Warning: May Cause Uncontrollable Cravings and a Sudden Desire to Move to Belgium
Embarking on a Belgium chocolate road trip is an indulgent adventure that will awaken your senses and tantalize your taste buds. With a reputation for producing some of the finest chocolate in the world, it is a chocolate lover’s paradise. From quaint chocolate shops to grand chocolate factories, this road trip offers a delicious journey through the heart of the country’s chocolate culture.
Whether you’re a seasoned chocolate connoisseur or simply have a sweet tooth, a Belgium chocolate road trip is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with unforgettable memories.
Day 1: Brussels
- Visit the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate to learn about the history of chocolate in Belgium and see demonstrations of chocolate making
- Sample some of the city’s best chocolate shops, such as Pierre Marcolini, Wittamer, and Laurent Gerbaud
- Take a chocolate-making workshop at Zaabär to learn how to create your own chocolates
- Stay overnight in Brussels
Day 2: Bruges
- Drive to the charming city of Bruges, stopping at Neuhaus chocolate factory outlet along the way
- Take a walking tour of the city’s historic center, visiting chocolate shops like The Chocolate Line, Dumon, and Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc
- Take a boat tour through the canals of Bruges, enjoying hot chocolate as you go
- Stay overnight in Bruges
Day 3: Antwerp
- Drive to Antwerp and visit the Chocolate Nation museum to see exhibits on chocolate history and production, as well as sample some chocolates
- Explore the city’s chocolate shops, such as Burie, Del Rey, and JITSK, known for their artisanal chocolates and pralines
- Visit the Grote Markt square and the Cathedral of Our Lady, both of which have chocolate connections in their histories
- Stay overnight in Antwerp
Day 4: Hasselt
- Drive to Hasselt and visit the Jenever Museum, which includes a chocolate and jenever pairing experience
- Check out the chocolate shops in Hasselt, such as Boon, Leonidas, and Bittersweet
- Take a chocolate-themed walking tour of the city, including stops at chocolatiers and historic chocolate-related sites
- Stay overnight in Hasselt
Day 5: Leuven
- Drive to Leuven and visit the chocolate shops in the historic city center, such as Chocolate Line and Léonidas
- Take a beer and chocolate pairing tour at the Domus brewery, where you can try local beers with chocolate treats
- Visit the University Library, which has a fascinating history involving chocolate and bookbinding
- Stay overnight in Leuven
Day 6: Ghent
- Drive to Ghent and visit the city’s chocolate shops, such as Yuzu, Daskalides, and Chocolaterie Jan Van Belle
- Take a walking tour of the historic center, including the Graslei and Korenlei waterfronts, and the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, which houses the famous Ghent Altarpiece, which includes a painting of the adoration of the mystic lamb
- Enjoy a chocolate-themed dinner at one of the city’s restaurants, such as Groot Vlaenderen or De Foyer
- Stay overnight in Ghent
Day 7: Return to Brussels
- Drive back to Brussels, stopping at any chocolate shops you may have missed on the way
- Visit the Museum of the Belgian Brewers to learn about the country’s beer history, and try some chocolate and beer pairings
- Return your rental car and depart from Brussels
TIP: Of course, this itinerary is just a suggestion, and you could customize it to suit your own preferences and interests. Happy chocolate tasting!
Did you know?
Belgian chocolate makers were allowed to produce chocolate bars to be used as currency by soldiers and civilians and were called “lifesavers.” These could be used to buy goods and services.
A little history:
During World War II, Belgium was occupied by Nazi Germany, and the country faced severe economic challenges, including a scarcity of traditional forms of currency. In response, the Belgian government allowed chocolate makers to produce chocolate bars authorized as currency.
These Belgium chocolate bars were made with high-quality ingredients and had a standardized size and weight, making them easy to exchange for goods and services. The chocolate bars were called “lifesavers” because they provided a source of sustenance and pleasure during difficult times.
After the war, Belgium’s use of chocolate as currency ended. Still, the tradition of high-quality chocolate-making continued in Belgium, leading to the country’s reputation as a premier chocolate producer.
Some of the original “lifesaver” chocolate bars are still in circulation as collector’s items, serving as a reminder of the resourcefulness and creativity of the Belgian people during a challenging period in their history.