42 Things I Love About Brussels

I’m still a little surprised that it took me 35 years to first visit Brussels. I love Western Europe and have spent a significant portion of my life learning more about the people and culture that make the region so much fun to visit and yet Brussels was still a mystery to me. As soon as I started exploring the capital of Belgium though, I knew that I was in love. As with so many great destinations, it’s hard to explain why they’re special, but here are a few things I especially love about Brussels – what are some of yours?

  1.  Random examples of art nouveau Victor Horta architecture around town
  2.  Complete and total devotion to the 9th art, the comic strip
  3.  Discovering that the world of chocolate making is a lot bigger than I thought
  4.  Trying to find the sarcastic statue Zinneke Pis
  5.  Channeling my inner Jacques Brel
  6.  Home to the EU, if that’s your thing
  7.  Tour of the EU buildings, again, if that’s your thing Liege Waffle
  8. Freshly cooked Liege waffles
  9.  Admiring the gothic Cathedrale des St.-Michel et Ste.-Gudule
  10.  Learning more about the famous people who lived here: Erasmus, Horta, Magritte, Brel
  11.  Friendly people who love showing off their city
  12.  Retro chic at the Atomiom
  13.  Seeing Manneken Pis in a variety of costumes, or just naked
  14.  Ice skating at the massive Winter festival every December
  15.  Wandering around the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR)
  16.  Examining the colonial era at the Museum of Central Africa
  17.  French fries. They invented them. Enough said.
  18.  Exploring the roots of chocolate at the Chocolate Museum
  19.  Randomly finding a new cartoon mural on the side of a buildingSmurfs Brussels
  20.  Wandering around the trendy Sablon neighborhood
  21.  Easy to get around thanks to a fantastic public transportation system
  22.  Finding a quiet bistro for a classic Belgian meal
  23.  Exploring the nooks and crannies of the Parc du Cinquantenaire
  24.  Spending time admiring the guild buildings lining the Grand Place
  25.  Taking the cartoon walk around town
  26.  Making fun of Little Europe, one of the dumbest tourist attractions I’ve ever seen
  27.  The smell of baking waffles permanently wafting around downtown
  28.  Strolling by the Hotel de Ville at night
  29.  Manicured secret gardens near the royal palace
  30.  Shopping high end confectionaries for the perfect macaronGrand Place Brussels
  31.  Easy to walk historic center with surprises at every turn
  32.  Enjoying a hearty Belgian beer on a chilly night
  33.  Stoemp!
  34.  Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate
  35.  Finding Jeanneke Pis
  36.  Getting out of town for the day – dozens of amazing places just a hour or two away
  37.  Entering the strange world of Rene Magritte at his eponymous museum
  38.  Hot Belgian waffles with a sprinkle of powdered sugar
  39.  Tracing the roots of Tintin and others at the Comic Book Musuem
  40.  Christmas in Brussels
  41.  Some of the best mussels you’ll ever have
  42.  Repeat consumption of fries, chocolate and beer

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

8 thoughts on “42 Things I Love About Brussels”

  1. Matt, I’ll award 95% for this list, but bear in mind its my own personal opinion not gospel. Your photos also capture a distilled essence of the city. Would you mind if I pinned the Atomium photo on one of my boards on Pinterest?
    I added suggestions to your pre visit post so these may be a repeat and of course my own personal choices, not gospel.

    43. Hire a Villo! bike to get around the city. You will discover so much.
    44. Get the map of Bonon Street Art from Bozar or look on Flickr for some of his work. Other street artists with work in the city include Roa and Muga.
    45. Military Museum with access to top of Grande Arche at Cinquantenaire (Free)
    46. Free museum entry to see Magritte, Modern Art, Natural History, Cinquantenaire the first Wednesday Afternoon of the month.
    47. Art themed metro stations.

  2. Matt, these photos are beautiful. Makes me want to eat a chocolate covered waffle while walking past the Hotel de Ville at night. I’m officially adding Brussels to my list of cities to visit in Europe.

  3. Great (and appetizing!) list!

    I have added your blog (well, Landlopers Belgium) to my blogroll as your posts might interest my readers.

    My blog “Unexpected Belgium” features unusual, unexpected, unknown or unique things to do or discover in Belgium…


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