Brussels is a really beautiful city. It was a bucket list item that I can now check off. I was pretty excited to know I was finally going to be able to explore and try the things they are known for. Of course while visiting I learned some things. So here are some things to know before you go to Brussels, Belgium.
Taxis – Easy to get one if necessary. We barely used a taxi. Mainly just to get to and from the airport and one quick errand. Most of the taxis I saw were black Mercedes. So if you see them when coming out the airport those are it. It is cheaper to buy the roundtrip on the taxi than one way. Depending on where you are going will determine the price. Our ride was about 20-25 minutes, but cost a pretty penny so it made sense to pay for the roundtrip to the driver up front. We then had a guaranteed reserved time back to the airport. The driver came early to take us back too!
Stay in the City Center- I highly recommend staying in the center near Grand Place. Brussels is pretty walkable, especially in that area. There is plenty to see and do right outside the majority of the hotels. The train station is also not too far away. Surprisingly it wasn’t too noisy staying in the center of it all.
Weather- Several locals have told us that in one day you can go though all 4 seasons. That makes it a bit difficult to know what to wear. Every morning it was cold and rainy. Later in the afternoon it warmed up. Every so often though the clouds would cover the sun and it would be really cold. Everyone would begin putting on jackets. A few moment later the sun would be front and center and everyone is hot and sweating. Just be prepared for all-weather while there.
Wear Comfortable Shoes- I always stress this, but you really need them here. Many of the streets are cobblestone. Since the city is so walkable it is important to have them. I had my Sketchers walking shoes that I usually have every where I go and a pair of sneakers. Both came in handy, especially since my ankles were swelled up already.
Train- The train is really nice. Very clean, pretty comfortable, and have decent sized bathrooms. There are even little tables that fold down. However be very mindful of the train you are getting on. Just because it says the train you are looking for is the next one coming on a certain track at a certain time, that isn’t necessarily the train you are supposed to be on. A bunch of us had to learn that the hard way. Asking a local, they even said we were on the right train, but I had a feeling we weren’t and found out that feeling was right. What was supposed to be an hour ride turned into a 2 1/2 hour ride.
Language- A few locals told us that there are many different languages spoken there, but that everyone speaks English. I also overheard some people talking saying they didn’t know which language to speak when walking into shops because there are more than 2 spoken, so people just speak in English. The other languages spoken in Brussels is French, German, and Dutch.
Waffles, Fries, Chocolate, and Beer- These are what Belgium is known for. French Fries? Not on their watch! The French stole that. The beer I tried was pretty good. Of course I found one better than the other. Fries were good and chocolate rich of course. Not all waffles are created equal. Don’t let anyone tell you to eat it anywhere they are all good, that is a lie. Best waffle spot in the city center I was told was Dan Doy. So after having a not so great waffle I went there. In Brussels they eat their waffles with just some powder sugar, but you can get whatever you want on it. Honestly the way they eat it, really is delicious just like that!
Have you ever been to Brussels?