About 4 hours driving from Paris, Brussels is the political capital of Europe with many places of interest to visit, especially if you’re into politics. I was only there for an afternoon, and here’s how I filled up that time slot:
1. The Grand Place
Probably the most touristy place in Brussels. It is a square with 2 most prominent buildings – the City Hall and the King’s house. On a rainy spring afternoon, walking around this area with your umbrella and then sitting down at a coffee shop gives you such relaxation and peace.
2. The Manneken Pis
Of course this unofficial symbol of Belgium is next on the list. Located conveniently a 3-minute walk from the Grand Place, this bronze statue is tiny, standing at the corner of 2 streets. I already read online before my trip that this little boy is in fact very little, so I wasn’t disappointed, and I had prepared that there would always be a lot of tourists jostling around this statue but the result is still very much disappointing.
I have like 20 second cousins, aged from 1 to 15, all worship chocolate. So a must when I was in Belgium was to buy a container of chocolate to bring back home. There is a chocolate shop right next to the Manneken Pis, which was crowded like the NYSE when I was there. Of course, they gave free samples and large discounts.
4. Belgian waffle with strawberry and whipped cream
This dessert has a special meaning to me. My one friend used to make it for me all the time and ever since I had developed an obsession with Belgian waffle. I risked missing my bus for one of these in Brussels, and to be honest, no waffles can beat the ones my friends made, but it still made me happy, feeling like I had accomplished another life goal.
5. Taking photos of the streets
You don’t usually see these lovely streets everywhere in the world, so why not ?
6. The Atomium
A structure built for the Brussels 1958 World’s Fair, it exemplifies a unit cell of iron crystal with 9 spheres. The top sphere offers a panoramic view of the city. I wouldn’t pay to go up there, but if you have time and money to spend, it sure would be worth it.