Shopping is a real treat in Belgium as it is famous for its wide range of affordable items.

Best buys are chocolates, lace, tapestries, leatherwear, linen, ginger cookies, as well as brassware, pewterware, and copperware. Fine crystal glassware can be found at Val-Saint-Lambert. Antwerp is the best place to shop for diamonds, while Bruges is the best area in which to shop for hand-made lace.

Shopping hours vary, with closing times generally being from 6 pm-8 pm. Smaller shops tend to close for lunch. All major international credit cards are accepted.

Brussels offers a wide range of shops in an extremely compact space, making it easy to shop without covering great distances. In the three blocks off the Boulevard de Waterloo is a shopping area featuring the finest in European apparel and gifts, Gucci, Chanel, Valentino, Daniel Hector, Burberry--all the names synonymous with grand European shopping are represented here. A walk down the Rue Neuve will lure you into department stores and trendy boutiques where the wares of young Belgian designers are on display.

In the "uptown" area, the Place du Grand Sablon and adjacent streets are well-known for numerous antique shops and dealers. In addition, there are a number of covered arcades to entice you, such as: the Galerie du Centre, Galerie Saint-Honoré, Galerie Toison d'Or, Galerie Bortier, and the Galeries Saint-Hubert. The streets immediately around and off the Grand-Place are popular for their lace and souvenirs.

In Brussels, one is not confined to shops for shopping, for the city is home to colorful markets, many of which are highly specialized. Two very famous antique markets are the "Flea Market," held in the Place Jeu de Balle, daily from 7 am to 2 pm, and another held in the Place du Grand Sablon all day on Saturday and on Sunday morning. The Grand-Place is the site of the picturesque Flower Market during the week and of the Bird Market on Sundays.

This small country has 2,130 chocolate shops. Brussels is the chocolate capital of the world. But every city and even the smallest towns have exquisite chocolate shops, all decorated with a very artistic touch. And yes, the chocolates and pralines taste heavenly.

Tax-free shopping in Belgium
Non-EU (European Union) residents are entitled to claim back taxes paid on purchases when leaving the EU. All tour participants will be provided with the necessary information.