Back this spring, TripAdvisor conducted a survey and concluded that Brussels was Europe’s most boring city. Mon dieu! I couldn’t disagree more, and for that, I make a public apology to Brussels. The Belgian capital is one of the most authentic European cities that I know and just because it refuses to not bow down to preconceived notions that tourists have about European capitals does not mean that it is boring. There are plenty of reasons why you should love Brussels; here are only a few.
Happy Kids Sculpture in The Square, Brussels
Some of the best food I’ve had on the entire continent has been in Brussels. Going far beyond ‘Mussels in Brussels’, you can have mouth-watering steaks, rich and creamy pastas, and the best chips (French fries) in the world. Top all that off with a Belgian waffle, topped with fresh strawberries, fresh strawberry confiture, and fluffy whipped cream. What more could one want?
Tip: Try the steaks at Aux Paves des Bruxelles (Rue Marche-au-Fromage 1-3).
Everyone knows that Belgian brews are some of the best ever made – in fact, some modern day brewing methods originated from the work in the medieval Belgian abbeys. Brussels is full of pubs serving the good stuff on draught; the atmosphere is fantastic as you can find high-ranking EU officials mingling in the same space as an “in the know” tourist.
Tip: It might be in most tourists books, but still check out La Mort Subite (7, rue Montagne-aux-Herbes Potagères).
The Grand Place or main square in Brussels is my favourite city square in all of Europe. Ok, there I said it. Feel free to agree or disagree with that, but it cannot be denied that on a clear evening the Grand Place is a magical and beautiful setting. Pop into one of the cafes alongside the square’s perimeter and soak up the ambience.
Tip: Head further afield and check out the art noveau grandeur at the Victor Horta Museum (25 rue Américaine).
Sense of Humour
Who doesn’t love the Manneken Pis? As if the statue wasn’t adorable enough, the little boy appears to have an extensive wardrobe, ranging from military uniforms to sportswear and holiday-themed apparel. I think this great statue reflects the fun, quirky sense of humour that Belgians have and it is this aspect of their society that makes Brussels such a welcoming place to visit.
Tip: Did you know that Manneken Pis has a sister, Janneken Pis? Head to the end of the Impasse de la Fidélité and see for yourself.
More Brussels Tips
We’ve plenty more tips for things to do in Brussels.