Welcome to the de facto capital of the European Union. A beautiful city showcasing an alluring balance of historical and modern architecture. Moreover, the diversity also extends to the culture of this vibrant metropolis. Belgium was originally Dutch speaking but has shifted to French as the main language since the 19th century. Although Brussels itself is bilingual and you will quickly notice that all the street signs are posted in both languages. So what can you do if you have one day to spend in Brussels?
It only fits that you start the day off in Brussels with waffles. You think it’s a cliché? On the contrary, I believe that it’ll be a sin against mere nostalgia not to have waffles in Belgium. The Waffle Factory and the Maison Dandoy are to reputable choices. But any street side cafe serving waffles will do just fine.
The Grand Place is where most of the Brussels crowd congregates before going to other attractions. It’s a magnificent town square surrounded by picturesque facades. The buildings represent a blend of Gothic, Baroque and Postmodern architecture. The Town Hall stands out among the structures and is easily spotted. A symbol of the city, The Manneken Pis, a fountain with a sculpture of a urinating youth in the middle, is a landmark at the center of the city. Incidentally, different versions in different sizes of this sculpture can be found scattered across various locations within Brussels. Meanwhile, you are also in the vicinity of where two significant historical figures once lived. The German revolutionary socialist and economist Karl Marx and the author of the highly regarded French Novel Les Misérables, Victor Hugo.
While you are marveling at the sights in Grand Pace, you’ll be treated to the seducing aroma of chocolate. Another confection that Belgium is known for, you should certainly buy some chocolate during your trip.
While at Grand Palace you can organize the rest of your day. There are a variety of activities to choose from. If you are like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, you no doubt will spend the rest of the afternoon at Train world. This is a railway museum situated at the oldest surviving train station slightly north of city center.
There are half day city tours you can take as well. These tours cover portions of the familiar landmarks within the city and are comparable to other city tours. Notre Dame du Sablon is a breathtaking old church that you should visit if you can fit it in your agenda. There are many other museums, architectural buildings, and landmarks to view. Mont des Arts, Basilica of the Sacred Heart are some suggestions.
You can’t visit Brussels without tasting the beer. And if you are a beer enthusiast, Delirium is the holy grail. It is located at the end of a narrow winding street in the middle of the city. This brewery boasts a collection of over 2000 beers. The staff knows everything there is to know about beer and attentively assist you with choosing several types to taste. If you aren’t careful, you might get lost in the array of taps and bottles and the booze. It will be a good time to snack on some of the world famous Belgian Pommes Frites (French fries), while you find yourself back to your point of departure.