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The City of Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the capital of the European Union.
This beautiful city located in the middle of the country has a perfect combination between traditional European architecture and culture, and a vibrant nightlife. I must admit that I fell in love with this city at first sight.
The perfect city to walk around and feel immersed in a world that combines past, present and future visuals in the most harmonious way.
Although being a small city, it hosts many wonders from beautiful castles and cathedrals to restaurants and bars passing through amazing public spaces and arts and history museums.
Whether you are planning a trip to Belgium or you are visiting any other near by European country and want to spend a weekend at another city, Brussels is always a great option. It is very easy and convenient to get there; you can get there by bus, train, cars, planes and ferry (Eurolines bus costed me 30 euros for a return ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels).
Probably the most convenient is by train since you can take it from London or Paris and be in the middle of the city in just a few hours. However, if you decide to flight, the airport is very close by and you can take the Diabolo from the SNCB station and be in the center of the city in only 17 minutes.
Once you get there, you can either choose to stay in luxury hotels, mid-price or budget hotels. As we have mentioned before, these budgets hotels are all you need to enjoy a city, and in Brussels they are extremely well located, clean and friendly staff that are usually the best tourist guides one can find.
So, if you are in Brussels just for the weekend, there is plenty to see and do, but you may want to focus on the biggest tourist attractions, especially if this is your first time there. Here are our top recommendations of the places you should visit during the weekend:
#1 Grand Place
The Grand Place, or Grote Markt, is the city’s most important plaza and is one of the better-conserved plazas in Europe.
I really liked the 17th century look and architecture that the buildings have and the Hotel de Ville, which it was actually build as the Town Hall of the city, you can actually go in and visit all the historical rooms. Afterwards, you can stop for a quick bite in one of the restaurants of the plaza.
#2 Belgian Comic Strip Center
Brussels is the home of Tintin, so you can’t go without stopping by the Comic Strip Center. The Center is a museum because it was done to commemorate the history of cartoons and comic strips. The history of comics in Belgium is incredibly reach, so do yourself a favor and stop by, the museum is really interesting and the building itself beautiful.
The Atomium was one of my favorite things that I saw in Brussels, is a bit of a pain to get there, because you have to take the tram, but is not too terrible and is completely worth it. The sculpture was made for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition and is an iron molecule, but magnified 165 million times.
The Orange Traveler exploring Atomium from the inside. More to read here.
#4 Mont Des Arts
These are a group of buildings of old palaces and libraries is amazing, you have a great view of the city and the buildings on their own are great to show classical European architecture. You can visit the palaces and the library, but if you can only stay there for a little bit, go for the view, you will see the Mont Des Arts and the city center like nowhere else in Brussels.
#5 Anywhere where they sell waffles
Food is definitely one of the things I enjoyed the most of my stay in Brussels; the city is famous for its waffles and you get it when you try them.
We visited a local waffle shop called Los Churros & Waffle where I had the waffle in the picture and it was amazing! The chocolate, the waffle, everything was delicious, and that gave me energy to keep walking.
Apart from these, there are so many places you should stop by, like the Mannekin Pis, which is a hilarious statue of a baby peeing in a fountain.
Also you have the Saint-Michel Cathedral, the Place Royale, the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts, the Northern City Center, Notre-Dame du Sablon, the Parc du Cinquantenaire, the Château Royal, and so many more.
I really liked the touristic places, and after every day of tourism, we stopped by a local bar to have dinner and a few drinks that I really like, so I totally recommend ending your days like that. The city is beautiful to walk around and you can even plan a walking route to visit all these places. It is amazingly worth it.