After visiting Luxembourg for a couple days and spending a week and a half in the Netherlands, Andy and I moved on to Belgium. We spent one week in Brussels and took a few day trips. We originally planned on doing more, but our time in the Netherlands ended up being a lot more fast-paced than we wanted, and the conference wore us out. We needed some time to relax and catch up on writing while we were in Belgium, so a couple of day trips got cut. We didn’t want to get too burnt out so early on our European trip. Here’s the breakdown of how much we spent traveling in Belgium.
Total Belgium spending
457€ / $598.67 – accommodation
87.20€ / $114.23 – trains
48.80€ / $63.93 – other transportation
311.60€ / $408.20 – food and alcohol
66.40€ / $86.98 – activities
22.50€ / $29.48 – miscellaneous
993.50€ / $1,301.49 – total
Accommodation spending – 457€
We found a halfway decent apartment on Airbnb again for our stay in Brussels. The owner didn’t live in the apartment, so it was a little bare and lacked a few things we normally would want. The bed was also incredibly stiff so we didn’t sleep so well. We also realized that, even though it was extremely close to a grocery store and public transportation, there weren’t any nearby restaurants, and it was a little farther from the center of town than we would’ve liked. This apartment was probably what inspired Andy to write his apartment checklist for slow travelers. For 7 nights, the average came out to 65.29€ per night, which is definitely cheaper than a hotel.
Train spending – 87.20€
This number includes our tickets from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Brussels. It also includes our round trip tickets to Ghent and round trip tickets to Leuven. Rotterdam to Brussels cost 47.20€ for the two of us, so the tickets inside of Belgium for our day trips were much more reasonable.
Other transportation spending – 48.80€
The public transport system in Brussels is pretty good, and with a tram stop 2 minutes from our apartment, we used it often. They didn’t have passes good for a certain number of days or a week, but they did have a pass that was good for 10 rides. That cost 13.50€ per person. Single tickets were 2€ each. However we did learn that buying a ticket on a bus from the driver was an extra 50 cents each. Transport tickets in Ghent cost 2.40€ each and were good for one hour.
Food and alcohol spending – 311.60€
Clearly we still need to work on this category. We ate breakfast in the apartment every day, and we definitely bought groceries and made several meals at home. But this just goes to show how much eating out even a few times can increase your spending. We had some drinks out a couple nights, but we also bought some at the grocery store. We were in Belgium after all, and we couldn’t pass up the tasty Belgian beer. We also spent 20.50€ on chocolate from Zaabär since we liked it so much when we were there last year. And Brussels was also where we discovered the best sandwiches ever. This averages out to about 22.26€ per person per day.
Activities spending – 66.40€
This includes 2 tickets each to Mini Europe (14.20€ per person), the Cantillon Brewery (6€ per person), Castle Gravensteen in Ghent (8€ per person), and the Belfry bell tower in Ghent (5€ per person).
Miscellaneous spending – 22.50€
We did laundry twice in Brussels, and unfortunately the apartment didn’t have a washing machine so we had to go down the street to a laundromat. I also had to buy contact solution while we were in Brussels.
Andy and I averaged 141.93€ per day, or about 70.96€ per person per day for a week in Belgium. Overall I think it wasn’t too bad. If we had skipped two nights when we went out drinking and had an overpriced dinner, our food and alcohol spending would’ve dropped by 114€. Not that we need more proof, but alcohol is expensive. We also could’ve cooked at home a little more. Other than that category, I’m not sure we would’ve liked cutting back on anything else. I’m happy with how much we spent traveling in Belgium.
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