Brussels Gift Shops (Self Guided), Brussels

It would be a pity to leave Brussels without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Brussels, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit. All shops are located within a pleasant walking distance, in Central Brussels.
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Brussels Gift Shops Map

Guide Name: Brussels Gift Shops
Guide Location: Belgium » Brussels (See other walking tours in Brussels)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Brusel
  • Herboristerie Moderne
  • Dandoy
  • Boutique Tintin
  • Manufacture Belge de Dentelles S.A.
1
Brusel

1) Brusel

What to buy here: Belgian comic books. Just like in Japan, it’s perfectly normal to see a Belgian adult reading a comic book in public. Comic books are bestsellers here, with a staggering amount of titles catering to all age categories. Since Belgium is bilingual, each language part has developed separate styles, but they all come together in the capital of Brussels. Throughout the center you can find gigantic comic book murals, and the city is home to a comic book museum worth visiting.

Of course, there are tons of comics for sale in Brussels, up to a point that it gets hard to decide which store to pick. We settled on Brüsel, a centrally located vendor that caters to both the uninitiated as the comic book geek. They also act as publishing house for local talent and offer original art works on the first floor.

Of course, you will find the usual suspects here like TinTin, Asterix or Lucky Luke, but we decided to go for an artist that is extremely popular in the Franco-Belgian world. For almost thirty years, Philippe Geluck, a Brussels comedian, has been using Le Chat (The Cat) to explain the world in witty punch lines. With God Save the Cat (12, 50 euros) his drawings have been translated into English. If you want, you can also pick up Le Chat merchandise at Brüsel like mugs and saucers. If you get a chance to, visit a local supermarket for a box of genuine The Cat-cookies.

Open: Mon - Sat (10:30 am - 6:30 pm), Sun (12 pm - 6:30 pm).
2
Herboristerie Moderne

2) Herboristerie Moderne

What to buy here: wellness products, medicinal or aromatic teas and spices.

Celebrities like Sting and Moby have been raving lately over a special ginger tea called Ginger Love. The hype around the hot drink reached a new peak when Starbucks briefly considered adding it to its menu.

So what’s all the fuzz about? Ginger Love, a foamy herbal tea with citrus fruit and ginger, contains neither caffeine nor theine and supposedly does wonders for the immune system and potency. It was created by the chef of Lombardia, a renowned vegan restaurant in the Belgian city of Antwerp.

If you don’t want to make the detour, the only place in Brussels where you’ll find Ginger Love is at L’Herboristerie Moderne, a small and cozy store close to Bourse. In the French-speaking world, an herboristerie is the ancient equivalent of the pharmacy, where herbal medicine is sold instead of chemicals.

Besides Ginger Love (10, 50 euros a box) you can find a wide range of medicinal or aromatic spices at L’Herboristerie Moderne, including health products like essential oils, teas and massage oils.

Open: Mon-Sat (11 am - 6 pm); Closed: Sun.
3
Dandoy

3) Dandoy

Since 1829 the Dandoy biscuiterie produces delightful traditional Belgian specialties. These delicious biscuits are totally handmade, after recipes that are family secrets and have been handed down from one generation to the next over a period of two hundred years or thereabouts. A box with tasty Dandoy biscuits will remind you of Brussels once you are back home. Dandoy is open Monday - Saturday: 9:30 am - 10 pm; Sunday 10:30 am - 10 pm.
4
Boutique Tintin

4) Boutique Tintin

Created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, known by his pen name Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin was one of the most popular European comics in the 20th century, published in more than 70 languages worldwide and adapted for radio, TV, theater, and cinema. Today, the Tintin series is as much part of the Belgian heritage as Victor Horta's architectural marvels or Rene Magritte’s famous paintings.

For those fond of comics and the Tintin series in particular, the Tintin boutique in Grand Place is a definite must-visit place. Located half a block from the square, it is very easy to find and is packed with loads of the famous comic publications in dozens of languages, various prints, bags, t-shirts, rugs, watches, magnets, figurines and many other Tintin-themed merchandise. A lovely small shop with lovely objects that are now quite rare, it will make happy every child and some adults, too, bringing back all the good memories from one's childhood.

Tip:
You may also want to visit a new Galerie Tintin at 35, Place du Grand Sablon.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 12-6pm; Tue-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 11am-5pm
5
Manufacture Belge de Dentelles S.A.

5) Manufacture Belge de Dentelles S.A.

What to buy here: Belgian old fashion lace. Once upon a time, little old Belgium was the epicenter of the lace trade. Back in those days, the precious material was only used to adorn the gowns of clergymen and royalty, but over the ages each country adopted its own style until it became a commodity.

Most of the lace production has become entirely Made in China, but in Belgium there is still a small group of workers who continue to uphold the age-old tradition of handmade lace embroidery.

It’s highly labor-intensive: a small piece of the spidery fabric will take a worker around 85 hours. Belgium employs around 1.000 lacemakers, all women between their fifties and eighties.

One of the oldest lacemaking families in Belgium can be found in the Galerie de la Reine, where five generations have kept alive the many local styles Belgium has to offer. Of course, there are coasters, breadbaskets and small keepsakes for sale at Manufacture Belge de Dentelles, but their framed original patterns are really works of art: unique, refined and pricey.

In between the useful and the artful, we found these beautiful hand fans, available in either black or white. You can pick up the small ones for 49, 50 euros; the bigger ones will set you back 74, 25 euros. Since Manufacture Belge de Dentelles also sells a small number of factory-produced hand fans, you can see the difference in quality for yourself.

Open : Mon - Sat (10:30 am - 6:30 pm), Sun (10:30 am - 5:00 pm)

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