Give someone a Brussels gift this Christmas

Give someone a Brussels gift this Christmas

Visiting Brussels and looking to do a spot of Christmas shopping? What a great idea! The capital is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts, as it's full of original, local and typically Brussels shops and products. We've put together a selection of gift ideas and places to find them.

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    For food lovers: chocolates, biscuits, beers…

    Brussels is a city of delicacies, and of chocolate in particular. Numerous chocolatiers offer you a wealth of choice with their selections. As the inventor of the praline, Neuhaus is a must in the capital. Pierre Marcolini, another renowned chocolatier, offers you vintage chocolates. Laurent Gerbaud, who was crowned Chocolatier of the Year by Gault & Miliau in 2021, invites you to travel through the unique flavours of its artisan creations. Discover the addresses of these master chocolatiers and the products they offer, thanks to our selection of chocolate shops in Brussels.

    For those with a sweet tooth, speculoos and pain à la Grecque are two must-try sweet specialities! To find them, head to Dandoy, a historic company that has been making sweet treats since 1829. In this family business, tradition and craftsmanship are the watchwords and butter and sugar reign supreme. You can try their delicacies at several addresses in Brussels, including one only a stone's throw from the Grand-Place and another in the Galerie du Roi. For more addresses, browse our selection of artisan confectioneries in the capital.

    When you think of Brussels, you think of beer, another inescapable Belgian speciality. The capital's countless breweries offer you both traditional and original variations of this world-famous speciality. Cantillon brewery has been producing gueuzes and lambics since 1900. Brasserie de la Senne makes craft beers from natural ingredients in its production workshop next to Tour & TaxisL’Ermitage nano-brewery offers original beers such as the Dipatout, Lanterne, Théorème de l'Empereur and Soleil. Explore the whole range of Brussels breweries with our selection.

    Dandoy in the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert in Brussels
    © Maison Dandoy

    Albums, collectors objects and other page-turners

    Are you a fan of comics? Then you've come to the right place, because Brussels is the capital of comics. Many of the city's bookshops offer a wide range of albums and a number of them are specialised in the literary genre. Brüsel, just a stone's throw from the Bourse, is a well-known example: named after the city of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters in their series Les Cités obscures, it is also an art gallery where you can find collectors' items such as prints, serigraphs and posters. It is also home to The Little Wizard’s Brussels House, which is a paradise for Potterheads! Is manga more your thing? Then you need to head to Ichiban. Alongside their typical Japanese soft drinks and snacks like bubble tea and mochi, they offer a delightful selection of mangas translated into English.

    If you're stuck on which comic to gift to your kids, the Comic Strip Festival is here to help. The 2021 Atomium Awards rewarded comics such as The Whale Library by Judith Vanistendael and Zidrou and The Secret of the Chef by Wauter Mannaert!

    Discover our selection of bookshops that offer the best of the ninth art, along with our favourite comic strips about Brussels.

    For bookworms

    Looking to treat your loved ones to some Brussels-themed literature this Christmas? The capital’s bookshops offer all kinds of books showcasing the capital of Europe’s many facets. Some of our favourite recent publications include books on gastronomy. Bruxelles – 100 chefs, 100 recettes cultes (in French only), shares the recipes and tricks of the trade of established Brussels chefs. Histoires Belges à Cuisiner, by Valérie Lepla, founder of Pistolet Original, shares her recipes for Brussels’ favourite (and her speciality), the pistolet - those little round buns with golden crusts and soft crumbs – but also numerous Belgian classics. For more books about Brussels, browse our selection.

    To find these books and thousands of others, head to Filigranes, Belgium’s largest bookshop and the largest single-level bookshop in the world. Tropismes is another unmissable bookshop in the capital, with its remarkable architecture and stunning location in the city centre’s Galerie des Princes. Waterstones, at De Brouckère, also offers a wide range of English-language books. Discover our selection of Brussels bookshops here.

    Tropismes bookshop in the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert in Brussels
    Tropismes

    Gifts that are made in Brussels

    The capital of Europe produces a wide range of original products. Like Marseille, Savonneries Bruxelloises has been creating soaps since 1926, in its original building in the heart of Brussels. Let yourself be seduced by their soaps, which you can find in numerous shops, including: Ligne (in the Galerie du Roi), Manneke and the Maison de la Bande Dessinée (both near Brussels Central Station) or Filigranes (opposite Brussels Park).

    Bel’Arte, in the Dansaert district, offers fashion designed by Belgian designers: jewellery, watches, leather goods, homeware, etc. Belge une fois, not far from the Palace of Justice, is another shop that celebrates Belgianness in all its wonderful quirky glory. Discover our selection of boutiques selling 100% made in Belgiumproducts, here.

    Les Savonneries Bruxelloises in the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert in Brussels
    Savonneries Bruxelloises

    Even more gift ideas…

    Still not quite found what you're looking for? Here are some more original suggestions. For game enthusiasts, Brussels 1897 and The Belgian Beer Race are two board games based on Brussels. In the first, try to make a name for yourself in the world of art history, thanks to your Art Nouveau creations, which were in full swing at the time. As for the second, it takes you on a Belgian beer race, making you visit as many breweries as possible to try to win the competition. You can find these board games at Belge une fois and Dédale (in Etterbeek and Ixelles). For culture lovers, the capital's museum shops offer a multitude of products and souvenirs. We’ve even put together a selection of cultural gifts, just for you. And, of course, don’t forget to visit the Christmas markets!

    Belge une fois in Brussels
    © Belgeunefois.com

    So, whether it's delicacies, books, games or creative products, let yourself be seduced by the best Brussels has to offer and spoil your loved ones, Brussels-style, this year!