Calling All Cheapos: Brussels and Bruges advice

Posted in: Brussels



Dear readers, we’re packing our bags for Belgium, where we’ll be adding two new cities to the site! And we’re asking you for your advice!

First, we’ll visit Brussels, the bulls-eye of the European Union. Known for its bankers, beer, and chocolate, Brussels is also known for rather expensive lodging, presenting us with both a challenge and an opportunity.

Next we’ll head to the picturesque village of Bruges, always popular with tourists–and full of charming hotels. (Bruges has also been in lights recently with the debut of In Bruges, a film starring Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell. It’s even playing in the theater downstairs from our office. We smell popcorn!)

Now, we’re asking you for your tips! Have you been to Brussels? Bursting with something to say about Bruges?

We’re compiling our list of independently-run hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and pensions to review for both cities. In addition, we’d love to hear your budget restaurant recommendations, Belgian know-how, and anything else you’re eager to share with us.

Send us a note or write a comment below. And thanks—your recommendations help build a better EuroCheapo.

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers

About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.

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7 thoughts on “Calling All Cheapos: Brussels and Bruges advice”

  1. Hi just looking for advice on anyone who has or is traveling to Brussels this year for Christmas. My partner and I will be heading to Brussels 23rd – 26th Dec. I know there are Crhistmas markets on in Brussels but can anyone suggest things worth while to do at that time of year. Will it be worth and easy to get to Bruges for a day trip. Appreciate the help,

    Aussie travelers.

  2. As a real Belgian, I can’t recommend “Leonidas” chocolates enough! It’s about 15 euros per kilo, but we just stop by for a quick chocolate fix whenever we want to, even if it’s just for 2 chocolates. You’ll find them everywhere in Brussels, even in metro stations.

  3. The Bauhaus hostel in Brugges actually has some decent doubles too, although it can get a bit loud thanks an in-house bar that goes till the wee hours (not a problem for me, but then again I was probably one of the loud ones). It’s such a gorgeous city! Antwerp also has its charms.

  4. I stayed at the Hotel Astrid on the Place du Samedi. An easy walk from the Grand Place tourist area, but far enough away to be quiet. Nice rooms, bigger than most I’ve had in Europe, and a good deal for the money. That was a few years ago, before I discovered EoroCheapo, so I am now much hipper. But I was happy with the Astrid. Used that as a base, and went all over with a Benelux rail pass. Turned out to be a good plan.

    More importantly, there is (or was, anyway) a really great (small) restaurant just across from the Astrid–the Restaurant St. Catherine, Place du Samedi 15. (All this is right off the De Brouckere metro stop). Great food, fair prices, and a gregarious host that will enhance the experience. That was my favorite Brussels discovery.

  5. We enjoyed Brugge & since we stayed at camping St Michel, which is just walking distance away from all the sites in old town ( or take a bus or rent a bike), we found it VERY cheap. Of course, we have been traveling in Europe for 18 months & find it all very cheap with our frugal ways. They have nice rentals so you do not need a tent or RV.

    American’s have a different perspective on camping than Europeans, here it is a typical middle class way to travel on a budget in every city, tour site & most small towns. Great way to meet locals and other Europeans.

    It is very pretty:

    Don’t miss the Michelangelo ( the only one to leave Italy in his lifetime) if you like art:

    Don’t miss the chocolate and Dumon:

    Don’t miss the lace:

    For more info, check out our blog archives at

    Have fun!

  6. Hi,

    I go to Belgium every year (my sister lives in Brussels) and have penpals in Belgium. I think Bruges is a small Venice and please remember Liege is nice along with Antwerp (the best place to shop because everything is overpriced in Brussels). You get things about 10 – 25% off outside Brussels. It is a very small country and depending on how many days you would spend time, you can see the outside of Brussels. If you drive, go to French spoken area where there are so many castles. Also Belgium beer is so cheap and taste better (in NYC one bottle/glass cost US$10, but over there local beers cost only 2 Euro or a bit more).

    Write me if you need information about any topics… I LOVE BENELUX!


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