Buzzing Brussels

Tripoto
1st Jul 2018
Photo of Buzzing Brussels by Nandini Ramesh

Spinning off from my post on Enriching Europe, this is part 2 of a 3-part blog series giving detailed information that you will find useful while planning for a trip to Brussels.

Read about the Sunday markets at Brussels - Good

Booked a train ticket to reach Brussels by 11am - Great

Train-hopped 5 times to reach Brussels by 3pm - Priceless!

Two days in the city of beers, chocolates and waffles. For a city that is soaked in rain for most part of the year, we got lucky - clear blue sky and sunshine is what we got!

Accommodation - Airbnb.

Getting around - walk, walk and more walk. If that is too much to bear, get a 24-h travel card from any metro station. The metro spans the city and will take you where you wish to go.

Day 1

Day 2

We signed up with Sandemans and our tour guide, Adrien was a splendid story-teller! In the process of being educated about the what's what of the city, we were completely entertained!

The Grote Markt or Grand Place - Best place on earth for people-watching - Patient dudes clicking photos after photos of their lady love who do not tire of posing - I could watch this forever! :D. History of this market place is super interesting too! Do check out the intricate details on each guild house.

Stand in the center of the square and take a panoramic video of the entire markt. Play the video and listen to the myriad of languages that your trusty phone picked up!

Grand Place - Video go

The town hall itself is so impressive! You say it is not symmetrical? I say, beauty lies in imperfection!

Town Hall

Photo of Buzzing Brussels by Nandini Ramesh

Manneken Pis - Cute little boy peeing. It is voted the most disappointing sight in the world. I found it cute! I hardly think that a larger than life sculpture of a boy pissing would be as endearing! The day we visited this lil fella, Belgium was playing the quarterfinal football match. No points for guessing his attire! :)

There he is!

Photo of Manneken Pis, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh
Photo of Manneken Pis, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh

Saint Hubert Royal Gallery - Shopper's paradise - chocolates and quaint cafes. Clothes and footwear and accessories. The entire gallery is covered with a glass roof! For a budget traveller, I could only afford to window shop!

Galerie Royale Saint-Hubert

Photo of Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Galerie du Roi, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh

National Basilica - This was just 5 minutes by walk from the place we stayed at. Built in neo-gothic style with a copper green dome, this is the 5th largest in the world. There is a sense of pleasure in visiting a cathedral devoid of tourists and we got lucky again!

National Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Photo of National Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Ganshoren, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh

Pro tips:

Waffles - the batter itself has a plethora of flavours. You did not know?! Quite obviously, the strawberries and the nutella and the whipped cream killed that for you! Have a plain waffle or if you must have a topping, go for powdered sugar. Bite into a hot corner and feel the cinnamon and the granulated sugar and the apple sauce melting in your mouth!

Frites - Is the store using a double fryer? Stay and order frites! If you are not very particular about "not sinning", go for the ones fried in beef lard!

Chocolates - Godiva factory near Parc Elisabeth

Eateries that we tried and loved: Waffle Factory, Los Churros, Fritland, Pizza Pronto

As parting advice, learn some French! You can thank me later!

Day 1

We visited the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. St. Michael is the patron saint of Brussels and Gudula was conferred sainthood for taking care of the sick and wounded around the time that Brussels expanded from a small town to a city. The cathedral was nearly empty on a Sunday afternoon and this allowed us enough time to marvel at its architecture and sheer beauty.

Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula

Photo of St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, Place Sainte-Gudule, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh

We strolled around and reached Mont Des Arts. From here the view of the city of Brussels makes for a perfect postcard-type picture. The spire of the town hall sticking up against a cluster of the much shorter buildings lends the whole scene a quaint charm.

View of Brussels City Center from Mont Des Arts

Photo of Mont des Arts, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh
Day 2

A visit to the Comic Book Museum was followed by a stroll around the city center to spot murals on popular comics. We spotted 4 such murals in the short time we had before we could make it back for the city walk. Tin Tin originated in Brussels. The Belgians are passionate about comics. The Comic Book Museum is proof of this. It is a must visit. We spent more than 4 hours in there and the section on Chinese comics is oh so prettttty!

Photo of Brussels Comic Book Museum, Rue des Sables, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh
Photo of Brussels Comic Book Museum, Rue des Sables, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh
Photo of Brussels Comic Book Museum, Rue des Sables, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh
Photo of Brussels Comic Book Museum, Rue des Sables, Brussels, Belgium by Nandini Ramesh
Be the first one to comment