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate !!!!Related to:
- Food and Dining
Maasmechelen Village: For the shopaholics..
If you like shopping this might just be the
place for you. An outlet shopping village'.
Over 85 brand new shops in a long cozy street.
This street is created for this purpose on an old
mine site and the architectue is nice.
Outlet collections are a bit older then you
will find in shops outside shopping village ,
but prices are up to 60% lower.
I'm not a shopper for clothes myself but I do
need to buy some clothes now and then.
I payed 30 euro for kicker shoes while the
same cost 130 euro in a regular shop.
(and the ones I wear look the same for about the
last 20 years for sure....)
Check on the website for the shops names
and what to get. A fine selection of international brands
is availeble as well as Belgian disigners.
Some house decorationsshops , underwear...
AND a Belgian can't do without some restaurants
snacks , dinners and bars...
De Slegte: The best bookshop!
De Slegte (sounds slightly like "dyslexia"...) is a great chain of bookshops, they have new and used books for cheap and many English titles (especially non-fiction - don't miss the arts and craft section). I've found some very cheap books there.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Confiserie Roodthooft: Caramella mokatine
There are things that never change.
One of them is the 'Caramella Mokatine'.
When I was little this was for sure the candy
we ate at grandma's. And now , the grandma's
I know still give it to their children.
One thing , grandma's with false teeth don't eat
them. haha. You can shew them , but they
are quit hard and sticky. But the taste...mocca ,
sugar , coffee. It is delicious.
In 1925 Louis Roodhooft started the company.
Their sweets became an instant succes.
Their factory is located in Antwerp , in the
lange leemstraat near 'Berchem station'.
10 people produce about 500 tons of candy
Their new candies are distributed in bakeries
and more special store. The mocatine can
be found in almost any supermarket (like GB ,
carrefour , Delhaize...)Related to:
- Food and Dining
Elixir de Spa.: A royal drink...
I can't help myself , but I like these sort of drinks.
SPA! the name rings a bell. Actually it is a
little city in Belgium and every SPA in the world
borrowed the name from this place.
Our royals loved this city , for the bathing
and the good life.
Now the original 'Elixir de Spa' is brewed in
Antwerp. By 'FX de Beukelaer'. Even up to
today this distillery is a Belgian Royal Warrant Holder.
But it that important?
It is said that this drink goes back till the
12th century. That is was brewed near Spa
by the friars of the Capuchin order.
In 1956 the recipi was bought and came to
It a composition of 40 local herbs and famous
for it's digestive qualities.
You wont find it at a lot of places.
It is a nostalgic drink for romantic souls.
Buy it in Antwerp at the Vagant (Reyndersstraat).
The small bottle is the perfect gift I think.
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