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Brussels, Belgium


The port city of Zeebrugge, known as "the gateway to Belgium," gives a beautiful first impression to one of the most vigorous and creative countries in the world. From here, it's on to the fascinating city of Brussels with its medieval architecture and modern buzz, as well as the delightful Flemish cities of Ghent and Bruges, two of the most elegant and romantic spots in all of Western Europe.

The road from Zeebrugge winds through stately provinces toward Brussels. In the heart of the city is the magnificent Grand Place, a prosperous marketplace in the Middle Ages. Here you will see beautiful Baroque guild houses with their incredible ornate gilded decorative facades and gables. Nearby, the 17th century Manneken Pis is a highly recognized bronze fountain of a little boy caught in an irreverent pose.

The Galleries St. Hubert is a fashionable promenade, network of fine galleries, and the oldest shopping arcade in Europe, where you'll find a wealth of world-famous tapestries, Flemish lace, chocolates and souvenirs for sale. Stop by the Gueuze Brewery Museum for a delicious beverage, or take a stroll to the Maison du Roi, or King's House and enjoy a real Belgian waffle from one of the many local eateries.

Chocoholics will find themselves in heaven on a visit to a local Belgian Chocolate factory, where a demonstration of the fine art of making chocolate by hand leads to a chocolate tasting that's out of this world!

Nearby, the Flemish towns of Ghent and Bruges recall the Middle Ages and offer a spectacular look of a bygone era. Bruges features pretty canals, graceful swans, cobblestone streets and medieval gables, while in Ghent, encounter guild houses, imposing mansions, and more than 200 bridges over river passages.

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