Welcome from the beautiful city of Brussels, the chocolate capital of the world! Continuing my summer road trip series, after Amsterdam, Brussels was my next stop. Brussels is roughly a 2 hours drive from Amsterdam, easy-breezy and a quick drive! We did make a stop in The Hague but it was very short. My first impression of entering Brussels was wow! I instantly fell in love with the architecture and the character the city had to offer. Since it was still early in the morning when I reached Brussels, we quickly dropped off our baggage, parked our car and headed to explore the city. Brussels is definitely a very walkable city, or you can utilize the public transportation. Nevertheless, here is the best walking tour of Brussels and what to see.
My Airbnb was conveniently located on Boulevard Maurice Lemonnier, The main attractions were probably 10 mins walking distance from this location, Uber ride was probably 4 mins?
Stop 1: Start off the walking tour from Manneken Pis which is a small bronze sculpture depicting a naked boy urinating (gotta love art!). The statue is located on Rue de l’Etuve 31 / Lievevrouwbroersstraat 31, if you are using the metro, you can get off at either one of these stops: Anneessens, Bourse, Central and follow signs for Manneken Pis. As you near the statue, you will see tons of souvenir shops selling replicas of the statue in all sizes and forms. The Manneken is dressed in different outfits all year around and has over 900 outfits!
PRO TIP: Get here early! When I say early, early before any of the stores open, right after sunrise, the Manneken is an extremely popular landmark and it becomes literally impossible to take a picture alone with him. Same goes for the Grand Place.
Stop 2: Is 4 mins walking distance, the beautiful Grand Place which is the central square of Brussels. Surrounded by stunning buildings, lots of restaurants ,cafes and best of all, chocolate, is a favorite hang out for the locals and tourists. One of the best times to visit the square is for the famous Flower Carpet, the square is covered with colorful flowers in August from 16th-19th. I unfortunately missed it by a couple of days! However, looking at the pictures, it is a must see!
Stop 3: If you are in the mood for some shopping and want to hangout with the fashionistas, Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is your next stop then. Click here for a list of the stores or if you would even like to rent an apartment here!
Stop 4: Mont des Arts is an urban complex and historic site in the center of the city, roughly a 5 mins walk from the Grand Place. It is a great spot to get an amazing panoramic view of the city. There are over ten museums in the area such as the Bozar and the Magritte Museum.
Stop 5: While you are there, don’t forget to visit the Royal Palace of Brussels, the official palace of the King and the Queen. The entry is to the palace is free, it is open from July 22nd- September 3rd, from 10:30 AM- 3:45 PM, closed on Mondays. You will go through a security check at the entrance, and large bags such as backpacks are not allowed. The palace itself is a stunning piece of architecture inside and outside which was completed in 1934.
Stop 6: Whether you are a runner or just need a break from all the walking, stop at Parc du Cinquantenaire and enjoy it’s beauty or simply people watch. The park also houses the giant Triumphal Arch, as you can tell from the picture below, it is impressively taller than me.
I hope you have enjoyed your walking tour of the beautiful city of Brussels. If you still have some energy left, you can also check out the Atomium, however, be warned it is roughly 8 kms from the Arch, you might want to get on public transportation or rent a bike. I hope you enjoy your visit to Brussels, the city definitely exceeded my expectations, the amazing architecture, the chocolate of course, the culture, pretty much everything. Let me know your thoughts. Have you visited Brussels?