Things to Explore in Brussels


Two years passed since I last was here, and spring changed to autumn. My company changed too and I felt all excited about our findings in the city: ready to find the new, ready to re-explore the known.


It was a secret escape journey this time and Tiger had no clue where we both were going. It was fun on one side, but it sucked to hide mails and travel books from him to keep the secret. Sooner or later, the mystery was uncovered and we both flew to the Belgian capital. 


The first evening of our journey was fresh, but the cold was bearable. Whichever vehicle we took, I kept looking out of the window. The sky in autumn was at its the best: colours, drama. The massiveness, the space of the sky look generously impressive at the airports, I found.


My every journey and its summary is dedicated to tell about re-visited classics and new experiences, which may inspire you.


 

Don’t miss


Grand Place


Hard to miss indeed. The Grand Place central square is the most recognisable sight in the Belgian capital. It is also the most visited one. Seeing the main square of the city with the city hall is like getting to know the heart of the nation - I do not fear this word.


The Grand Place hosts beautiful gothic and baroque art buildings and has been the center of the city ever since 11th century. With attention to the detail, the Grand Place offers sculptures and fascades above a selection of cafes on the ground. Many side streets lead to and from the square. We visited it every day of our stay in Brussels and it is Tiger's favourite sight.


If you are lucky to travel in August, check for dates for the flowertime in Brussels. The Grand Place will be covered in a flower carpet display.


Check out my favourite: LE RENARD - the fox - it is on your left if you stand  with your back to the city hall.



 

A true recognizable icon of the city and a favourite character for street art, presents and chocolate figures - the Manneken Pis - is a couple of steps behind the Grand Place. The boy is pretty famous, you won't miss the tourist crowds around him  and I like the sculpture.




There is a whole family of pissing sculptures in the capital: apart from the boy, there is a girl and a dog for you to find!



 

Street Art


Building walls painted with the comic adventures of Tin Tin and his dog Snowy - the Belgian invention of the comics characters, and much more - Brussels is home to a vast graffiti scene. Through out the city, on your way to the favourite and known pieces, you may discover great art, worth seeing for their beauty.



 

We also liked:

  • Dille & Kamille shop, even though its origin is Netherlands rather than Belgium

  • Mont du Arts Park*

  • Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert



 

Where to stay?


There is plenty of centrally located hotels and hostels for you to choose from. I've experienced low service apartments and 5 star hotels. Your choice.


Quick and dirty - my top three for comfort:


  1. Rocco Forte

  2. Pillows

  3. Le Plaza Brussels otel*



 

Where to eat?

Luckily, the spots below are

  • Café The Sister* - vegan experience. Good, light food for your body.

  • Restaurant Bocconi (Rocco Forte Hotel) - excellent Italian food served.

  • Diner BiaMara (Fish and Chips) - best Chips we've experienced in Brussels*

  • Restaurant Dandoy (ideal for waffles, coffee, speculoos - the origin of this cookie is told to be Belgian)



 

Remember to Pack

  • Portable speaker - Tiger's must have for the favourite tunes played louder from time to time

  • Camera - whether a phone or an extra device - needless to say there is lots of things to explore and photograph

  • Canelle - Belgian cinnamon. We discovered that French and Belgian cinnamon powder is less fine that the German one - the taste is stronger and better for that, try it! Brussels showed me waffle everything - for a starter, main or dessert. For the latter, I find, it tastes delicious without any toppings (cinnamon excluded), the less whip cream the better.

  • A wooder hammer - just kidding. The trick, that Tiger and I experienced at Bocconi - the hammer was used to break a giant speculoo into edible pieces.

  • Tote - I always have a folded tote handy: for shopping items. Alternatively you may buy one, for example at Dille&Kamille, those totes look cute on everyone.

  • Mobile phone (mobile payment) - cash is Ice Age. Belgians pay mobile wherever they can and have been doing it, what feels like, since ages.


*or more tips and a Belgian story continued, I've linked the article for you here.