Brussels in One Day Travel Guide
Top 10 Things To Do in Brussels.
The moment I landed in Brussels, I wondered if I made a big mistake. I only planned to stay for a day, and that day was thick with fog; so thick one could not see past 50 meters if it was a man or a deer crossing the road.
French music played jovially at the airport as my heart continued arguing with my mind and subconsciously, I found myself at a taxi stand where I got into a grand Benz. Traffic was Kuala Lumpur fashion at 8 a.m. on a Monday, except that it was foggy, not hazy. The taxi meter was speed-jumping and by the end of the ride, it costed more than my flight. Needless to say, I strongly advise using the public transport from Brussels airport to your hotel.
At 12 p.m., the fogs dispersed; revealing beautiful blue skies.
Cost – Taxi from airport to city centre: 44€
During the day, hundreds of chocolate stalls offering the craziest flavours open their doors to keep the ladies excited and happy. At night (or anytime actually), there are thousands of beer variety for men to sample and savour.
I didn’t quite think of it that way until I traveled to Brussels and Brugge solo; mainly for their 小吃 / “small eats” (waffles, chocolates and yes, FRIES), second for their architecture. It is understandably a questionable truth of its worth – traveling all the way there for its snacks?
The truth is this – practically, you don’t fly to Europe just to visit Belgium. But if you are traveling to neighbouring countries like Germany and Netherlands, don’t hesitate to make a 2 day 1 night stop. A flight from Berlin to Brussels only costed RM158.
Cost – Flight from Berlin to Brussels: 32.23€
1 Day in Brussels Walking Tour
There is so much you can do in a day in this city!
1. Marvel at Grand Place.
#1 Brussels point of interest. Period.
2. Have the best waffles in town at Maison Dandoy.
I had desserts for lunch. Not sure how I felt about that. But here’s my take on them.
In South East Asia, waffles are usually sold in or outside 3rd grade shopping complexes with margarine and cream corn or peanut butter, so it’s easy to regard waffles as cheap patterned dough. However, the moment you sit down to savor a proper Belgium waffle at a maison that claims to serve ‘the best waffle you can find in Brussels, it is indeed pretty special.
There are two kinds of waffles served here. The Belgium formula reminded me of what a good yau char kuay or roti canai should be – crispy yet not doughy inside. The Liège waffle, on the other hand, is made doughy on purpose, drizzled with chocolate sauce. When savoured carefully, you’ll notice that it doesn’t taste floury or too buttery. It is as good as waffles can be.
As I was having both types by myself, half way through I was feeling sick of the sugar rush – I had to trick my mind in order to finish them with ‘This might be the last time you’re here!‘.
Rue Charles Buls 14, 1000 Bruxelles
Hours: 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Contact: +32 2 512 65 88
3. Watch a naked little boy peeing at Manneken Pis.
Maybe because there were scaffolding around? To me, this is literally a small bronze sculpture of a baby ‘peeing’. Then again, will I skip it? No, not when I’m there!
4. Have some great quality chocolate at Pierre Marcolin.
According to my researches, this is ‘the‘ chocolate place in Brussels. Unfortunately after all that waffles, I couldn’t have another bite of sweet stuff. If you are not going to Brugge (next travel post!), buy some here. If you are, I know a better place there.
5. Have a #GoT moment at Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.
Have a seat in ‘the double churches’ and enjoy the view that is this.
6. Admire world-class architecture and Europe’s prettiest wall graffitis for free by foot.
Did you know that (The Adventures of) Tin Tin is from Belgium?
7. Magritte Museum because MAGRITTE.
I was there on a Monday so most unfortunately for me, this museum was closed. If you have the time and love art / museums, you MUST visit it!
Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Forever closed on Monday.
8. Take #OOTD photos at Atomium.
Half the time I was debating with myself if I should visit Atomium, a unit of iron crystal cell magnified 165 billion times into a building, as it is not within the radius of my otherwise perfect walking tour. I am pretty confident to say that “to go or not to go” is the question most tourists experience here, so I’ve come to a conclusion that if you love taking photos, just go and keep your expectations low. If I lived in this city, the park nearby would definitely be a place I’d frequent every now and then with Cinga for walks and have a picnic while at it.
Uber to and back: 16.68€ and 18.49€
9. Get delirium at Delirium.
You won’t hear me say this again but here it is – although I am NOT a beer person, my main highlight of this trip besides Grand Place is this huge pub that smells of aged barrels and wheat. Even then, it is hard to decide which comes first.
Inside this pub is a huge maze of several storeys, carrying the most beer in the world (there are so many kinds even a non-beer person would start feeling greedy), on top of winning the 2004 award for best beer.
Say hello to my strawberry beer!
From blonde beers to dark cherries brewed with secret ingredients – they have it ALL. It was also the first time I saw beer in a coconut bowl! I also got the Delirium beer; overflowing with froth like cappuccino, tasting delicious as ever.
P.S. Unfortunately their toilets don’t function very well, with splatters of sh*t or perhaps think India; which sucks because you will need the loo after sampling a few beers. Other than that, this place is awesome.
Cost: Delirium Beer 3.40€ (small), Forestinne Mysteria 5.30€ (2nd round), strawberry beer 3.40€ (3rd round)
10. Dine on juicy mussels at Leon.
I alternated between beer breaks and dinner as this restaurant I’m about to highlight is just right next door (I didn’t drink all beers above in one visit). Recommended by the staffs at Delirium who dine here frequently, at this restaurant you can find decent, tasty mussels without the hassle of traveling too far.
The next morning I took a taxi from the hotel to the (south) train station for Brugge, ready for my next chocolate adventure!
Taxi (city centre to train station): 15.20€
Stay at Hotel The Moon: 59.24€
Total cost spent in Brussels: 238€