Buttery croissants, thick summer air, tired feet and fluent French. This is how my weekend in Belgium tasted, smelled, felt, and sounded.
Belgium is a beautiful country, filled with a rich history and French influence. My friend Lauren and I decided on a last minute trip there. Within thirty minutes, our bus tickets were bought and our Airbnb booked.
Note: Links to all restaurants and museums are below!
When we first arrived, we dropped our stuff in our apartment for the weekend and took off into the city. We were starving from traveling all day and decided on a cute little Italian restaurant where we shared lasagna and salad (I even ate tomatoes which is a huge feat for me!).
Next, we strolled to La Grand Place just in time to watch the sun set below all of the buildings. It was beautiful and I loved watching the gold accents on all of the buildings glisten in the setting sun. We explored the narrow streets, dodged the waiters beckoning us in to their touristy restaurants and ate gelato from a little hole in the wall place. I am currently obsessed with the melon flavor-it is so refreshing!
The next morning we started with croissants from Charli Boulangerie. I highly recommend this place–it was inexpensive, delicious and charming. We then spent the afternoon at The Royal Museum of Fine Art where a student ticket is only 3 euro. After, we toured the royal palace (free!). The sheer number of chandeliers in that place would alone pay for my entire college education.
For dinner on our second night, we wanted to save a bit of money and cook in our cute little Airbnb kitchen. We went to the grocery store and bought salad, gnocchi and sauce (can you tell we have a thing with Italian food? 😉 ).
I would be lying however, if I stated everything about our Brussels trip was beyond perfect. We were blatantly hit on in the streets and cat called by more men than I can count. It is interesting because this isn’t something I have experienced yet in Amsterdam. I am curious to see if those experiences will continue in our travels to other countries and cities. It didn’t ruin our trip by any means but it was uncomfortable and something to be aware of if you are traveling to the area (although I know it happens everywhere and we just happened to experience it there). It was also an absurdly hot day for Brussels and so we were incredibly sweaty and uncomfortable. Thank goodness for museums with air conditioning & cold gelato!
Brussels Museums & Restaurants We Visited:
- Charli Boulangerie: Yummy and inexpensive bakery close to the center of Brussels. Also has free wifi!
- Winehouse Osteria: Moderately priced Italian. Really charming place.
- Royal Museum of Fine Art: Huge art collection for a really inexpensive price (3 euro if you are under 26!). Also has great air conditioning for hot summer days.
- Royal Palace: It is free to tour this stunning palace. Great stop if you love beautiful architecture and detail.
Brugge is quite possibly my new favorite European city (if you can even consider it a city!). This fairy-tale village is home to winding canals that are occupied by swans, horse-drawn carriages and more chocolate than I even knew existed. If you are looking for a fun day trip from Brussels, Brugge is the place to go.
We began our day with a little workout, climbing the 366 steps to the top of the Belfry. However, the work came with a beautiful reward–the view from the top was absolutely stunning and the bells began to ring right as we climbed our last step!
Our post-workout snack included Belgian waffles, mine topped with warm chocolate, powdered sugar and bananas. However, the place we stopped at was a bit expensive. I suggest finding somewhere that is outside of the main square–you will probably be able to find something cheaper!
Next, we took an 8 euro boat tour of the canals and it was worth every penny. Seeing the town from that angle was so beautiful and we got to boat right past all of the swans.
We finished our day in Brugge visiting The Church of Our Lady which is home to Madonna of Bruges, a stunning marble sculpture by Michelangelo of Mary with the Child Jesus. This quiet church was a nice escape from the heat and the perfect way to end our trip to Brugge.
Lastly, I made two videos about our trip and posted them on my YouTube channel. I plan on producing a lot of videos like this about all of my travels so I would love it if you subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Overall, Belgium was the perfect weekend getaway and I am glad I got to see this beautiful place! Stay tuned for more travel adventures and tales.