Before my first visit to this European city, I read a lot of articles about Brussels. What you can find there, what to visit in the city and where to go for good food. Unfortunately, I have read many negative reactions many times because of the disorder in the streets. Nevertheless, I was very attracted to Brussels. I wanted to stand under the Atomium and I also wanted to see a statue of a small boy, who pee on the street.
Already on arrival in the city, I was intrigued by classic brick houses. They reminded me of my favorite London. The truth is, there was a mess in the remote streets, and many times it reminded me of East London, but the city center was tidy.
Do you think about a trip to Brussels? After reading this article, it may inspire you to buy flight tickets. This cosmopolitan city has a lot to offer tourists. We convinced about it on the first day, when we went to the city center.
How to get from the Czech Republic to Brussels?
There are several daily flights from Prague. The cheapest flights are offered by Ryanair, which flies to Charleroi Airport. The flight takes about 1h and 30 min. From here, you can get to the center of Brussels with Flibco.com buses. If you buy a timely ticket it cost 5 Euro per person. The journey takes approximately an hour to the center of Brussels. Also, you can fly from Prague by direct flight to Brussels Airport, from where you can get to the center in 20 minutes by train.
We are looking for accommodation by booking.com, ideally a hotel with a breakfast buffet. But Brussels is somewhat expensive, so we found an apartment of 3 rooms with shared bathroom and kitchen. In the kitchen, we have prepared something for breakfast and dinner. Accommodation cost us 450CZK per person per night. Another option is Couchsurfing or Airbnb.
What to see in Brussels?
One should not miss the Grande-Place, which is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings. The most admired building, as is probably the case in almost every square, is the town hall. I would rank the Brussels one among the gems of architecture thanks to its impressive tower.
From the square, we went to look for peeing statues – little girl, dog and finally a boy. During the first day, we managed to visit the Cathedral of St. Michael and st. Guduly, Palace of Justice and Halle Gate, where there is a museum of history and also a beautiful park.
The next day we went to the Royal Palace and walked through the adjacent park. We went through the Mont des Arts. Our steps further led to the European Parliament Visitors’ Center. Admission is free and you will learn something from history, how it all began to the present.
The triumphal arch is located in the Parc du Cinquantenaire. It is a wonderful place for walks.
We ended the tour of the city at Atomium. Mini Europe is located near Atomium, where you can see miniature buildings from different European cities. A beautiful walk was along Ossegh Park, where we reached the gates of the Royal Castle in Laeken.
What to taste in Brussels?
The ubiquitous cafes attract visitors to sit on traditional waffles. We were to a cafe to taste a waffle too. The waffle in the cafe was quite ordinary and not significant because later we discovered more interesting and richly decorated waffles in the city center. In the cafe where we were, it was only with whipped. But that was a different spectacle of waffles in the city center at the boy’s statue. Several beautifully decorated waffles smiled at you in the shop windows. One was with whipped cream, strawberries and strawberry topping, the other was decorated with whipped cream and chocolate, the other with caramel, fruit or ice cream. The only drawback was that there was no seating in these factories, so we got the waffles in the tray with us.
Pralines and chocolate
In the center, you will find plenty of shops with pralines and chocolate. The best brands include Leonidas and Neuhaus. Pralines and chocolates are excellent, so buy it for your loved ones as a gift from the trip.
You may not have known it as I did, but French fries appear to have been originated in Belgium. As we learned from the locals, traditional French fries are cut by hand and they are thicker French fries and fried twice to make them more crispy. Local fries are served with different types of sauces.
Belgium is a superpower of beer. Many pubs also offer more than 15 kinds of beers. You can taste dark, light, fruity or even with different flavors – eg vanilla, ginger, honey, etc. Local beers are stronger, they have higher alcohol content. The beer is tasty with some kind of cheeses, so be sure to try some of the local produce.
Time is running out everywhere, and unfortunately, our trip to Brussels has also passed quickly. It was two wonderful days full of experiences. I believe that we will at least look there one time again.
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