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Victoire

February 2nd, 2023

A Day in Brussels

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Victoire

February 2nd, 2023

A Day in Brussels

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

One nice thing about living in a European capital (Brexit aside) is that it’s well connected to other European cities. For instance, from London you can reach Brussels in 2 hours by Eurostar. This is perfect for a day or weekend trip! If you are planning to spend only one day in Belgium, arrive early! It might sound obvious but it’s easy to underestimate the time it takes to move across the city and do various activities.

You could also choose Brussels as a stop on a European road trip, between Paris and Amsterdam for instance. Lille, in the North of France, is a 45-minute train ride away from Brussels, so why not visit it too?

If one of these plans appeals to you, here is a list of what you can do with a day in Brussels!

Start with a museum

It can be nice to start with a museum. They might be less crowded in the morning and you might be more likely to enjoy it, as tiredness will not have kicked in yet. Brussels has a large and diverse offer in terms of museums. However, I have two recommendations: the Magritte Museum and Choco-Story or, even better—both! The former will walk you through the life and artworks of the most famous Belgian surrealist painters. The latter will welcome you to a kind of chocolate heaven and introduce you to chocolate’s history and production. Belgian chocolate is legendary!

Take a picture of the Atomium

This monument, built for the World Fair of 1958, is the Belgian equivalent of the Eiffel Tower and, as such, is a very instagrammable landmark! Many tourists don’t feel satisfied if they leave Brussels without a picture of themselves in front of the Atomium. This is also the place to try your funniest poses with your friends!

Close-up view of the Atomium in Brussels

 

Time to eat: go for a portion of fries and a beer

Belgian gastronomy is famous worldwide for its fries and you’ll find them almost everywhere in Brussels, be it in a food truck or a brick-and-mortar restaurant. What’s more, usually, these restaurants offer a large range of sauces (sometimes even quirky ones) to go with your fries. Why not try truffle or basil for instance?

Along with Germany and the North of France, Belgium is also known for its beers. So, to live the full Belgium experience, you could order one with your fries.

Eat a waffle near the Grand Place

After lunch, you can make your way to the Grand-Place —Victor Hugo deemed it one of the most beautiful in the world!—and it might be time for dessert. You could have a Belgian waffle as you admire the baroque and neo-gothic architecture of the square. Belgian waffles come in two shapes: bruxelloise or liégeoise. The former are rectangular and light while the latter are oval and more sugary. Finding somewhere to buy a snack near the Grand-Place shouldn’t take too long. Every other shop in the surrounding streets sells waffles!

After nightfall, the Grand-Place lights up, and it’s quite spectacular! If you’re still in Belgium after the sunset, it could be nice to go back to the Grand-Place and see it in its night-time pomp.

Grand-Place at dusk
Visit Brussels Park

Like London, Brussels also has very enjoyable parks. Brussels Park, in particular, could be a nice idea for a walk or chill on a bench near the fountain. Its location is very convenient as you’ll see many landmarks on your way to the park, which is located right in the middle of the city and just in front of Brussels Palace. During the summer, you might find people dancing on the bandstand. The park contains several bars and restaurants that are perfect for dinner or drinks al fresco in a bucolic atmosphere.

Get lost in the îlot sacré

Îlot sacré (sacred islet) is the nickname of Brussel’s historical centre. This area is full of majestic buildings and small, picturesque streets as well as nice restaurants and bars. At night, this a lively and student-friendly district, so if you’re staying over night in Brussels, you’ll have plenty of options for night-life.

 

Now you’re ready for your trip to Brussels!

 

 

About the author

Victoire

Hi I'm Victoire! I’m a French GO LSE exchange student who likes Victorian literature and classic rock.

Posted In: Study Abroad | Travel

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