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You can find all your shopping requirements in Bruges and Brussels, whether you want to go shopping in a department store, a wonderful boutique, or simply wander around a popular market. Of course we shouldn't forget that an obvious souvenir from Belgium is Chocolate. This wonderful country is famous for its chocolate, which uses only the very best cocoa. It is clear that the people of Belgium adore their chocolate and take it very seriously, making Bruges a Chocoholics dream. However, Chocolate aside, if you're looking for the best shopping malls and markets, Brussels and Bruges are the place to shop. The main shopping streets in Bruges are Geldmuntstraat-Noordzandstraat and Steenstraat-Zuidzandstraat. Within no time at all, you will stumble across a vast array of shopping opportunities, either large or small. Enthusiastic followers of fashion will be delighted by the city's many boutiques, some of them offering famous designer brands.
Read more information on this destination in the AA Citypack Guide to Brussels & Bruges.
Top shops in Bruges
The Bottle Shop, Wollestraat 13: You enter a cornucopia of beer, bottles and glasses in this emporium just off the Markt. Many of the hundreds of beers on offer are Belgian, including lambic and gueuze beers, and lots of highly individual glasses that go with them. Open daily 10-7.
Brugs Diamanthuis, Katelijnestraat 43: This technique of diamond polishing is attributed to the mid-15th century Bruges goldsmith van Berquem, and Bruges was Europe's first diamond city. This shop keeps alive the tradition of diamond polishing and offers a large selection of quality diamonds and diamond jewellery. Open daily 10.30-5.30.
Chocolatier Depla Pol, Mariastraat 20.: This shop sells some of the city's finest hand-made chocolates, particularly truffles, florentines and marzipan. Open Mon - Sat 10-6.
Diksmuids Boterhuis, Geldmuntstraat 23.: Aromatic shop with hams and sausages hanging from the ceiling, and Belgian and French Cheeses and breads. Open Mon - Sat 9.30-12.30, 2-6.30.
L'Heroine , Noordzandstraat 32: The best selection of Belgian fashion is found at this small but excellent store, stocking Dries Van Noten, Kaat Tilley, Chris Janssens and younger Belgian designers such as Frieda Degeyter. Open Mon - Sat 10-6.30.
Iki, Katelijnestraat 131: Wonderful little boutique selling good-vintage clothing and accessories from the 1920's to 1970's. Open Thu - Sat 2-6.
Spegelaere, Ezelstraat 92: Bruges' best kept secret: all chocolates are made on site; the house special is a bunch of grapes made from marzipan covered in black chocolate. Open Tues- Sat 8.15-12.15,1.15-7, Sun 9-1.
De Striep, Katelijnestratt 42: De Striep specialises in comic strips, mainly in Belgian and French, but some in English. Open Mon 1.30-7, Tues- Sat 10-12.30, 1.30-7, Sun 2-6.
Yannick De Hondt, Mariastraat 12: Stylish antiques shop with a mix of 15th- to 18th- century European and Japanese furniture and African art. Open Mon-Sat 2-6
Christmas Market: The city puts on a splendid market at Chirstmas time. On the market square an ice-rink is built adding to the festive atmosphere and there are lots of little shops where you can purchase a variety of things, from Christmas gifts to clothing and various types of food and drinks. There is also a tasty ghluwein (a warm herbal wine) served to heat up those cold hands.