Saturday Snapshots from Brussels, Belgium

City breaks are great, especially if you’re living in London. Cheap flights from any of the 4 major airports, or the Eurostar to places like Paris, or in this weeks Snapshot Saturday Brussels in Belgium.

My sister was turning 26 at the time, and wanted a mini break away, so picked Brussels, as at the time we travelled, Eurostar were having deals over the Winter period (we travelled January 2011). I travelled there with two of my sisters and a friend.

At the time, I was living in Lincolnshire, and we kicked off the trip by drinking in a bar around the corner from YHA St Pancras, then regretted that the next day, when we had to get up at 4.30am.

Did I ever mention, I am not really an super early morning person? Yet I continuously put myself through early wake ups for cheap flights, trains and buses.

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Somewhere around 5.30am, at St Pancras Station, waiting to board the Eurostar to Brussels (look at that face!)
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To make the most of our weekend, we caught one of the earliest trains from London to Brussels.

 

When we arrived into Brussels, we checked in at a local Ibis Hotel for the next few nights, and then set out to explore the city. Here are some snapshots.

 

Transportation

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Transport in the city is easy. Brussels is very walkable, and you can get a map from any info centre. The metro is reliable, and runs well into the night, Another option is to hire a bike. More and more cities these days have this option; it is a great way to see the city, and get exercise at the same time!

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Food and Drink

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A visit to Belgium cannot be complete without having a Belgian Waffle and a Beer, and if you are around for a little longer, head up to Bruges, the capital city of chocolate!

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Belgian Beer

 

Nightlife

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The Grand Place in Brussels, with the Town Hall featured here, is beautifully lit up at night, and is worth a wander around.
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Out for a few drinks with my sister, in a Belgian Brewery

 

On the whole, we found Brussels to be quite expensive to go out in, but we managed to find a brewery pub, just off Grand Place, which had cheep beer

Must see Local Sights

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The Atomium is one of Brussels most recognisable landmarks. You can climb up inside this, if you wish.

The Atomium is the image frequently used to advertise Brussels, and indeed Belgium. It was constructed back in 1958 for a World Fair, and has stuck around since. It is a little bit out of the city, but a metro will get you there fairly easily. There is a lovely park to walk around in the same area also.

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The Manneken Pis in Brussels. The famous pissing fountain!

The Manneken Pis, sometimes referred to as the pissing fountain (when translated it means little man pee) is a famous landmark in Brussels. There are a few legends behind this fountain.

1. A wealthy family were travelling in the city, when one of their small children went missing. A search party was formed, and they found the boy in this spot, having a wee.

2. A similar story to the above is a mother lost her child, when out shopping, and later found the boy having a wee in the corner of the street.

3. In 1142, the troops of a 2 year old Lord were battling, and so decided to put the Lord in a tree, in a basket were he urinated on the opposition, who went on to lose the battle.

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The Grand Place in Brussels by day

 

 

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The EU Parliament is situated in Brussels and worth a wander around. I loved seeing all the flags

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Flags outside the EU Parliament, in Brussels

Day Trips

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If you’ve got time to spare, take a wee day trip to Bruges – It only takes an hour by train, and is filled with beautiful buildings, and chocolate!

 

Reliving trips such as this one, although it was only 4 years ago, makes me realise how little attention I paid to places when I went away. I enjoyed my time in Brussels, but really ought to go back and get to know it properly.

Have you been to Brussels – what are your recommendations for a weekend away there?

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