Brussels: Historic yet Hip
On-route from Luxembourg City to Amsterdam, we stopped in Brussels for a half day adventure. As you will see – in our next post – We Came for the Beer and Waffles – we did quite a bit of food sampling here! At the centre of European culture, Brussels has much more to offer than most people imagine. Apart from its famous chocolates and beers, there are almost 90 museums, beautiful parks, architecture, bars and much more. Belgium’s fascinating capital, Brussels, is the administrative capital of the EU.
The Lonely Planet describes Brussels as “historic yet hip, bureaucratic yet bizarre, self confident yet unshowy, and multicultural to its roots”. As you can see, this is where I found the title for this post. We definitely felt that this city was both historic and hip. However, we had read that since we prefer smaller cities, we would probably enjoy spending more of our “Belgium-time” in Brugge. We chose not to sleep in Brussels, but we did enjoy our time walking, eating, and see this fascinating “Gotham City”.
Here are a few snapshots from our time spent strolling around Brussels…
The Grand Place
The Grand Place, aka Grote Markt is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by lavish guildhalls and two larger structures, the city’s Town Hall, and the Breadhouse building containing the Museum of the City of Brussels. This square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. No surprise then, that this was the first area that we made our way towards. The Grand Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a shopping arcade in Brussels that was around before other famous 19th-century shopping arcades such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and The Passage in St Petersburg. The shopping galleries in Brussels are multiple covered walkways in the center of the capital city of Belgium. The galleries form glass-roofed pedestrian streets on which shops are situated
Chocolate chocolate chocolate!
There were more food options that we could have imagined, and they all looked amazing. We were saving our chocolate, waffle, and beer tasting for when we decided to sit down. While we were strolling around, and taking in the sights, we grabbed some fries. This is, in fact, one of the foods that Belgium is actually famous for!
Waffles, fries, chocolate, beer… Belgium is definitely famous for some tasty foods!
In our next post: We sit down to drink some beer. On our way out of the city center, we grabbed a couple of waffles before hitting the road again.