So I will emphasize that experiences in city can drastically differ. You can have the best weather, meet amazing people, and see the most amazing things, however, certain events can always throw a wrench into it. That experience happened the moment we arrived in Brussels. We had just taken the bus from Amsterdam to Brussels and we were getting into the metro to head into the city. As Rain sat down next to me in the metro car, she reached into her pocket to pull out her phone for directions… only to find it missing. As we were walking onto the metro someone swiftly grabbed her phone and immediately turned it off. She was so upset. Her phone was her camera, form of communication and our directions. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best start to our trip in Brussels, but we weren’t going to let that stop us. S*&t happens…. we move on!
We stayed at a decent Airbnb in an interesting part of town. I will say that it wasn’t easy to find a good spot, but we ended up setting with the Saint-Gilles area because of it’s proximity to everything. Most of the places to stay were either too expensive or just not where we really wanted to be. This is a fairly big city and well spread out. Anticipate doing quite a bit of walking or renting bikes/scooters.
We were hoping that the weather was finally starting to warm up! It had been so cold in Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, etc. that we were really optimistic that it was going to start to warm up! Unfortunately that was not the case, but it was still fantastic weather and we were really lucky. I had read somewhere that Brussels is one of the rainiest cities in all of Europe so we definitely got lucky.
It goes without saying, but you really need to walk through the Grand Palace area. Especially depending on the time of day, the gold that covers some of the buildings just glitters. The cobblestone streets and old architecture feel surreal. Gold seems to accent everything in the city. From the massive clocks to the trim of the buildings, you can see gold glistening everywhere.
So there are SO MANY options for Bars in this cool city that it was really hard to decide. Unfortunately, this was the first place in awhile that we didn’t have local friends giving us some cool options. We were really dependent on Trip advisor, but it worked out fairly well. We went to Fanny Thai to start things off and it was pretty solid, there are options lined up for quite a few blocks. We ended up having a late start the next day so took advantage of some brunchy lunch at Peck 47 and soon after made our way to explore the bars. A fantastic Indian restaurant that I recommend is Le Taj, it was in the area we were staying in but really was delicious and recommend stopping by if convenient. If you are looking for great comforting Belgian food I really recommend stopping at Fin De Siecle. It’s most certainly not cheap but its really good and a great experience. I heard that it typically gets really busy, so we ended up going at a random time in the early afternoon so we didn’t have to wait.
So yes, we know Belgium is known for their chocolate, but their beer is out of this world. We made our way our way over to De Monk the for a Happy Hour type setup and this place was a blast. It looked like happy hour had started a few hours early, since everyone seemed to be feeling really good. My favorite bar had to be Delirium Cafe!! First of all, this bar is awesome and several floors so you’re able to navigate yourself to different areas. Secondly, the beer is heavenly. Delirium Tremens is still one of my favorite beers. This is a must go to if you’re in Brussels.
Rain ended up pulling my arm and dragging me to a chocolate making class while in Brussels. It was a lot of fun and always a great opportunity to meet people from around the world. The class was pretty simple and it allowed you to get pretty creative with your chocolate. I would recommend doing it! The one we did was called Belgian Chocolate Workshop and has pretty good reviews.
Overall, I absolutely enjoyed Brussels. It was the beer capital of the world and although it initally had a rough start, this city was a blast. This really makes this list to come back here as a stop off for a guys trip!