Late last year, I had the privilege to spend 7 days in Brussels, Belgium. Some friends and I did what we always do in a new city; we roamed the streets, got lost amongst the locals and immersed ourselves into a new culture as much as time allowed. Little did I know that travel was going to drastically change this year (along with almost everything else we once considered “normal”). As I sit here typing this post, I am reminiscing about the good times we had. I am more grateful than ever for the time spent in this city. Here is a taste of what I saw, where I ate and even a few things that I, unfortunately, missed. We shall meet again, Brussels.
Grote Markt (Grand Palace) – It is quite touristy, but a must see. The architecture! If you are in the area during the holidays, you must stop by once the sun goes down. The entire square turns into the most absolutely, magical place with a perfectly synchronized duet of lights and melody.
Parc du Cinquantenaire – The architecture, once again! The entire structure in its entirety is quite remarkable. Stand under the massive Belgium flag and hear it whip through the wind.
Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert – Go for the shopping. Stay because it’s too cool to leave. Shout out to all of the U.S. malls and shopping centers, but we should really up our game. Like, really.
OR Coffee Roasters – They are a micro roaster and training center. The coffee was strong and rich and much needed. This was our first stop when we landed after dropping our bags at our hotel. I had one of the best chocolate croissants that I have ever tasted in life. I dream about it every day.
Horta Museum – A culture and architecture focused museum located in in the private house and studio of Victor Horta (1861-1947). You are asked to lock your belongings (including your phone) in lockers before you enter. Expect a line to enter, but worth the wait.
Royal Park – One of the largest parks in Brussels. I try to go for a run whenever I travel. I did a nice 4 mile run through the park at night. PSA: Please do not run alone.
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium – Amazing museum. Buy your tickets online. It’ll save you from waiting in a long line.
Pasta Divina – Honestly, one of the best pasta dishes that I have had in my life. If you know me personally, you know that I am a bit dramatic at times, but I genuinely mean it. It is a family owned establishment. The owner/patriarch of the family came to our table to greet us. His daughter was our waitress. The pasta was divine. No pun was intended, but the restaurants name is quite apropos. By the way, make sure you make a reservation or you will NOT get a table.
Atomium – I didn’t get to make it here during this trip, but it was highly recommended.
La Famille (Rue du Bailli 84, 1050) – I couldn’t find a link to their site so I included their address. Great coffee. Good cocktails, so I hear. And I loved their dark green decor.
Umamido – Some of the best Ramen that I have had. And the Kimchi Pork Buns!!!
Balls & Glory – No, seriously. Go eat here. Holly balls! (sorry, I couldn’t resist)
The View Ferris Wheel – If you are good to wait in line and pay the money (about 8 euros for adults), hop on and enjoy. We opted to roam the city a bit more, but I hear the views from the top are great.