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Brussels and I got off to a rough start. But I can never hold grudges for long — especially against a country as delicious as this one. Ask any traveler with a Belgian stamp in their passport about their experience and it’s likely they’ll get a hazy look in their eye as they dreamily recall waffles, beer, fries, and most ubiquitously — chocolate.

So when I was researching things to do in Brussels and I came across Viator’s , I knew it was a non-negotiable must.

Brussels, Belgium

On my first sunny day in the city — a good omen for a great tour if I’ve ever known one — our small group gathered in the stunning Grand Place, or Grote Markt. Our meeting point in the famous square was the world’s very first Godiva chocolate store, which opened its doors in 1926. I immediately fell just a little bit in love with our guide, Nadia, whose accent was as charming as her winking descriptions and bubbly insights into life in Brussels.

We didn’t linger long — there was chocolate to be eaten, after all.

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Architecture of Brussels, Belgium

Our first stop was at , an old pharmacy turned chocolatier in one of Brussels’ grandest shopping arcades. To get there, we’d popped down a hidden alley I’d never have noticed had I’d been on my own, peeked in the window of the city’s oldest (and, according to Nadia, most expensive) bar, and ducked through an 80’s-tastic strip mall. In just a few minutes I felt I’d seen more of Brussels than I had in the several days I’d already been in the city.

So by the time we plucked our almond hazelnut pralines off the elegant tray that was presented to us at Corné, we’d worked up a proper appetite. (Right? Right.)

Corne Port Royal Chocolate, Belgium

Shopping in Brussels, Belgium

Shopping in Brussels, Belgium

Delirium Cafe, Brussels, Belgium

While I adored window shopping around the elegant shops of the arcade, Corné wasn’t my favorite stop of the day. That was just fine though, as I was about to meet an unlikely but formidable contender. I raised an eyebrow when we paused outside . It didn’t seem to have much in common with the sophisticated chocolate stops I’d seen scattered around Brussels. But you know what they say, never judge a book candy shop by it’s cover ridiculous name,  so I braved on inside.

And what do you know? The mango passionfruit milk chocolate — yes, mango passionfruit — was one of my favorite treats of the day, and I would soon become somewhat of a regular around good ‘ol Chocopolis.

Chocopolis, Brussels

Next up was a pause from the choco-boutique browsing for a more hands on portion of the day — the mini chocolate making workshop. As we were ushered into the tour headquarters, it felt like we were arriving at the cozy apartment of a friend. We took our seats along an oversized wooden table and watched transfixed as Nadia’s colleague artfully demonstrated how to make pralines. Then, while a documentary on the production of cacao played in the background, we played with the treats on the table in front of us — chocolate, fruit, nuts, salts and spices, and more.

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Chocolate Workshop, Brussels

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

And soon we were back on the streets, pounding the pavement in search of the most irresistible chocolate Belgium has to offer. And from the gushing descriptions of our next stop, I was confident that at the very least, we were about to try our tour guide’s favorite.

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Pierre Marcolini is the Lamborghini of luxury chocolates. (Sidenote: I literally had to Google “luxury car brands” in order to make that analogy. Wherever the loop is I am out of it.) It just smelled opulent in this place. I have to hand it to them, when it comes to branding, packaging, and creating a beautiful product, was the winner of the day.

While our complimentary tasting was of a selection of the shop’s dark chocolate specialties, as soon as I saw the specialty macaroon counter I knew there was no way I was leaving without a rainbow-colored selection. And holy WOW — it was the first of three separate trips I’d make to that counter over the next week, each one as blissfully extravagant as the last.

Pierre Marcolini Brussels

Pierre Marcolini Brussels

Pierre Marcolini Brussels

Pierre Marcolini Brussels

Pierre Marcolini

Personally, thanks to a lifetime of training, my body can withstand amounts of sugar that would tranquilize a small child. However, I know others can be sensitive to so many sweets, which is why I found this tour to be the perfect balance of snacking and walking off the indulgence.

Unsurprisingly, our route brought us by Brussels’ bizarre mascot .

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour
Next on the docket was , which charmed me with its casually elegant atmosphere. We stayed just long enough to taste a truffle and then move on, as the tiny shop didn’t have enough room for both us and the eager customers hoping to stock up on adorably-packaged treats.

Elisabeth Chocolate, Brussels

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Elisabeth Chocolate, Brussels

Elisabeth Chocolate, Brussels

All too soon, it was our final stop of the day. And in many ways, we saved the best for last. I still get shivers just thinking about the champagne truffles we tasted at — another item that quickly made it into my rotation of Brussels daily indulgences.

Mary Chocolate, Brussels

As we all started to hug goodbye — yes, hugs were given after just a few hours, that’s how awesome this group was — our creations from the workshop earlier in the day were hand delivered to the door.

I truly can’t describe how much I loved , and how positively it colored by time in Brussels. I’ve taken Viator tours around the world, from swimming with manatees in Florida to white-water rafting in Bali, and this was by far the most outstanding of them all. Much of that credit goes to our fabulous guide Nadia, who is all the things any good tour guide should be — passionate about her subject, genuinely happy to be spending time with her clients, and madly in love with her city.

After this tour, I could start to see Brussels through that lens — quirky and delightfully delicious. And I don’t think it was just the sugar rush talking.

Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour

Are you booking a flight to Belgium yet?

This post was brought to you by the iPhone video editing app . I am a member of the Viator Ambassador initiative and participated in this tour as part of that program.

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72 Comments...
  • Sonja at Breadcrumbs Guide
    September 23 2014

    Oh my god, you had me practically eating my phone as I gawked at the chocolates teasing me from the screen! I would have spent half my food budget at those amazing-looking shops!
    Sonja at Breadcrumbs Guide recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Believe me… my wallet was not as happy as my stomach 🙂 My daily rounds to Pierre Marcolini, Mary’s and Chocopolis did not come cheap!

  • Miquel
    September 23 2014

    This looks like so much delicious goodness! Chocolate is my weakness…can’t get enough!
    Miquel recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Any kind of sweets are mine! I have the biggest sugar addiction of anyone I know. I could eat candy for breakfast… and sometimes I do!

  • Ashley | Ashley Wanders
    September 23 2014

    I will definitely take this tour if I’m ever in Brussels! Champagne truffels sound unreal.
    Ashley | Ashley Wanders recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      They are TOO GOOD. And now I’m stuck fantasizing about them from half a world away… better for my waistline, though! 🙂

  • Breanna
    September 23 2014

    I should probably avoid Brussels, I would gain about 1000 pounds camping at chocolate shops for the extent of my stay. It looks like you had a great tour though.

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Ah, yep. That would be exactly what happened to me 🙂 Luckily, I was heading straight off for a bikini-clad tour of the Greek islands right after! (Facepalm.)

  • I’m so glad I’m planning on going to Belgium in June next year. I’m adding this tour to my list of things to do! I have a feeling that I will leave Europe 10 pounds heavier than I left!
    Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Definitely add this one to your to-do list! You’re going to love it. Tell Nadia I said hi 🙂

  • Maddy
    September 23 2014

    This looks AMAZING! I’m going to be honest, I never think about doing tours in new cities (sometimes that’s a time constraint, other times just a choice) but seeing all of your awesome Viator tours makes me really re-think that. !!

    Thanks for another fab post!
    Maddy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      I have learned a lot about what I like and don’t like when I travel, as I’m always open to trying new things. I find that tours like this, I LOVE — small, quirky, specialized, led by a passionate guide, etc. I love the local insight. The ones that I need to learn to take a pass on are the big group ones with a monotone guide barking at us to be back on the bus at X time. Those just don’t do it for me 🙂

  • Melanie Fontaine
    September 23 2014

    A chocolate tour seems like the perfect way to discover Brussels! I didn’t really care so much for the city when I visited a few years back (I wasn’t as much of a chocolate addict back then, so that may be the reason), but now I’m longing to go back just to have some of these delicious goodies! 😉
    Melanie Fontaine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      I think this tour would make a visit worthwhile 🙂 I’ll definitely be back to Brussels some day to check out the museums I miss, probably as a short trip when I eventually visit Amsterdam or another nearby city. And I will absolutely be back to my favorite chocolate shops then!

  • Katie
    September 23 2014

    OMG – LOVE chocolate – how did I not end up on this tour when I visited Brussels?! haha. Just another reason to visit again!!
    Katie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Exactly 😉 I always like to leave a new city with a good reason to come back!

  • Kristen Hopf
    September 23 2014

    OH MY LORD. Everyone knows Belgium is know for their chocolate but it’s never really been at the top of my to-visit list until this post. Holy smokes. Everything has changed.

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Ha! That’s what I like to hear 🙂 Peddling chocolate, changing lives!

  • Rajesh
    September 23 2014

    Brussels, chocolates and Viator..you cannot go wrong with that. I was there this May and loved every moment of my stay and double fried french fries which i had were the best ever so far. Miss you Brussels and your post revoked memories of this beautiful place.

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      So glad you had a great experience in Brussels. Those fries are hard to beat!

  • Joyce
    September 23 2014

    All I did in Brussels was eat chocolate, drink beer, and load up on 1 euro waffles. This post makes me want to go back!

    Joyce recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Sounds like the perfect Belgium itinerary 🙂 Glad you had a great trip!

  • Camels & Chocolate
    September 23 2014

    Did you go elsewhere in Belgium? Because while Brussels is fine and all, I’ve never been a huge fan, but Antwerp and Brugge? FORGET ABOUT IT. Gorgeous.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      My next post is about Bruges and Ghent! Didn’t spend nearly enough time in either. Must go back! They were stunners.

  • Lindsay @ Frugal Frolicker
    September 23 2014

    HAH! #literalLOLz at this: ‘Sidenote: I literally had to Google “luxury car brands” in order to make that analogy. Wherever the loop is I am out of it.’ — Right there with ya, sister! 😛
    Lindsay @ Frugal Frolicker recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      I work in a shared space with some friends so I asked them too, “What is a really nice car?!” And we were all totally clueless. I guess I was asking a group of people who drive broken down old mopeds 🙂 Ah, Thailand.

  • Chris
    September 23 2014

    Ah, chocolate…

    I’ve actually had a little more in the past week than we expected given the Mexican heat (thankfully there is the odd place we’ve found respite)

    It all looks delicious, although if I could get Sarah to enjoy that Passionfruit & Mango treat (two flavours she’s never been friends with), that would be an achievement!! 😉
    Chris recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Ah, it is SO GOOD. I’m not usually a fan of mixing fruit and chocolate actually so I was pretty suspicious but… it defied all expectations!

  • Meihoukaiandria
    September 23 2014

    Haha, “We didn’t linger long — there was chocolate to be eaten, after all.” I cracked up. Thanks for this! I’ll definitely have to add it to my list.
    Meihoukaiandria recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Ha, thanks Meihoukaiandria. Always great to know someone appreciates my valiant attempts at humor. 🙂

  • Justine
    September 23 2014

    It’s nice to hear that you warmed up to Brussels. It sounds like the tour really did the trick! I love it when tours introduce you to parts of cities you wouldn’t have found otherwise. The city looks amazing. Oh, and so does the chocolate 🙂
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Yeah, I hear a lot of mixed reviews on Brussels but I think had my box incident not occurred I would have had nothing negative to say! Ah well, you can’t win ’em all 🙂

  • Erika
    September 23 2014

    Oh my gosh, this just makes me want to go back to Brussels and eat sweets all day! If your pictures and descriptions are this scrumptious, I can’t imagine how the actual reality is! (And I love that you made return trips back to a lot of these places while you were in Belgium!)

    • Meihoukai
      September 23 2014

      Ha! I actually did twice… maybe three times?! Yikes! I mean, I had to bring Heather once she arrived, right? I would have been a bad friend otherwise!

  • Sofie
    September 24 2014

    I so need to do that tour.
    I’m so going to do that tour.
    Give me the chocolate already!!!
    Sofie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      When you do, let me know so we can compare notes 🙂

  • Jana
    September 24 2014

    Wow! I love Belgium chocolate. Having lived all my childhood just around the corner from Belgium, I am now missing it a lot!!! Your post really reminded me that I have to go there again!!! Thanks and have a wonderful day!!!
    Jana recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      You are so welcome for the sweet reminder, Jana 🙂

  • Emily
    September 24 2014

    I’ve got a serious chocolate craving going on right now…not sure I can find anything as decadent here in Sri Lanka!
    Emily recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      Thailand neither 🙁 Although that might be for the best, health-wise!

  • Sarah
    September 24 2014

    I need to kiss the feet of the person who invented the champagne truffle.

  • Amanda
    September 24 2014

    It’s only 10 am here, but now I’m REALLY craving chocolate!

    I didn’t do a chocolate tour when I was in Belgium, but I’m definitely adding it to the list for next time!!
    Amanda recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      Tomorrowland aside, it was the highlight for me!

  • Steve
    September 24 2014

    Chocolate and Brussels what not to like. Next time I am in Brussels I will look out for the tour.
    Steve recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      Let me know if you do! Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

  • Angelica @BkChickTravels
    September 24 2014

    Those chocolates look delicious! I am signing up for that chocolate tour.
    Angelica @BkChickTravels recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      Have a delicious time, Angelica! 🙂

  • Sounds like a great tour! I did some chocolate truffle making in London – so messy and so fun! We also did a bean to bar chocolate class at the Chocolate Museum in Antigua, Guatemala which was so interesting – taking us through the journey of the chocolate from bean form to becoming chocolate, we roasted and crushed the beans ourselves and tried the Mayan style hot chocolate. We took home a bag of chocolate too that we had set in moulds. Definitely recommend if you find yourself in Guatemala!
    Katie @ The World on my Necklace recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 24 2014

      Sounds awesome! I had some amazing chocolate in Latin America, amazing in a different way. Less about the packaging and presentation and more about the production. Loved seeing both sides!

  • becky hutner
    September 25 2014

    Wow, best Viator tour ever? That is saying a lot! Chances are I’ve mentioned the fact that chocolate-tasting in Belgium is on my bucket list (and beer tasting. and fries tasting…) but now when I go, I’ll know which tour to choose!

    PS — love your admission that you googled around for the car analogy. i do that shit all the time!!
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 26 2014

      Ha. I shuffled through a few different luxury ideas but realized I don’t know luxury brands in ANY genre, except I suppose for travel 🙂

  • Jasmine
    September 25 2014

    So much chocolate!! I need to go to Belgium. I’m loving the blog design also!! 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      September 26 2014

      Thanks so much Jasmine! It’s such an exciting change!

  • Emma
    September 26 2014

    Sounds like a fantastic tour

    • Meihoukai
      September 27 2014

      It was indeed! Thanks for reading, Emma!

  • Martina
    September 26 2014

    You had me at chocolate!! Hahaha. Those look just incredible – how on earth did you choose which ones to try and which ones to leave in those beautiful displays?? And Brussels looks charming too – I love the cobble stones and faded elegance of the buildings.
    Martina recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 27 2014

      For the most part, I took Nadia’s suggestions — she was the professional, after all 🙂 I was not led astray!

      • Martina
        September 28 2014

        Ah, sounds like a good strategy. Imagine that on a business card – “chocolate professional”. Nice!
        Martina recently posted..

  • Departures With Aimee
    September 27 2014

    I absolutely love Brussels and I ABSOLUTELY ADORE CHOCOLATE! This post is great and your photos are lovely! 🙂 x x
    Departures With Aimee recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 29 2014

      Thanks so much Aimee! Brussels won me over in the end, as well 🙂

  • Rachel of Hippie in Heels
    September 27 2014

    yumm! I haven’t had good chocolate in a long time.. best you get here is cadbury brand and it’s ok! Wish Viator had more variety in tours in India- they’ll all the same in each city.
    Rachel of Hippie in Heels recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 29 2014

      Maybe if you come across some great ones you could suggest them to Viator 🙂 They are always on the lookout for amazing tours!

  • Anton
    December 5 2014

    I’m just catching up on your past posts and just been reading you’ve been to my home town! I love the pics, thanks for sharing, makes me miss home.

    • Meihoukai
      December 10 2014

      So happy I could give you a smile, Anton! You have a beautiful home.

  • Carlotta
    February 23 2015

    Wow! Belgium chocolate is the best and this tour look perfect! I will defenately try it when in Belgium!
    Carlotta recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 25 2015

      One of my favorite day tours ever! Let me know how you enjoy it!

  • Kristina
    May 8 2015

    I’m going to Belgium this June, and I definitely want to sign up for this tour after reading this post! As a Viator Ambassador, you don’t happen to have discounts for your readers, do you? Just thought I’d check!

    • Meihoukai
      May 16 2015

      Hey Kristina, unfortunately not at this time! I have requested on though and I’m working with Viator to make it happen at some point — fingers crossed!

  • Sandy
    May 18 2017

    Make note to self to add chocolate budget for Brussels trip omg. If I take the tour my husband will have to occupy himself elsewhere (he’s allergic to nuts and has to be careful around desserts especially in Europe). Maybe he can do a beer tour.

    • Meihoukai
      May 30 2017

      Oh bummer! But I do think that sounds like the perfect split day — beer and chocolate!