The Wilde Zee neighbourhood is slightly different with five car-free streets fanning out from a small central square. Stroll past spin-offs of large chains, hip brands, beauty shops and sweet delicatessens.
The Wilde Zee neighbourhood is formed by five lively pedestrian shopping streets and is named after the old 15th century bridge. The moat around the city took a sharp turn here, causing the water to splash up sometimes. Hence the reference to a wild sea. Nowadays the water has made way for car-free streets, where you’ll find fun spin-offs of large chains, beauty shops and sweet delicatessens.
Korte Gasthuisstraat, Wiegstraat, Lombardenvest, Groendaalstraat and Schrijnwerkerstraat (the five Wilde Zee streets) are lined with hip clothing and shoe shops – the kind of places fashionistas can’t live without. This area is also home to Belgium’s oldest shopping centre, the Nieuwe Gaanderij, where you’ll find the pop-ups of start-ups as well as established businesses. The covered gallery leads to Huidevettersstraat, where you’ll find the shops of some of the major clothing brands.
How can you resist the sweet smells that waft out of the delicatessens and sweet shops in the Wilde Zee? You can find everything here, from a bakery with people queueing patiently outside and divine caterers. Every chocolate brand has a shop in this neighbourhood, and Désiré de Lille serves crunchy waffles and laquemants (galettes with syrup). Don’t forget to walk past the statue of Den Deugeniet in the Wilde Zee in Korte Gasthuisstraat.The bare-bottomed little boy is a cousin of Belgium’s famous Manneken Pis.
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