We took a bus from Amsterdam to Brussels (Euorlines) which was a quick four hour trip to my favorite place on the trip. I think perhaps Brussels was my favorite because it was somewhere I could actually see myself living. It had the charm, quaint cobblestone, great dining options, and of course Belgium waffles (my fav!). Dutch men aren’t half bad either!
There isn’t actually that much to do in Brussels. Rick Steve’s book “Europe through the Back Door” (highly suggest) says stopping through Brussels on the way to Paris is a great idea simply for the food. So we did that.
We ran into some trouble on the way to our hostel. We traipsed through the ghetto and as we continued to walk we got deeper and deeper into a very bad part of town. Upon arriving at the hostel there was sign and no door so we hopped on the bus and got out of there as quickly as possible. It was one of those cliche moments while traveling, but I was impressed by how calm I kept myself even when I really knew we were in some level of danger. We ended up renting two hotel rooms and actually enjoyed a really clean room with a clean shower for the night. It ended up working out and I learned the importance of the emergency credit card my Dad gave me for emergencies (shout out to him for always being prepared).
Since we only had one day in Brussels we had to be efficient about our time. We went on the walking tour since we are big fans of them. They give you great history of where you are and give you a bit more awareness of your general surroundings. Plus the tour guides are usually cute and give you great recommendations for eateries and coffee cafes.
The highlight of Brussels is its main center which is a massive courtyard type area (all cobblestone) with its grande buildings that were the most beautiful I have ever seen. This area is called the Grand Place and it is surrounded by awesome places to eat, dessert and lunch waffle stands, shopping, and unique stores.
The buildings were so amazing and it served as a great meeting place central to everything else. Our hotel was only fifty steps away so we were in the perfect location since we didn’t have to use public transportation to get anywhere.
The waffles were literally the most amazing thing I have ever had. We had a lunch waffle (ham and cheese inside of the waffle) and dessert waffles with nutella and whipped cream. My Gramps used to know my order every time we went out to breakfast–waffle no syrup. I couldn’t help but smile while I was in Belgium having Belgium Waffles. As a man who loved to travel it certainly was a full circle moment for me.
We were told to try the Belgium Fries but I wasn’t super impressed. The fries in America are much better (and probably more unhealthy as well).
We ended our day getting some Belgium Chocolate for some testing and a walk through the outdoor mall. We quickly scurried to catch our next bus to Paris, but I was left daydreaming about the Grand Place and all Brussels had to offer.
Things we did (and recommend):
-Enjoy the Grand Place
-the walking tour
-grab a drink at Delirium Cafe (a really cool bar that sells a raspberry beer that is only made in that part of Europe due to the specific fermentation)
-Celtica was a really cool bar with live music and a great atmosphere
-grab some waffles and chocolate!