I’m pretty sure that you could write quite a bit about shopping in Belgium, depending on from which angle you were looking at it. So I’ll just tell you about the things that I found strange/frustrating about shopping in Belgium. Mind, some of these things no longer annoy me, I’ve gotten used to them.
Okay, shops are open between 10:00 and 7:00 Monday – Thursday, and if you are lucky, 8:00 on a Friday. Or some of the bigger supermarkets will be open till 9:00 on a Friday.
Very few shops are open on a Sunday. For example, we have a small supermarket which is open on a Sunday, on account of being closed on a Monday. And while this is very convenient they make up for it by being quite a bit more expensive.
Over the course of the last year or saw a chain of delis have opened across Belgium and they are open 7 days a week till 10 at night. But again, you pay top ‘dollar’ for it.
Smaller shops are also closed on Mondays, especially shops like hairdressers or the bakeries.
And you might not believe it but there are a grand total of 8 shopping centres in Belgium – I kid you not. So if you come from a country where shopping malls are king you might be in for a bit of a shock.
The pharmacies are tiny! And most products must be asked for, even pain killers! Back in South Africa pharmacies are like little supermarkets so it was quite a shock for me when we first moved over here.
Every town / village has at least 2 bakeries. They will be open on Sunday mornings often with a queue snaking out the door.