So, it’s been a while since I actually sat down and wrote a full blow blog post. A lot has happened since my last post. Life got mental for a little bit but i’m back and i’m actually finding the time and motivation to write again! I always find my travel posts to be the easiest to write so I thought a quick “Brussels in a nutshell” post would be the nicest way to ease myself back in….
Last Summer, my mum, sister and I took ourselves off on a girly break to Brussels for 3 days. I had never been to Belgium before, so I was keen to explore and see as much as we could in the limited time frame. So what are my tips?
Soak up the atmosphere at Grand Place and visit Manneken Pis
Dating back almost 300 years, Grand Place is too pretty to miss. Take a wonder up, snap some obligatory photos and do some people watching. Don’t eat at the tourist traps round the periphery though, they’re as you’d expect, ridiculously expensive and sub-par. Once you’ve had enough, take the short walk to the famous Manneken Pis statue (it’s about 2 minutes from Grand Place). Be warned, he’s small. Much smaller than I expected, but it’s a must see whilst you’re so close by! He also often gets dressed in various costumes, we managed to catch both costume and naked…
Get out of the city and visit Bruges
You can organise a tour to Brugges and/or Ghent with an outside company before you travel. We didn’t bother as it meant we would be pigeon holed into a particular day. Plus it’s usually cheaper to organise your own trip. The train from Brussels to Bruges is simple and inexpensive and only takes around an hour.
Bruges is really stunning, it is a proper romantic city. Definitely the type of city you’d love to wonder around with your love. Every corner is a photo opportunity too, so it’s an Instagram-fiend’s dream. We got there early and took a boat tour of the canals which was lovely and informative. We (obviously) wondered in and out of the numerous chocolate shops, sampling as we went and had a delicious lunch of mussels and fresh bread in the main square, soaking up the atmosphere of the city.
You can also choose to climb the belfry tower or book a brewery tour at De Halve Maan (both things I regret not doing).
Sample copious amounts of the (very strong) beer and very delicious chocolate
This is a no brainer but worth writing. It also extends to waffles and chips, yes chips, they have some of the best chips in Europe and their mayonnaise is delicious. Brussels is infamous for it’s food and drink and for good reason. Be warned, the beer is like rocket fuel. Brussels was the first place that I have ever found myself drunk twice in the same day so that gives you an idea of what you’re dealing with…
I tried to try a different beer every time we were stopping by a cafe or bar to do some people watching (Delerium and Leffe were my favourites….). In terms of chocolate, we did our own version of a chocolate tour and just wondered round the city on the first day, calling into whatever chocolate shop that took our fancy and picking out a few individual chocolates each. You will be spoilt for choice and the quality is second to none.
Check out the European Parliament but book a tour
We took a walk to the European Parliament. Mostly because my sister wanted to go. It was very hot and was a good 30 minute walk. I honestly just wanted to go to the bar…
There’s not much point going all the way down if you haven’t booked a tour to see the inside. I’ve read good things about the tour and I would definitely do it if I was to visit again. We hadn’t booked one this time around so we just generally wondered about until we had enough and I won the battle to go get another beer and some chips.
Have you been to Brussels before? What were your favourite things to see and do? Tell me in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!