On approach to Brussels Airport I was taken in by the beauty of the landscape. The colors intrigued me, and just like that the mood of the trip was set. I was excited to get off the plane and discover the city. I only had one day there, so I had to discover as much as I could in those 24 hours (maybe 23 hours haha).
The best thing about most airports in Europe, is that they also have a train, which could get you to your destination easily without having to pay high taxi fares. The city of Brussels happened to be the 2nd stop on the train from the airport. The train ride itself took about 15-20 minutes from the airport to the city center. Once off the train, I walked about 5 minutes (through a safe area I may add), until I arrived at my hotel.
The hotel I stayed at was “The Dominican“. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wishes to visit the city of Brussels. The hotel is clean, the staff is courteous, and the location is great! The hotel is located right on the outskirts of La Grand Place. What I really liked about the hotel (other than location) : it was safe and secure. After dark you had to buzz into the hotel, this prevented stragglers from just walking in; also in order to use the elevator you had to have a room key. These tiny details really make a tourist feel more comfortable.
After ditching the bags in the room it was time to discover the city. I loved the gothic feel of the buildings in La Grand Place main square. The architecture was captivating, and while I usually don’t like gold on buildings, I felt the gold really fit well in this setting. After marveling at the fabulous architecture of these buildings I noticed a sign over in the corner of the square that said “beer museum”, I ventured over and decided to see what it had to offer.
The price of the “Beer Museum” was 5 euros per person. While the price seems inexpensive the Museum was only two rooms. At first I thought the price was a bit steep for what was offered, but at the end of walking through the rooms they offered you a sample of beer. You could either choose a lager or a fruity beer; that in itself made up for the steep price. I had the fruity beer, it was very sweet, almost like a wine cooler, but it was good.
After leaving the Beer Museum I was hungry and it was time to have lunch. I decided to grab a bite at a local Brasserie called Nuetnugenough. I was referred to this restaurant by a coworker who had been to Brussels before. The menu offered local cuisine and a long list of local beers. I decided to get the beef stew in beer sauce and I wasn’t disappointed. The beef was so tender, easily ripped apart with my fork. The sauce (gravy) was perfection with just the right hint of beer. I loved my meal, and the people who sat next to me had some delicious looking food as well. I would recommend stopping by this restaurant if you’re in Brussels.
All the waffles looked so delicious. How is a person supposed to choose just one? Eventually I settled on a waffles with strawberries, bananas, and chocolate sauce. The waffle was so delicious. The outside of the waffle was crispy but the inside was fluffy, pair that with the toppings and you have yourself a little bit of heaven in every bite. While eating my waffle I ventured around and landed at the famous statue “Manneken Pis”. This statue is of a little boy peeing, and they like the dress him up to match whatever event is going on in the city. When I went they were having a “marathon event” so they had him dressed up as a runner. From the statue in every gift shop I expected him to be so much bigger, but in reality the statue is very small. I would’ve missed it if there wasn’t a crowd taking pictures in front of him.
I had one more place I wanted to visit before I went back to the hotel for a nap. Les Galeries Royales Saint Hubert. This was an enclosed shopping center filled with all kinds of neat shops. Once again, I found myself intrigued with the architecture of the building. The light from the shops created an orange glow, pair that with the structure of the building and it felt like you took a time machine to the past. I absolutely loved the old time vibe this place gave off.
Once I awoke from my nap I ventured back to La Grand Place. It was a whole new experience at night. They had the square decorated for Christmas and they sure went all out. Each building was equipped with color lighting. They had all the lights synchronized to dance with the music that was playing in the square. The lights danced for about 5 minutes once every 30 minutes. It was a beautiful sight to see.
Also for Christmas time Brussels had the “Christmas Market” this gave me a lot to do at night. There were a bunch of booths set up selling all kinds of merchandise. The items ranged from beer and chocolate to items to decorate your house. I’m not sure what there normally is to do at night in Brussels (besides the pubs) but I was was very busy exploring the Christmas Market.
For dinner I decided not to stop at a restaurant but instead order from a local street vendor. The sausage they served tasted like Polish Kielbasa and was so delicious. The grill also offered burgers and ribs. Once you received your food they had all different kinds of sauces that you could put on your food. I don’t remember all the names but I’ve never seen so many different sauces to put on a sausage.
After I finished my sausage I journeyed to “Fritland” for some fries. Yes that’s right people, fries are a big deal in Brussels. The bigger deal is all the sauces they have to offer to dip your fries in. Fritland had about 12 different sauces to choose from to dip your fries into. The sauces in the above picture are “Samurai” and “Brazil”.
There was one more stop I had to make before leaving this beautiful city of Brussels. That stop was Leonidas. This shop is famous for their Fresh Belgian Chocolates. I was overwhelmed by how much chocolate they had to offer that I just wound up buying two pre made boxes. They do allow you to “build your own” box though.
All in all Brussels was an outstanding trip. Next time I visit Belgium I would like to visit Bruges and Ghent. Please leave feedback and questions below I’ll be happy to respond to any inquiries you may have.
Until Next Time,
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