Discovering Belgium: A Muslim Traveler’s Guide to Halaal Food, Cultural Marvels, and Hidden Gems

Discover Belgium
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last updated: 05/02/2024

Author: Youssef and Soukaina

Embark on a journey through Belgium with Youssef and Soukaina, a dynamic Muslim travel couple residing in Antwerp. In this insightful guide, they share their experiences of living in Belgium, focusing on the vibrant Muslim-friendly aspects, culinary delights, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems that this charming country has to offer. From exploring beautiful mosques to savoring halaal cuisines in Antwerp and Brussels, Youssef and Soukaina invite you to immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Belgium. Whether you’re a fellow traveler, a food enthusiast, or a culture seeker, join them as they unveil the best of Belgium through the lens of a Moroccan-Muslim family.

Where are you from?

Antwerp, Belgium.

Are there any masjids in your area?
We have many beautiful mosques nearby such as Al Houda in Sint-Niklaas or the Grand Mosque in Brussels. The biggest one nearby is El Fath En Nassr mosque in Antwerp. The nice thing about Belgium is, that because it is such a small country you always have a mosque nearby to pray.

Is halaal food easily accessible in your area?
In Belgium, you can find lots of Muslim-friendly food in Antwerp and Brussels. These cities offer a variety of authentic halal experiences, from traditional Belgian waffles with halal toppings to tasty Moroccan tagines. Plus, most supermarkets have halal options, and nearly every town has a halal butcher and bakery, making halal food accessible almost everywhere.

Do you have any halaal authorization bodies that certify food and restaurants in your country? 
We have halal certification bodies in Belgium that focus on food and restaurants but also other consumer products. e.g.

Halaal Restaurants in Antwerp.
We have numerous halal restaurants but our favorites are:
  • O’caprise,
  • Antwerp (Moroccan) Le Sud,
  • Antwerp (divers) El Rodizio,
  • Antwerp (Brazilian) Cappucino du Sud,
  • Antwerp Yakuza,
  • Antwerpen (Japanese) Le Nil,
  • Brussels (Egyptian) Msemen,
  • Antwerp (Moroccan) Hanami,
  • Brussels (Japanese) Banana Leaf,
  • Antwerp (Indian) The Golden Olive,
  • Antwerp (divers) The Sushi Factory,
  • Antwerp (Japanese) O’tajine,
  • Antwerp (Moroccan).
If we had to choose two it would definitely be El Rodizio and The sushi factory in Antwerp. El Rodizio is a Brazilian grill restaurant offering some of the most delicious halal meats ever and The sushi factory is home to one of the best halal sushi in Belgium.

Iconic things to do in Belgium.
Brussels: The Atomium, a symbol of innovation in Brussels, features interconnected spheres representing an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The Grand Place is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site in Brussels, surrounded by guildhalls adorned with gold detailing, capturing Belgium’s rich history. Antwerp: In Antwerp, the Grand Place is a picturesque square, surrounded by guildhalls and the imposing City Hall, showcasing the city’s medieval history. Antwerp’s Central Station is a masterpiece of railway architecture, recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations, serving as both a gateway to the city and a destination in itself.

Any hidden gems you would recommend to anyone visiting?
  • Situated in southern Belgium, the Ardennes are a beautiful natural haven with lush landscapes, charming villages, dense forests, meandering rivers, and rolling hills. Perfect for outdoor lovers and those seeking tranquility.
  • Explore Sint-Truiden on a Vespa, cruising through beautiful fruit fields. Surrounded by blossoming orchards and ripe fruits, it’s a unique and memorable way to experience the serene countryside of Sint-Truiden.

Great hikes that anyone should try?

For great hikes, a short drive to Ardennen or Hoge Kempen is a must. Our top pick? Hoge Kempen. Nestled in the northeast of Belgium, Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen offers a beautiful blend of diverse wildlife and peaceful surroundings, making it a perfect spot for hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts.

Tips or advice on visiting Belgium?
  • Pack a Raincoat, it rains a lot in Belgium.
  • Belgium has a lot to offer so don’t stay in one place.
  • No tipping. Tips are not expected but can always be done of course.
  • Belgium can be expensive depending on your travel style.
  • Everything is closed on Sundays.
  • Tap water is drinkable.

List of ideas on where to shop and what to buy.

Mall shopping:
  • The Meir in Antwerp
  • Docks in Brussels
Muslim shopping:
  • Abdijstraat in Antwerp
  • Rue de Brabant in Brussels.

What modes of transport do you recommend using?

We recommend traveling by public transport as the Belgian highways can sometimes be a bit crowded.

What areas will be best to stay in?

Every area in Belgium has something special. You can go to the sea in the west or to the Ardennen in the south or more urban in the north.

What season would you recommend we travel to Belgium?

Belgium is most beautiful in summer when everything is green and the weather is nice. The only downside is that it can be crowded everywhere.

How many days are sufficient for a tourist to explore Belgium?

We would recommend 10 days approx. This duration allows for a well-rounded exploration of the diverse landscapes and cultural nuances Belgium has to offer. However, you can always do a city trip of a few days in a Belgian city of your choice.

Any tips or recommendations for anyone wanting to visit Belgium?

Belgium seems small but has a lot to offer so definitely don’t stay in one place. Because Belgium is so small you get everywhere very quickly and are never on the road for long. Anyone wanting to know more or planning a visit may certainly contact us for a customized schedule depending on the traveler’s needs. You can contact us through Instagram @muslimtravelcouple.

About the author(s)

We are Youssef and Soukaina, along with our family of three live in Belgium and share our adventures exploring the globe. As a Moroccan-Muslim family, we’ve had the privilege of visiting 18 countries so far, and our Instagram page serves as our window to the beautiful places we’ve encountered. Together with our family, we aim to inspire others to embrace the beauty of the world.

1 thought on “Discovering Belgium: A Muslim Traveler’s Guide to Halaal Food, Cultural Marvels, and Hidden Gems”

  1. Some Belgian cities/towns worth visiting:

    Brugge, De Haan, Dinant, Durbuy, Gent, Huy, Ieper, Liege, Limbourg, Mons, Namur, Oostende, Tournai.

    Liege has a huge Muslim community and also holds Belgiums biggest flea market every Sunday by the banks of the river.

    Some things to do and see in a couple Belgian cities at this link

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