If you’ve been following me on social media, you might have seen that I just took a vacation to Europe! My best friend is from Lille, France, which is very close to the border of Belgium so we bopped around between France and Belgium, ending in Paris for several days. It was my first time seeing Belgium, and I thought Brussels was super cute and definitely worth seeing. Today I’m sharing some of the things I saw and did there. 🙂
I hadn’t realized how much of a French influence there is in Belgium, primarily in the cities closest to the French border. Brussels is actually very close to the border and only about a 45 minute train ride away from Lille. When we hopped off the train, it almost appeared that we were still in France! A lot of the architecture was similar and French was spoken everywhere (in Belgium they speak French and Fleminsh primarily).
I didn’t do everything as far as museums and other places that Brussels travel guides might suggest, but I wanted to take you along what I did see and do and the beautiful things I stumbled upon as well!
The Grand Place
This square is at the heart of the city and it is just sparkling with ornate and beautiful gold accents and phenomenal architecture in Gothic and Baroque styles. One of the buildings was the town hall, with incredible detail throughout the walls and breathtaking doors.
I will not lie to you — a large part of the reason I wanted to see Brussels was to have a real Belgian waffle. And man, did it deliver. After asking several locals to direct us to the best waffle place, we settled on Maison Dandoy and ate our little hearts out in waffles. My friend got chocolate on hers and I got chocolate with vanilla ice cream juuust to be extra gluttonous. 😀 Here’s the evidence:
^^ This last amazing shot (and several others in this post) is by my bestie Agathe – follow her for more sharp, food-lover shots like this!
Sablon is a historic neighborhood on a hill in the upper town of Brussels, and was my absolute favorite part of the city! There were adorable little side streets, restaurants, shops and buildings throughout and being on a hill, there were beautiful views to be seen around every corner.
Naturally in addition to the waffles, we had to hit up some authentic Belgian chocolate. My friend’s favorite chocolate spot was in Sablon too, Pierre Marcolini. As you can see from the photos, Pierre Marcolini is a beautiful and particular little shop. It’s all about the dreams of the chocolatier himself, so there are pink clouds, flowers, and ladders spiraling upward, taking us into these dreams of chocolate. We topped off the experience there with a couple macarons too!
The Comic Book Route
Another interesting aspect of Brussels was that it pays tribute to several Belgian comics like “The Adventures of Tintin” with giant murals on the walls of the city. There are about 50 murals that make up the comic book route, and we managed to find a bunch! It was really fun to stumble across the murals throughout the day and admire how beautifully done they were. Here are a few that I found:
Other fun moments throughout the trip!
Admiring some stunning architecture of course…
a pit stop for lunch down a secluded little side street!
I completely fell in love with the look of this little flower shop! I loved how clean the black and white was and the font of name and awning are just gorgeous!!
Apparently, this little statue “Manneken Pis” is a Brussels staple… There were numerous parodies of it throughout the city, but I personally wouldn’t call it the highlight of the city… 🤔
My can’t-handle-the-excitement face of shopping for soaps in this colorful little shop of dreams! 😍
Trying my best to capture the cuteness of Brussels!
To conclude, Brussels was definitely worth seeing and I hope you can see that from my photo diary here! Have any of you been to Brussels? Or is it on your list of places to see? Let me know in the comments below! 🤗