Brasserie Cantillon is not your typical brewery. There is no walled-off, sterile brewing area, no stainless steel showpiece tasting room with fancy tap handles spouting pumpkin ale.
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A small country in Western Europe, Belgium is unique in that it has two main languages—Dutch, which is spoken mostly by the Flemish population, and French, which is spoken mostly by the Walloon population. Luckily for visitors, English is also ubiquitous. Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy since 1831 but suffered heavily due to occupation and fighting during both World Wars. Thankfully, much of its fine art and its remarkable, intricate buildings survived the devastation of the wars.
Belgium is a great option for visitors. There are lots of fun things to do in Brussels, including walking the entertaining Comic Strip Route, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Grand Place, visiting Cantillon Brewery, and trying delicious traditional food. The smaller city of Bruges offers endless eye candy in the form of remarkable buildings and gorgeous canals that make you wonder if you’ve just stepped onto a movie set or into a fairytale. Ghent and Antwerp also offer excellent options for cultural experiences and sightseeing.
It’s not every day you step through the door of an upscale hotel and find a foosball table and bright red cartoons on the wall.
Brussels is a complex city. Both historic and modern, ornate and sleek, busy and quiet, the city has different personalities in only the span of a few blocks. But despite these contrasts (or maybe because of them), there’s something new and different at every turn. And I loved every bit of it.
Leuven is a small university city about 20 minutes by train from the Belgian capital Brussels. Here are things to do in Leuven on a weekday.