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 and feel as though I’ve collated some comprehensive detail to create a travel guide for each one, beginning with Brussels!
Starting the Interail trip with Brussels fell into place, as using the Eurostar would count as a travel day on our pass, however I’ll admit that before planning the trip, visiting the Belgium capital wasn’t something I had considered. We stayed fairly close to the train station in Hotel Galia, which was quite a luxury start to interailing with a buffet breakfast included with the room price. It was a short walk into the centre of the city, meaning it was easy to explore Brussels on foot.
After we arrived, the first thing on our minds was food! Brussels is full of fries shops so we thought we had to sample the cuisine really and ended up having a ‘mitraillette’, from Fritland, which was huge baguette overflowing with chips so a good dinner for 5 euros! The centre of Brussels is fairly compact, which meant we were able to explore until the sun set.
One of my highlights from visiting the city has to be architecture. Brussels seems to have nailed it, 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.
It is worth mentioning that Brussels does have quite a few hidden gems, as on our first walk into 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.
During our trip, we did take the time to visit the EU Parliament and the Parliamentarian visitors centre that they have there. The centre is fairly touristy but we found it was an interesting place to visit as it showcases a lot of information about the history and formation of the EU. I think we probably spent about two hours here and it was free, suiting our interail budget pretty well!
As Brussels is pretty famous for its chocolates, we also decided to visit the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate to see what it was all about. The museum has a demonstration kitchen where the chocolatier showed how pralines are commonly made, before we were able to taste a few of the batches she had made! The museum is fairly close to the Grand Place, so a good one to pop into if you are exploring the area and there are plenty of chocolate shops to pop into afterwards!
During our visit, we found quite a few bars that had really cheap beer (again bonus for the interail budget!) but the best place we found was called Delirium Village as they have hundreds of beers to pick from and tasting glasses if you want to sample quite a few! We stayed to watch the Belgium v Brazil World Cup game as the atmosphere was really good here, although I can’t comment on the atmosphere when there isn’t Belgium World Cup game on!
Overall, Brussels is definitely a city worth a visit, I think it is a good one to start with if you are planning an interail trip across Europe as it is easy to see a lot in a short space of time.