This post may contain affiliate links
We went to Brussels in the morning and got back to Budapest at night, on the same day. We had limited time to see this amazing city so as my friend and I landed at Charleroi airport we headed to the airport shuttle, which is the easiest and cheapest way to get to the city centre.
If you have only one day to see a city like Brussels, you definitely need a plan or at least a map. We didn’t have either of it, so we just set out to explore the city. Since we were under time pressure, I started to develop a weird attraction to tourist signs that showed us the right way to the next site, so I just started to hunt them and fanatically checked each and every one of them. Girls’ enthusiasm for boys’ bands is nothing compared to my sign addiction.
I immediately fell in love with Brussels. What I liked so much was the multicultural feeling of the city which also appeared in architecture, culture, art, and actually everything. It was amazing to see so many museums and galleries next to each other, and each is in a different style, on a broadly diversified selection of topics.
As we were walking across a park – Brussels has so many -, I just wondered how many flowers there were in February – I thought it was too cold – and suddenly I saw a little, cute parrot hiding in the grass and flowers. I loved that. It wasn’t scared at all, just peacefully walked back and forth. Little, kind surprises of life.
As we were walking across the city, we just realized, that it is so easy to find a beautiful place or a famous statue or a building, or institutions in Brussels. You can find them everywhere! Although we missed some must-see attractions such as Atomium or Mini Europe – some things for next time – we found a bunch of other wonderful show-places. For example, Carillon du Mont des Arts or the former emporium, the Old England which is an Instrument Museum now, which has the biggest collections of instruments. Or Jardin du Petite Sablon is a beautifully designed park in the heart of the city, which is located opposite the Notre Dame du Sablon, what is just like a beautiful jewellery box in gothic style. Just sit down, relax and enjoy!
Manneken Pis is a cute little statue – he has a less famous girlfriend, the Jeanneke. She can be found just a hundred meters from Rue des Bouchers / Beenhouwersstraat -. This little guy plays a full part in the city’s annual calendar and even has an outfit for every occasion with his wide range of wardrobe. And it is totally ok that this cutie also appears as a key ring, fridge magnet, and on a lot of souvenirs, but it is quite weird – to my mindset – to form it as a chocolate bar or waffles, but still funny.
By the way, there is some funny presence of the famous local specialties. We found a – little bit scary – lady who creates Brussels lace.
We tried some Belgian specialties like beer, waffles, fries, and chocolate of course. We did not really have to look for them because these foods can be found at almost every corner in a wide range of flavours. Moreover, there is a Beer Museum placed on the Grand Place.
‘Discover Brussels’ romantic side’ – a sign said. I don’t know. Does Brussels have a side that is not romantic? Maybe I’m biased somewhat, but I don’t think so. And this kind of romantic style is not a fancy, fluffy kind of romantic style, but the real one. I like it so much when instead of celebrating love like in a fairy tale, people celebrate it as one of the most powerful things in the world and accept that it could be really hard sometimes, but mostly it is the most significant gift in life. And yes, we also found the presence of the other style of romance, saw the chocolate bars and bonbons in pink and red packages too, but I don’t know a lot of cities that can present ‘love’ this way as well. You know the naked truth without any icing, but not in a porn-inspired cheap way. I couldn’t explain it better. You know. Just love.
The most number of tourists can be found on Grand Palace admittedly and it’s no wonder. This place is amazing and incredibly beautiful, maybe the most beautiful square in Europe. Almost all of the buildings have a historical significance and their monumental nature is truly impressive. We visited this square several times that day and I can say for sure, any time of the day is perfectly suitable to see it. There is also a hotel and some restaurants – although Brussels is not so cheap in general, but to eat here is rather pricey – which add more to this wonderful sight.
We went back to the station armed with a bunch of chocolate, just as good tourists who were in Brussels just now. One day is totally not enough to see everything – whether you have a map or not – so I can’t wait for the sequel.