I’m one of those lucky girls who can say that she has a very romantic boyfriend. Yes, I’ve got the type of boyfriend that get’s me flowers now and then. Another great thing about my man is (and after this I will stop boring you) that he loves to travel! He’s traveled around south east Asia for 6 months and lived in Australia for a year. This also means that when he surprises me with one of his romantic gestures, it mostly involves traveling, lucky me! So 2 weeks ago when we celebrated our 2 years together, he kinda kidnapped me and drove me over the Dutch border towards Belgium. I had no idea where he was taking me. Could it be Antwerp where I’ve been so often? Nope, we ended up in a small town called: Eeklo. A village situated in between 2 great cities: Ghent and Bruges.
Where I stayed
It was dark when we arrived so I couldn’t really see where I ended up at but I loved it already. This village was nothing special other than it is perfect for what we were planning: Visit Ghent on the one day and visit Bruges on the next day. From Eeklo both cities were about a 25 min drive. We stayed in a place called Salus, a wellness bed & breakfast owned by a family. We enjoyed a large bedroom with a private bathroom that included a rain shower, sauna, steam room and an outside jacuzzi! The room price includes a breakfast but if you want to use the sauna and steam room, you need to pay 35 euro’s extra. I personally don’t really like sauna’s so I didn’t bother with this option. I love staying in B&B’s because it feels more personal instead of a large hotel. The next morning we jumped in our car and drove to our first destination of the weekend.
I heard good stories about this city and Sarah has been there a few times so I was exited to see what the buzz is all about. Ghent is full of beautiful of old buildings that make it a picture perfect place. Not strange because during the Middle Ages it was a prominent city-state. Now it’s a vibrant university town with lot’s of places to indulge your taste buds. It’s a small town which makes it cozy but it certainly isn’t boring! Every year you can enjoy the “Gentse feesten” which takes place in July and there are various activities throughout the city like music, dance, food and more. I only had one day but I enjoyed shopping, coffee bars, lunch spots and walking around.
My favorite hotspots in Ghent are:
» Barista Coffee & Cake, The’ve been around for at least 6 years and they still attract the hip crowd of Ghent. www.mybarista.be
» Pomme et Terre, opened in March, this is a healthy lunch option right in the centre of Ghent. Sweet potato with healthy toppings. Try the vegetarian ChileconCarne! They even sell brownies made with sweet potatoes, coconut and raw cacao powder. Facebook
» Walpoortstraat for cute stores including a few concept stores. You will also find the cool OR coffee roasters in this street. www.orcoffee.be
» Proof, a new alcohol tasting room and they’ve just opened! Taste all kind of beers, wines and other alcoholic beverages. Proof is a combination between a store and a bar and it’s situated alongside the water on Jan Breydelstraat.
» Koperhuis Lifestyle Boutique for cool furniture, home accessories, jewelry and gift ideas. www.koperhuis.be
The next day we checked out and drove up to Bruges. This town has been on my wishlist for a while after seeing the movie “In Bruges” so I was really exited. Let me tell you, Bruges didn’t disappoint! As soon as you enter this town it feels like you have entered the medieval times. The shops in Bruges are (in my opinion) a lot better than in Ghent.
My favorite hotspots in Bruges:
» Jüttu is by far the best concept store in town. Cool brands in fashion and furniture or just things to love. Most brands are sustainable or fairtrade. www.juttu.be
» Flying Tiger is a well know cook store that is even interesting for people who never cook! www.flying-tiger.nl
» 2B /The Beerwall is a famous wall made out of beer bottles and leads to a beer bar with a nice terras looking over the water. Facebook
» Fishmarket in the morning for all the fresh fish. Later they sell art and local brands in stalls that date back from 1821.
» Simon Stevin Square is great for drinks in the sunshine. Try to avoid the tourist trap at the main square (where you shoot the perfect picture like below)
» El Greco for the best Greek food at night. Make a reservation to avoid a full house. www.el-greco.be
Ghent and Bruges are both amazing vities in their own right and you should definitely visit them both if you get the chance!