So, it’s been about a month since I last posted on my blog and if you’ve been following my Instagram account, you will have seen my daily updates from Interail trip around Europe. Over the last three weeks, I’ve explored ten cities (on a budget) so have collated some comprehensive detail to create a mini travel guide. We spent around 2-3 days in each city and will hopefully be returning to our favourites!
Starting the Interail trip with Brussels fell into place really, as the Interail pass includes a Eurostar journey, counting as one of our ‘travel days’. However I’ll admit that before planning the trip, visiting the Belgium capital wasn’t something I had considered.
Where to Stay – Hostel Galia provided quite a luxury start to our interailing trip, with an extensive buffet breakfast included with the room price. Location wise, it’s close to the main train station and a short walk to the city centre, easy to explore Brussels on foot.
Food & Drink – Brussels is well know for fries, chocolate & beer – a winner if you ask me. There is a fries shop on pretty much every corner so for our first night, we had a ‘mitraillette’, a huge baguette overflowing with chips, from Fritland – all for a measly € 5.
Chocolate shops can also be found on pretty much every corner, but there is also the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate where you can see what it is all about. Included in the € 6 entrance fee, there is a demonstration kitchen where the chocolatier shows how pralines are commonly made & you’re able to taste a few of the batches afterwards. The museum is fairly close to the Grand Place, so a good one to pop into whilst you are exploring the area.
Beer sampling was definitely a highlight, we found plenty of bars with cheap beer – often € 1 during ‘happy hour’. The best place to visit is Delirium Village, with 8 bars to choose from and hundreds of beers to sample. This was the perfect spot to enjoy some beers and watch the Belgium v Brazil World Cup game – the atmosphere was SO good.
The City’s Highlights
Architecture – I’m not sure I can actually covey how good the archiecture is, from the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula to Grand Place with the Guildhall buildings, each is designed in a unique way and completely breathtaking. There are plenty of picturesque streets to wander through and if you head to the Royal Palace, that is definitely a landmark to visit and admire the architecture.
Hidden Gems – It is worth mentioning that Brussels does have quite a few hidden gems and it’s definitely worth taking an evening walk in the city to properly explore (and have dinner/beers). On our first walk in the city, we completely missed Mont Des Arts park and garden. It was only when heading back down the hill from the Royal Palace to Grand Place that we stumbled across the stunning views of Brussels from Mont Des Arts.
EU Parliament – Although this is pretty touristy, it is worth a visit. The Parliamentarian visitors centre showcases a lot of historical information about the formation of the EU. You could spend hours reading all the information and seeing the EU Parliament building felt quite monumental.
Brussels is not a city to miss off your European city list and I would definitely like to return to Belgium at some point!