Honestly I am not even sure it was 36 hours. It was somewhere around that give or take, since I took a day trip to Bruges. For all intensive purposes I will just say 36. Brussels is a beautiful city with plenty to see. Per usual, I was able to cram a lot into a short amount of time. So if you have a little bit of time to explore this city or just want some ideas of what there is to do, this is for you!
Upon arrival to Brussels, we took a taxi to the hotel. It was rainy and gloomy out. The taxi driver was really nice giving us information and pointing out different sites. We got to our hotel, Ibis, which was in a great location. One of the many parts of the city, Grand Place was a couple of minutes away. I also quickly found out the train station was very close by as well.
It was our first time at an Ibis Hotel. It was nice, but very bare minimum and in typical European fashion the room was small. It was nothing luxurious, but it was clean, safe, and comfortable. My favorite part of the hotel was their breakfast. Of course Belgium is known for their waffles, so I was able to make my own at the hotel. There were a lot of healthy and organic choices to choose from too.
After taking a little nap and resting up a bit, we headed to Grand Place to meet up with a tour. Sandemans is great free tour. We took a tour with them in Prague and liked it. I like taking walking tours. Great way to walk around the city and actually know what you are looking at. There were plenty of people taking photos, laying on the ground, and grabbing food in Grand Place. Finding the tour group was a breeze though, recognizable by their red umbrellas.
Of course since we met up at Grand Place that is where the tour started. Every 2 years there is a giant flower carpet there. Unfortunately this wasn’t one of those times. Grand Place is the central square that has guild houses and City Hall amongst other things. It is also a UNSECO World Heritage Site.
We walked around some more seeing a bunch of comic strip art. Then we were taken to Mannekin-Pis, a statue of a little boy peeing. Apparently there is also a statue around of a little girl squatting. Our tour guide informed us this was the biggest disappointment, when you actually see it and he was right. The statue was so tiny. That day he was naked, but the statue apparently has over 900 outfits and many can be seen in a museum. Believe it or not the statue has been around since the 15th century.
Brussels is also very LGBTQ friendly. They have a Pride parade and more, maybe one I’ll have to take part in an LGBQT pride march, even if it’s not in Brussels! There is also a very cool rainbow cross walk not too far away from Grand Place, which I believe is in what is known as Rainbow Quarter, was another stop on the tour. There are a ton of bars, clubs, and nightlife happening there.
The other thing I really liked was there was comic strips all over the city. You just had to look around and find them or the street art. I didn’t find them all just a handful. They are pretty cool though and I was excited every time I did locate one.
We also walked around a couple of parks. Brussels is said to be one of the greenest capitals in Europe. We did a lot more walking around. The tour was about 2 1/2 hours long. By then we were pretty tired and glad it was almost over. Unfortunately right before it ended my camera dropped on the ground and broke. So I had to use my phone for the rest of the trip. I tried to get it fixed at a camera store, but that didn’t work out.
After resting up at the hotel a bit we headed out to grab some dinner. Per usual I asked a local for a recommendation. This local was from the front desk of the hotel. So we walked back over to Grand Place to eat. The place was called Restaurant T Kelderke. I ordered some salmon, salad, and fries. If you didn’t know fries originated in Belgium. From taking the tour I learned that fries are cooked in beef fat.
The food was good. Belgium is also known for its beer. The beer suggested to me was OK. After dinner we walked around a bit and of course I wanted to try a Belgium waffle. I was disappointed in the first one I had. I had gotten it covered with whipped cream and chocolate. It was so hard my plastic fork broke. It didn’t taste that great.
We walked around a bit more before heading back to the hotel to kick back and relax. It was a long tiring day with the weather changing from rain, to chilly, to hot, back to chilly. We were planning to head to Bruges the following day so definitely wanted to rest up. Of course when we got back from Bruges we walked around in Brussels some more.
There were tons of souvenir shops near the hotel that we stopped in. I also wanted to give the Belgium waffles another shot. Once again I went to the front desk to ask for a recommendation of the best place to get a waffle in the area. She recommended DanDoy. Once I arrived, I realized the tour guide had also recommended this place as well. Belgians eat their waffles simply with powered sugar on it. It was delicious.
After consuming a much better waffle, I stopped to get some chocolate of course because they are also well-known for their chocolate. I had to bring some back with me. It was fun walking around some more. Even heard someone playing a clarinet, playing the Game of Thrones theme song.
Brussels was a lot of fun. The people were nice, the food, was good, and I made sure to try everything they are known for. When you visit you have to check out the chocolate, beer, fries, waffles, and check out their lace. I would love to see how it is with the Christmas markets and the flower carpet one day. I would go back one again one day. Check out some Things To Know Before You Go!
Have you ever been to Brussels?