Bruselas, Bélgica: Ohh Sweet chocolate!

March 2020 —

Although it was a short one, twas very sweet!! My sole goal in going to Brussels, Belgium was to sample lots and lots of chocolate!!! Belgian chocolate is world renowned and I wanted to gorge myself to get a first hand experience of its deliciousness!! 

After spending the two days prior in the Netherlands, I decided to take a train from Delft, Netherlands to Brussels, an almost 3 hour ride. I loved how delightful the scenic the views were the whole way! Though I was only spending an afternoon in the city, it was as sweet as could be! 

Since this was part of my multi-city trip in the Netherlands, I had only my NorthFace backpack and my fanny pack with me. This part of Europe is particular damp and wet during the winter months, so for jackets I had a down vest, a light weight down jacket, and my rain coat, plus several shirts on underneath it all. I felt plenty warm in Brussels though as it was slightly less windy than the Netherlands.

 

My Trip in a Nutshell

After pulling into the Bruxelles Noord train station around 2 p.m., I had about a 20 minute walk to the hostel where I was spending the night, Youth Hostel Jacques Brel. Though you cannot tell by looking at a 2D Googlemap, the entire walk was uphill, and I was rather winded by the time I reached the hostel. The way the building is situated, it is on a street corner, but also on a cul-de-sac which was slightly confusing to figure out. After checking in to my room, I ate a quick snack, stowed my bag and headed to the city center, another 20 minute walk from the hostel.

The city center is focused around Grote Markt, or the Grand Place, which is an enormous square encircled with 14th century gilded buildings, lots of restaurants, stores, and especially people. This is the perfect location to take lots of impressive photos, and to soak in the sweet chocolate smelling air! All around this are you can walk into chocolate stores where they will hand you free samples. I went to a half a dozen stores and felt full from how many samples I’d already eaten!

Additionally, once it gets to be dusk they begin turning on multicolour lights that flip around between the various buildings as a continuous light show. In the blocks surrounding the square there are chocolate stores galore, neat statues and street art, and gorgeous architecture. In particular, the famous Manneken Pis, or the peeing boy fountain, is a popular sight to see because it is made of bronze and is from the 1600s.

Just a block up from there is where I had the delectable opportunity to consume an authentic Belgian waffle!! Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!! I stopped into the Waffle Factory restaurant for mine, but there are all sorts of other restaurants as well. When the sun began to set I headed back to my hostel to grab some dinner and re-pack my things.

In the morning at 7 a.m., I had a flight leaving the Brussels-Zaventem Airport to fly back to Madrid. Therefore, I had to leave my hostel around 4:15 a.m. to catch a bus to the airport. This was definitely an early start but the 10 minute walk to the bus stop from my hostel was brisk and peaceful since the bulk of the city was at rest. The bus ride was long but smooth and when I arrived to the airport just after 5 a.m., you could just see hints of daylight in the horizons.

Be sure to check out my other posts for more amazing tips! Click below : ) 

 

In general, Brussels has quite a few sights to see, sweets to consume, and things to do, but I would say that an afternoon would suffice in terms of visiting this European city. For me Brussels is lovely but did not give me that sense of wanderlust as other countries did. However, if you love chocolate and want to sample all you can eat free samples, then you should take a day trip to the Brussels city center to get your fill!!!

Above is a super rad waffle van that I came across while wandering around. And below is a street art monument near the Grand Place square, and the interior of a enclosed shopping area featuring the Belgian flag.
A cool bar I discovered with painted bicycles lining the outside walls.
It was only the first week of March, but the trees were already starting to bloom around the city.

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