After a getaway spent in Cologne, Germany, I was lucky enough to have time for a day trip in Brussels, Belgium. In only a short amount of time, I was able to see some of the main sights, eat as much delicious food as I could fit and enjoy mingling with the locals and other tourists. With less than twenty four hours in the city, I found myself having quite the adventure.
When I first arrived in the city, I immediately went to central station and found storage for my luggage on a small fee. Without being weighed down by my pack, I immediately headed out to explore the city, first stopping to get a sugar coated waffle for breakfast. Fully satisfied with the delicious Belgian cuisine, I hopped onto a sightseeing bus to see what was around. Our first stop was the Manneken Pis, a famous statue and important figure for locals in the city. The tiny peeing boy fountain statue is madeup of bronze. This majestic piece has many stories that captivated the heart of visitors. Walking distance from the statue is the Grand Place-Grote Markt, took a ton of photos of the historic building and crazily enough, ate even more waffles with caramelized sugar from the small shops that surround the area. I chatted with a newly made American friend who was also on my tour and we stuck together for the rest of the trip. The bus made its way to the Atomium where we saw the famed figure which represents Belgium’s advancements in science and architecture.
Tired of sticking with the tour groups, my American friend Danny and I decided to get away and grab an authentic Belgian lunch. We agreed that we couldn’t leave the country without trying some of its world renowned beer so we headed to the BrewSpot Brewery to taste a few. Well, a few led into a lot and before we knew it, we were quite drunk and ready to get a meal. Wandering into a local looking pub, we both ordered heaping plates of mussels and fries and a couple more pints. A few of the locals inside spoke English and we all ended up chatting, having a good laugh and challenging each other to polish off one of the restaurant’s delicious chocolate desserts.
With full stomachs and hazy minds, we were convinced by our new local friends that we should check out the red-light district for the part of the evening that we had left. We reluctantly agreed and decided we would go just for an interesting experience with new friends. The area was delightfully seedy, filled with bars, loud music and colorful lights. After taking only a peek, we then did some convincing of our own and had our Belgian friends take us back to the center of the old town. Our last few hours were spent strolling the beautiful alleyways, buying chocolates to take back home and learning some of the history of the city. After a fantastic day together, we all parted ways as I headed to the central station for my next dream destination.
Although I had very little time, I still did my best to remain open to new people and experiences which led to a fantastic time in Brussels. Next up, Paris!
Here’s random photos of Brussels.
(click to enlarge)