After almost two months, I finally found time and inspiration to write the second post on our short trip to Belgium. You might remember that we shared with you our impressions on Antwerp: we loved it!
And here come some of the highlights of Bruxelles!
How to get there:
From Antwerp Centraal we took a train of the Belgian railways. In approximately an hour and for 10€ you’ll be in the capital of Belgium.
Similarly if you arrive directly to Bruxelles with your flight, catch a train to the city centre.
There are many train stations in the city, so be sure of where you have to get precisely. Once there you can easily take a metro or a bus to reach you destination. We were staying at our friends’, that live in the area of the European Commission, so we stop at Bruxelles Schuman.
Where to stay:
We can’t really suggest you any place in particular, since we didn’t try any hotel in Bruxelles. As usual it al depends on what type and level of service you want.
I have to confess that I don’t like hotels that much, probably because the nice ones are mostly out of our range and we tend to go low-budget. Lately we prefer Airbnb. This way, if you’re lucky enough to stay in a nice place and with the right people, you have the possibility of feeling more home and meet some locals and discover from them the secrets of the place you’re visiting.
What to see and do:
After a couple of intense days in Antwerp, where we toured the city and I attended a very long but interesting conference, we arrived in Bruxelles with only one idea in mind: take it easy and relax!
We usually tend to visit places thoroughly: we like seeing the highlights, but also visit museums, trying many restaurants, enjoying some night out. But this time we just took it with another spirit: we didn’t plan anything (which we usually try to do) and decided to primarily enjoy time with our friends and squeeze in some sightseeing.
The comic strip wall art is one of the famous attractions of Bruxelles. The project of decorating the city with huge murals started in 1991 and now includes more than 50 works. We decided to follow a route that our friend suggested (which is very similar to the one proposed by visitbrussels.be) that would enable us to see these pieces of art and at the same time get to the most important buildings and monuments of the city.
We prepared a little map for us, to remember the places we visited, and for you, in case you want to have a look and maybe use the same map. You can check it and download it here Free Bruxelles Tour Map [Sealinthefog.com].
We started our tour from the Central Station and followed the route clockwise. As for the comic strip art you’ll find many of them pointed out in the map with a pink dot, but remember: just look around and above you and you’ll probably see many more! And you’ll be able to enjoy the view of the beautiful buildings of Bruxelles.
We also highlighted (with a teal star) the most important attractions of the city, such as Manneken Pis, the tiny but famous bronze boy, that the town dresses up in different costumes each week, the Grand Place, the central square, or the Galerie Royales Saint-Hubert.
But we also added a few places that you should absolutely visit.
Parc du Bruxelles: if you’re tired from all the walking surrounded by crowds of tourist, spend a few hours strolling in the park. It’s the perfect way to regenerate and enjoy some less touristy-time.
Palais de Justice: take a short detour from the city centre and head to the Law Court of Bruxelles. From the terrace in front of the building enjoy the amazing views of the city!
Ambiorix Square: reach the area and enjoy a walk in the park that surrounds the squares of Marie-Louise, Ambiorix and Marguerite. This neighbourhood is one of nicest of the city since you can still see beautiful Art Nouveau houses.
Le Berlaymont: this x-shaped building houses the European Commission. If you wish to know more about the building and about the history of the European Union, you should try to take a tour on Thursdays (check this website).
Place du Luxembourg and Place de Londres: have a drink on a Friday evening in one of these two squares and feel as if you were part of this lively city.
And of course you should be sure to try the specialities of Belgium: chocolate, waffles, caricoles (sea snails), moules (mussels) and beer. We had already had a few of each, but on our last day in Bruxelles we were lucky enough to find everything in one spot.
It was totally by chance while we were walking in the area of Sainte-Catherine that we jumped into Folklorissimo, the Festival of Folklore. It was a little festival, with food and drink stalls and some traditions of the country.
We walked through the stalls, listened to some music, took pictures and of course tried various dishes.
And then, just around the corner we had a little surprise waiting for us. Check the last picture and guess what my friend and I are doing… Stay tuned for the next post!