Sonian Secrets

Venture like a veteran — our Staff Picks are here to help you uncover Belgium’s best-kept secrets

  • light amber and dark beers in glasses

    Cozy up with a Belgian Brew

    If asked to pick a favorite between food or beer, Belgians choose both. This January why not warm your spirit with some of Brussels'! The city overflows with great pubs and bars where you can sample the wide variety of Belgian beer on offer. If a flight of flavors is what you seek, try Delirium. It may not sparkle, but the bar is popular for its offering of more than 2000 beers, live music, and plenty of seating. It makes for a great escape from the winter winds.

    You won't be alone. Brussels sets a tone to enjoy being, rather than running around to see the sights. If you've spent the afternoon visiting its famed Winter Wonders, you might find cozying up with the locals is just the ticket. Too many choices on tap? Try a cherry beer. But be careful, at 8% you can’t have too many!

  • iphone framing photo of lighted christmas tree outside at night

    'Tis the Season at Brussels' Plaisirs d'Hiver

    For five magical weeks, Brussels’ Grand Place practically melts with the sights and sounds of the holidays. Its world famous ‘Winter Wonders’ Christmas Market, Plaisirs d'Hiver, boasts 200 cozy chalets along a two-kilometer corridor, drawing visitors from all over Europe and abroad. Bundle up and enjoy the view from the giant Ferris wheel, find all your must-have gifts, relax under the spell of aromatic mulled wine, and gaze at the giant fir delighting the imaginations of young and old alike. There’s a choir in Saint Catherine Square and a parade of lights every Saturday. In recent years, the ice-skating rink was moved to the Place de la Monnaie to make more room for vendors and for you! When you tire of the crowds, wander toward the 48 statues of the Petit Sablon, have a walk in the Parc du Cinquantenaire and remember your day by taking a photo from atop the Mont des Arts.

  • Stack of dark chocolate squares

    Sample Belgium's Finest Chocolate

    No visit to Belgium is complete without chocolate. So spend an afternoon (or two!) on a chocolatey tour and sample some of the country's finest. Follow your nose on Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop. In four hours a guide will lead you through the city's charming cobblestone streets, treating you along the way to chocolates and world-famous truffles from some of the best shops in the city. Then you can try your hand at making your own. 

    If you'd like to exercise your taste buds more than your feet, try the Chocolate Tasting Tour, during which a well-informed guide will take you from chocolate shop to chocolate shop for scrumptious samples and a chance to buy your favorites for later. For those craving local insights, reserve your place in the Ultimate Chocolate Experience walking tour, where you'll learn how to make chocolate from the oldest chocolatier in the city.

  • Egyptian painting on wall

    Climb Aboard The Sphere

    It took 4.6 billion years for the Earth to reach its current state. Can you prevent it from coming undone in less than two hours? Board The Sphere and find out. The brainchild of Annapurna Consult, this unique escape room whisks you through time without so much as leaving La Hulpe. Set aboard a futuristic spaceship, you and your team must solve a series of puzzles in order to correct fatal irregularities in the planet’s timeline.

    Succeed, and you’ll be immortalized. Fail, and the Earth ceases to exist. Triumph, however, is no easy feat. Guided by Gideon, The Sphere’s artificial intelligence, you’ll face five challenges set throughout history — past and future. Sail the Nile in Ancient Egypt, séance alongside Sherlock Holmes, and more; just don’t forget the task at hand. Excellent for groups of 10 or more, The Sphere is among Belgium’s most distinct attractions. It offers a team-building opportunity that’s singular in its effectiveness. After all, the fate of the world depends on it.