Ah, Brussels. Chocolate, fries, waffles, and beer. What else could you want? Brussels is a unique city and definitely worth a visit. Here’s a few things to keep in mind before you go!
1. It’s small, so you can either enjoy Brussels at a leisurely pace, or you can book a day trip to a nearby city during your stay. We spent almost 3 full days in Brussels and If I could redo it while maintaining the same length of time, I would’ve taken a day trip to Ghent or Bruges on the train and just fit any extras into my other days in Brussels.
2. Check store/museum hours! Places in Brussels close early – around 6pm for stores and 8pm for restaurants, and a lot of the smaller local shops aren’t open on Mondays. Unfortunately for us, we arrived on a Saturday and stayed until Tuesday morning. Many of the places we would’ve liked to visit we couldn’t get to because we realized too late they were closed specific days.
3. Wake up early – but not because things are open, because most aren’t. Wake up early so that you can be the first one in the middle of Grand Place and get some amazing photos and exploration done sans other tourists. I think you should do this in every city you travel to, but in Brussels it was significantly worth it. We were out and about most mornings by 7am while the rest of the city starts livening up by 9 or 10.
4. It’s small! This time I mean you can walk everywhere. Even the furthest out we travelled (to Cantillon brewery from Grand Place) only took about 25 minutes walking. No sort of public transit pass or taxi was required.
5. Avoid the tourist traps. Brussels has wonderful chocolatiers, and they’re not the ones who have 10 locations within a mile radius… On a different note, be a bit cautious of the restaurants with the men outside offering you a “beautiful table” and serving every kind of food imaginable. They’ll overcharge you and the food just won’t be as good. Ask a local or explore some less touristy areas. For food places I do recommend, click here.
6. Adventure down alleys. You can’t do this in all cities, but in Brussels it almost always leads you to a cool restaurant, bar, or shop off the beaten path!
Any other tips from traveling to Brussels that I missed? Want to check out where I DID go to get chocolate? Comment and check out the links below!
More from Brussels: