A weekend in Brussels
I spent this weekend in Brussels with my friend Hannah. We chose to visit Brussels as it meant we could get the Eurostar, which we felt maximised the time we had…
We spent just over 24 hours exploring the city. After leaving London at 9am, our train arrived just after midday on Saturday, and we left around 2pm the following day. So with just 24 hours in the city, we wanted to see and do as much as we possibly could…
First we walked to the Grand Place, which is a huge city square surrounded by gilded buildings. This is one of the main tourist spots in the city, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops and waffle houses – it smelt amazing!
The city is filled with winding cobbled streets, street art and impressive tall, slim houses. It wasn’t particularly busy either, and there was plenty to look at as we walked.
After we’d dropped our things off at the hotel, we then headed to the Museum of Natural Sciences, which was around a 25-minute walk. I loved the museum, it has the largest dinosaur museum hall in the world, which includes 30 fossilised Iguanadon skeletons. There are other permanent exhibitions there, including Of Men and Mammoths, the Mammal Gallery, the Insect Gallery and the Mineral Gallery. The entrance fee was €7.50, and we spent almost two hours wandering around.
We wanted to go to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, but when we got there, they were closed which was disappointing. However, the greenhouses are really close to Atomium, which is a stainless steel atom sculpture, with the particles connected by escalators. We walked through the park to see the sculpture, which was really impressive. It was originally built for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, and is now a museum.
We also passed by the Mannekin Pis, a famous 17th century bronze statue of a small boy peeing into the fountain. I stopped off to buy Sam some chocolates in the shape of the sculpture, which he definitely appreciated 🙂
We stayed at Made in Louise and it was absolutely amazing. The photos I’d seen looked lovely, so I had high expectations, but it definitely exceeded these.
The hotel was fairly minimal, but with beautiful little details. There was no mini-bar in the room, but downstairs in the reception/lounge/bar area, there is a complimentary coffee/hot chocolate station with apples, biscuits and chocolates for guests. The signs for the rooms were very cute, and there was a giant chess set in the courtyard. Obviously then I had to pretend I was in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The hotel (and actually, a lot of the city) is very very eco-friendly as well, which was brilliant.
Our first waffles were from Maison Dandoy which had been recommended to us. It’s a really cute little shop that also sells impressive-looking biscuits.
We went for dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Râle-Bol. It was really tasty, although I couldn’t finish my meal of fried rice and roasted peking duck, it was so big!
Peck 47 had been recommended to me for brunch. This is back in Grand Place, so we walked back there. There was a bit of a queue, but as there was just two of us we didn’t have to wait long. The food was excellent – and very instagrammable! I had a smoothie bowl with fruit, and a peanut butter, coconut and almond milk smoothie – YUM.
Our final waffles were from one of the many waffle stops (do they have a name? waffle houses?) in Grand Place.
The Eurostar made the whole travelling experience so much easier than going by plane – although take your own food and drinks, I bought a cup of tea on the way and it was daylight robbery.
I really enjoyed my time in Brussels. I don’t think its somewhere you could spend a long time (unless you really like beer) but it is ideal for an overnight city break. It’s not too expensive, the food is great and you can walk almost everywhere which I think is great – on the first day I walked just over 25,000 steps! There are plenty of parks and museums, and you can’t go wrong with the waffles!
Have you ever been to Brussels? What’s your favourite place for a city break?