We took an early morning bus (7am) from Paris to Brussels. We reached Brussels at around 10 am and proceeded to our AirBnB accommodation. We spent just one day at Brussels. We first visited Grand Palais and then walked around till Mannekin Pis statue. There is a Tin Tin Mural at a walking distance. There are awesome Belgian waffles and chocolate shops in the city center. We then took a tram till Atomium and then went to Palais de justice. The Royal gallery hosts great restaurants with reasonable rates.We ended the day with the dinner at the Royal gallery.
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The Grand Place is a highlight of your visit to the Belgian capital. The “Hotel de Ville” and architecture are both impressive. There are also many cafes and terraces if you want to enjoy a drink over there. It is a very touristic area where people from all over the world pass by. During Christmas, there is a “light and Sound” show happening and the Christmas market is implemented. Both of them a really great and attract a lot of people!
The Atomium and the Mini Europe centre are both a bit ex-centred and require to go there by car or with public transportation (which I don't recommend because in Belgium public transportation are SO slow…). If you have kids or if you want to have some fun, do something special and discover an original place, I would recommend you to spend half a day there. The Atomium is a great piece of futuristic architecture that has a very very fast elevator. You can go from a sphere to another and you will enjoy a great view of the city! They dont have student prices unfortunately. The Mini Europe park is fun to visit. You have all the famous monuments in mini sizes from each European country and in front of each monument you can touch buttons to activate a sound which is most of the time the country’s official music. I think its possible to buy at the same time a ticket for the atomium and M.E
This little statue is one of the main attractions of the city. During the national day or for big events, it is even dressed with special costumes! Many times when I was looking for the Manneken Pis, I had to struggle to find it. Indeed, dont expect it to be a large statue ! It is so crowded in front of it that the crowd hides the little man!! But it is funny to see people’s faces when they discover that: “THAT'S IT???” hihi ;-)
If you want anything in your trip just walk into the huge market and shops that surrounds the Martyr's Square. In my trip i found that this square is a point for rejuvenation and entertainment. Do you fancy about going in horse- cart that is well decorated with feathers just like in fantasy stories you have read in you childhood. There water fountain in the center of the square.
After having the best beer in the world our standards were set pretty high in terms of beer so we decided to head to where both quality and quantity reign supreme, Delirium Cafe. Delirium Cafe is famous for holding the Guinness World Record for having the most beers in one place which is over 2000 beers! It is my drinking home away from home. It’s amazing and HUGE with multiple levels filled with hundreds of beers on tap, thousands of beers in bottles and fancy beers bottled like champagne. It is a beer lover’s paradise. Alex and I immediately headed for the bar; we are bar people, you will not find us at a table unless we couldn’t squeeze in at the bar. Once we were seated at the bar we are handed a gigantic binder filled with beer options. It is overwhelming in the best way possible. At about this time Alex and I decided to start taking pictures of every round we have. I’m still not sure of that was a brilliant or foolish idea or whether the amount of beer we consumed was foolish or brilliant on an empty stomach. But either way this was our last drink of the night…
Au Bon Vieux Temps
My roommates and I called the bar our Harry Potter Bar because it was down a little brick alley which we attributed to Diagon Alley. The name of the bar is actually Au Bon Vieux Temps which is “In Good Old Time” in English and the bar has been around since 1695. It is an awesome little bar with a lot of history and a ton of great Belgian beers. The menu is just beer and wine and I would definitely go here for the specialty Belgian Beers. It’s a fun, small, dark bar to hang out in and drink with the locals. Also since it is dark inside you don’t feel as bad drinking beer in the middle of the day (and it’s a cultural experience as well). We tried a few traditional Belgian beers and then we saw “The Best Beer in the World” listed on the menu. It was a Trappist ale called Westvleteren and it was delicious. Only eight monasteries brew beer which can be called Trappist beer so any time you see Trappist beers I would order them no matter what. It is actually quite rare even in Brussels to find this particular beer in a bar as the monastery only sells their beer in small quantities from the monastery itself. So make your way to Au Bon Vieux Temps and have yourself a super rare beer, it’s totally worth it.
The next day started out predictably slow; it was a chore to wake up and not wish I was at home in bed but I got up anyways. We had barely scratched the surface of the beers we could consume but first I needed waffles. Waffles are all over Brussels and we decided to head back down to Grand Place to grab some (getting lost once again in the process). We ended up at the St. Hubertus Royal Gallery and grabbed some traditional waffles at Le Mokafe. There is just something so satisfying about a waffle covered in powdered sugar and is the best hangover cure you are going to get in Brussels.
This typically Belgian brand can be found everywhere in Brussels. The style is both casual and vintage. It is quite an interesting boutique to be discovered but the prices are expensive considering the style of the clothes. Concerning the shoes, there are 2 or 3 “galleries” in which you can go and that are full of shoes shops ! There is a lot of choice !!!
This avenue is well reputed in the capital and is often called the “Belgian Champs Elysees”. This large and long avenue is full of shops and international brands but is also hosting the most luxurious names such as Tiffany & Co, Hermes, Dior etc… There are also several nightclubs in the area. So as you see, many of its characteristics match the French Champs Elysees.
No Concept Doyenné
In these shop you will find gorgeous dresses, jeans and some designers’ pieces. The prices are not too high and there is quite a choice! I like to go there in order to avoid always going to Zara etc… If you are looking for something “different” at affordable and sometimes expensive prices, these are the places to visit!
Rue de France
If you haven't been amused by the pissing girl and the pissing boy in Brussels, you haven't seen Brussels. Despite all the hype it's a small statue each. But just go, take a look, take a selfie. Also visit the musuem and look at the different avatars of the pissing boy from all over the world specially amusing are the Maharaja Avatar, Parsi Avatar, Russian ( spaceman) and Hawai boy :-) he is pissing through all of them...
Kif Kif Café
This restaurant is located in “Ixelles” and offers mainly dishes coming from all over the Mediteranean Sea such as Moroccan, Algerian, Greek food. The atmosphere is absolutley great: arab music, belly dancer on week-ends, friendly staff,… Plus, the budget for dinner is quite affordable considering that the dishes’ sizes are quite big. As it they offer “Mediteranean cuisine” you might think: “the food will not be as good as in Morocco” lol. But the quality of food is really good and worth it. If you want to take a trip outside the city for a night or escape your daily routine, I highly recommend you the Kif Kif! Of course there is a small drawback: don’t forget to make a reservation as it is quite a popular address. My favorite meal there? The “Tajine D’agneau aux pruneaux et amandes” ;-)
Le Pain Quotidien
This worldwide famous chain is Belgian! So of course you can imagine that they are present all over the country! In this restaurant you can both have lunch or breakfast or BRUNCH! I often go there when I am in town and never regretted it! Last time I tested the brunch with my friends and we all absolutely loved it! The decor is cozy, warm and traditional. I love to have lunch there and usually order the “chevre speculoos crumble salad” accompanied with a fresh home-made raspberry lemonade ;-) Prices are fair and service quite efficient. If you’re planning on going there for the Brunch, don’t go too late otherwise you might have to face the crowd and overwhelmed staff! Also for lunch time, if you go too late (around 1:30/2:00), all the dishes may not be available any more cause everything is fresh.
Located in the centre of Brussels, next to the touristic area of the “Grand Place”, this store/cafe is offering a wide variety of traditional and exceptional Belgian chocolates. Instead of buying your chocolates in some industrial, touristic and chemical place around, stop by the Cafe Tasse Store, get yourself a nice hot chocolate or capuccino, order yourself some chocolate and spend some quality time surrounded with welcoming and charming staff. I believe it is from far the most cozy place in Brussels. They also have a terrace!
You won’t find better cup-cake shop than Lilicup! It's the best of the best, la creme de la creme. Lilicup a.k.a the cutest doll house in town is located in the Chatelain area and surrounded by a selection a very cool independant shops like you can only find in Brussels. LYA loved the details of the fine dishes, the little piece of home made cookie on the side of the tea, the impressive list of different teas (jasmin, green, red, black…) and the fact that you can choose a big or small cupcake! Are you convinced yet? Go get some cozyness and crave your sugar rush with some Lilicup delicacies ^^