On every journey to European countries, Belgium is one of the indispensable destinations among them. Belgium is known as the heart of Europe, the European capital located in Brussels, also the Belgium’s capital. When traveling to Belgium, you should visit medieval towns, architectural works and buildings designed in the Renaissance style, enjoy its specialties and don’t forget to buy beautiful souvenirs as gifts for friends and loved ones. Although Belgium is extremely famous for its excellent chocolate, this is not the only thing you can buy as gifts for friends or family. So, what to buy in Belgium and what souvenirs to buy in Belgium? Let’s check out our Belgium shopping guide with the suggested top 15+ best gifts from Belgium, best souvenirs from Belgium, best things to buy in Belgium and must buy in Belgium as well as where to buy them to find out the answer!
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If you have the opportunity to once set foot on this beautiful land, do not forget to bring back some gifts for your loved ones and family and also to mark a beautiful memorial trip in this land where dubbed the heart of Europe. Now, let’s find out the answer to the question “What to buy in Belgium a gift to bring home?” right below.
Must buy & best gifts from Belgium: Chocolate
Belgium also known as the Kingdom of chocolates. Belgian chocolate is famous for being the world’s best, so it’s no surprise that it’s the most popular souvenir associated with this European country. Belgian chocolate is loved because it is soft, smooth as velvet, fragrant, greasy and melts as soon as it is put in the mouth. Visitors from all over the world flock here to taste the best chocolate once.
It is also the place where chocolate covered nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashaews, hazelnuts…) were “born”. Did you know that there are more than 2,000 chocolate shops, only in Brussels? It is also because of the fierce and non-stop competition of dozens of chocolate producers that make Belgian chocolate not only keeps its development but also continuously brings surprises to consumers. The most prominent chocolate brands in Belgium are: Belvas, Côte d’Or, Pierre Marcolini, Wittamer, Neuhaus, Planète Chocolat, Laurent Gerbaud, Godiva, Leonidas or Guylian… Among them, Godiva is the most well-known brand with its excellent quality. Although in terms of design and color, Godiva’s chocolate does not have too many diverse designs, but just tasting it, diners can feel the difference that makes this brand’s name.
Also Leonidas is also a very popular traditional brand where you can buy good chocolate at a reasonable price.
Where to buy?
Although you can buy Belgian chocolate all over the world, buying it right in Belgium is a different story. Not only that, you can join chocolate tours in Brussels and make your own chocolate bars as gifts for your loved ones. Obviously, this is the first and easiest choice for the questions: “What souvenirs to buy in Belgium, what to buy in Belgium?”, best things to buy in Belgium, must buy in Belgium as well.
There are too many choices of Belgian chocolate with brands like Neuhaus, Godiva, Leonidas, Pierre Marcolini, Corne Port-Royal, Marry, Meert or Dumon… or brands mentioned above.
What to buy in Belgium: Beer/Beer Mugs
Besides chocolate, beer is the “specialty” of Belgium. This small country has more than 100 breweries and produces more than 1000 different types of beer. Similar to chocolate, you can find Belgian beer at local supermarkets, beer shops, restaurants… However, when choosing to bring home beer from Belgium as a gift, choose less export-oriented, especially local beer brands.
Belgium is famous for its Trappist beer, a type of beer is brewed by Trappist monks in 14 monasteries around the world, including 6 in Belgium. The Trappist beer types to try include Westvleteren 12, Orval, Rochefort 10, Westmalle Tripel and Westvleteren Blond.
Some other famous Belgian beers include Cuvee ST Antoine, Diole, La Boterresse, Cantillon and Brasserie de la Senne.
Not only beer, beer mugs in Belgium are also a cherished product. The Belgians believe that the shape of the beer mugs will affect the taste of the beer. That is also the reason that every beer brand produces its own mugs.
Where to buy?
With over 100 breweries in Belgium, it’s easy to find this delightful gift. If you’re a beer lover, you can spend a whole day touring the breweries and picking out the best beer you like the most. If you don’t want to visit any brewery, you can buy Belgian beer at any local grocery store. Some shops specializing in beer in Belgium include Beer Planet (Brussels), Struise Beer Shop (Bruges) and Bierland (Hamme). Also, you can join beer tours to discover and experience the taste of Belgian beer.
What souvenirs to buy in Belgium: Honey
Although Belgium doesn’t produce as much honey as France or Italy, the country is packed with impressive honey shops. When visit Brussels, you should visit the honey and natural products shop Desmecht Herboristerie (Address: Pl. Sainte-Catherine 10, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium/Hours: 9:30AM–6PM; Sunday; Monday: Closed). This shop is famous for its traditional organic honeys, natural beauty products, soaps, spices and teas. Therefore, you should also buy honey as a gift when traveling to Belgium.
Best souvenirs from Belgium: Jewelry
If you want buy souvenirs for special ladies, especially your lover, you should buy jewelry items. You can go to jewelry stores and buy unique their products. A suggested one is Dédée K jewelry store located in Châtelain District (Address: Rue de l’Amazone 18, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium/Hours: 10:30AM–6:30PM) is a great place where you can buy gifts that you can not find anywhere else, because the shop owner is the designer of these jewelry. For necklaces, bracelets and rings, she uses semi-precious stones, such as onyx, amethyst and crystal to create value jewelry items.
Best gifts from Belgium: Manneken-Pis Souvenirs
If you still wonder what to buy in Belgium as a unique gift, look for the Manneken-Pis statue souvenirs. Did you know that in Belgium, the bronze statue of Manneken Pis is a famous historical tourist spot of the capital Brussels, which always attracts thousands of tourists to visit each year. And the people here have modeled the Manneken Pis boy statue into special souvenirs of Belgium.
The statue is funny, mischievous and cute, but it also contains an anecdote and historical values of Belgium. The original 61cm high bronze statue of peeing boy was placed on the corner of the corner of Rue de l’Etuve and Rue des Grands Carmes since 1619 by the famous sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy the Elder.
Legend has it that from the 1142s the army of the 2-year-old lord fought to defend the territory. Soldiers carried the young lord into a basket and hung it under a tree to boost fighting spirit. From the tree, the little lord peed over the enemy’s troops and since then the image of the little lord Pis has become a symbol of Belgium, and is also seen as a meaningful souvenir from miniature of the statue, key chains, refrigerator magnets, ashtray, cups or corkscrew…
You can find these souvenirs everywhere in Brussels in all shapes, designs and sizes. From decorative fridge magnets, drinking mugs to corkscrews… You’ve got a lot to choose from this Belgian symbol.
Where to buy?
Although Manneken-Pis souvenirs can be found everywhere in Brussels, you should still visit the souvenir shop inside La Vieille Lanterne hotel once (Address: Rue des Grands Carmes 29, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium). There are life-sized versions of the real Manneken-Pis statue that are very interesting.
What to buy in Belgium: Lace fabrics and lace products
Lace fabric is a good suggestion. For centuries, Belgium and lace have remained closely linked. This is a famous traditional Belgian craft. Lace production has been an important economic commodity for Belgium since the 12th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the country had more than 47,000 lace producers.
Lace products are among the most famous in Belgium, but nowadays it is quite difficult to find such products in Belgium. Small groups of workers in Belgium continue to preserve the tradition of making lace products. Therefore, these products are very unique and beautiful. However, they are very expensive. However, if you want to find beautiful gifts for friends and family, you should give them hand fans, umbrellas, small bags or gloves made from Belgian lace.
Today, Brussels and Bruges are both famous for their lace products. However, Bruges is still marginally better because 70% of the 47,000 lace manufacturers are in Bruges. There are many lace shops and there’s even a lace museum for you to explore. Most interestingly, when coming to this city you will see a city map made from lace fabric.
Where to buy?
If you planning a trip to Bruges, remember to visit ‘T Apostelientje (Address: Balstraat 11, 8000 Brugge, Belgium/Hours: 1–5PM; Sunday, Monday: Closed). There are many shops selling lace in Bruges and Brussels but it will be difficult to choose the traditional, bold Belgian lace. But at ‘T Apostelientje you won’t have to face that trouble.
What souvenirs to buy in Belgium: Comics
If you have friends who are fans of manga, it is easy to get the answer to the question of what souvenirs to buy in Belgium, what to buy in Belgium. Many world-famous comics were born in Belgium, such as The Adventures of Tintin, The Smurfs and The Smurfs. The Adventures of Astérix or Lucky Luke are the works of Belgian artists. That’s why coming to Brussels, you can join a walking tour to see more than 50 large-format murals simulated from famous comic books themselves.
Belgium is an ideal destination for tourists who like comic books. Therefore, do not be surprised when you see adults reading comic books in public areas, especially in the city of Brussels. Therefore, you should buy Belgian comic books as gifts for friends. You should also visit the Comics Art Museum (Belgian Comic Strip Center) (Address: Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium/Hours: 10AM–6PM; Monday, Saturday: Closed) in Brussels. Here, you will be able to go back in time, return to your childhood with cartoon characters such as Tintin, Lucky Luke and the Smurfs,…
Belgium is also the kingdom of comics! The most prominent names are Blake and Mortimer, Largo Winch, Lucky Luke, Spike and Suzy, Brüsel, Smurfs, Tintin, Thorgal,… Even if you can’t read French or Dutch, a comic book is also very lovely souvenir to give as a gift to friends or children.
Where to buy?
Brussels is the perfect place to buy it. La Boutique Tintin (Address: Rue de la Colline 13, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium/Hours: 11AM–5PM; Saturday: Closed) near the Grand Place is where you can find everything about Tintin, from books, toys to souvenir items.
In addition, the Comics Art Museum that mentioned above is also worth a stop where you can both visit and buy souvenirs.
Must buy in Belgium: Postcards
Since Belgium is a country of comics, there are plenty of postcards that you can easily find from any souvenir shop.
Must & best things to buy in Belgium: Waffles
If you are planning a trip to Belgium, you definitely cannot miss the sweet taste of waffles. If you want to buy gifts for friends and relatives, waffles are not a bad choice. The main ingredients to create this delicious waffles are: flour, milk, sugar, butter, salt and baking powder. All is kneaded with skillful hands of bakers in Belgium to create this delectable specialty.
With its compact and elaborately made shapes, the cake makes people’s hearts flutter even more. In some places, this waffle is added with a layer of sugar around, making it even more attractive.
This treat is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth in Belgium’s waffle hotspots. The Brussels waffle, introduced at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958, is the “ancestor” of the Belgian waffle in the US. But the recipe is not the same, in the Belgian capital there are many delicious waffles, they are often covered in a layer of strawberries and cream or soft chocolate.
Of course, you can’t bring home these hot waffles, but you can buy boxes of waffles in Belgium. Jules Destrooper is a very famous Belgian biscuit maker since 1886. The almond flavor and crunchy texture are unforgettable features.
What to buy in Belgium: Traditional Speculoos Cookies
One of the best food in Belgium is the crispy cookies made with brown sugar and various flavors. This is the best gift you should bring back to your friends and relatives after leaving Belgium, especially for those who love to eat cookies. You can enjoy Speculoos cookies with coffee, or tea to enhance the flavor of peanut butter.
Speculoos is a very Belgian souvenir. It goes well with coffee or milk tea. You can buy these cookies at supermarkets or from Maison Dandoy (Address: Galerie du Roi 2, 1000 Brussel, Belgium/Hours: 10AM–8PM) in the Galerie de Roi. Speculoos shapes vary by store, making them great for gift-buying.
Although not well known to tourists, cuberdon is a sweet Belgian specialty and a popular local delicacy in Ghent, it means “nose” in English. The most traditional and basic type is the raspberry flavor. You can buy them in supermarkets or shops and even in restaurants in Ghent.
What souvenirs to buy in Belgium: Diamond
If you have a lot of money, come to Belgium and buy yourself a very luxurious gift made of diamond. If you visit the famous city of Antwerp – which is known as the world’s undisputed diamond capital, not only of Belgium but also of the world. Because 85% of the world’s diamond trade takes place in Antwerp (Belgium). Belgian diamonds are highly appreciated by experts for their quality as well as their sparkle, the variety of sizes and designs.
Antwerp diamond is the center of attraction for tourists because of the elegance and class from world famous gem makers. Worthy are gifts for the upper class. Souvenirs in Belgium, diamond is the best gift in terms of value, above all, the recipient will feel the nobility and luxury when used also affirming the position and heart of the giver.
Must buy in Belgium: Wall Carpets
Wall carpets are known in France but you can also find good products in Belgium, especially in Bruges and Brussels. You can also buy lovely pillowcases.
Shopping with famous fashion brands
In addition to famous souvenir indispensable items such as chocolate, Manneken-Pis or diamond or waffle, visitors should not ignore the Avenue Louise with stores, shopping malls and famous fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gianni Versace, Hermes, Christian Dior, Chanel… Not only walk around and admire the bustling shopping centers, visitors can also freely shop for fashion items with the latest trends for themselves and for others to bring back as a gift.
If you come to Belgium, the fashion here is also considered a beautiful and meaningful gift that you should buy as a gift for your relatives and friends.
Shopping tips in Belgium
Each shopping place has its own rules. Coming to Belgium, if you want to be treated like a local or want to enjoy great services when buying souvenirs, gifts to take home, you should note the following:
- If you are a shopping lover, then go to Avenue Louise or the stores located in Rue Antoine Dansaert street… there are absolutely no fakes here. Conversely, if you want to buy antiques, Brussels will let you satisfy this passion.
- Most shops in Belgium, whether large or small, require cash. It won’t be surprising if the cashier asks you cash to make a payment, so if you have, bring it for a quick transaction.
- When shopping in stores, visitors are not allowed to bring large bags or large backpacks. Usually there will be lockers or smaller stores that will assist you in storing your belongings.
- Before paying, you should ask if you pay by card. Some places do not accept card payments, especially in markets.
- Bargain carefully if you don’t want to get annoyed and upset from sellers, especially in markets, but don’t expect to get more than 10-15% off the list price.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Brussels you can refer to
- Private Brussels Airport (BRU) Transfers for Brussels
- Private Charleroi Airport (CRL) Transfers for Brussels
- Bruges Day Tour from Brussels
- Brussels Hop On/Hop Off Bus Day Pass and Trip by Rail from London
- Ghent and Bruges Day Tour from Brussels
- Bruges Guided Day Tour from Paris
- Brussels City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours
- Brussels Card
- Brussels City Sightseeing Bus Pass