Belgium may be small, but it certainly packs a punch. The epicenter of European affairs and, indeed, a mainstay of the world stage, it’s set to impress. Here, you’ll not only find world leaders but rows upon rows of chocolatiers, classical architecture aplenty and a cutting-edge art and design scene that brings an effervescent contrast to it all. Whether circling the canals of Bruges and Ghent, setting trends in Antwerp or tracing history in Brussels, your time in Belgium will certainly be varied. Spend seven-nights sipping craft beers and sampling Belgium’s many culinary delights as you make your way between its charming cities, getting a behind the scenes glimpse at the worlds of art, chocolate and diamonds before bedding down in luxury each night.
Marcolini, Magritte & More
Your trip really couldn’t start anywhere other than Brussels and in this charming city, it has to be Hotel Amigo. Just around the corner from the Grand Place, drop your bags here for the first two nights of your trip as you settle into the plush rooms with their effortless Olga Polizzi flair. Get to know the city that afternoon on a privately guided walking tour that will see you tracing the centuries as you take in iconic sights such as the Old Market, Manneken Pis and Gallery Royal Saint Hubert. Along the way, we’ll be sure to stave off any hunger pangs as you enjoy tastings at some of the city’s best chocolatiers. Fancy yourself a true connoisseur? For an added flourish, we can arrange a private masterclass with the renowned chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini, whose handcrafted creations are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
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Behind the Scenes in Brussels
Tomorrow morning, you’ll gain an insider’s view of Brussels – starting with art. Join an art docent on a privately guided tour of the Magritte Museum, showcasing the surrealist works of the artist Rene Magritte. From there, you’ll continue onto the well-to-do neighborhood of Sablon, known for its antiques dealers and confectioners. If you’re in the market for an antique or two, then we highly recommend timing your visit for over a weekend when the whole neighborhood transforms into a thriving antiques market. As for the afternoon, join a curator or art journalist for a bespoke visit to a number of the city’s top galleries. Wherever your interests lie, our little black book of the art world is ready to open the doors to any number of collections.
The Gastronomy of Ghent
The next day, we’ll whisk you just an hour northwest to the riverine city of Ghent where you’ll check in at the stylish 1898 The Post. In the afternoon, head out on a private walking tour of the city’s gastronomic delights: from its bars and restaurants to its breweries and distilleries before passing by some architectural wonders, culminating with the iconic altarpiece of St. Bavo’s Cathedral. Van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is one of Belgium’s most treasured works and alongside an expert guide, you’ll see how it continues to inspire Ghent through the centuries.
No trip to Belgium would be complete without a trip to one of its most famous cities, Bruges. Compact and encircled by canals, it makes for the perfect day out as you stroll the cobbled streets on a private walking tour. For those of you feeling energetic, not to be missed is the climb to the top of the Belfry followed by a leisurely afternoon bike ride through the nearby village of Damme and its surrounding countryside. Back in Ghent tomorrow, you’ll take to the canals and Old-Leie River for a private boat trip taking in the city’s beautiful scenery and riverside villas from what has been dubbed ‘The Golden River’. Dust off the morning with lunch at a local favorite of ours, perched on the riverbank, before enjoying the afternoon at your leisure.
Your final stop is up-and-coming Antwerp. A city making a name for itself in the worlds of fashion and design, you’ll spend the final two nights at the artfully designed Hotel Julien. After a private walking tour of the city, tomorrow you’ll get a behind the scenes peek at one of it’s most illustrious trades with a visit to the Diamond District. Alongside an expert guide, you’ll head into the back office of a diamond broker to get a feel for the various stones before visiting a cutting and polishing atelier and the diamond bourse as you trace diamonds all the way into the jewellers. Then, in the afternoon, you’ll join an expert at the Museum of Contemporary Art M HKA before making the most of your final afternoon with some time taking in Antwerp’s stylish shops.
Tomorrow, you’ll head home. However, with chocolates, diamonds and more to choose from, we certainly recommend picking up a souvenir or two to remember your time here by.