Are you the kind of person that avoids the shopping district during the holiday season? Check! Ok, I admit that the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be a cozy time, but it’s so commercialized that it becomes exhausting. Especially if they put up the Christmas decoration more than a month before Christmas, pff. I know that Brussels is very proud of the Christmas market at Place Sainte-Cathérine (Winterpret/Plaisir d’Hiver), but I absolutely hate it. Too much people and not a lot of things to do.
As much as I hate gift shopping during that period, I do like to open presents myself 🙂 . And isn’t it nice to see someone’s face when they open the present you gave them? I selected 7 of my favorite shops in Brussels where I like to buy gifts for friends, family or myself. A lot of the shops have things for both men and women.
Lush is a cosmetic brand from the UK that has 2 stores in Brussels. I would recommend you to go to the one in the Avenue Louise (nr 52). The shop is smaller than the other one close to the Rue Neuve, but the staff is sincerely friendly and very helpful. For me, picking the products I want to buy is like a relaxing moment for myself. You can try almost everything and you get explanation about the ingredients. Also important for me: they are against animal testing, all the ingredients are vegetarian or vegan, they try to be as ethical as possible and use only a minimum of chemical ingredients. I’m a big fan of their bath bombs, especially Avobath (the green one on the picture below) and Sex Bomb (a pink one with a flower inside). They also have products for men, like a bath bomb in the form of a little blue robot 🙂 .
Good quality tea is a nice thing to offer to a friend. Palais des Thés is a specialized shop where they have all kinds of tea, but also accessories and beautiful gift boxes. I already wrote about it earlier, you can see more pictures and details here. There are only 5 shops in Belgium and 2 of them are in Brussels. I also prefer the one close to the Avenue Louise because it’s less crowded. The shop is located in the Chaussée de Charleroi 25.
Senteurs d’ailleurs is also located in the Louisa area, Place Stéphanie 1A. This is a very luxurious shop that has perfumes for men and women but also scented candles that you can only find in Paris or London. As far as I know, it’s the only shop in Brussels (or even Belgium?) that sells candles from Diptyque. For a medium size candle you pay €49, but they last for a long time and you can use them as decoration. Even when they are not burning, you can smell it. The only downside is that it takes a lot of time to chose the one you like, because a fragrance is something very personal.
4) Mr Ego
Now this is a shop where my boyfriend and I go shopping together, and that’s quite a rare thing 🙂 . It’s a clothing shop with a focus on urban and street wear. They also sell jewelry, shoes, scarves, backpacks, sunglasses and so on. A dj is playing records while you shop and they are open on Sundays! For men, I like the brand Ben Sherman and for women I love VILA. As you might have guessed, it’s the kind of shop you won’t find in the Rue Neuve. The shop is located in the Rue des Pierres 29.
5) Passa Porta
Passa Porta is a bookshop that has a wide range of Dutch books and a smaller section of English & French books. Even if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can order any book at the reception desk. There is a wide choice of books in different categories: Literature, art, cooking, traveling, philosophy, economy, history, biographies, children’s books etc. I wrote a full blogpost about it earlier , so for more info and pictures, click here. Location: Rue Antoine Dansaert 46.
Nicolas is a French wine and liquor store that has several shops in Brussels and Wallonia. This doesn’t need much explanation, it’s the kind of place you go to if you need advice for a good quality cognac, whiskey or wine. I like to go to their shop at Merode, Rue des Tongres 52.
Guys, if you need to find a gift for your girlfriend, this is the place to be! They have clothes, jewelry, handbags, a lot of shoes (from high heels to Nike sneakers), make up and sunglasses. The safe thing is to buy a gift voucher. I know, that’s not the most personal thing to give, but trust me, she will be happy. Location: Avenue de la Toison d’Or 14.
I hope this was useful to you. What’s your favorite place for gift shopping?