During our travels through Northern Europe we made a stop off in Brussels for only a few hours, which was definitely not enough time to see everything the city has to offer. Because of this we decided to return a week later to spend 2 nights in Belgium’s capital and thank goodness we returned as we instantly fell in love.
Here are 10 reasons why you too need to visit Brussels.
1. The Beer… fruit beer?
Brussels has over 400 craft beers from independent breweries. Their beers are delicious, cheap and have every flavour you can think of – including fruit beer! We personally suggest you try the strawberry and cherry (our two favourites)! During a visit we highly recommend visiting Delirium Village, holding the record for the most beers sold under one roof.
2. The Grand Place
Voted the most beautiful square in Europe, it seriously has to be seen to be believed. Lined with cute cafes and restaurants, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Every two years (next one will be in 2016), during the third week of August, Belgian begonia cultivators decorate the Market Place with a beautiful flower carpet using around 750,000 begonias. Visitors are greeted with 3,200 square feet of amazing plant tapestry depicting a theme. This is enough to convince us to return… again!
3. Belgian Waffles
You’ve probably tried them before somewhere else in the world, but you must come to its birth place to try the original and best ones of all. You can find stores scattered throughout the streets in Brussels selling true Belgiun waffles for as little as 1 euro. There are a ton of different toppings to choose from – we recommend the Nutella, banana and cream. YUM! It is hard to recommend seconds though… these waffles will fill you right up.
4. The Manneken Pis
The cheeky Manneken Pis is a major character in the folklore of Brussels. He is Brussels’ most photographed statue, yet it is only 60cm high! Erected in the 1600s, tourists line up to take pictures with the little boy… “pissing”. Want a unique picture the tourists aren’t taking? Why not search for the little girl variant… we won’t tell you exactly where but it is right near a place we recommended in this post.
5. The Atomium Building
Built in 1958, the Atomium building consists of nine interconnected steel spheres that together form the atomic crystal structure of iron. It was designed for the World Fair in Brussels, containing a restaurant, exhibition spaces and a dormitory for visiting school children. The Atomium is a bizarre building you do not want to miss!
6. The Tastiest Chips Ever
Sold in small stalls around the country they are cooked twice and come with a choice of dozens of sauces. After trying them for ourselves we can agree with the Belgians that they really do have the best tasting chips in the world!
7. Galeries St Hubert
This gorgeous, glass roofed arcade in the centre of town, lined with cafes, theatres and luxury stores was the first shopping arcade in Europe built in 1847.
8. The Chocolate
Brussels produces more chocolate per capita than any other in the country and after visiting you will believe this fact. Every street has a number of boutiques, corner shops and restaurants all serving huge amount of delicious, creamy, pure chocolate. You really need to taste it for yourself to understand how delicious Belgium chocolate really is.
9. The Christmas Markets
The Europeans sure now how to do Christmas with amazing Christmas Markets found across the continent. One city in particular is amazing at putting on magical Christmas Markets – Brussels! The city comes to life during the festive season and experiencing the annual markets is something you must do at least once in their life!
10. It’s The Perfect Place For Day Trips
Brussels is only a couple of hours away from some of the biggest cities in Europe by train. It is the perfect hub for somebody wanting to spend some time taking day trips out to explore more of Europe. We highly recommend taking day trips to see Antwerp and Bruges, another two incredible cities here in Belgium definitely worth visiting.
What would be your number one reason to visiting Brussels?
A big thank you to Bus2Alps for allowing us to experience the beautiful city of Brussels.
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