This was my first solo travel experience. As short as it was (only 36 hours/one night) it was a trip that I felt was necessary for self-growth. I was meeting my friend Andrea in Amsterdam the next day, so I chose to visit Brussels on the way. It was a beautiful city, one that I hold dear to my heart. Wandering around, eating great food, and spotting beautiful architecture at every turn. I never felt bored or alone. I was fortunate that two of my guy friends from school were coincidentally in the city that night as well, so I met them for drinks at the famous Delirium bar. I ended up leaving the bar at 1am and walked back to my hostel alone … and I felt safe! This is a big deal coming from a girl who is usually paranoid at night about potential lurking predators. The next morning, I treated myself to a detoxing green juice and wandered beautiful gardens before catching my train to Amsterdam.
Hostel Grand Place: the main reason I chose this hostel is for the location. As the name suggest, it’s right at the Grand Place, the busiest area in Brussels. This was extremely important for me, since I was travelling alone. I stayed in a 6 Bed Female Dorm. The room was nice; the bathrooms too! The common area was under construction so it wasn’t too social at the time. But the hostel served the purpose I needed. I even had a cool view from my window.
Grand Place: As mentioned, this tourism hot spot was right outside of my hostel, so I spent a lot of time here. It’s a large public square with beautiful architecture at every turn. When the sun went down, I just sat on some steps in the lit up square eating a Belgian waffle with Nutella and strawberries and contemplated how many calories I was consuming … no not really, I just let my mind wander, taking in how great solo travel can be.
Jardin du Petit Sablon: I sat on a bench in this garden taking in the beautiful view of the park and fountain, then started to write in my notebook. It was fairly quiet when I went and the sun was shining, so I stayed there for quite some time.
Les Galeries Saint Hubert: This is a nice building to walk through, it’s what I imagine malls were like before consumerism took over. It’s filled with Belgian shops including some that you may recognize.
Mont des Arts Garden: I aimlessly wandered the city and ended up here. It was painfully beautiful. I walked through this garden towards the Royal Palace of Brussels. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be able to aimlessly wander such a beautiful city.
Bruges: though I didn’t get a chance to visit this place, I couldn’t leave it off my list since so many people recommended it to me. Bruges is a beautiful city outside of Brussels; a short and cheap train ride away. It’s perfect for a day trip or staying overnight.
Chez Leon: for mussels and fries. I found a deal that even included a complimentary half pint of Belgian beer. Big deal. The food was delicious and it was nice sitting outside and people watching.
Delirium Cafe: a must to visit if you are interested in beer or bars. I met my friends here; it was their suggestion. This place has more than 3000 beers! The design of the bar is cool, filled with vintage beer-related art. The place is HUGE and gets busy pretty fast! Enjoy some beers and leave your mark on the table. I wrote “a Faloon was here” – making the family proud.
Le Pain Quotidien: for a detoxing brunch after enjoying too many Belgian beers the night before. I went to the one in les Galeries Saint Hubert and ordered the detox drink (not so tasty but I could feel it working its magic) and chicken vegetable soup.
Belgian Waffles, Chocolate, and Beer …. just do it.
Well, that wraps up my Brussels recommendations! There are definitely a lot more sites you should see; keep in mind how short of a time I was there!
If you have any questions or suggestions, make sure to comment below!