Hop on for a Benelux Culinary Tour

Market hall in Ghent, Belgium a Benelux country

Rail travel is often associated with the hateful commuter necessity that we experience daily or the iconic luxury experiences that we only read about; but is there anything in between? Those were my thoughts as I boarded the Eurostar for a nine day trip that would weave me across Benelux – Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg – for a Benelux culinary journey. My Benelux Culinary Tour The ... Read Full Article

UNESCO Sites: Top Things to See in Belgium

Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp

Belgium is home to eleven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but if you take into consideration all individual sites, there are no less than 60. That can be explained as follows: Two of Belgium’s official UNESCO World Heritage Sites are actually made up of several separate sites—there are 17 Flemish béguinages, which are regarded as just one world heritage site, while 33 belfries dot the country, which ... Read Full Article

Belgium’s Top Ten Beer Festivals

France has wine shows. Germany has its Oktoberfest. Belgium has beer festivals. Mention that you've frequented Belgian beer fests to a fellow enthusiast and you may get some envy or respect--for good reason. These events typically appeal to the aficionado rather than the casual beer drinker. Every year, thousands of Belgian and foreign beer hounds travel to towns big and small across the ... Read Full Article

One Day in Brussels

  The “wow” factor is high as you walk through the narrow uneven cobblestone alleys to suddenly emerge on the large square at the Grand Place. It’s the number one sight in Brussels, and one of the finest medieval squares in Europe. The tall Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque facades of the elaborately crafted guild houses tower above you on all four sides of the square. Rebuilt in the 1690’s ... Read Full Article

The Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium: A Perfectly Preserved Town Square

Maison des ducs de Brabant

Europe has many elaborately crafted medieval town squares, but none is as ornate or theatrical as the Grand Place in Brussels. The stunning 17th century neo-classical Flemish façades of the superbly restored guild houses on this cobble stone square tell about its days of glory when Brussels was one of Europe’s main centers of industry. After walking through dark, narrow cobblestone alleys, ... Read Full Article

Old-School Brewing in Brussels

Samples of the faro, left, and the framboise beers

  There is an inherent irony today when we talk about Belgian beer. For most people, the term "Belgian beer" connotes monks brewing strong ales with difficult names and an alcohol content that can knock you off your bar stool if you are not prepared. Think of Chimay, Leffe or even Hoegaarden — the latter making up for its secularity and average strength with a name that confounds almost ... Read Full Article

Exploring the Markets of Brussels

  My first experience with the markets of Brussels was on a drizzly Saturday, as many of them tend to be, at the Clemenceau market. A friend and I stepped out of the metro station and into a gauntlet of women who would flash iPhones to anyone who looked like a potential buyer. "Watch your wallet, by the way," my friend warned. Throngs of shoppers were streaming into the ... Read Full Article

Brussels in a Day

  Brussels is a lovely city and great jumping off point to visit towns throughout Belgium as well as nearby international destinations like Paris and Amsterdam. Consider staying in Brussels and using the city as your hub while you take day trips to nearby locations. The city can be explored in one day or many. The following are suggestions on what to do in a day in the Belgian ... Read Full Article

Best Pubs in Western and Central Europe (well…some of them!)

Usually, the thought of a tasty, ice cold brew at the end of a long trek is what keeps even the most intrepid traveler fueled and focused when life on the road gets a little hard going. Thankfully, pretty much everywhere you go in Europe you’re up to your waist in world-class brew, and better yet, a veritable variety of amazing venues in which to relax, unwind and meet great people while you ... Read Full Article

European Beer: Tipple Across Europe on St. Paddy’s Day

In time for another of Europe’s favourite days for a tipple of beer - St. Patrick’s Day - here is a guide to five countries where you’ll get a history lesson with every pint (don’t worry, you won’t be quizzed). When you think European beverages, you probably conjure up French wine, Italian Limoncello, Russian vodka, or maybe Greek ouzo if you’re adventurous. European beer, although always a ... Read Full Article