When looking for things to do during your Belgium vacation, you can always add some Belgian shopping to the mix. The Belgium shops that can be found in the larger cities offer the most variety, but you never know what you might find when you duck into a shop in a smaller town, or turn up at a town market to peruse the wares. Among the top things to buy when enjoying Belgian shopping are chocolates, of course, handmade lace pieces, diamonds, and antiques. You will also find plenty of souvenirs on hand at a number of stores in Belgium, and fans of comic books will be in heaven. Bandes Dessinees, as comic books are known in Belgium, are quite an industry, and to learn more about Belgium’s prolific comic-strip history, take a trip to the Belgian Center for Comic-Strip Art in Brussels.
Belgium’s capital city of Brussels is one of the best places to find stores in Belgium. As the largest city in the country, this is easy to understand. Bargains can be hard to come by when shopping in Brussels, but look long enough and you’re sure to turn up some deals. The more expensive Brussels shops are found in the upper part of the city, which rests on the ascending eastern side of the central Grand Place. Brussels is one of the best places to buy lace in Belgium, as is Brugge, and other top products include jewelry, antiques, and crystal. As is true anywhere that you go in Belgium, you will Brussels shops that specialize in chocolate. Belgian chocolate is widely regarded as the finest in the world, so you’ll definitely want to nab some when doing some Belgian shopping. Rue Neuve is a top shopping street in Brussels, offering boutique shops, department stores, and shopping malls, and you can check out some top fashions on Boulevard Anspach. Don’t miss the Galeries Royales St Hubert when shopping in Brussels. It’s got everything from boutiques and bookstores, to restaurants and a movie theater.
Brussels’s Grand Sablon, or Sablon Square, is one of the featured spots in the country to go antique shopping. In the Grand Place, the Flower Market is a daily occurrence, and markets like the Sunday Market near the Gare du Midi train station and the Vieux-Marche Flea Market are great places to get lost in goods. North of Brussels, the city of Antwerp is another top Belgian shopping destination. Antwerp is the Diamond Center of the World, which is a title that refers to its being the leading market on the planet for cut diamonds. Upscale fashion boutiques, large department stores, bookstores, and lace outlets help to round out the Antwerp shopping scene, which is rather complete. For more upscale stores in Belgium, a trip to the coastal town of Knokke is in order. An exclusive hangout, Knokke is home to some of the country’s most glamourous stores, and if you are looking for designer clothes and accessories, you’ll do well to schedule at least a day trip to Knokke.
One of the more interesting things that you can pick up while doing some Belgian shopping is copperware from the riverside town of Dinant, which is southeast of Brussels. Known as Dinanderie, this hand-beaten copper trade has been part of the city’s history for quite some time, so you can bank on high-quality copper pieces that are sure to be a nice addition to any abode. As you might have noticed, the stores in Belgium offer up a tantalizing array of choices for those who want to put the Belgium currency to work. Speaking of the Belgium currency, it will serve you well to know a little bit about it before you venture out to the Belgium shops and markets.
The Euro is the official Belgium currency, which will be convenient for those coming from other Euro-using countries. It takes one hundred Euro cents to make one single Euro, and there are coins that come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50. There are also Euro coins that are worth one and two Euros each. The notes start at 5 Euros, and increase to 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Euro notes. You can change money once you get to Belgium at the main Brussels Airport and at the city’s main train stations. ATMs are in good supply across the country, and credit cards are widely accepted. Arm yourself with an ATM card, your credit card(s), and some Euros, and you’re ready to begin your Belgian shopping experience.