"Quartier du Sablon" in Brussels has been a long-time favorite among locals, and over the last years, it turned into a famous spot for foreign tourists as well. It is also not rare that you see some international stars walking around here. Within this small-sized area, you will have the chance to face everything Brussels is about: history, food and atmosphere. In this lovely neighborhood, you will see some stunning mansion houses (some of them from the XVIIth century), which are among the most beautiful ones in Belgium. Living there is not cheap but clearly something very desired by many people. Great chocolate makers are also to be found here: local pralines and sweets are displayed in every shop and they are really a difficult temptation to resist.... which makes in fact many people just enter the places and indulge (my advice: do it yourself too!). If you want to taste some of the best Belgian beverages, then enter one of the many terraces where you will be able to taste some of the best Belgian beers. There are so many kind of beers that asking the experienced waiter for a tip would be something not that unusual. Works of art (like statues, fountains and street art) are to be seen on each corner and street and they will just make your stroll very insta-grammable and pictoresque. In fact, the Sablon neighboorhood is among the most photographed spots in Brussels. If you like REALLY vivid atmospheres, go there on the week-end. The Quartier du Sablon is all about social life and all the cafe's, bars and restaurants are normally full and very lively. Here you can experience some very nice brunches or snacks (if you just want to have a short break) and definitely some very delicious Belgian food at its best (game and wild meat in the winter, mussels and cold cuts in summer).
Do you appreciate antiques and small markets? The Sablon quartier is then the right answer. Alongside many flea markets, you will find a large number of people discussing and negotiating about antiques, which are displayed in multiple open-air areas and in general, on each street. If you are lucky, you will get to experience some very vivid interactions and who knows? Even negotiate a good deal :)
Spending an afternoon in the Sablon neighborhood is definitely THE way for having a good taste of Brussels. Many locals spend their free time here and the large offer this area shares is the reason why more and more tourists visit it as well. Make sure to experience some Belgian food and beverage too, as the locals do there too! :)
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