The Brussels Story

Synonymous with Frites, Beer, and the heavenly smell of chocolate everywhere- that is Belgium for you! The capital city of Brussels is the embodiment of the country’s culture and history. A perfect blend of food, culture, and all things beautiful, Brussels is a true European delight which definitely deserves a spot on your travel itinerary. Find out about some amazing places that I have curated in the city below!

Start with:

Grand Place

Now a World UNESCO site, the Grand Place in Brussels is a gigantic central square surrounded by magnificent buildings, including the Town Hall, Brussels City Museum perched right there. It is truly gorgeous and exactly as the name suggests- GRAND!

Grand place at night

There are often installations, and exhibitions or some event going on in the squae. If you go around christmas-time, you might just witness an impromptu light show after dark!

Manneken Pis

A rather unusual, but historic landmark of the City of Brussels is the Manneken Pis statue, a bronze sculpture in the centre of Brussels, just a 2-minute walk from Grand Place, depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain basin. It is situated in a lane lined by Waffle shops, and you can usually witness a big crowd around it trying to take pictures!

A very unusual sight

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

A true epitome of Gothic architecture, the huge cathedral is an enchanting work of art, with every inch of its building a treat to the eyes. Dedicated to St. Michael, it is now the centre for  all significant Belgian monarchy celebrations, such as coronations, weddings, and state funerals.

Brussels Comic Museum

The one of its kind museum in Brussels is dedicated entirely to Belgian comics, some of which are world renowned and a favourite amongst all age groups. It honors the creators and makers of the iconic comics through its various installations and big statues.

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Inside, you can find Goku, the timelines of how many comics were created, and of course, Tintin! There are many temporary exhibitions in the museum as well, alongside the permanent ones. No other spoilers here, see for yourself!

Comic lovers heaven

Check out for tickets and information.

Galeries Royales St. Hubert

Literally translating to ‘Royal Gallery’, this breathtaking arcade is a cluster of shopping ensembles. The pedestrian gallery is lines with posh boutiques, restaurants, and decorations, which makes it unmissable whilst in Belgium. Also, a great place for various photo opportunities!


Brussels Stock Exchange

Though there is nothing extravagant to see inside, the Stock Exchange building in Brussels is a beautiful attraction of its known. The outside is swarming with people, and we happened to find three very large seesaws for people to spend time on. It also had a pretty market just outside, and appeared to be more of a place to enjoy some food and drinks.

Experience

Though there isn’t much to do around the city apart from its attractions and food, you can still make the most of your free time.

Look for Tintin

Everywhere in Brussels you’ll find the comic character painted on walls, or sculptures installed in some places. Join a comic strip tour, or just walk around and find them yourself, it’s a lot of fun either way! Or, just head to Rue de l’Etuve to see the big Tintin mural.

The famous Tintin mural

Royal Palace

The palace, like the rest of Brussels, is impeccably grand and beautiful. If you visit during the winter, however, you might not be able to get in. Either way, just walk around the huge palace and take in its beauty!

Day Trip

If you have a single extra day, make a day-trip outside of Brussels! I would recommend going to Bruges, Ghent or Antwerp. The train connects Brussels to these cities extremely well.

Check out my guide to BRUGES.

FOOD

Chocolate

Inevitably, whilst in Belgium, you will run into chocolate. The streets constantly smell of heavenly chocolate, and you might also spot chocolate fountains in various shops. Indulge in some of the good old treat, or eat it in different forms. Also, don’t forget to buy some of that Belgian chocolate for later.

You can hit the shops in the lane right in front of Grand Place, also having the Manneken Pis statue. They sell some amazing other desserts like Macarons and ice creams as well.

Drooling yet?

Frites

Now there are only so many places in Europe you can get some wonderful fries, and Brussels is one of them. The trademark, big old fries are a quick fix to all your hunger woes whilst anywhere in Brussels and neighbouring Belgian cities.

Waffles

Another one of the staple food in Belgium, waffles are as cheap as a single Euro in Brussels. Buy a simple one and munch on it for breakfast, or go full foodie and get some toppled with chocolate, cherries, fruits, and whatever else works for you.

Topped with chocolate, and love!

Beer

Lastly, the foamy, wonderful beer in Brussels is a hard to miss treat. Make it a point to have some with your meals, as it is beer heaven for all lovers!

Accomodation

Brussels is easily doable on foot, and my personal recommendation would be to stay near Grand Place, as all attractions are mostly within a short distance. My experience at Sleep Well Hostel was exquisite, with great company and amazing breakfast. Though it is a little pricey for a hostel, you will definitely enjoy your experience there, or in another hostel.

Travel Tips:

  • The city can be a bit unsafe after dark, so cling to your stuff, and avoid carrying too much when outside.
  • Gorge a LOT on waffles and chocolate. It is one of a kind in the country.
  • Train tickets are cheaper if you’re under 26, and also on the weekends. Make use of that!
  • Avoid spending too much on food and accommodation, it is mostly decent everywhere in the city. Spend wisely.
  • Make use of student discounts!

This is it for my Brussels diary for now! Let me know what you think in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “The Brussels Story

  1. Hey! Great blog. Would it be possible to write a blog on the impact of Tintin on Belgian culture and the options for tourists? Thanks!

    Like

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