From Wine to Beer in just one blogpost? Yes, you heard right. But don’t get too excited yes I did drink beer. But given that I have only been to Brussels for a day to have a little stroll around the city, it was not as excessive as my last trip to Bordeaux.
Nonetheless, I want to take you through basically Europe’s capital (is it really though?!) and show you some of the cute corners I discovered during my day there. But let me get one thing straight first. I can’t tell you why but Brussels is a weird city for me, or maybe it is just hard to grab and pin down. It is a strange mixture between France and the Netherlands, you can’t really say it is French but it also is certainly not Dutch, so what is it? Belgian, seems like the legit answer, but it just feels like a city that did not decide if it wants to belong to one country or another. So it became what it is: a completely mixed city that does not have a particular vibe to it. If you think differently go ahead and tell me how you saw the city and tell me about your impression of it
Enough blabbering I am supposed to virtually show you around the city. But first, in case you did not notice there are waffle stands or shops everywhere, so go ahead and grab one. They easily serve as breakfast, snack or cause of death because of hyperglycemia. Still do not miss out on a waffle topped with basically anything you want. May fave is pretty basic: Nutella or chocolate & strawberries, if I fell fancy I might add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Most of you might think ‘Why the heck is she already talking about food, was this not supposed to be about Brussels? ‘. Yeah, I’ll get to that now but as a foodie I remember cities by their food and not necessarily their sights. But as you asked for it, here are the classics to see and my recommendations to also check out while you’re at it.
Everyone knows the Grande Place with his mesmerizing size; the old classic Belgium architecture and masses of gold pleated facades are just something else. Especially, thinking about the time the whole area was constructed makes it significantly more impressive. If you follow one of the streets leading away from the space or just follow the tourist groups in case you do not travel with a map or phone you will find yourself looking at Manneken Pis. Brussels is famous for its little pissing statue, I reckon the dream for a lot of cities. I heard from friends before that I should not expect too much from it. But it was honestly astonishing for me that this little statue rose to such fame. It is literally the size of a baby, as a statue and it simply pees. It is probably funny if they dress him up but that unfortunately was not the case the day I went.
Now that we went through the most famous ones let me tell you about my probably favourite street in Brussels: Rue de Rollebeek. It goes slightly up hill leading to the place in front of the Église Notre-Dame du Sablon, with the cutest shops and super cool buildings. Once you walked through it, maybe checked out some of the stores, I highly recommend strolling through the little Antiquaries market right next to the church. For anyone who plans to propse to me at some point, make notes now. As with a lot of those markets they also sell some cheaper jewelery but, I did find my engagement ring there as well. This might sounds as if I bought it but no; I did not buy the gorgeous piece from the 1920 with a yellow diamond. I did not even take a picture, because I would not be able to forget about it otherwiese, well guess that mission failed. But well if you want to look at some pretty pieces and maybe also invest and find some vintage plates or cutlery this is your place.
For all the ones that want to experience some of the multiculturalism in the Belgian Capital the area around the fleamarket at the Place du Jeu de Balle is your place to be. They have everything at this market ranging from bags, to cloths, washing machines but also old cameras (Canon A1’s for all the vintage lovers out there) und some cool interior pieces. Also, if you are fan of moules frites you will find a whole street with restaurants serving this ever so popular combination.
What else is there? I am not sure if I have mentioned the chocolate…. If this is not the reason to went to Belgium and Brussels in the first place what is? Oh right, it might be the beer. Well you are in luck, I tried both and can assure you it is worth a visit simply for those two things. Go to Mary’s chocolate or check out Pierre Marcolini at the end of the beforehand mentioned pretty street to adore the shop front and indulge with some macarons. You only need to cross the street to get a broad selection of beers from Leffe, my Belgian go-to.
There is chocolate, beer, politics (for the ones who like that), architecture and waffels going on in Brussels, if that did not convince you to at least check it out for a day; I don’t know what will!