A Weekend in Brussels
It is easy to get lost in Brussels for days, weeks, even years. From delicious food, to incredible architecture, to somewhat strange landmarks, you will never be bored in this magical city. However, if you are like me, sometimes you just don’t have a whole week. Here are some tips for those weekend warrior travellers:
How to Get Around
“Central Railway Station Hall in Antwerp” by Jules Grandgagnage – Own work.
First things first. Before exploring all that Brussels has to offer, you need to figure out how to get around. Here are a couple of tips on the best modes of transportation in Brussels:
Thankfully, Brussels is one of the most walkable cities. I also highly recommend walking, as I find it to be the most enjoyable way to see, smell and hear all that Brussels has to offer (Walking also helps you gain more of an appetite for those Belgian waffles and french fries). However, if you are directionally challenged like me, I recommend downloading a Brussels map app on your phone, just be sure to use a VPN when using your phone abroad. My personal favorite is the Belgium Travel Guide by Triposo. I use this one when travelling because you can access their maps offline, and it is created with travelers in mind.
Brussels also has a great transit system that includes the metro, tram and bus. The system is very extensive, making it very easy to not only get around Brussels, but Belgium as well.
Brussels has several unique shopping districts that can cater to all types of people. Whether you want to find antiques and decorations to remind you of Brussels, or find something fabulous to wear, than this is your place.
The Sablon District
My mother loves antiques, so naturally, I grew up to love them too! The Sablon District is the perfect place to visit when you want to soak in historical culture as well as get a glimpse of the antiques that inhabit Brussels.
Instead of shopping here and buying the latest and trendiest in fashion, you can buy marble busts of Louis XIV with certificates to accompany it and even Louis XIV chairs. You can also visit the Le Coup de Coeur hotel that was created from a 19th century town house. This cozy hotel will make you feel like a local. Before, there was a butcher shop underneath that has now been converted into a bar. You can’t get a much better experience here than a bar below your hotel room.
If you are looking to get a little bit of fashionable shopping done, then you want to visit the Dansaert section of Brussels. This is their famous fashion district that gives off a sleek, chic and edgy vibe. If you’re into Haute Couture and the latest in the fashion world, this is a great area for you to visit. While it’s not the fashion capital of Belgium, Brussels is huge in the fashion community and definitely worth the trip alone.
Rue Leon Lepage has many boutiques and offers many types of stores. You won’t be visiting an H&M here, but rather upscale stores like Just In Case, Vetue and many more. Of course, it’s expensive to get a bunch of pieces, but looking is nice as well! The architectural designers and store owners take just as much pride in the design of the building and storefront as they do with what’s inside the store.
Eating in Brussels
Last, but not least, the most important part of your daily activities is eating. Brussels is home to great foods and restaurants that serve fine cuisines. Brussels has actually quickly become one of the top culinary capitals in the world, so food is becoming a top destination for Brussels visitors. Because of its culture, tradition with food, and proximity to the coast, the tastes that emerge from Brussels’ chefs are unique. Here are a few amazing restaurants to try to make your visit memorable.
Comme Chez Soi
This 3-time Michelin award-winning restaurant is one of a kind. The food is not only amazing but the service is also top-notch. The staff at this restaurant makes sure everything is absolutely perfect, which gives the restaurant a marvelous ambience. Here, you can eat at any time of day including late night, which is great! You may be in the mood for a great dinner when you hop off the plane on your first night in Brussels.
Their fancy dishes include Salad of Mizuna, Watercress Coulis, Skrei Fillet with Black Salsify, Chocolate cake, pallets of oranges and that’s just for lunch! The menu is a bit pricier, ranging from $130 USD to upwards of $300, so if you’re looking for dining on a budget, continue reading.
Peck 47 Café
At Peck 47, you can purchase great sandwiches, drinks and cocktails. But they also serve herbal teas, coffees and inexpensive organic juices for the ones who are looking to continue eating healthy on their vacation. You can actually walk right next door to order some fish and chips for an inexpensive price as well! You definitely won’t be burning a hole in your wallet and Peck 47 offers a fun ambience.
Now lets talk about Brussels infamous waffles. You cannot leave Brussels without trying one of these decadent masterpieces. Juice Land is one of the best places to get your waffle fix. They will add anything from nutella, to ice cream to strawberry’s on your waffle. In fact, you may just want this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Hopefully, after reading through this article you feel ready to take on Brussels, even if it’s just for a weekend. Whether it’s shopping for antiques or eating every kind of waffle imaginable, you will be sure to have the time of your life.