My Weekend in Brussels 

Hi, friends! As you can see from my pictures on my social media accounts, I spent my weekend in Brussels about a month ago! It was a wild little ride and a lovely solo trip after a long week. After a bus and an adventure to my next station in Paris, I was finally on my way to Belgium!

I got in at around 11:00pm on Friday night, and, luckily, was only a short one-minute walk down the street from the station to my hostel. I checked in quickly and was ready for bed in a jiffy!

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I woke up and was ready to get going. I walked the thirty minutes into the center of the city – the hostel might have been a short walk from the bus, but it was much further from the real attractions. Happily, this gave me a great chance to take in the stunning architecture along the way. I met for the start of the walking tour at the Great Market. Our delightful guide brought us all around the city, and challenged me to a game where everyone wins. He found me a beer. It was wonderful. It was a delicious cherry beer that tasted exactly like sour patch kids. Overall it was such a fantastic way to see the city, so thank you Sandman’s!

After the fun tour where I learned about the city and its history, I headed to go find fries. As potatoes are one of my favorite foods and God’s gift to humanity, this mission was of utmost importance to me. I made my way to Fritland and hopped in the long line to my destiny, only to find out that they only accepted cash and that yours truly did not have cash. So I went on a hunt around the block to find an ATM: mission accomplished. And those kind pals at Fritland let me cut to the front of the line. I then indulged in a huge pile of fries stacked on top of a baguette covered in house made tartar sauce. It was so disgustingly delicious that I don’t even know how to describe it. Not to mention, it was gigantic and I couldn’t finish it. After chowing down, it was time to walk off all of those calories. So of course I went straight to the chocolate museum.

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I had a fun hour walking around and learning about the production and marketing of chocolate…oh yeah, and the demonstration and tasting at the end. We ate truffles and even biscuits covered in chocolate from a chocolate fountain. Bonus: they even have a student discount! After munching on my chocolate, I headed to a Starbucks and got to work on writing a paper for school. My life is pretty exciting, huh?

So after, a fun, relaxing, informative, and delicious day, I headed back to the hostel where I promptly found that I lost my key. So after some panicking, I paid the 10 euros and got a new key. Then I went to sleep just about immediately.

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The next morning, I headed down to the cathedral to sit in on a service. It was an amazing experience and it was translated into French and Dutch! After enjoying that for a while, I went to spend the rest of my time split between the large beautiful park (before I got harassed by some dude who wanted to know my life story) and sitting on the steps overlooking the city. When it was time to head out, I began to walk towards the bus station, about a 20-minute walk. Not, of course, before grabbing a waffle for the road. Then I got lost. Of course. I wandered and panicked and couldn’t find my way around. I asked so many different people for directions, all of who were so kind and helpful. I was apparently just too dumb to follow directions that day and couldn’t find a cab.

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Well, I was in luck because after enough anxiety I called a cab and he rushed as fast as he could, weaving through markets and Sunday afternoon traffic, to get to the station. Where I found out I didn’t have any cash on me except for Canadian cash… But he took it, so we’re good? Oh well, on the bright side, I made it to the bus station, back to Paris, and back home to Caen. What a crazy weekend!

Leah

10 Things to do in Brussels 

So you’re heading to Belgium for the weekend or a layover and need to know how to spend your precious time? Well, I am here to help! Thanks to a lot of searching and talking to guides, I have a lovely little guide for you to use and adapt to your needs!

1. Get a Guide

 The city is small and the must-see tourist attractions are in easy walking distance of each other. Brussels is a city full of history and this is a great way to learn about them! Click here for the company I used-I LOVED the tour and highly recommend it! 

2. Food and Drink 

This is easy: drink one of the many Belgian beers, eat a waffle, and chow down on those fries!

Sampling Cherry Beer


3. Chocolate Museum 

If you have an extra 45 minutes to an hour to kill then please go here. I had a blast learning about the history and production of chocolate. Oh, and tasting it along the way! The tour ends with a demonstration, and a tasting. What more could we ask for? Bonus: 6€ for adults and only 5€ for students!

4. Les Galleries Royales

Personally, I couldn’t spend too much time here, but it’s worth a mention because it is so. beautiful. It is also a shopping center, but don’t get too distracted by the many chocolatiers!


5. Manneken Pis

Probably the most disappointing tourist attraction ever – other than the Mona Lisa, sorry- but when in Brussels. Fun fact: they have no idea how it got there and anyone who tells you differently is lying. 

6. Mont des Arts

This is simply a gorgeous view of the city. It is near the park and the Place Royal, and an easy way back into the city. It is also great to check out during the day and around sunset. 


7. Brussels Park

This park is so large and beautiful. It is a great space to relax in the sun! There are paths, sculptures, benches so you can enjoy the nature in any way you’d like!

8. Grand Market

This is arguably the most beautiful place in Brussels. The magnificent buildings resemble nothing of its namesake as a past market. Not to mention, one of Victor Hugo’s homes is here to see. Another fun fact: the city hall isn’t symmetrical because they made it up as they went along. #Inspiration 


9. Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

This beautiful cathedral is in honor of the city’s two patron saints- St. Michael and St. Gudula. The second has such a lovely story of service. As the story goes, each morning she went out with a lantern before sunrise and each morning the devil blew out her candle, but she always relit the candle and dedicated her life to service. Well, at least she got to share the name of a beautiful church? 

10. Royal Place of Brussels 

Just on the opposite side of the park is the Royal Place. While you cannot go inside, the architecture is simply stunning, and it is definitely worth a visit!
What would you add to the list?

Leah