What can I say… I caught the travel bug again! During my trip to Brussels, I finally crossed off my 15th country, and I also enjoyed numerous sights, new experiences, and foods galore.
The plan that began as a girls’ weekend in London with my au pair friends quickly turned into a solo trip to Brussels because of new COVID-19 travel guidelines. This past Saturday, I left my apartment at 5:40 AM, went all the way from Paris to Brussels and back, and then returned at 11:15 PM.
While this may seem rushed and a bit crazy, I actually found this experience to give me a great amount of time to see plenty of the city. If you’re wondering what to do with an extra day in Paris and want to see a new place, just hop on an 18 euro round-trip Flixbus like I did and check out some of the top Brussels attractions below!
Though Brussels is a fairly small and walkable city, there is plenty to see in the area. Below are the sights I chose to check out during my visit:
- Grand Place and Town Hall
- Royal Palace
- Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Guluda
- Mannekin Pis
- Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
- Mont des Arts
- Christmas markets
- European Union buildings
Additional top tourist attractions in the area that I did not have a chance to see include the Atomium, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Abbaye de la Cambre, Notre Dame du Sablon, and Musical Instrument Museum.
Though walking around and exploring a city is fun, it is difficult to spend an entire day doing this. Belgium is known for its chocolate, and I consider myself to be an avid chocoholic, so I decided to participate in a chocolate making workshop during my visit.
I chose to take part in the workshop hosted by The Belgian Chocolate Makers. For about an hour, we learned about the process of making chocolate and even made treats of our own. I left with two chocolate bars decorated with a variety of toppings, as well as sacks of truffles and mendiants. Needless to say, these chocolates were all incredibly delicious.
The other Brussels experience I booked in advance was a free entry pass into the European Union Parlamentarium. I didn’t know what exactly this included, and when I arrived, every building in the complex appeared to be closed, so I never actually got to find out. This being said, it was definitely cool to see all the buildings and think of all the major decisions that are made here!
Another big part of my overall Brussels experience was meeting the locals. I loved being in a different country where French is a widely used language, so I could use my language people and communicate with them more easily than a possibly strained conversation in English. Plus, it definitely helped me with getting directions when I almost missed my bus back to Paris!
I must say that the food was probably the biggest highlight of my trip to Brussels, Belgium. Obviously, I experimented with lots of chocolate during my workshop, but that was just the beginning.
I enjoyed an authentic Belgian lunch at Ballekes. Meatballs, fries, and beer, oh my!
For dessert, I headed to Maison Dandoy for a brussels waffle topped with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. I also had an americano coffee to restore my energy level and get me ready for much more walking and exploring.
Later in the day, I grabbed a local beer from a brasserie near the Grand Place.
Finally, as an early dinner (if you can even call it that) on my way to catch my bus, I got a cone of fries from La Friterie and a liege waffle with nutella and strawberries from the nearby La Gaufrerie.
Chocolate, waffles, fries, and beer. What more could you ask for?!
My time in Brussels went by quickly, but I loved spending the day seeing a new place and having these fun new experiences. Here’s to country number 15… And many more to come!
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