Bruxelles: 5 lessons in 3 hours!

Introducing a new country, Belgium  to CityoftheWeek! We visited your capital city, Brussels back at the end of October last year, and although we only met for a few hours, you’ve made a long-lasting impression on me, hoping  and wishing I’d see you again very soon, alongside your other cities, like Brugges, Antwerpen and Gent! Although these plans are on hold for now because Ryanair decided to cancel flights to Brux from my hometown, they will not be forgotten! But let me talk about our last rendez-vous with this lovely city! We arrived to Brussels from Amsterdam at 4 in the afternoon. Because we only had a couple of hours at hand, we were wondering about taking the metro but since we were out of money, walking was the answer – and it was also the right choice!

Lesson #1: Everything is within walking distance!

Brussels proved to be very small! Even though it rained, it didn’t bother us at all! Of course, not absolutely everything is within walking distance, but the things we wanted to see proved to be very close to each other: Manneken Pis, Grand Square, The Royal Theater, the Cathedral of St.Michael & St. Gudula, Town Hall, Mont des Arts & Place Royal! Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit the museums, but they are sure on the list for next time! As are the Atomium & The Royal Botanical Gardens (which we actually got to see from the bus to Amsterdam). So no need for public transportation if you want to look around and not miss anything!

Cathedral of St.Michael & St. Gudula

Cathedral of St.Michael & St. Gudula

Mont des Arts

Mont des Arts

The Royal Theater

The Royal Theater

Lesson #2: Grand Place (or Grote Markt) – not so grand after all!

Every photo I’ve seen of the infamous square, usually depicting tons of flowers or the actual Flower Carpet -a ceremony held every two years in August- made it look like the square was huuuge! (see the photo below – from Pinterest)

Bruxelles Flower Market

Bruxelles Flower Carpet – photo via Pinterest

In fact, it’s not as big as it looks! We were actually surprised at how small the Place was, but that feeling passed quickly as we glanced around and noticed the unbelievably beautiful detail on the buildings – absolutely wonderful! – we were circling around drooling at the buildings for quite some time! Do you agree they’re awesome?

Grote Markt I

Grote Markt I

Bruxelles Town Hall

Bruxelles Town Hall

Grote Markt II

Grote Markt II

Grote Markt at night

Grote Markt at night

Lesson #3: Manneken Pis is also very small! (tiny even..)

Manneken Pis.. The naked boy urinating into the fountain has become Brussels’ symbol over the years. He is dressed several times every week into different costumes. But I never imagined him being so small..61 centimeters to be exact. I mean, no offense, but we saw bigger chocolate-replicas of it on the way!

Chocolate vs. the Real Manneken Pis

Chocolate vs. the Real Manneken Pis

Lesson #4: Belgian waffles – way too sweet!

I have been drooling over Belgian waffles ever since we bought the plane tickets. I said if it’s the last thing I do, I need to taste one even if it’s bought with my last few Euros! Well, we actually did, I had one with jam, and Arpi with chocolate and it proved to be too sweet (even for Arpi who absolutely adores all things sweet). I don’t know if we bought it from the wrong place, or should have asked for one with fruit on it -maybe that would’ve been less heavy for our stomachs but heavier on our wallets – it cost double! Anyways, got to try the fruity ones next time , not giving up on it anytime soon! 😀

Lesson #5: Chocolate & Sweet shops – expensive!

Even I, who doesn’t have a hard case of sweet-tooth, have to admit that one of the most appealing and most tempting things on Brussel’s streets are the chocolate and candy shops. Even if you don’t like sweets (I don’t know if there is anybody on this Earth who doesn’t) they are usually packed and presented in such a way that you can not resist them! We went into a few shops, bought a taste of most stuff, but left the shops with a heartache..You could always buy more!

..a sweet-tooth's heaven!

..a sweet-tooth’s heaven!

Although not related to Brussels, but I still want to announce the official release of the new CityoftheWeek logo, thanks to the lovely Ruth Enyedi (check her designs here), my friend whom I shared the lovely Brussels-Amsterdam experience with and who was kind enough to draw me this logo which I am very excited about and absolutely love!

What do you think of it? I’d love to hear your feedback! 🙂

2 Responses to “Bruxelles: 5 lessons in 3 hours!

  • Yes, Mannekin Pis is a disappointment, but the costumes are fun to see. There is a small museum in the Town Hall that has all the costumes on display. The museum can be done in an hour. Fun to see if you have the time.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Jenn!
      I am going to check it out next time I’m in Brussels (hopefully to see the flower carpet) 🙂

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