If you’ve read my previous post, then you know that this time we spent our winter holiday in the beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Brussels. At times this trip was windy, chilly or rainy and sometimes it was all 3 at the same time – the weather can be a bummer during some parts of the day, but my post is surely going to keep your spirits high!
Both the cities were flocking up with tourists from all parts of the world.
Day 0: The Drive Down and First Impressions
We reached Brussels by car, it is only a 2.5-hour drive from Amsterdam with beautiful roads and views. It could be a good idea to combine the 2 cities if you have more days at hand! If you’re making a quick trip to Brussels – this guide is going to come in HANDY.
We reached our hotel only by the evening and as usual, we were quite “starvy”! 😉
We stayed at the Aloft Brussels Schuman; the hotel is quite decent with courteous staff and modern interiors. The hotel is not downright in the city center; however, it is easily accessible by trams/taxis. What is a miss is room service, but that allows you to make “room deliveries” through uber eats and other similar services. (which was a blessing)
We ate at Ellis Gourmet Burger located in the Place Sainte-Catherine before resigning for the day and I have only good things to say about this cute little restaurant. It is not a specialty but if you are staying nearby, I would recommend it.
Day 1: Grand Place and Manneken Pis
We did what every tourist does, our first and last stop for the day was the Grand Place or the Grote Markt is the central square of Brussels. “It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city’s Town Hall, and the King’s House or Breadhouse building containing the Brussels City Museum.” (Wikipedia) The place is flocked up with the most beautiful architecture and “free” walking tours. Our first stop for breakfast was Maison de la Brouette which looked like an ancient house refurbished into this beautiful looking brasserie with all the cozy feels, the fireplace added to the charm.
The food and the service did not match up to the interiors, but this one is worth a visit! (just the way it is and just the place it is in)
Admiring the grand place, we started our own walking tour which involved chocolate making (we were in Belgium for god’s sake), souvenir shopping and the local Christmas market. Glühwein saves you every time you feel cold, I don’t usually have alcohol but then… the cold calls for it.
We found an interesting “thing-to-do” while loitering around the streets – “The Dome“.
“The Dome (Place de la Monnaie) invites you on a journey through audio and visual creations designed and created by artists from Belgium and all over the world: art house movies as well as movies for a broad audience, educational and funny cartoons on themes such as ecology, animal life, science, etc, a Saint-Nicolas party as well as a “360° ATELIER” offering initiations to the digital arts.” Source: The Dome
Here, our 9-year-old had an opportunity to attend a dance workshop and then we had an experience of watching the movie they created inside the dome.
While she attended the workshop, we walked over to the famously overrated “Manneken Pis” sculpture. I have nothing to say about this experience, except say that you can totally skip this one! – Read the story behind the little boy statue here.
After all this activity, it seemed like a really long day that needed to be wrapped – and so we did.
Day 2: Atomium and Food Diaries
This was our last day, coming back home is a good feeling, and has been a good feeling for a long time now.
Visit the Atomium if you are going to go up, the views are quite beautiful, and I assume this activity is much more suited for the warmer months. Once, you’ve clicked a couple of pictures and marveled at the monument – you can take a walk around in the parks, visit miniature Europe or eat waffles at the local food trucks.
Just before I end this travel diary, I’d like to recommend another eatery (gosh! We spend a lot of money on eating!) – called the Ginette Bar at the Place du Luxembourg, leaving you with pictures.
When in Brussels don’t forget the eat the waffles, carry back some dark chocolate and visit the beautiful Grand Place.
What did you during the holidays this time? A vacation or a staycation – tell me in the comments section, we are looking forward to your ideas!
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