It was a short meeting with Brussels and I feel it was incomplete, thus I shall be back soon. I visited Brussels on transit from Bruges to Madrid. Two hours away from Bruges, Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and the capital of the European Union’s government. Although I did not spend much time here, it still left me with memories of the most beautiful central square – the Grand Place or Grote Markt.
Grote Markt looks breathtaking at night when it is all lit up. The square is surrounded by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse building which is now the City Museum. The opulence of buildings is so apparent that no-one can just pass by without admiring them. No wonder the buildings in the Square are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
One thing which I love about European cities is walking history tours. I took walking tours in almost all the cities I visited and I did it in Brussels too, although I had to leave it midway to catch my flight to Madrid. Here is how we spent about 24 hours in Brussels:
Walk around Grote Markt
No matter how much I tried to venture outside this square it kept calling me back. I just loved spending time here not only for beautiful buildings but also for vibrant life around. We spent all afternoon and early evening in Grote Markt only to come back again at night to absorb its beauty and join a group for a pub crawl.
Pub Crawl at night
There are many night-walking tours and pub crawls that start from Grote Markt. We joined one such pub crawl and experienced the amazing nightlife of Brussels with a diverse group of wonderful people from across the globe.
Sightseeing (apart from Grote Markt)
Manneken Pis translates to a Little Man Pee. It is a small bronze statue depicting a small boy peeing into the fountain’s basin. The statue is also dressed on various occasions like Christmas and national days.
St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
It is a roman catholic church which received the cathedral status in 1962. Due to its location, this cathedral is now used for national ceremonies also such as royal weddings and state funerals.
Galerie de la Reine
It is a glazed shopping arcade located next to the Grand Place. It is famous for the finest Belgian chocolate, luxury boutiques, and clockmakers in Belgium.
Brousaille Wall Brussels
It is one of the first wall murals painted in 1991 depicting a cheerful couple taking a stroll around the city. There are some 30+ wall murals of comic strips painted across Brussels, making it the comic strip capital of the world. Belgian Comic Strip Center is one of the top attractions of the city and it also hosts the Comic Strip festival every year.
We stayed on the bank of this canal in Hostel Meininger. Brussels–Charleroi Canal is one of the important canals in Belgium running from Charleroi in the south to Brussels in the north.
Mont des Arts
The Kunstberg or Mont des Arts is a historic site in Brussels located at walking distance from Grote Markt.