There are some great things to see (and even better things to eat) in “The Capital of Europe,” and I can’t wait to share them!
Show some respect, people. Belgian waffles got their namesake for a good reason. I had the best waffle I will probably ever have in Belgium. And it was from a street stand. I mean, they weren’t even trying. Don’t miss out.
I got mine topped with chocolate and strawberries (just in case you’re into that).
This is the main square of Brussels and it truly is a grand place, or Grote Markt (in Dutch). My advice would be to go once at night and once during the day because it has completely different vibes. However, if you must choose, go at night to see it lit up. It is the most memorable place you’ll see, I promise.
If you happen to be there in August, check to see if it’s one of the years that they cover the square in flowers (begonias to be exact). If you are, I will be jealous.
3. Manneken Pis
This is just a funny little statue that somehow became one of the things that Brussels is best known for. It even has its own geotag on Snapchat (that’s how you know if something is really important nowadays). The statue is also a fountain…it’s a little boy peeing. You’ve gotta see it, even if it’s just to roll your eyes and say, “Why is this famous?” Don’t worry though, we’ve all thought it. And the sentiment was made official when it was voted number one on the list of Most Underwhelming Landmarks in Europe.
4. Street Fries (Frites)
I didn’t know before going, but these are totally a thing in Belgium. There are stands everywhere selling amazing fries served in overflowing cardboard cones wrapped in paper, eaten with tiny forks, and topped with your choice of at least a dozen sauces (my favorite was Andalouse).
5. European Parliament
I went on a tour of this because I thought it would be interesting to see where government officials and representatives from all European Union countries come together to make laws…but it wasn’t really that interesting. It was cool in theory, but without anyone there, it’s really just a big room filled with chairs. Go if you want, but I think you could live without it. I would put Manneken Pis higher on the list…and that’s saying something.
6. Delirium Café
This is not a café. It’s a bar. A really cool bar. The pink elephant logo is widely known and so is the place. They have a long beer list serving 2,004 different brands from over 60 countries. And (of course) a lot of Belgian beers. It’s pretty close to the Grand Place, so it’s really not difficult to find. Just look for the pink elephant!
7. Musical Instruments Museum
Do you prefer Mozart to folk art? Do you bump to Beethoven? Are you hoppin’ for Chopin? Did you know that those words don’t actually rhyme? If so, you must love music, and should place the Musée des Instruments de Musique at the top of your list!
It’s time to get Bad and Brugge-y. That’s extremely clever of me because it’s culturally relevant and it shows you how to pronounce it! It was also the caption of my Instagram, which got quite a few likes. So there. Puns for the win.
Brugge is a dreamy day trip into one of the cutest towns you will ever see. Honestly, if you only have one day in Belgium, skip Brussels and head straight here. I’m not kidding.
Just a one hour train ride from Brussels, this fairytale medieval town is waiting for you to walk down its picturesque cobbled lanes linking calming canals and photogenic market squares lined with soaring towers. At the very heart of the city is the Markt, which is the main square, surrounded on all sides by unique buildings from all different periods, including the Town Hall.
There was a parade going on for some reason the day I was there, which made it extra fun, but spending any time there will just feel like a dream.
Enjoy these amazing cities! And don’t count the number of waffles you eat…you’ll regret it.