Hi friends and welcome new ones! In this week’s travel post I’ll be going over my 36 hours in Belgium.
I took the Thalys train from Paris Gare du Nord to Brussels. The train was approximately 4 hours. It was a beautiful, scenic route through many rural parts of Paris to Brussels.
Once I arrived, I headed to my apartment in the Sablon district of Brussels, Belgium. It’s a lively area with chic bars, restaurants and chocolate shops — lots of chocolate shops — Pierre Marcolini, Leonidas, Godiva and Neuhaus were all within walking distance from my apartment.
Brussels is a beautiful city, much like Paris, with old buildings and ornate facades, but to me the vibe was much grittier. The Grand Palace was a nice walk from my apartment, fun to explore and soak up a bit of Belgian life. It’s a large city square completely encircled by historic buildings dating back to the 14th century. Manneken Pis is a famous bronze sculpture which attracts many tourists. There is also a wonderful collection of comic strip murals known as the Comic Strip Walk — they feature comic strip characters such as Tintin. I didn’t take the walk, but I saw so many as I walked around Brussels
The following day I took a day trip to Brugge. It was about a 45 minute train ride from Brussels. Brugge is absolutely magical! If you have a chance to visit Belgium, I would definitely suggest spending time in Brugge. It’s like the villages you read in a storybook fairytale come to life. I was completely captivated by its beauty — from rivers and moats, to windmills and tulip gardens.
Don’t forget! While in Belgium you MUST have a Belgian waffle. They’re not made like they are here in the U.S., their batter is much thicker. Chez Albert is my recommendation, and make sure you ask for the fruit, chocolate and whip cream on top — and have your order and exact change on hand.
I really enjoyed the time I spent in Brussels and Brugge. I hope this post gives you a unique peak at beautiful Belgium. It’s such a lovely country with so much to offer, I wish I had more time to explore other cities like Ghent or Antwerp. I’ll have to come back and continue my exploration. Maybe on another trip to Paris or a trip just dedicated to Belgium.