I always say for visiting a place and truly understand the locals and also their culture you need, as the minimum, several weeks to, at least, let you start to feel part of the context.
This isn’t an advice I followed in Brussels and now I regret it. There’s too much to do and see for all kind of travelers: art museums, second-hand markets, monuments, restaurants, parks, outdoor activities, alternative tours and so on.
As I just had one full day to do the most of my stay in Brussels this is what I did:
The first on my list was going to a touristic info to take a map and check the places I really wanted to see not for the typical photo but to focus on the places that I knew they would never disappoint me. Sometimes I am lucky.
Once I had a light idea of where to go I thought it was also a good thought to do a tour so in one morning I could see the historical part of the city and also learn some legends and history and comprehend some pictures and monuments. I did the tour with Sandemans tours. I love the playful and funny way they explain anecdotes and some gossips from the royalty and also from important characters of the place.
There I met a couple from Argentina. They were on their honeymoon so it was fantastic to share their happiness with me and also have lunch together.
In the afternoon was time to burn out all the awesome but also caloric Belgian meal. Although I was exhausted because of the flight and the walking tour, this is my favorite way for getting deeper in a place, by walk.
I went to the classic market where they sell antiques and, to my surprise, was not cheap at all!
I walk through the bohemian’s neighborhood, the one that I like the most. It has something special in their locals and the way they live, completely different from the busy and dark Brussels that everyone knows. In there is like time stops and you can’t even realize you are in such a big city so it reminds me a little village in an enormous capital. Weird feelings but attaching ones.
When going out to the outskirts, I was able to take a look at amazing well-known buildings: Federal Parliament, Palais Royal, Beaux-Arts, European Commission (I didn’t like it a lot) and also l’Arc de Triomphe in Parc du Cinquantenaire.
As you see, I wasn’t able to see a lot and I wish I could have more time to spend in Brussels. There were more points in the list that I couldn’t cross out. Hoping to come back soon.
IMPORTANT TIP: PUBLIC TRANSPORT
If you are planning to visit another city in Belgium and you don’t mind doing it on the weekend, then it’s much better getting the tickets from Friday afternoon. Travelling on the weekends it’s much cheaper and in Belgium public transport it’s quite expensive so it is really worth it going, for example, from Friday to Sunday 🙂