Discover the capital of Europe…
Besides being the capital of Europe, Brussels is also the capital of the Kingdom of Belgium. The city itself is over a thousand years old and in the historic center of the city, you can feel the history of the city (and Europe). Our colleague Kira has lived in the Belgian capital for three years and now takes you on a journey to this beautiful city.
This is how you get there:
Brussels has a well-connected airport and flights from all over Europe land here. However, we recommend arriving by train, so you arrive directly in the city center and can walk relaxed to your accommodation. From Brussels – Gâre du Midi (South Station) trains go to all of Europe. The Eurostar to London will take you from capital to capital in a few hours and the many TGV connections will also take you to Paris and the south of France after your weekend in Brussels.
On the road in the city:
In the city itself, you can get around well on foot. During a walk through the city center. For further ways, we recommend the metro. Tickets are quite cheap and in the downtown area, the metro runs all night on weekends.
With the metro, you can get everywhere quickly
The best places to stay:
There are several options for a city trip to Brussels. If you prefer to spend less money, we recommend the Sleep Well Youth Hostel. You can get private rooms with private bathrooms for as little as 46€ a night, and you can rent an entire 6-bed room – perfect if you’re doing a European tour with like-minded travelers.
Chic Airbnbs are also available from about 50€ a night and are usually in the middle of the city. Hotels can be found here in abundance and nothing will stand in the way of you having the perfect city trip with friends !
The top sights:
These are the sights you should not miss:
Grand Place/Grote Market
The main market in the center of the city center is the center of all life in Brussels. There are a lot of restaurants here and the historic buildings make you feel the history of the city. The Grand Place is also home to the Musée de la cité de Bruxelles (City Museum) and you should stop in one of the many chocolate and candy stores because if there’s one thing Belgians are good at, it’s chocolates (and waffles and beer and fries and and and…). Every two years the Grand Place is decorated with the Tapis de Fleures, a carpet of flowers. The spectacle is definitely worth a visit because the amount of flowers is simply impressive.
Yep, the statue of a peeing boy. An absolute highlight when visiting Brussels. The little bronze man has been standing in his place since the 17th century and was replaced by a replica in 1960, as the statue was stolen several times. At large events, state visits, or special occasions, the funny little man also wears tailor-made costumes. whether dressed or naked, a visit here is definitely worthwhile.
For special occasions there are costumes
Obscene but an absolute highlight
This small hill in Brussels holds a lot of history. This palace was completed in 1100 and for a long time counts and princes lived and ruled here. Since 2000 you can visit the archaeological sites under the city. It is an eerily beautiful and interesting experience, where you can learn a lot about the city and its history. So grab your travel companions and plan your very own historical tour. In case you want to start in Germany first, we have the most important historical places in Germany for you.
Bike tour through the Parc du Cinquantenaire
For the 50th birthday of the country in 1880, this beautiful park was opened. You can rent a bike here and explore the park by bike. Be sure to pack a little picnic and feel like a true Brussian while enjoying the day.
You love parks? Who doesn’t! Discover the most beautiful parks in the world here!
A visit to the Magritte Museum is part of a stay in Brussels. The world-famous artist was a native of Belgium and still enchants many people with his unusual paintings. A visit to this museum will definitely make you think. An absolute heart recommendation for all art lovers among you.
Also, a must-see when you travel to Brussels. This 102m high structure was built for the World’s Fair in 1958 and represents nine atoms as the core cell of an iron crystal. The spheres are hollow from the inside and can be visited. The futuristic-looking escalators take you from sphere to sphere and you can visit various exhibitions here, there is also a panoramic sphere from which you have a great view of the surrounding area. The Expo site is located outside the city center in the north of Brussels. To get here you can take metro line 6 from Bruxelles-Gâre Midi (South Station) in the direction of Roi Baudouin/Koning Boudewijn and get off at Heysel/Heizel.
Brussels landmark – the Atomium
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Food that you must try:
As we said, the Belgians know how to make good food and beer! Our colleague Mariellen has summarized in her food show a few Belgian specialties that you should not miss:
Our absolute recommendations:
- Belgian waffles: In the city center you will find a lot of waffle stands. Just choose one that suits you (usually the ones with the longest queue are the best) and order an original Belgian waffle (preferably with hail sugar)! YUM!
- Belgian fries: the revelation for fries lovers (like our author Kira!). The small golden potatoes are double-fried and offered with all kinds of sauces. Typically Belgian is Juppiesaus (mayonnaise with all kinds of spices). Belgian fry stands are also plentiful in the city. Try to avoid the touristy places or a small portion will quickly become really expensive.
- Moules Frites: We can’t talk about fries without forgetting Belgium’s national dish. Moules frites are mussels in a white wine broth with fries (and mayonnaise). On Rue des Bouchers, small restaurants line the street and you can feast here. The moules frites are the best here and are brought directly to the table in a pot. Bon appétit.
- Pralines: Finally, you should shop at one of the many chocolate stores. Belgian chocolate is exquisite and chocolates come in all varieties. But usually one is enough to satisfy your craving for chocolate and sugar 🍫 . Kira’s praline recommendation: white chocolate truffles with strawberry filling from Leonidas. They are only available in summer and should be eaten immediately because white chocolate melts faster than dark.
- Beer: Even the Germans have to admit that the Belgians make incredibly good beer. In Brussels, you can join a beer tour to various pubs and microbreweries or simply enjoy a stout in one of the countless restaurants. Belgium has beer that has more percentages than wine. So be careful. Kira’s tip: Try a Kriek. This is cherry beer and a true Belgian specialty.
There are some tips that are not necessarily in every travel guide, but which we can not withhold from you:
Experience the Brussels nightlife with your TripMates
- Place de la Bourse: The square in front of the stock exchange is a meeting place especially for students. In summer, people like to sit here on the steps and enjoy a drink or two before heading to the club or bar. Brussels has a thriving nightlife and many hidden bars. So just let yourself drift and see where the night takes you.
- Flea Market in the Marolles: Place du Jeu de Balle hosts a flea market every day of the week, and for vintage-lovers in particular, this place is perfect. Browse through antiques and cool clothes. But be careful not to pack your suitcase too full. 😉
- The Comic Strip: In the Farbriekestraat you will find the Comic Strip with graffiti and paintings in the comic style of Tintin, that is Tintin and Snowy. The Belgians are very proud of their comic artists and pay tribute to them not only this comic strip but also several museums in the city. So if you’re into comics, this is definitely the place to be!
- Europe Quarter: We are not quite sure if this is a real insider, but if you want to experience Europe first hand, you should not miss the Europaviertel with the European Parliament and the EU Commission. Politics and Europe at your fingertips!
We hope you enjoyed this guide for a perfect weekend in Brussels! Maybe we even inspired you to plan your next trip to Brussels and share your experiences and costs with like-minded travelers! Then check out JoinMyTrip now and start your next adventure.
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