La Grand Place de Bruxelles
Le Manneken Pis
Le tapis de fleurs sur la Grand Place, à la mi-août
Le théâtre de la Monnaie
Le Palais de Justice
Le Délirium Café
La file devant la friterie Antoine
The Belgian capital is also the center of Europe. This is a very busy city, and you will need at least two days to visit it. The Grand Place will let you breathless while you will wonder why a tiny statue of a boy peeing attracts so much crowds! To visit Brussels properly, you will have to chill in its beautiful districts, taste many beers in Delirium and get tempted by the smell of waffles on the streets!
WHAT TO VISIT in Brussels?
The Grand Place in Brussels is one of the most beautiful places in the world (and we don’t say that because we are Belgian) ! You can admire the houses from corporations (the Brewer’s House…), the baroque buildings and the town hall. It is breathtaking to all travelers coming to visit! In mid-August, the Grand Place is covered with an impressive floral carpet.
A tourist information office is located on this site.
Manneken Pis is the famous statuette in Brussels and therefore on the bucket list of many tourists. Some are sometimes disappointed to see it in real because it is quite small and has nothing special. Legend says that Manneken Pis has saved the city of Brussels from fire by peeing on it In the street, treat yourself to one of the many waffles vendors ! Take a Liege waffle is so typical!
Between the Grand Place and the Mannaken Pis, touch the statue Everard’t Serclaes : a bronze woman lying down … it brings good luck!
Another unmissable place in Brussels: the Rue des Bouchers with many restaurants for tourists. In a lane perpendicular to this street, you will find the Delirium cafe : you can’t simply miss it and you have to taste one if its 2200 different beers. Delirium occupies almost the entire street, and has several floors. The atmosphere and the decoration are really great, with trays of beer on the ceiling. To taste a new beer, ask for the menu, or rather the book, where you get a detailed description of each beer served in the bar. Finally, a little curiosity: the girlfriend of Manneken Pis, Janneke Pis, is at the end of the street with Delirium, and is also peeing.
Belgium is a kingdom, you can not override a visit to the Royal Palace.
Also make a trip to the flea market in the Marolles, seen in the Tintin adventure early in the film. This is the place where Tintin buys a model ship of the Unicorn. Other nice areas to chill out, the area of the Cathedral St. Michel and Gudule, and the Sablon district with its craft shops and church.
A little further away, by taking the metro, you can go to visit the Atomium in Heysel Park. Built for the 1958 World Exhibition, the Atomium is a unique building shaped as an atom, as its name suggests. In different spheres there are several permanent and temporary exhibitions (Expo 58), and a panoramic restaurant.
There are also many old buildings to see in Brussels, as the Bourse, the Theatre de la Monnaie and the Palais de Justice.
If you are interested in politics, try the European district (metro station: Schuman) and visit The european Commission.
For rainy days (as it often happens in Belgium), note the Museum of Musical Instruments and the Magritte Museum.
Shopping in Brussels
For shopping, there are two important streets in Brussels : Avenue Louise for luxury brands and the Rue Neuve for large chain stores like Zara and H & M. Rue Neuve is huge and you can find all the major brands (there are even 3 H & M on the same street!).
Where to eat in Brussels?
In the Rue des Bouchers, you will find all the tourist restaurants with attractive menus 13-15, often including traditional Belgian dishes like mussels and fries. But quality is not top.
To eat good french fries, we recommend the following “friteries“: Chez Antoine (Place Jourdan, near Schuman), which impresses with its long line of people waiting to be served at any time of day, Frit-Flagey (Flagey), and in the center Fritland (Rue Henri Maus 49).
Nightlife in Brussels
- Delirium Café and its 2200 beers is perfect to start the evening.
- Les Halles Saint Gery (near the Bourse): there are some nice cafes in the district, as the Roi des Belges or Bizon Café. The atmosphere is nice especially in summer, when the cafés put a fake green grass outside and everybody sit down in the middle of the street !
- The Corbeau (18 Rue Saint-Michel) is one of our favorites. It reflects the Belgian mind which is a bit cheeky. Its peculiarity is that everyone is dancing on the tables! Must do, especially as the music is very varied!
- During the summer (June-August), every Fridays are organized Apéros Urbains in a different part of town. Everyone gathers in one place for a few drinks! This is really nice. The program is here: http://aperos.netevents.be.
- Another must-see place is the Goupil le Fol (Rue de la Violette 22), for the very flea atmosphere. Indeed, the decor is a hodgepodge of pieces of mismatched recovery in a very cozy atmosphere. Only bad point: the choice of drinks is very limited.