Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind when I think Brussels is chocolate. How can you NOT have a perfect day when chocolate is involved??? Okay, maybe beer comes to mind as well. I think alcohol and food are the only things ever on my mind, but whose counting right??
Aside from the notorious chocolate and beer, Brussels has many other exciting activities to offer that most don’t even know about! Can you believe there are close to 90 museums? Beautiful parks scattered around the city AND some really awesome street art that’s sure to catch your creative eye.
Here is my way of having the perfect day in Brussels!
A walking tour
If you know me, I HATE TOURS. I cannot stand being tied down to someone else’s schedule when I am super fast paced. With that being said, Europe’s FREE walking tours have shown me the flip side! Why? For a few reasons…1) The only last about 3 hours 2) Gives you an overview of the city and some iconic landmarks 3) Did I mention free? 4) Allows you to get your bearings on the city and 5) You are likely to meet some new friends! The duration of the tour is around 3 hours, so if you go in the morning, you’ll have all afternoon to revisit some places or explore new ones!
Stand in the middle of Grand Place
Take it all in. I can see now why it’s called GRAND Place, because holy shit. It boasts the City Hall building as well as some museums. Neighboring it is some great local markets that sell anything from trinkets to fresh bakeries and of course, chocolate. Usually, your walking tour will start and end here so it’s the perfect photo-op in the city center!
Eat Brussels delicasse for lunch: Mussels & French Fries
Trust me, it might sound like a big pile of shit, but it’s a duo the citizens swear by. You have to dive nose first into this perplexing dish because it’s not something you pair every day. Truth be told, Europe all together LOVES french fries, so it’s only right you try it out! Wash it down with a Belgium beer to feel extra localized!
Visit Atomium and Mini Europe
Just a short drive out of the city is a huge steel ball display called Atomium. Who doesn’t like seeing big balls, amirite? It’s actually supposed to mimic that of an Atom particle, yet it soars 335 feet tall! That’s a lot of balls. Okay, I’ll stop saying that word now. What makes it even cooler on the inside! You can go to a viewing area that allows you to look out at 300 feet up!
Down below across the street is the cutest little display of Europe as a whole…literally. Mini Europe is a walk through garden of European landmarks scaled down 25 times! What other places could you see the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben AND the Leaning Tower of Pisa all in one place? (Actually, you can see them all in flower form at the Miracle Garden in Dubai…but shh)
Eat your weight in chocolate at Frederic Blondeel
Go back to the city center for some sweet treats! If it’s wintertime, grab a hot chocolate. Summertime, grab a gelato…and anytime in between TRY THEIR CHOCOLATE. I’m talking each caramel delight, nugget, pralines or even spreads! All I can say is, if you don’t like chocolate or sweets, this place will totally turn you! There is something for each and every taste bud out there. If you wanna get super frisky, find a few chocolate shops and grab a couple of items at each place.
Take a self-guided Comic Strip Tour around Brussels
Graffiti from around the globe have caught my eye on many occasions. It’s a non-traditional way to understand the city in a new light. What the people are like, their ideologies and creative imaginations. Or just some stupid ass punks who want tag every street corner because their baby mama left them. Regardless, it’s a fun experience! Brussels has a unique self-guided tour that allows you to stroll up and down streets to see comic like animation on walls. Pretty amazing and great for picture-taking! (the picture is of a girl I met on the walking tour who explored with me all day!)
Dinner at Noordzee
Norddezzznuts. Literally, the first thing that came to mind (facepalm). This “fast food” restaurant is nothing like the shitty ones in the states! Although you can’t technically dine here, Noordzee is a street food fairy tale! Fresh oysters and seafood for days! This is the perfect on the go meal to fulfill your dinner desires before you head out for the night. There are some high tables you can stand at, but no chairs. All the more reason to take it home, stuff your face, then brush that dirty vagina smelling mouth and hit the town!
Just do it. Find one online or head to a local hostel and inquire. For solo travelers, this is the best way to cut loose and taste some of Belgium’s greatest beers! For any other traveler, it’s pretty much the same. Bring your friends along, meet new ones…the pub crawl is almost like a really cheap beer tour. That is if you remember it.
- Start early! One day is hardly enough time to see any city to its entirety but starting early boosts that momentum!
- Bring chocolate souvenirs back to your family and friends! Even if you aren’t fond of chocolate, it’s a cheap way to let someone know you were thinking about them.
- There are plenty of transportation options, but Uber or Taxi is by far the fastest! If you’re short on time, those are the best selections. If you are short on money, the bus or tram works best!
- Manneken Pis is the most overrated tiny piece of history in this city. You will probably encounter it on your walking tour if you go, but otherwise, it’s just a small statue of a little boy pissing in a fountain.
- Notice how I never mentioned any of the almost 90 museums. That’s because MY perfect day has everything to do with eating, drinking and chocolate and nothing about history! Just my opinion!
Any day spent traveling is a perfect day in my eyes. Just not those 15 hour-long haul flights or random stopovers in countries you can’t pronounce but you get the picture! I hope you make it to the wonderful city of Brussels sometime soon and that you learn something from my PERFECT day!
Have you visited Brussels? Is there anything I’m missing from my list? I’m sure I’ll be back soon for some more adventures but until next time…