BLOG: When in Brussels…
…drink beer and eat waffles. As typical a stereotype as that may seem, it’s incredibly hard not to! The city’s cobbled and characterful streets are peppered with pubs and brasseries, waffle shops and stands. You may not be surprised to hear me describe the long weekend in Brussels my girlfriend and I enjoyed recently as possibly the best city break I’ve ever had. And yes, we also dabbled in a Belgian chocolate or three.
But it’s not just what they put in the brochure that makes Brussels so brilliant. Just two hours away on the Eurostar – an experience still seemingly so novel (an underwater train?) the décor appears locked in 1994, the year of its launch – it’s an incredibly convenient getaway. And, while the Belgian capital’s steeped history is clear to see, you’ve got to work for your experience. A challenge relished, demonstrated by the remains of my city map!
There are plenty of websites that can help identify the go-to places, and these two were a big help: http://www.brussels.info/ & http://www.skyscanner.net/news/10-best-things-do-brussels-locals-guide. Of course with just four days at our disposal, we didn’t dare try to cram in everything Brussels has to offer but a loose itinerary meant we were able to make the most of our short stay.
From walking through the masses of post-work drinkers spilling out onto the streets of ‘Place du Chatelain’ on a Wednesday evening to sitting amongst the Friday afternoon loungers on ‘Quai Aux Briques’ with a large Leffe in hand, beer does play a big part in the everyday.
And it was only right that we soaked up a bit of the local culture! Not least in the basement floor of the world famous and record-breaking ‘Delerium Café’!
But back above ground and, helped by the perfect weather, we were able to walk right across the city and enjoy some other less touristy pockets such as ‘Place Du Grand Sablon’ and its antiques market or ‘Place Eugene Flagey’ with its popular chips van ‘Frit Flagey’ and cultural Café Belga!
I can’t speak highly enough about this wonderful, friendly city. Lively from early in the day to late at night we really were spoilt for choice. For someone who usually looks for the long-haul, it was a holiday gem hidden right under my nose.