EU Trip 7: Brussels, Belgium
Where: Brussels, Belgium
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust
When: April 2019
What: Part 7 of our Euro Trip Series; Coming from Amsterdam, to Brussels
Welcome to the 7th part of our EU Trip Series, if you want to back read, you may go to the first part (Rome) or just back at the 6th part which is Amsterdam just click the buttons below:
On the 7th part of our EU Trip Series, we head to Brussels, Belgium coming from Amsterdam. Leaving Amsterdam was like leaving disneyland for Mister. "I left half of my heart in Amsterdam" he jokingly says.
The plan really was to meet Mrs' relatives however something really urgent and important happened that we weren't unable to meet, so instead we just planned to roam around its city center, and see what we can do from there, but we did this DIY
The city of Brussels is very quiet and relaxed, lots of very nice architectural and historical stuff, showing that they are already a rich country a couple of centuries ago read history books if you must.
Anyhow upon arriving we observed that there are so many immigrants from mostly poorer countries in Africa & Middle East around as according to locals the gov't has openly been accepting immigrants compared to other EU neighbors, as a result the city when walking you would see many, nothing wrong about diversity but some of them are loiter and litter. I hope their local government do something about this if they want to preserve their city.
How To Get There:
Got here via Train from Amsterdam Central roughly 2 hours. Also by a bought ticket online, though we are sure that you can also purchase tickets on the day, but if you want to choose guaranteed seats and maybe save a couple of EUROs you better book in advance.
Brussels is a pretty chill city so you can walk around its central area no problem, but if you get tired or foot aches you can always catch a taxi (however the roads inside the city center is blocked to public vehicles so you might have to drive around couple of blocks away from city center to get back to your destination)
There are also tourist attraction rides such as the giant horse carriages you see on the photo, and they are only on a route.
Bike and e-scooters are also famous mode of transportation there where you can do that using apps and have them validated using your phone.
Where To Stay:
Hotel Pullman Centre Midi
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
+ Check In wasn't slow and wasn't quick either.
+ Small lobby yet clean, modern and still stylish
+ Good Price Near the Terminal Station, even has direct access to the station
+ Also near shops and many stores so no problem buying food & other things outside
+ Room was spacious and clean and has comfortable bed and pillows
+ Free WiFi and reliable connection
+ Breakfast was nice and lots of food to choose from
+ According to Mrs this is her most favorite room on all of our hotels we stayed in our EU trip
+ Bathroom was also spacious, together with shower and has all necessities/toiletries we need.
- Windows on the room can't be open as we would like to feel cool breeze of Brussels
- Nothing much on the negatives because as a hotel, they seemed to satisfy all our needs as a tourist couple on EU Trip.
Price: €€€ 140 - 200 EUR / night for a room
Service: 5 star - Staff were all helpful and welcoming
Facilities & Amenities: 5 star - Location was great near station, rooms was spacious and comfy
Restaurant (foods): 5 star - Breakfast was great and many choices satisfying
Bar: n/a - Has no bar but has many just outside and around the area.
Overall: 5 / 5
Perfect stay actually, the hotel was able to satisfy everything we needed as a tourist couple on the EU Trip.
What To Do:
1. See the Grand Palace
The central square of the city of Brussels. It is known all over the world because of its very opulent and decorative display of wealth in its architecture. The palace is surrounced by the guild houses, its City Hall and the Maison du Roi. It is also considered as one of the most beautiful places of the world where it was put on World Heritage Lust of UNESCO in 1998.
2. Belgian Chocolates Galore
Belgians take pride in making their chocolates, and it has been a commodity producer in Europe together with the Swiss. When taking a walk in the streets of brussels, you would notice that in every corner there are chocolate shops, even until you reach the souvenir shops, but of course the best ones are the ones where old locals frequent, away from tourist areas. But if you ain't got time for searching that, you can always indulge yourself with the first chocolate shop you pass by that seems to interest you.
3. Try some Belgian Waffles
Another of the foods you would see when walking down the streets of Brussels are waffles. Different flavors, and fruits plus other sweets to add together with ice cream and maybe nutella is really lovely snack after hours of walking from one place to another.
4. Visit Its Small Yet Famous Statue.
It is a landmark, really small one, like less than a meter tall of a bronze sculpture of a naked little boy urinating into a fountain's barins. Was put there in the 1600s, and now is one of the famous tourist spots while the locals also dress the statue occassionally to suit the season.
As you can see in the photos, it is also famous with tourists and locals alike. And to be fair, the statue symbolizes Brussels' rebellious spirit.
5. Roam Around Its Beautiful City Center
The main city center is actually the Grand Palace, but the area extending around the palace is still the city center and has quite interesting buildings and architectures alike, and aside from souvenir, retail food, coffee shops, there are also buildings of historical and cultural significance if you look around. Then if you get tired there are countless corner and hidden restaurants selling different foods to try
6. Belgian Beer and Grand Palace
Of course we are not gonna miss something that Belgians take very much pride of, their Beers!
Belgian beers are no doubt really one of the best in terms of quality, though a bit expensive, but with a view like this, truly not to be missed to spend maybe a couple of Euros on restaurant with the view. Or if low on the budget you can always bring a canned or bottle beer bought cheap from a store away from tourist spots, then drink one up there while enjoying the view.
Check Out this Starbucks on its City Centre
Downtime means luggage clean up time
Feeling productive, we cut our planned daytrip to Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Luxemburg, to make way for shipping our excess baggage back home and freeing up space so we can buy a few more souvenir and 'pasalubongs' when in Paris. Also it is a lot more expensive to incur excess baggage fees from the airlines rather than just have your package shipped direct at your home address.
Good thing we were able to find a shop that is an official DHL agent that helped us out in making our shipping task easier, and funnily enough the package arrived the same day as we did in the Philippines after a couple of days because it was on 'express'
* $100 USD = €89 EUROS (as of April 2019)
Accommodation - High End - 700€+++
Accommodation - Mid - €130 - €200
Accommodation - Budget - €90 but may be lower depending on how far area from center
Transport - Taxi - €20 from our hotel to Grand Palace
Transport - Regional Rail tickets, €15/per person up to €60 depending on time, and trip etc.
Transport - Sightseeing Tour - €30 - €150 tour with private guide car and driver etc.
Food - Snacks - €5 - €10
Food - Restaurant (set meal for 2) - €15 - €30 per head
Food - Fastfood Meal - €10 - €15 per head
Drinks - Hotel Beer €4 - €8
Drinks - Bottled Water - €2 - €3
Drinks - Espresso Coffee - €1 - €3 (really depending on the place if touristy more expensive)
Drinks - Coffee Cappuccino - €2 - €5
Others - Toilet Use / WC - €1 - €2
Souvenir - T-Shirt - €10 €20
Souvenir - Magnets / Keychain = €5 - €10
Souvenir - Premium items, Chocolates etc, - €10 - €30
*disclaimer, these are just estimates and ranges to guide you, still be prepared with more, better safe than sorry. And also cash is king, you may use cards sometimes they accept and sometimes they don't
NEXT: EU Trip Finale: Paris, France
For a dutch citizen I'm a bit unfamiliar with Belgium and this blot gets me all excited to visit. Its also quite a drive for me. I will follow your blog for sure.
About chocolate, go to the shop chocolate brands themselves, like Leonidas shop Galer shop, Corner shop, etc, DONT BUY chocolate from the tourist traps around the Grand Place, its not real Belgian chocolate.
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