Karolina turns 21 and she’s surprised with a cheeky weekend in Brussels! I remember choosing Bruges over Brussels during my Interrail in 2015 – ‘there’s nothing exciting about Brussels!’, I thought… I couldn’t be more wrong about this diverse city. Are you wondering what I loved (because yes, I ended up falling in love over and over again) about it? Read on! Here are my absolute favourite things about Bruxelles.
What’s the first thing popping into your head when you hear the word ‘Gothic’? Is it an image of a group, all clothed in black, rocking hardcore metal? – many could surely say so. But, did you know, that in fact, Gothic architecture was intended to convey a theological message: the great glory of God?
Although the cute little kid minding his business is a major attraction for tourists, it isn’t only because it is ‘funny’, or because it owns a huge wardrobe… to me, it tells a story (possible myths, for that matter!). The Mannaken Pis symbolises the children urinating on leather at a market that was once in place – in order to get paid – you might recognise a saying – ‘I’m piss poor’ – which is believed to derived from this. To add to that, Manneken Pis is very privileged to own over 900+ outfits which are changed at random – so much fun! (if you ask me).
The thing you’ll simply fall in love with is Brussels’ diversity. The diversity of languages, cultures, nationalities, orientations, this city has got it all. Did you know that there are 100+ languages spoken here? That’s a hella lot of languages if you ask me… Apart from the nationalities, you’ll also recognise the gay neighbourhood spotted by the comic art, rainbow pedestrian crossings and LGBT flags – you ain’t gotta hide anything in this place.
Parc de Bruxelles, the Atomium and the Mont Des Arts were a few places I checked out with Mont Des Arts being the definite winner. Too hot? Sit by the fountains! Looking for an awesome photo shot? Here it is! Need a break to eat your lunch outside? You couldn’t have picked better!
Be careful with the French fries talk. Clarification: not French fries. The Belgians are very serious in that matter. Ditch the McDonald’s barely-taste-like-anything fries and indulge in the ‘real thang’ – for only €4 at Fritland!
A café with a choice of over 3000 beers?! You have to be kidding me… as a self-proclaimed beer connoisseur, I couldn’t celebrate my birthday weekend without a visit to the Delirium Café. A beer, friends and… a photobooth! Snap a few shots for a wallet memoir, for only €2 per double strip! Remember, the magic happens when you go overboard with the quantity! 😉 (or does it?!).
Cheeky bevies, here they are. Don’t leave Belgium without having a Belgian beer, they say (and I totally agree). If you’ve seen my travel post from Bruges (click here to read) you will already know Belgian’s don’t mess around with their beers. You’re in for 11% in strength, honey. Not forgetting the hot choc – if you’ve never tried a real, go-ey hot choc you better not miss out on it in Belgium!
Your American friend told you they’ve been to Europe last year, but somehow they always fail to mention where exactly they have been. Was it France? Spain, Belgium or Finland? Mini Europe could finally be the answer. You no longer have to travel around the continent to see all the landmarks you’ve been awe-ing to, Mini Europe has got you honey (my favourite thing was the fact I could play every countries’ national anthem! #fangirl). Price: €15.30 individually, or €27.60 in combination with Oceade waterpark or the Atomium.Speaking of the gorgeous architecture, there’s also something great nature creates for us all backstage – the beautiful summer sky shows off the most beautiful sunsets – in a scene perfect for a shot.
And, last but not least, obligatory waffles. However, be aware of waffles which aren’t made on spot, they can be a pain to eat once they harden! We learnt it the hard way…
Here’s to great surprises, Brussels! Big thank you to my ‘special friend’ for changing my mind about this awesome, free, tolerant city. Brussels is Karolife approved! Have you ever been? What would you recommend next time I’m around? I would love to hear about your experiences!
Keep thriving for more,
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As always, all views are my own.