There are many things to do in Brussels, the capital of European Union. Located in a very strategic, central position, Brussels is a very alive city. Let’s go with order:
Food and drinks
If you are a beer lover, Belgium is your turf! Beers were produced in abbeys already in the fourteenth century. The “good excuse” monks had was to sustain their bodies when fasting. Clever, wasn’t it?
Today there are still many Trappist beers, still produced by, or under supervision, of Trappist monks. Abbey beers are similar, even though the production has been taken over by industrial companies. The taste of Belgian beers is usually rich, and will satisfy all type of needs. White, double or triple malt, lambic (seasoned with fruit)… But the real experience is to go and taste them in one of the traditional Brasseries in the city center.
You can also visit one of the production factories located not far from Brussels: I visited Hoegaarden for example. You will usually be rewarded with a refreshing pint at the end of the visit 🙂 other famous one are Grinbergen, Leffe, Westmalle, Chimay, Rochefort. Beer tours in Brussels are also available.
As many know, Belgium is also home of one of the finest chocolates in the world. You should indulge in some of the chocolate shops in town. Your family or friends will be happy of some of these souvenirs, supporting your running trips next time 😉
Speaking of food, the traditional Belgian dish is moules et frites: a casserole of mussels with french fries on the side. But Brussels – and especially its picturesque center – is full of fish restaurants where you can treat yourself with nice seafood.
We cannot end the food chapter without talking of the waffles: you will call them gaufres, and you can find them available in many coffee shops or small kiosks all over the city. I am sure you will need carbs before or after the race! 😉
The city center
The city center develops like a web, with small, irregular streets. At the center there is the majestic Grand Place, surrounded by historical buildings. The main ones are the House of the King, and the Town Hall. The uniqueness and beauty of this square led it to be an UNESCO world heritage site since 1998.
Situated in a side street at 5 minutes from the Grad Place, small as iconic, the Manneken Pis is the fountain picturing a peeing baby (he is actually peeing water…).
The manneken pis is dressed in costumes, changing few times a week. The non-profit association The Friends of Manneken Pis has the task of selecting between the designs submitted every year, choosing the ones to be produced and used. The dresses are then exposed in a museum.
The Parc Du Cinquantennaire is not only the start and arrival of both Half and Full Marathon, but it is a green lung of the city: a walk into it at a.. slower pace is absolutely advised. Located near the park, the European Parliament is open for visits and hosts exhibitions tailored for all ages. The main visit about UE is given in 24 different languages.
The Royal Palace in Brussels is another must go. Nowadays, the royal family lives at Laeken, but the Royal Palace is still appointed as official residence. One of th most famous rooms of the palace has the ceiling covered with beetles’ wings (yes!) to form a mosaic. In general furniture and decorations are what expected in the residence of a king.
Did you like my travelling tips? Contact me or find here below how to book your trip to Brussels! 🙂