Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Belgium - Brussels

I have been to Belgium, but not to its capital, Brussels. The reason was that from TripAdvisor, it seemed that Antwerpen and Brugges have much more things to see than Brussels. And I guess it's kind of true, although I would say that I had some eye-gasm there as well. Rather than not beautiful, exploring the beauty of Brussels requires a long walk from one place to another. We explored Brussels in one day, and I think we may have missed quite a lot of things. We tried to go to as many touristic places as possible. But of course, with limited time, we could not see every single nook and cranny of this lovely capital.

The first touristic place explored was the Grand Place (or Grote Markt in Dutch). We visited it in early October, so we didn't get the chance to see the famous flower carpet (occurs every 2 years in August; see details here).

Town Hall (Hotel de Ville)


Maison du Roi (King's House)

It was Saturday and it was not as crowded as I thought it would be. The atmosphere and the weather was great, and if I had more than just one day to explore Brussels, I would definitely try to find an outdoor cafe, sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while gazing at the architectural wonders of this city.

From here, we walked to Les Galeries Saint Hubert. It was filled with shops and especially chocolatiers. It was interesting to see various types of chocolate truffles, although we didn't buy any in the end because we were still kind of full from the Brussel waffles we had for brunch.

From there, we walked quite a bit again to reach the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.

Compared to Notre Dame du Paris, this cathedral was not very big. However, it has its own beauty. The stained glass were splendid as well.

We did not plan to go to Mont des Arts, but we accidentally found this place because it is really hard to miss it. And next to it was the Palais Royale:

We didn't visit the museums located around Palais Royale because it would definitely cost us too much time. We still had a little bit more of the city to explore before we had to go back to the Netherlands.

By the way, if you are a fan of architecture, walk towards the left side of the Palais Royale and you'll see more of it.

The last stop was the Parlamentarium. This place is the heart of the European Union, and it's filled with high-tech interactive sessions. It is a very cool place!

This one, for example, was a very interesting concept to encourage fun learning. 

Each machine functions as a magnifier, and is movable. The information is offered in different European languages, and what you have to do is to shift the "magnifier" on a certain point on the European map on the floor. You will then see an interactive video about that place.

I'd love to see more of this place, but time did not permit us. I highly recommend visiting this place at least once because I think the information in the Parlamentarium is presented in a very fun way :)

Last but not least... time to savor the French-influenced cuisines of Belgium: escargot a la bourguignonne (Bourguignonne-style snails) and moules frites (steamed mussels with French fries).


Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but please comment responsibly :)