I used to think that there’s no such thing as high expectations for a trip, but here’s the newsflash: Brussels proved me wrong with a slap on the face! I thought a lot about what I would write in this article – I didn’t know wether to write it as a travel guide or if I should let you know my personal experience, because the truth was: I went to Belgium but I didn’t like it that much.
I went to Brussels to see a few friends and that was absolutely awesome, but the idea I had about the city changed as soon as I saw that dirty-looking city filled with rude people instead of a beautiful fairytale city.
The bad experience began when I arrived to the airport and the train to the city center – which is a really short distance – was expensive AF ! Then I thought that the most spoken language (including the direction signs) would be in english, or at least in french, but surprise: the speakers on the train were in dutch and there was no sign what so ever of anything being in english – Panic! I felt kind of unwelcome, like they don’t like receiving tourists…
I know people have different backgrouds and we should be open to other cultures, I personally think I’m quite open-minded, but I think Brussels has such negative vibes! Instead of the cultural diversity and the beautiful streets I was expecting, I saw a dirty city, with “bad looking people” (they look quite rude and too into their own world) going around, taxi drivers who want to overcharge us, mediocre food… In the first time in my life, I didn’t like a city, which is a shame because Brussels for itself is beautiful! It has so much to offer! Beautiful architecture, lovely beer and nice things to visit…
Despite all those incidents, and the “shock” towards this city that destroyed my expectations, I managed to have fun and to visit a few things in this short weekend.
So here’s a list of what I did and advise you to do in Brussels
This is probably the more iconic square of Brussels. During the day, it is full of life! People are running around, there are a lot of terraces where you can sit drinking a coffee and relaxing, and it has beautiful buildings to look at. You can’t miss it!
This is literally a statue of a boy peeing into a fountain, which is weird but a landmark of the city so, you have to visit 🙂
Beer taste at Delirium Café
Belgium is known for its marvelous beer and this caffe is quite popular for having a huge amount of beers – it has held the Guinness record for having the longest beer list ever, selling beers from all over the world. So it is the ultimate place for you to have a beer taste, or at list it deserves a visit for just one beer.
Food: Waffle, Chocolat and Fries
Well duh! When in Belgium, have a waffle! I had this amazing waffle in a little shop in the city center, which is filled with stores like that, and it is impossible to resist if you’re a sweet tooth like me! This country is well known for its wonderful chocolat as well, and let me tell you that this one really meets expectations. If you are looking for good quality chocolat, I advise you Godiva, the best artisanal chocolat shop. Fries are a typical belgium food as well, you can find it everywhere.
The atomium is quite recent and it is located bit far away from the city center, you can either see it from outside or take a visit inside (12€ per adult). I took the tour and really liked it, it is very interesting. As you walk through the tubes and spheres, there are a few exibhits about the fifties (When it was built) and when you get to the top, there’s a really nice panoramic view of the city.
Day trip to Brugge
This little city made my visit to Belgium super worthy… It looks like a village that you read about in a book, very fairytale like. It has beautiful buildings, charming streets and canals and amazing restaurants! It is just one hour away from Brussels and the ticket costs around 10eur – it’s a day very well spent!
Despite all the incidents, I actually liked my trip to Belgium, not only because it allowed me to see my international friends again, but because it thought me everything can be enjoyed even if many things go wrong. Remember: It is essential to prepare your trip in advance, remain positive and see the bright side of everything 🙂
Lots of Love,