Things to Do in Brussels (when you only have one day)

So it’s all been a bit hectic here over the  few weeks. I wrote my second post for Go, See, Write about one of my favourite ever mornings on my travels. A beautiful, yet ordinary sunrise I experienced in Tanzania. Here’s a tiny excerpt:

“I stood for a moment, engrossed. Unaware of their audience, the fishermen continued with their daily routine. It’s funny how ordinary and everyday moments to one are memories for another.

There is something special about a sunrise, even more so than a sunset. Perhaps it’s the promise of a new day. New hope. New adventures. This was our time. Mine and the morning.”

The rest you can read over on Go, See, Write. 🙂

So back to my recent adventures. In the past three weeks I’ve been to London, Brussels, back to London, Newcastle, London again, Berlin, London, Sunningdale a (pretty village in Berkshire, just outside of London) and yep, you guessed it, London again. I’m pretty exhausted to be honest but it’s been good. It’s been a mix of day job travel and travel blog travel, so I’ve literally and mentally been all over the place.

I’m a slow traveller, preferring to take my time to explore and absorb. However, if the opportunity for travel and adventure presents itself, even for for a short trip,  I jump on it and I think I’m pretty good at finding some cool places!

So the week before last, I found myself in Brussels for a business trip with the day job! I had just over 48 hours in the city and most of those would be spent a) at a conference and b) sleeping so any sight seeing would need to be quick! This tends to happen a lot on these types of trips!

It was my first time visiting Brussels so I was determined to see some of the tourist attractions. I would have loved to have stayed on longer but I was due back in the UK at the weekend to attend Traverse, another travel blogging conference in Newcastle.

Eurostar to Brussels

It was early on a cold, sunny morning in February when I boarded the Eurostar at St Pancras station and set off for Belgium. The train was super quick, taking only a couple of hours. Less time than it took for me to get to London from my home in the North West of England. From Brussels Midi, I grabbed a taxi to my hotel (12 €) the Floris Arlequin (which was less than two minutes walk from the Grand Place), dropped off my bags and headed straight back out again with my iPhone in hand,ready to explore some of the city!

I had one day in Brussels (actually more like 10 hours) and I wanted to make the most of it.

Belgian Street Scene

So here are my recommendations for things to do in Brussels (when you only have one day)!

1. The Grand Place

First stop was just around the corner from my hotel. The Grand Place is a square containing the Town Hall and Guild Halls (plus numerous restaurants, pubs and chocolate shops) and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Brussels Town Hall by Day Bruxelles Grand Place

Brussels Town Hall by Night

By day or by night, the buildings are absolutely beautiful and you can see why tourists flock to explore and take pictures.

Grand Place by Night

Top Tip: As if it couldn’t get any prettier, every two years, in August, they lay down a carpet of colourful flowers and from what I’ve seen, it looks AMAZING. Definitely worth timing your trip accordingly to see it!

2. Frites and Waffles

Wandering around Brussels, it’s impossible to avoid the lure of carbs and your willpower is tested at every turn.

I’d not been well before I headed to Belgium and had barely eaten for two days (this is VERY out of character – I can eat – a lot). However the sickly sweet smell of frites and waffles began to draw me in and my appetite started to return.

Frites

There were plenty of places selling frites, but strolling back towards the Grand Place, I spotted people queueing for some food. Now I have a rule of thumb when I’m in a place I know little about. If there’s a queue of locals waiting for food, then that’s where I’m going. The place was Fritland.

I ordered plain frites with ketchup and mayonaise on the side. I’d tried to order my frites in a cone, but ended up with a tray thanks to my embarrasing attempt at French.

It’s a long-standing argument between the French and the Belgians over who invented ‘French Fries’ or chips as we call them in the UK. They tasted good and that’s all I care about!

Belgian Waffle

I also grabbed myself a waffle with rich chocolate sauce and fluffy cream. Yum!

Top Tip: Warning! Do not attempt Brussels whilst on a diet. It ain’t happening folks! And if you like spice, I hear the Fritland spicy sauce is pretty special, I think I missed out!

3. Tin Tin

Remember the cartoon The Adventures of Tin Tin? Well, Tin Tin is from Belgium and you can learn all about the young comic book reporter, at the Musée Hergé!

Tin Tin Bookstore

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to go, but I saw tons of Tin Tin street art all around the city for free, so keep your eyes peeled!

Tin Tin Street Art Brussels

Top Tip: Belgium is a hot bed for comic strip artists. In fact it has more artists per square kilometre than any country in the world. So if you have time, you could also take a trip to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre!

4. Beer

After lining my stomach, I was now ready for a nice cool beverage. I’m not a massive beer drinker to be honest, but “When in Rome…” (or Brussels), it would be rude not to. The Belgians make GREAT beer!

Stella Artois Brussels Belgium

Sticking around the Grand Place, I headed for Le Roy d’Espagne (The King of Spain), that I had been told was quite nice, if a little touristy – but hey, I was a tourist! I ordered a small glass of Stella which came with a side of peanuts (my, what a healthy diet I was eating today) and watched the world go by.

Leffe Belgian Beer Brussels

Top Tip: Later that evening I also tried Leffe Blonde, which is less well known in the UK, but I preffered it! As beers go, they’re both pretty tasty!

5. Galeries Royales St Hubert

It was time for a walk now, so I headed across the Grand Place and down one of the little side streets, towards the Galeries Royales St Hubert. A gorgeous shopping arcade in the middle of Brussels, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back in time.

Galeries Royales St Hubert Exterior

Galeries Royales St Hubert Interior

You can pretend to be grand as you take a turn about the arcade, browsing the little boutiques and cafes that line the indoor space. With the glass, roof, it’s also a great place for sipping a Belgian hot chocolate or beer if you want an outdoor feel inside.

Pretty Shop Brussels

Outside the arcade, is this sculpture called ‘The Cycliste’… apparently it cost the city 100,000 Euros. I would have done it for 50k. You know where I am Brussels!

La Cycliste

6. Chocolate Shops

You cannot come to Belgium without trying the chocolate. Belgian chocolate shops, like frites and waffle houses are everywhere. I came across this little beauty around the Grand Place.

Chocolate Shop

However, for all its prettiness, I never actually went inside, choosing to spend my money in the shop next door, Leonidas – which had been recommended by a friend.

Leonides Brussels Belgium

I bought a bag of, I suppose, pick n’ mix chocolate. There were so many to choose from, so after picking a few that stood out, I asked the kind lady behind the counter for her recommendations. I was pleasantly surprised when I asked the price of my bag and she said 3 Euros or so and I promptly began selecting a few more.

Leonidas Chocolate

The chocolates were due to be a present for my husband, however, later that night, returning to my room, peckish after a few beers, I did a Forrest Gump. I ate some. Then a few more. They were soooo good. Melt in your mouth loveliness. All different flavours… white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, raspberry, lemon, hazelnut… see what I mean about the diet?

Was it the best chocolate in Belgium? I didn’t try enough to say. But my friend seemed to think so, and to be honest, I can’t imagine them getting much better than that…

Helen in Leonidas

I did take some home to the Mr, but the bag was around a quarter full from where it started. Oops. Oh well.

Top Tip: The white chocolate strawberry chocolates were my favourite! I didn’t manage to go, but I was also recommended by friends to try Godiva on the Grand Place. Apparently the hot chocolate is the best around, but it’s quite pricey! Next time…

Addition: I have also been recommended Laurent Gerbaud and Pierre Marcolini by Yummy Planet (see  in the comments below)! The shops are a little bit further away from the Grand Place, but by the sounds of it, the trip will be worth it!

7. Manneken Pis (and Jeanneke Pis)

“Is that it?”

A phrase I heard numerous people say whilst stood beneath the Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a small boy, who has been a peeing fountain since the early 17th century. All over Brussels, shops sell replicas in the form of statues, chocolates, fridge magnets… you name it, they have it.

There are lots of legends behind the Mannekin Pis, but the original was created in 1619, but having been stolen many times, the latest version only dates back to 1965.

Mannequin Pis Brussels

Possibly the strangest anti-climax of a tourist attraction I’ve ever seen, but kind of funny none the same.

Top Tip: The statue is often dressed up in costume. He’s been known to dress up as Elvis, Dracula, Santa Claus, to name but a few. His costume schedule is up on the railings in front of the fountain, but if like me, you only have one day, then it will be a surprise! I was treated to his birthday suit.

My friend Alyssa of Alyssa Writes has just told me about the Jeanneke Pis – the girl version. I’ve not been, she is squatting, actually squatting. Way funnier than the boy version. Find her at Impasse de la Fidélité 10-12.

And as I write Kasha of Lines of Escape has just tweeted me about the Zinneke Pis – a peeing dog fountain. I’ve learned so much today! Find this one at the corner of rue des Chartreux and rue du Vieux-Marché.

8. Everard ‘t Serclaes Monument

Heading towards the Manneken Pis from the Grand Place, you will pass the Everard ‘t Serclaes monument. Everard was a Brussels hero, who saved Brussels in 1356, but was later murdered by the Lord of Gaasbeek.

Everard 't Serclaes

Top Tip: Give the statue a rub on the arm and make a wish. Apparently it will bring you luck and make your dreams come true. And we can all do with some of that!

9. Dinner at Chez Leon

For dinner, I met some friends from home who now live just outside of the city. Earlier that day when I’d Instagrammed the picture of myself en route to Brussels, one of my Instagram friends had asked if I wanted any tips as he’d lived there previously. With food always on my mind (have I mentioned food much?) I asked where I should go for dinner. He recommended Chez Leon on the rue de Bouchers.

rue de Bouchers

As my friends and I wandered along the cosy, atmospheric back streets behind the Grand Place, touts called to “Come in, nice menu here, good food” but we continued on to Chez Leon.

When we arrived, the place was packed. Always a good sign.

Chez Leon Brussels

“Table for 5 please!” We were told to wait a moment whilst the maître d checked. Then a party turned up behind us. Of 50 people. Yes 5-0! On a Wednesday night. And they’d already booked.

As all 50 people filed past us, the likelihood of us getting in to the already packed and lively restaurant seemed slim. Where were they going to fit? But, to my surprise, they kept on going, and disappeared off through an archway and into another room.

Unbelievably, they managed to seat us in less than 10 minutes. Turns out, the restaurant is huge, but due to there being lots of different rooms on different levels, it still gives the impression of cosy restaurant. Perfect!

They serve a huge menu of largely Belgian food. My friends ordered Moules Frites (mussels and fries). Mussels in Brussels – not to be confused with the Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme – ha ha – oh God, did I just laugh at my own joke?

Moules Frites

I don’t like mussels, so I ordered lasagne. Judge me all you want, I don’t care – it was actually a really good lasagne.

Top tip: Always ask a local where to eat! Or, follow the queues. It’s usually worth the wait!

10. Drinks at Bonnefooi

After dinner, it would have been rude not to check out a little of the Brussels nightlife. We headed to a bar called Bonnefooi, just a few minutes walk away from the Grand Place.

Bonnefooi Brussels

The bar was buzzing and the music was ecclectic and just loud enough to create an atmosphere, but quiet enough so that you could hear your friends speak! People danced near the door and friends sat around tables chatting. After ordering a big glass of Leffe, we found a table upstairs on the balcony with a great view of the street and the dancers below. The place was edgy, but with no pretention. The dress code was relaxed and there wasn’t a hint of the attitude of similar bars in England. My kind of place.

Top Tip: It’s a train or taxi ride away from the Grand Place, but I have it on good authority from a local friend, that the place to go on a Thursday night is Place du Luxembourg (known locally as Plux). Every Thursday, the square is packed with after work drinkers who like to party!

Cute Bar in Brussels

Fed, watered and exhausted I headed back to my hotel for a good sleep before the conference the next day.

So there you have it! What to do with only a day in Brussels! Enjoy the food, beer and laid back atmosphere. I really enjoyed my short time in Brussels and I hope you will too!

All the pics above are on my Instagram, so if you like what you see, have a look at my gallery! I’m always busy snapping away at pretty things and love to chat over there!

Have you been to Brussels? Any tips you’d add to the list?


Want to come to Africa with me?

I’m running a tour this September! The ‘This is Kenya’ Tour will be a laid back, fun and action packed backpacking adventure, that is like an independent trip but with a group of friends built in. I want to show you the ‘real’ Kenya and you will spend 2 weeks exploring this amazing country, using local transport, eating some of the best food around, meeting local people and immersing yourself in Kenyan culture. As for activities, on this trip you will go on a safari with a difference in the Masai Mara, explore the bustling city of Nairobi, relax on the stunning Swahili Coast and everything in between!

Read more about the ‘This is Kenya’ Tour

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82 Comments

  • Reply
    rebecca
    March 17, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I would have to say, whilst thats all well and good the best thing I did in Brussels was buying a 50 euro cent map of all the comic murals and follow it. Its a great way to see the city, murals and back streets. (oh… and beer!)
    rebecca recently posted…Chapter 81: The final leg of the journeyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

      That sounds like a great idea! I came across a lot as I wandered but having a map would have been handy to explain the significance of any of the murals! 🙂 Walking tours are always great I think!

      • Reply
        kelisha
        February 7, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        Awesome write up! How close is all the things your have mentioned to the airport in. i have 9 hours to explore on my way to Italy.

        • Reply
          Helen
          February 8, 2015 at 11:35 am

          Hi Kelisha,

          The Grand Place is about 20 – 25 minutes from the airport, so with 9 hours ou should be able to do quite a lot!

          Thanks,

          Helen

    • Reply
      Daniel @ Path Finder City
      November 16, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      I love this idea too! Luckily I found this blog… (and actually read the comments). Thanks Rebecca for the idea and also Helen for writing this post (albeit is almost 1 year ago since published… but still relevant today!)

      PS. first time reader and commenter here

      Regards,
      Daniel

      • Reply
        Helen
        November 16, 2015 at 11:27 pm

        Hey Daniel, yeah the Tin Tin map is a great idea! It’s been ages since I wrote that post but people seem to like it! Nice to have you here! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashwin
    March 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

    That’s a really useful post.
    It is handy for my upcoming trip to Brussels 🙂 Glad that you could cover quite a few places in a short time!

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Glad you found it useful! I just stuck around the Grand Place mostly, but managed to see a little bit more on my way to and from the conference!

      Have a great time in Brussels!

  • Reply
    Jo
    March 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

    How have I never been to Brussels? It’s definitely on my “must visit” list, so I’ll be making a bookmark of this post 🙂
    Jo recently posted…Living the Vida Local: Taking a Vacation Apartment in BerlinMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Jo!

      I know, I was wondering how I’d never been. Especially when it’s only a train ride away. I love the Eurostar! 🙂

      It’s a great place to spend a day or two, next time I think a trip to Bruges is in order too! x

  • Reply
    Ayla Warner
    March 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I’m heading to Brussels for the first time next month so these tips are perfect, thanks! I’m especialy looking forward to the food!
    Ayla Warner recently posted…Nothing less than paradise at Marari VillasMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Glad to be of service Ayla! 🙂 The food is lovely! Especially if you have a thing for waffles, frites, crepes and mussels! 🙂 Mmm, I could just eat a waffle…

  • Reply
    Irene @ Freelancers on the Road
    March 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Wow, Brussels looks amazing – and I am with you guys: how come I have never made it there? Also, I could totally go for these fries right now 🙂
    Irene @ Freelancers on the Road recently posted…How to Fall in Love with Playa del Carmen, MexicoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      It was really pretty in some places, much more so than I expected!

      I could sooo go for the fries right now too. I would make a trip there especially for the food! 🙂

  • Reply
    Fred Yummy
    March 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Waw I’m impressed by all you did in a single day!

    But I’m sorry there is something I have to tell you: Leonidas is not the best Belgian chocolate by far (even if I have to admit the chocolate covered strawberries are kind of nice)! So next time you visit Brussel, please take a look at this list I made: http://yummy-planet.com/en/top-10-places-buy-belgian-chocolate-brussels. 😀 Chocolate can be better than you imagine, I swear. So please come back and taste it! 😉

    And Godiva’s hot chocolate not that nice either so you’ve not missed anything. You’ll find a far better one at Laurent Gerbaud’s or Marcolini’s shop.

    I’ve never tried Fritland but I might. Thanks for the tip! I work in Brussels so I’ll have the opportunity to test it. 🙂
    Fred Yummy recently posted…Brussels Science Apero : quand le chocolat dévoile ses mystèresMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      It was a busy, active day! Which was good because I needed to burn off some calories!

      Wish I’d seen your list before I went! 🙂 Will definitely try out some of these places when I go again. And I will blame you when I put on 20 pounds!

      Fritland was great. I’ve heard the best place is Frit Flagey in place Eugène Flagey! But it was a bit too far for me to travel, but it’s on my list for next time! But if you go, I’d love to hear what you think, compared to other places around Brussels!

  • Reply
    Lisa - Wee Wanders
    March 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve only been to Brussels once which was also for business…unfortunately I only got to see the inside of the European Parliament building for the majority of the trip!

    I’d love to go back and visit some of the sites you list above! i did manage to stop off at some chocolate shops, of course 🙂
    Lisa – Wee Wanders recently posted…Hungry Wanders: Jimena de la Frontera, Luis and his MamaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      I know the feeling. Most of the trip was inside a conference centre! But yes, definitely try and see some of the other stuff next time. I had fun pottering about by myself! Probably could have seen more if I hadn’t stopped to eat so much!

      At least you got chocolate – priorities straight!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Farsickness
    March 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I’m planning a one day (10 hour) trip to Brussels from London in the summer when my friends from the US come to visit. This is perfect!
    Amanda @ Farsickness recently posted…When Your Heart is Halfway Around the WorldMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Oh, this works out just fine then!! 🙂 Some of things other people have suggested would be ok to fit in too!!! Hope you have a great time with your friends! If I lived in London I’d be on the Eurostar all the time!

  • Reply
    Tara
    March 20, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I didn’t know there is so much to see on a day tour in Brussels. I only transited through the city. Thank you for sharing.
    Tara recently posted…Comment on City sightseeing in Singapore by Rosella, BrusselsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

      No worries! Glad you found it useful! 🙂

  • Reply
    Morgan Siegel
    March 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Helen, I’ve been living in Brussels for almost 2 months now and wanted to say that you managed to see one heck of a lot of stuff in one day! That’s remarkable! If you ever stop by the city again, let me know 🙂 I’d be happy to meet up for a coffee!

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Ha ha, I am a sight-seeing machine! Plus, as I was on my own most of the day, no-one to wait for and I didn’t dawdle!

      I will let you know for sure! 🙂 Nice blog btw!

  • Reply
    Chanel @ La Viajera Morena
    April 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    This list was EXTREMELY helpful for my summer trip. I also only have one day so I plan to visit some of the aforementioned destinations. Thanks so much for sharing 😀

    • Reply
      Helen
      April 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Chanel! Glad to be of service!! 🙂 Hope you have an amazing time!!!!

  • Reply
    ken
    June 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks for a very helpful article. We are going to Brussels in Sept. Best frites I ever had, can’t wait to try them again and your other suggestions

    • Reply
      Helen
      June 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      You’re welcome Ken! Hope you have a great time! 🙂

  • Reply
    Indira
    July 22, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Great post! Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Helen
      July 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks so much Indira!

  • Reply
    sarah
    September 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Hi! I’d love to connect with you! i’m actually going to London next week to visit my best friend for 10 days. I want to do everything in London. Also, I want to go to paris and Brussels. What would be the best way to get to either place. I have 4 days to spare. Should I just do the 4 days in Paris? Also, in February I’m going to Africa. Id love to hear your experiences and places to go while there. you can email me at sarahjean.fern@gmail.com.

    • Reply
      Helen
      September 23, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Sarah, nice to connect with you! London is a great! You’ll have an amazing time! Lots of fun stuff to do.

      To get to Paris or Brussels from London, Eurostar is my favourite option, only takes a couple of hours and is reasonable! Four days in Paris would be great, or you could maybe do Brussels and Bruges together.

      Wonderful that you are going to Africa! Which country (countries) are you going to? Have a look through my posts, many of my experiences are detailed on here. Although there’s a lot I haven’t written also. If you have any questions that I haven’t answered, or about any places you can’t see on here, please feel free to email me your questions!

      Helen x

  • Reply
    Christina
    January 1, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Happy new year great post
    Im planning to do a day trip to belgium i was wondering how do you get from the train station to the grand place and the place with the flowers

    • Reply
      Helen
      January 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Hi Christina,

      It’s around 12 Euros from the train station to the Grand Place in a taxi. You can also get the Metro. It’s pretty easy to get around! The flower carpet is only there for a few days in August I think, so I didn’t see it whilst I was there.

      Have a great time!

  • Reply
    Shareen
    January 3, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I will be visiting Paris & Amsterdam in April and want to include either London or Brussels in that trip — what do you think is the better option in your opinion? I have been to neither place but am having a hard time deciding between them.
    Shareen recently posted…01.01.15My Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      January 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Shareen,

      Both London and Brussels are great, but they are really different! I’d maybe say Brussels, as it’s closer. But London has so much to do! Really tough one as they are both amazing cities.

      I’d say that there is more to do in London, but that’s only because I know London more than Brussels. But I really enjoyed Brussels. One or two days would have been enough for me in Brussels, but I could spend longer in London.

      How much time do you have to spend there? That may be the deciding factor.

  • Reply
    Joanne
    January 4, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Hey Helen I enjoyed reading your post on what to do in Brussels for one day. I will be travelling to London in March and planning a day trip to Brussels (less than 9 hours i think) will definitely try to visit those places you have recommended, esp the food :p
    I am also thinking of a day trip to Paris (less than 10 hours there) will I have enough time to visit places like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame etc? Any good recommendations for a day in Paris?

    • Reply
      Helen
      January 4, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Joanne,

      Exciting travel plans! 🙂

      I’ve been to Paris a couple of times and once just went for the day (whilst I was at Disneyland)! We definitely got to see lots of things, not everything but many of the sights! We did a lot of walking and used the Metro to get around. When are you going?

      Helen

      • Reply
        Joanne
        January 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm

        Hi Helen, thank you for your reply

        • Reply
          Joanne
          January 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

          I plan to visit Paris on 17th March.

          • Helen
            January 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

            Ok cool! That gives me time to write a post for you! 🙂

            Post for you coming up in the next week or so! Hopefully it will be helpful! We saw a lot in the 12 hours we were there! Plus I know a very cool place for dinner near the Eiffel Tower, but really cheap. Not a combo you get often!

        • Reply
          Helen
          January 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm

          No worries!

          • Joanne
            January 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

            Wow Helen you are awesome to the max! Looking forward to your post and yes I will definitely go try that place near Eiffel Tower for dinner. Muacks and thank you so much in advance!

  • Reply
    Korinah
    January 14, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    This was a very lovely post! Even found myself giggling a bit at some of your jokes! I booked a spontaneous solo day trip to brussels from Paris for tomorrow! Really looking forward to it! Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Helen
      January 14, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Ha ha, even I don’t find my jokes funny! 🙂 Thanks for reading Korinah! Hope you have a wonderful time! Let me know how you got on! 🙂

  • Reply
    Joanna
    January 31, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Hey, thanks for the tips. I’ll be going to Brussels in february for a day (actually I’m going to Antwerp but because I land in Brussels I’m gonna squizz in a few hours in the capital too. I’m so looking forward for the chocolate. 🙂

    • Reply
      Helen
      January 31, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Fab! All I had was a few hours really but it’s easy to get about! And plenty of time for waffles, frites and chocolate! 🙂 Have a great time Joanna!

      • Reply
        Joanna
        February 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        I am looking forward to the waffles and chocolate, even if I have just started my diet, haha.
        Joanna recently posted…Children of DelhiMy Profile

        • Reply
          Helen
          February 8, 2015 at 11:38 am

          Diet Schmiet! The calories in frites and waffles don’t count in Belgium!

  • Reply
    Alison E. Lee
    February 15, 2015 at 10:15 am

    This is perfect! Thanks for sharing. I’m traveling to Brussels next weekend and couldn’t be more excited. Also very much appreciated your muscles from brussels joke, do not worry.

    • Reply
      Helen
      February 15, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Have a great time Alison!

      And thanks for liking my joke!

  • Reply
    Indira
    February 20, 2015 at 3:08 am

    What a great post! Thank you… I’m planning a Europe trip and wasn’t sure whether I could do Brussels. I completely forgot about the waffles (my mind was on the beer and chocolate lol)…so consider me totally sold!
    Indira recently posted…Pesto, Doctors & HydraMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      February 22, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Great stuff! Have a lovely time and eat lots of frites, waffles, chocolate and drink good beer! 🙂

  • Reply
    eleanor
    February 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    hi helen
    love your article.
    november this year i will be travelling from australia to london for 2 days then taking train to brussels and spending one day there.
    should i stay in the heart of the city or near the train station to get the train to paris the next morning.
    my first european holiday.

    • Reply
      Helen
      February 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks so much Eleanor! I would say stay near the Grand Place. Perfect location. I went for dinner at Chez Leon which was right in all the alleys behind the Grand Place and it was just a short stroll back to hotel. That way my hotel can just call me a cab in the morn. Either way, it in’t far! The train station isn’t that far though, so either is fine!

      Have an amazing time on your first Euro trip!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nancy
    March 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Hey Helen, just stumbled upon your blog today and it’s kept me entertained all afternoon (in the office!) Loved Brussels when I visited couple of years ago. Good food especially. We went to a Greek restaurant by Grand Place and the server was a magician and provided entertainment throughout. Fun times! 🙂

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Aw, thanks! Glad you enjoyed the blog! 🙂 Thanks for commenting too!

      That Greek restaurant sounds fun! Can you remember the name? 🙂

  • Reply
    Sam
    March 15, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Very helpful and interesting piece. I am using this as my guideline for my one day trip to Belgium. My wife and I will be spending most of our time in Paris.

    I intend to arrive in the morning and depart late in the evening. What time would you recommend we arrive and depart?

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 15, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Hi Sam,

      Glad it’s helpful!

      I’d say arrive for around 10am, and then maybe have an early dinner and leave around 8? I think there’s a train around 20.30. That way you can get an early dinner. I loved Chez Leon!

      Or you could go earlier and have a big lunch there, or elsewhere. Then maybe grab some frites and waffles for the train home! 🙂

  • Reply
    Flor
    June 2, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Helen! Such a wonderful post! It comes very handy now that I am trying to convince my husband to head to Brussels next weekend. We have “Feierwochenende”(long weekend) here in Duetschland and visiting the Belgian capital sounds like a good plan.

    Keep the good posts coming!
    Your new follower,
    Flor

    • Reply
      Helen
      June 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Flor! 🙂 That’s very lovely of you!

      Hope you can convince your hubby to go!Have a wonderful time!

      I’m visiting Germany for the 2nd time in a couple of weeks (Frankfurt) looking forward to it!!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    June 19, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for all the great tips. A group of us were in Brussels last weekend – primarily for our teenage daughters to see One Direction on Saturday night(!) but on Sunday we managed to do almost everything on your list which was fantastic! Train journey from London is only 2hr 10 min and we stayed at the Radisson Park Inn which was a brilliant location, right next to Gare de Midi station and the metro. we loved Brussels and are now planning our next trip!

    • Reply
      Helen
      June 21, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Hey Michelle, That sounds like a fun trip. Love a bit of One Direction, I probably shouldn’t admit that, but I do! Ha ha!

      Glad you had a great time!! 🙂 Will you be going back to Brussels, or somewhere else? I never really think of going to see gigs abroad, but what a good idea. So close to UK and easy to get to.

  • Reply
    Pamela
    July 23, 2015 at 5:13 am

    I’m on a bus in Paris at the moment. I’ll be in Brussels in 4 hours and I’m staying there for a day, so thanks for the article, very helpful!!

    • Reply
      Helen
      July 23, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      No worries, glad you found it useful! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mitali
    July 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Hello…Thanks for the Great post.It will really come handy as we are planning for a trip to Brussels for a day.Great recommendations Really liked it.

    • Reply
      Helen
      August 1, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks Mitali! 🙂 Have a wonderful time when you go!

    • Reply
      Helen
      August 1, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks Mitali! 🙂 Have a wonderful time when you go!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    July 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Have a one day stop there next month and I will surely venture to these spots!

    • Reply
      Helen
      August 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      No worries! Enjoy your trip!

  • Reply
    MAZLIN
    October 4, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Helen,

    I googled Brussels in one day & got connected to your blog. Read and love every single detail. I’ve promptly bought a bus ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels and looking forward to see it! Yippee!

    Thank you and looking forward to read your other travels 🙂

    • Reply
      Helen
      October 4, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Mazlin,

      Aw, thanks glad you enjoyed the post and great that you bought the ticket! 🙂

      Have a wonderful day in Brussels!

      xx

    • Reply
      Helen
      October 4, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Mazlin,

      Aw, thanks glad you enjoyed the post and great that you bought the ticket! 🙂

      Have a wonderful day in Brussels!

      xx

  • Reply
    paulbroad
    November 27, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I enjoyed reading your blog. Brussels is one of my favourite places. Thank you sharing this.
    P.S. epic photography

    • Reply
      Helen
      November 28, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Paul, I really enjoyed Brussels. Hopefully things will calm down there soon!

  • Reply
    Renata
    December 1, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Wow:) I thought i am fast with visiting but when looking at your plan I am impressed:)

  • Reply
    William Crilly
    January 12, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Great write up! I myself love Chez Leon and am travelling to Brussels on this Sat. For 4 days staying in same Hotel as you. Was Hotel ok? Again many thanks for your short stay appraisal. Bill.

    • Reply
      Helen
      January 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks William! Chez Leon was fab, I loved it too! Hotel was fine! Nothing special, but it was ok, and in the best location!! Have a great time!

  • Reply
    Ify
    February 23, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Helen, I have about 7-8 days total. I’d like to maybe fly into Paris spend 2 days, then take the train to Brussels to checkout some of your recommendations in one day. Board the train the next day to Paris for another 2 days, then head to London for 2 days, then board my flight back to U.S. What are some must see places for London and Paris please?

    • Reply
      Helen
      February 23, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Ify,

      In London I’d say good places to visit are Covent Garden, Brick Lane Market, Columbia Road Flower Market, walk along the Thames (you’ll see a lot doing that), Borough Market, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Kensingston Palace, Shoreditch and Hoxton area for cool cafes/night out/street art.

      In Paris I did the following, picnic by Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, drink wine in a street side cafe, Louvre, see the Mona Lisa, boat trip down the Seine, see Eiffel Tower light show, Champs Elysees.

      Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Vidisha Bhate
    April 16, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Just out of curiosity, what is your day job? I ask because it sounds really fun.

    • Reply
      Helen
      April 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      I now work in event management, but when I wrote this I was working for a charity which supports social entrepreneurs. Ised to find them mentors and I was in Brussels as part of the Erasmus programme.

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