My visit to Brussels was short but intense. The kick-off meeting lasted a day and a half, and then I had a few hours before the evening return flight. Since the weather was really nice, I dropped my suitcase at the train station locker and went for a little trip around the centre of the city.
I’ve been to Brussels many times – I visit twice a year for my current job, but I also used to come here for conferences and project meetings when I’d worked at a research institute in Poland. I had the chance to see all the city landmarks and beautiful places throughout the years, as well as to visit less touristy parts of Brussels. I think what I like the most is the “continental” atmosphere that I sometimes miss in Ireland, with the city structure I’m so used to from Poland, where the cities are usually built around the historical central market square, full of cafes, museums and beautiful buildings. I also enjoy the busy streets full of people from every corner of the world and the city fashion that I love to watch when I’m out. Trench coats rule at this time of the year and incidentally I took mine as well, so I could blend in easily 😉
My favourite part of the day in Brussels is the morning and that says a lot, since I’m really not a morning person! But it’s so enjoyable there, with the cool morning air, still few people outside, when you can just go to one of the many awesome Belgian cafes, have your coffee and a croissant, possibly over a newspaper, to feel almost like a local 😉
The evening option is a club or a pub, with local beers that Belgium is famous for. Personally I’m a big fan of dark beers, porters, ales and different variations of Belgian Trappist beers, so I can never resist bringing some home with me.
Yesterday I didn’t go anywhere far from the centre, as I really didn’t want to risk missing my flight, so I only saw the Grand Place – Belgium’s UNESCO heritage site, a marvellous central market surrounded by opulent buildings, dating back to the 10th century.
I walked around the Gand Place…
Of course, I had to visit Brussel’s other important landmark, the Manneken Pis fountain…
…and his modern female counterpoint, the Jeanneke Pis 😉
Manneken Pis is more popular, and you can buy his small figurine and take it home with you together with plush, stuffed Smurf toys, because Belgium is the motherland of Smurfs.
I didn’t have much time and I wasn’t hungry this time, but other than Belgian beers, another thing not to miss in Brussels is waffles and thick fries. I love both!
And that was all I could see, soon I had to pick my baggage up, take the train to the airport and fly back to Dublin, where I’m enjoying the last free weekend before the work starts for good. I’m actually not unhappy about it, in fact I feel eager to start!
That’s all from me, thanks for reading and visiting Brussels with me this way!