The winter holiday season is the best time of the year. It’s fun, relaxing and cosy, the time when you get together with all your friends and family. However, there’s a downside to the holidays as well: you have so many preparations to do. From cooking and baking to going through the shops and braving the crowds in the search for the perfect presents, you have a lot on your plate the moment the holidays roll in. By the time Christmas rolls in, you’re already tired and feel like you can’t enjoy the holidays properly.
But there’s a way to bypass all these responsibilities and ensure that you don’t have to do all that work during what should be your free time. Travelling to a different country allows you to kick your feet back and relax completely. It’s also the perfect opportunity to enjoy an extended trip and give yourself a chance to experience the beauty of a completely new place. Talk about amping up the joy.
And if you’re still on the fence about where you should go, look no further than Belgium. This beautiful country located in the Northwest of Europe has much to offer for visitors so that you won’t be bored for a second during your trip. Here are some of the things you shouldn’t miss.
Try the local cuisine
There’s no time like Christmas to try a whole lot of tasty treats. Both savoury and sweet, there are so many recipes to try during the season that the only thing you’ll worry about is how many you’ll be able to sample in so few days. However, being in a foreign country also offers the perfect opportunity to try out some new and eclectic things. While you can stick to staples you can find everywhere, it seems a pity not to try the local dishes. Experimenting with the local cuisine of a country is a unique experience that generally cannot be replicated anywhere else. In their country of origin, dishes are prepared with local ingredients and through long-established methods. They’re also ideally suited to local taste palettes, so you’ll get to experience something entirely new.
Some of the most well-known dishes you should try out are:
- Moules-Frites: Mussels cooked with onions and celery and served with Belgian fries.
- Vlaamse karbonaden: A beef stew made with Belgian beer and served with bread and mustard.
- Waterzooi: A stew using chicken or fish as its main ingredient, mixed with broth, egg yolks and cream.
- Paling in ‘t groen: A dish of freshwater eel cooked in a green herb sauce.
- Rijstevlaai: Sweet pie with a filling of rice pudding that is best served cold.
- Oliebol: Deep-fried balls of dough served with raisins or candied peel.
- Waffles: Nothing says comfort food more than a piping hot waffle filled with fruit.
No trip is complete without winter sports. While it can be challenging to reach your destination when you’re trying to reach the slopes, you can put those worries aside during this trip. When you travel with NS International, you can reach any destination conveniently and for an affordable fee. When you choose to travel by train you have a few extra advantages. You don’t have to worry about putting on winter tires and driving through unfavourable weather, dealing with the traffic, purchasing mandatory mountain passes or buying snow chains.
To have the perfect skiing holiday in Belgium, you need to do some prior research to see which location would work best for you. The Baraque de Fraiture is the highest place in the country for skiing. The slopes are roughly 2 km long, and the peaks stand at 625 metres. Val de Wanne, located in the Liège province is one of the best places to try snowboarding. If you’re travelling with children, you can rest assured that they’ll be perfectly safe in the specially-designed areas.
Pubs and taxidermy
It may sound like an odd combo but think about it for a second. This interior design makes for a quirky and unique appeal and makes you feel like you’ve been transported straight to a 19th-century hunting lodge. In fact, there’s even a name for this design, taxidermy chic. The reason why it has become so popular in recent years is that it pays homage to a time that seems far removed from the present and dangerous. Given how so many experiences have veered towards being digitised since the advent of the internet, such locales play on the rugged physical appeal of the design. One of the best choices is La Phramacie Anglaise, located in Brussels at Coudenberg 66.
There are many things to see and explore in Belgium. So, if you’re not content staying too long in one place and enjoy discovering new and exciting things, you’re in luck. There’s a lot to see just by walking around on the streets, as the architecture is very diverse and combines the old and historical with the ultramodern. You can’t miss out on the Grand-Place, located right at the heart of Brussels and one of the most important tourist destinations in the whole of Belgium.
You can enjoy the panoramic view at the top of the Atomium, as well as the exhibitions inside. If you’re a fan of art nouveau and art deco, visiting the Fin-de-Siècle Museum is a must. If you prefer street art, you’ll be glad to hear it’s spread all throughout the Belgian capital. Known as the Comic Strip, this route contains no fewer than fifty murals painted on building walls.
A trip to Belgium is the perfect thing for the holiday season. You’ll get to unwind and relax in one of the most picturesque countries in the world, enjoy the scenic views, the food, the culture and the shopping. Moreover, given the fact Belgium is relatively small, you can travel to many different places and experience as much of the country as possible during only one trip.