All tagged City guide

A weekend in Liège

Not many people think of Liège as a city trip destination, meaning they miss out on the variety of things the ‘Cité ardente’ has to offer! Admittedly the city’s skyline isn’t the most picturesque with its chaotic mix of random architectural styles, but this shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying Liège’s many attractive spots, as well as its charming historic center. And let’s not forget the Liégeois themselves! Known for their festive spirit, the people from Liège have a distinct warmth and kindness that you’ll surely feel in shops and restaurants.

A day in Koksijde-Oostduinkerke

A trip to the seaside is always a pleasure. The sound of the waves, the healthy air, the wind going through your hair… In its simplicity, there’s something incredibly relaxing about spending time at the North Sea. Koksijde-Oostduinkerke is a peaceful seaside resort that’s mostly populated by seniors, something I actually appreciate since they’re the most respectful crowd. Also, this coastal place boasts a few unique highlights, such as the biggest collection of works by Paul Delvaux and traditional shrimp fishing. So even if you thought you knew the Belgian coast, I’m sure you’ll discover something new over here!

A weekend in Brussels • The city center

One of my greatest joys is being a tourist in my own country. And this city guide is a fine example of that since I'm taking you to the city center of the Belgian capital! Brussels has many different facets and I'm happy to introduce to you some of the best it has to offer. Expect some of my favorite shopping venues, the most famous sights of the city and an exceptional place to stay in the middle of it all. Because being a tourist is actually the best way to approach any place, since it means doing so with a curious mind and innocent eyes!

A weekend in Blankenberge

With my fascination for mermaids and beaches, I feel very much drawn to the seaside. And when you're talking about the Belgian coast, Blankenberge quickly comes to mind, as it is our second biggest seaside resort. The city has a beautiful heritage from its Belle Époque glory (which I'm very sensitive to) but that's not the only thing it has to offer. There really is something for everyone in Blankenberge, whether it is culture, shopping, gastronomy or beach bars! Since the city is rather small, there is no pressure and you can easily go from one point to another by foot. And with its 'Happy to sea you' spirit, the city is known to be warm and welcoming!

A day in Antwerp • Berchem & Zurenborg

As many of you know, I recently moved to Antwerp, Berchem more precisely. Naturally I developed a curiosity for my new neighborhood and the one directly adjacent to it, Zurenborg. And boy, they did not disappoint! This part of Antwerp is considered by some to be the most beautiful of Antwerp for one particular reason: its Belle Époque grandeur! The neighborhood's quiet streets are packed with gorgeous architecture which make it the perfect decor for an afternoon stroll.

Brunch & Culture • La Cité Miroir

Remember when I told you about the sumptuous Art Deco swimming pool in Roubaix that was turned into a museum? I pleasantly discovered Liège is home to a similar cultural project! I'm a big fan of historic places that are given a new purpose, especially when it is done with great respect for the building's original state and beauty. As such, let me guide you through 'La Cité Miroir', a place that will surely satisfy your hunger for inspiration, in the same way 'Le Petit Pressoir' will satisfy your hunger for veggie food.

Brunch & Culture • Fotomuseum Antwerp

I've been taking photographs for many years now. When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with them because they allow you to freeze the moment, to delude time and capture an image that is per definition fleeting. Nowadays photography has become one of my mediums of expression. For all these reasons, it is only natural I became curious about the Museum of Photography in Antwerp. Combined with a picture-perfect meal, a visit to the FOMU is my kind of 'Brunch & Culture' day!

Winter in Ostend

I've been going to Ostend in summer for several years now, but this year I got to rediscover the city as a winter destination. As temperatures drop, the city at the seaside transforms into a pre-Christmas haven, complete with ice skating rink and hundreds of light decorations. And since Ostend is also all about shopping, a trip in December is the perfect occasion to find all your Christmas presents while enjoying the winter magic. So grab your coat and your gloves and follow me!

A day in Tournai

With 'Gerrit and the City' I want to take you beyond the obvious, inspire you to go places other than the ones you already know. Charming Tournai fits right into that frame. With a history of more than 2,000 years, it is one of the oldest cities of Belgium. Despite its relatively small size, it has an exceptional patrimony, as testified by its two buildings that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Next to that, the city has seen the emergence of new, hip places in recent years, meaning you can get a taste of both past and present when going there!

A weekend in Ghent

Ghent can be found in the top of my list of favorite cities and the reason why is fairly obvious: it has everything! Not only is it one of the most beautiful Flemish cities thanks to its rich history and architectural patrimony, at the same time it is incredibly modern and dynamic. There is no other place in Belgium where contemporary design, art, fashion, gastronomy and music blend so perfectly with the past. Add a human scale and a veggie predilection to that and you get why I'm hooked on this city.

A weekend in Sint-Truiden

I guess Limburg is best known for its green sceneries and warm people. But there's so much more to this region! Take Sint-Truiden for instance. Although the city is small, it holds many surprises for its visitors: beautiful biking trails, fruit cultures, lively markets and many monuments. Enough to fill an entire weekend with pleasure and discoveries. And of course, I treat you on a little fashion and a lot of fabulous food along the way.

A day in Knokke

For the equivalent of Saint-Tropez at the Belgian coast, you have to be in Knokke, our most luxurious seaside resort famous for its rich villas and high-end boutiques. In the summertime, the city really comes to life through fashion, art and design, making it one of the best places to go to (like so many people from Antwerp do). Grab a rental bike and follow me for a fabulous day of sea, style and sun!

A day in Antwerp • Along the Scheldt

One of the things I hope to achieve with my blog is to inspire people to go beyond the mainstream places and discover alternative parts of town. For instance Antwerp is about so much more than shopping on the Meir! Wandering from South to Central Antwerp alongside the river Scheldt, you'll discover some of the most beautiful relics of the city's past. Doing a little vintage shopping 'en passant' is therefore only fitting.

A weekend in 'Japanese' Hasselt

Kimono's, geisha's, zen gardens... No one can deny Japan has something fascinating. Luckily you don't need to fly 9.000 km to get a taste of the Land of the Rising Sun. The beautiful city of Hasselt not only offers culture, gastronomy and fashion, it also has many assets with a Japanese touch and 2017 is the most perfect year to experience all of it. To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Japanese Garden in Hasselt, they organize the Yokoso Festival (Japanese for 'welcome') with lots of special events. High time to plan a 48h city trip to the Belgian Capital of Taste!

A day in Waterloo

Did you know there are over 100 places in the world called Waterloo? And they all got their name from the Belgian location where Napoleon was defeated in 1815. The memorial dedicated to the historical battle that would change Europe's destiny is reason enough to visit this city in the Walloon Brabant, but there's more to it. Its commercial center is really pleasant and home to a few great spots that I gladly share with you. Follow me!

A day in Mons

The Hainaut province can use a little P.R. to enhance its image, so I guess it was a great bargain Mons was picked as European capital of culture in 2015! The truth is this small city definitely has some cultural assets and plenty of history. Its traffic-free center is the perfect backdrop for a chill day doing some shopping, some eating and a little sightseeing. You might bump into a few marginal people on the street, but you'll discover that the 'Montois' are really nice people!

A day in Brussels • Dansaert

A Brussels' neighborhood that I love but where I don't spend enough time (which is probably for the best for my finances) is Dansaert! The most Flemish part of Brussels' is all about fashion of the unique, alternative kind. This area is the epicenter of the Brussels' fashion scene and it's packed with unconventional shops and Belgian designs. Plus there are plenty of cool spots to hang out with a drink. This way fashionistas!

Brunch & Culture • Museum of Fine Arts Ghent

Ghent is a wonderful city to visit and I'll surely write some more about it when the sunny days are back, but for now I want to tell you about one of its museums: the MSK, short for 'Museum voor Schone Kunsten'. Thanks to my research I learned the museum had a rich and varied collection spanning centuries, still I had no idea I would enjoy my visit so much! But more about that in a second. First, in true 'Gerrit and the City' fashion, let's have some brunch.

A day in Dinant

If you're a fan of natural elements, then you'll definitely enjoy Dinant. The Walloon city is all about water and stone, as it is set on the Meuse river and overlooked by its famous citadel standing on top of a high cliff. The city isn't very big, nor is it very modern, but its setting in the Meuse valley confers the city with a huge advantage for people looking for a change of scenery. You got it, Dinant is more proof that our Kingdom is rich in potential discoveries!

A day in Brussels • The European Quarter

The old Leopold Quarter might appear as of no interest to some as it is home to the European institutions and frequented mostly by Eurocrates, making it a little sterile. But actually there are plenty of interesting spots hidden in those supposedly soulless streets, such as parks, museums and ancient architecture that survived. Again, this is an area of Brussels with a very distinctive feeling, almost New York-ish if you ask me. And it is definitely worth a visit!