Historic yet hip, I’d say Brussels is one of Europe’s underrated city. While some travelers consider it ordinary, for me, there is always something exciting to every place I visit. It is just a matter of perspective. As an introvert living abroad, Belgium’s capital taught me a lesson. That is, to appreciate differences as Brussels has been home to different nationalities.
Anyway, for those of you who wanted to visit Brussels within a short period of time, my advice for you is to book a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. This is what I and my friends and I did on our first European adventure. Our accommodation for the five-day trip was in Amsterdam, specifically in Meininger Hotel, which is very close to public transport. From Amsterdam Sloterdjik, we took a two-hour bus ride towards Brussels through FlixBus.
Hop-On Hop-Off Experience
We discovered Brussels by riding the Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off of City Sightseeing and what I loved about it is that we get to see the Northern and Southern part of Brussels in one day at a reasonable price. There’s more! If you book online, there is 2 euros discount for both the Red and Blue Lines.
If you have limited time, say less than a day, my tip is to finish the full round trip first from Point 1 to the last and do not alight the bus yet. This will take approximately one and a half hour. By doing this, you can choose which stops to explore. Moreover, you could plan where to go and how long would you spend in that place. Another tip is to start early, the earliest if possible so the bus wouldn’t be crowded and you have more time and more attractions to see. In relation to that, I would prefer weekdays as there would be lesser tourists than weekends.
My Top 3 Favorites
Atomium. This unique piece of architecture composed of nine interconnected mystical spheres is one of Brussels most iconic building. Created by the architect André Waterkeyn in 1958 for the World Fair of Brussels in 1958, Atomium was intended to be broken down after six months, however, it had become very famous and is now one of the favorite tourist attractions in the capital of Belgium. Thank God the weather was nice when we visited Brussels so we were able to appreciate its beauty on a sunny day.
It is a surprise for me that five of the spheres are open to the public! One ball is dedicated to a permanent exhibition of the World Fair and the making of Atomium. The other spheres are open for temporary exhibitions and the highest one is a restaurant offering a panoramic view of the city centre.
The Grand Place
Known as the central square Brussels, the Grand Place also known as Grote Markt is a true beauty. No wonder it has been included to the list of the most beautiful squares in Europe! With or without the colorful begonias, the square is splendid! I really appreciate how intricate and outstanding Europe buildings are! Architecture at its finest! Two most common events organized in the Grand Palace are the Ommegang and the Flower Carpet.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart
It is interesting to note that the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the largest churches in the world. The first thing I have noticed was the green-colored dome and the two twin towers. It took nearly a hundred years for the building to be completed! The architecture is already stunning, I bet the inside would be equally captivating however, we didn’t get the chance to go in. In addition, the temple’s observation deck offers a beautiful view of the city as the highest tower is about 89 meters from top to bottom.
After a very tiring yet fulfilling road trip, walk around the city centre and try their most famous Belgian waffle and frites. There is always a long queue for every waffle/frite stand, however, it was worth the wait! Choose whatever toppings you want and dig in! Another thing is, don’t forget to bring home Belgian chocolates!
So, there you go! Less than a day in Brussels, we were able to enjoy, explore, and eat to the max!