7 Things you NEED to do in Brussels

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Jesse Jia
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7. Take a stroll down Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

les galeries royales saint hubert

When we first arrived in Brussels, we really didn’t know what to do. After strolling around for a little bit, we entered a tunnel like building and was just mesmerized by the beauty above us. Our encounter with Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert was accidental, but it remained one of the most memorable and beautiful spots in Brussels. Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is somewhat like a short shopping street. This street isn’t too long, about 100m for each section, but you’ll definitely take your time strolling through. When you first enter, you’ll be hypnotized by the beautiful glass roof that provides bright lighting throughout the passage. Next, you’ll notice the beautiful storefronts that create a historic yet clean type of feeling. As you walk through Les Galleries, eye-catching and mouth-watering chocolate boutiques can’t help but pull you in. Most, if not all of these stores are pretty high end. So don’t be surprised at some of the prices you’ll see; we were definitely surprised. We couldn’t help ourselves at one chocolatier and ordered a hot chocolate from one of the local chocolate boutiques. The hot chocolate was extremely rich; it tasted like pure melted chocolate, nothing like the watered down stuff from back home. Overall, taking a stroll down Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a must! After all, it isn’t far off from all the other attractions and will not take too long either.

6. Try some Belgian Beer

Belgium is home to some of the best beer in the world. That’s not an understatement. If you’re an avid beer enthusiast, then you probably already knew that. For those of you who aren’t, you NEED to try some Belgian beer when you’re in Brussels, or anywhere in Belgium in fact. There’s nothing like a freshly crafted beer straight from the local tap. Don’t miss out on this when you’re here!

5. Pay a visit to the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral

This was actually where we were headed before stumbling through Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral is another one of those ancient European masterpieces. Some of the sculptures inside were just unbelievable. One that really struck my eye was an amazing wooden pulpit carved by Hendrik Frans Verbrugghen. Definitely, a place you should stop by as it is close to the city and not too far off from everything else.

4. Indulge in Belgian Chocolate

Belgian Chocolate

Who else is more known for their chocolate than Belgium? Try some of the most premium chocolate you won’t find anywhere else. Might as well indulge when you’re here because you won’t find anything like this back home to satisfy your sweet tooth. You won’t have troubling find chocolate for all kinds of taste buds. Unfortunately, some of the chocolate in Belgium is extremely premium and the price will surely reflect that.

3. Look at a little boy pee (Mannekin Pis)

mannekin pis

This is a must do for anyone who comes to Brussels. I’m not going to lie to you, there isn’t anything spectacular about this little statue, but a visit to Brussels would not be complete without seeing the Mannekin Pis firsthand. On special days, you can see the little boy dressed up in certain costumes. You can see the schedule here. The Mannekin Pis usually draws a decently sized crowd throughout the day, so arrive in the early morning or late evening to avoid tour groups and large crowds. Come see for yourself and take a selfie with this little boy peeing!

Mannekin Pis Selfie
Mannekin Pis

2. Try some Belgian Waffles

belgian waffles

We actually happened to visit the Mannekin Pis many times, not because we wanted to see a little boy pee, but because there was a tasty waffle store right beside it! There’s just something about Belgian waffles that makes it unique from the waffles from North America. The batter they use feels more premium and more “doughy” in a sense. Nevertheless, the waffles taste amazing and we tried to indulge in as many waffles as we could find.

belgian waffles

One place we really enjoyed was a waffle store right next to the Mannekin Pis. Their waffles were always hot and fresh due to their constant customers. In addition, their powdered sugar coated waffles only cost 1 euro! We found that we liked the plain sugar powdered waffle the best without all the extra toppings, nice and simple, perfect to enjoy the waffle for what it is. We ended up coming back to this store many times.

Maison Dandoy Crispy Waffle

Maison Dandoy Crispy Waffle

Maison Dandoy Soft Waffle

Maison Dandoy Soft Waffle

After doing some research ourselves, we were told that the BEST waffles in Brussels were at a place called Maison Dandoy. Note: Maison Dandoy has a few stores around, but only sell their waffles at the Tea Room location (Rue Charles Buls 14, Brussels 1000). So we had to try it! They sell both a crunchy and soft variation of waffles. We found them great, but not much better than the 1 euro ones by the Mannekin Pis. Then again, we’re not much of a food critic either. At the end of the day, you have to try a Belgium Waffle when you’re in Brussels!

1. Embrace the Grand Place (both Day and Night)

Grand Place

The Grand Place is the main reason why most people visit Brussels. There’s nothing like standing in the center and just embracing your surroundings. This is the heart of Brussels and a location you cannot miss! At the end of the day, I didn’t even know what the surrounding buildings were for but was just speechless at the sight. The gothic architecture of these buildings were just incredible. Pictures are hard to put into perspective unless you can get a 360-degree panorama. Even then, there’s nothing like being at the Grand Place!

Grand Place
Grand Place
Grand Place
Grand Place

Most people will visit the Grand Place during the day and it’s surely a beautiful sight! On a bright day with blue skies, the buildings really start to show its true colors.

Grand Place Night

I highly recommend you to see the Grand Place both during the day and at night! At night, all the buildings come to life and shine in unison with one another. Surely a sight you do not what to miss!

Be sure to tackle any of these experiences when you’re in Brussels and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

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