Travel + Leisure

Visiting Belgium: Brussels

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit FlandersPhoto Credit: askideas.com

Visiting Belgium Brussels

This was my first trip to Belgium and will definitely not be my last. A must do when arriving in Belgium is walking around Grand Place, the central square of Brussels. Grand Place is encircled by beautiful gilded historic buildings dating as far back as the 12th century. It is one of the most significant landmarks in Belgium and attracts thousands of tourists each year. We were thrilled to be Visiting Belgium Brussels with Visit Flanders.

Chocolate

Following a trip to Belgium, President Barack Obama stated “It’s easy to love a country known for chocolate and beer.” I think few would argue with this opinion. Over 172,000 tons of chocolate is produced each year in Belgium and more than 2,000 chocolate shops flourish throughout the country.


Music Credit – Yello

Drinking Belgian Beer

Typically, I stick to drinking wine and champagne, but when in Belgium… I discovered that Belgium is a beer-lover’s paradise, with over 1,500 different original beers. Many of the beers here have their own personalized beer glasses in which that beer, and only that beer, is served. The shape of each glass is made to enhance the flavor of the beer for which it is designed. Needless to say, Belgians take their beers very seriously.

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders

The Little Pee Man

One of the most popular attractions in Brussels is the Manneken Pis (little pee man in Flemish). The peeing boy is a small (24 inches) bronze fountain statue. It is located near Grand Place. Several legends surround its origin but it was put on display in either 1618 or 1619. Tourists flock to this statue similarly to the popularity of the Mona Lisa at The Louvre. I talked to one tourist and she was on a bike ride through Europe and her only stop in Brussels was to see the Mannequin Pis. She wasn’t even stopping for bite of chocolate or a pint of beer! I couldn’t relate to her situation.

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders Manneken Pis little pee man in Flemish

Dominican Hotel

Drinks in the bar of the Dominican hotel are a must do when in Brussels. This fabulous hotel is located behind the famous theater and opera house Le Monnaie. Medieval grandeur meets contemporary splendor in a sweeping, high-style homage to Dominican abbeys, Old-World Europe, and artistic invention.

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders The Dominican Hotel

Food in Brussels

Had a wonderful dinner at Bonsoir Clara. Bonsoir Clara is located in downtown Brussels and offers classic and modern Mediterranean cuisine. I had the very tasty sashimi of salmon marinated gravlax style, kunzumiyuzu and poppyseed vinaigrette for an appetizer and the fillet of sea bass with anchovy and ginger brandade topped with lemongrass and raisins. Great service and delicious food!

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders Bonsoir Clara Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders Bonsoir Clara Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders Bonsoir Clara

Hotel Amigo

Hotel Amigo, a former prison, became a hotel in 1957 and hosts royals and celebrities. It is the only 5 star hotel in Brussels.

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders Hotel Amigo

What is a trip to Belgium without a tasting a Belgian waffle? In Belgium, an authentic “Belgian Waffle” is served warm and lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. In the tourist areas, the street vendors sell them with a variety of toppings varying from whipped cream, fruit, to chocolate spread and caramel sauce.  I tasted the authentic version and it was sooooo good!

Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders Belgian Waffle

We were hosted by Visit Flanders on this trip to Belgium and not compensated to write this Visiting Belgium Brussels Visit Flanders post. We loved Belgium and really appreciate their hospitality. 

Please see our other post: Visiting Belgium: Antwerp

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26 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Catherine Sargent

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit. All of the food and beer looks amazing. I would have to get a waffle.

  2. What a beautiful place! I would love to have the chance to visit one day. I love all the architecture and history.

  3. Thank you for the virtual tour of Belgium. Should I have the chance to visit, I’d indulge in chocolate and waffles and everything food! I’d make sure to visit all popular tourist spots, and take a photograph of the mannequin pis too.

  4. Pam

    Belgium looks like. Great place to visit. There seems to be so much to see and do….and to eat.

  5. Meagan

    This looks like such a wonderful trip.

  6. Jeanine

    looks like a really awesome place to visit. The little pee man cracked me up, but your photos are truly beautiful! Would love to visit Brussels!

  7. Belgium looks like a beautiful place to visit. I know my first stop would be to one of the 2,000 chocolate shops and taking photos in front of the landmarks. Oh and the belgium waffles sound so good and are sold by street vendors? that’s so cool.

  8. You really can’t go wrong with a place known for chocolate and beer! Looks like a fantastic place to visit.

  9. The food you had looks exquisite! I would love to go one day!

  10. I would love to go to Belgium…just for the food! I need to make plans for a stopover the next time I’m in Europe.

  11. You had me at beer, but Belgium has certainly been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Between the architecture and the food, I would be in heaven.

  12. Your experience sounded like so much fun. I’d be so excited to try out some dishes at Bonsoir Clara. That place looks so pretty.

  13. It looks like you had a ton of fun! I would love to visit Brussels sometime!

  14. Belgium seems like such a pretty place. I would love to visit there someday. I am a little jealous right now.

  15. I’ve heard that Belgium is really nice place! I want to add it to my bucket list this year.

  16. Ann Bacciaglia

    Belgium is on my travel bucket list. It is so beautiful there. It looks like you had a great time.

  17. Rosie

    I don’t care about beer, but I would love to sample as much chocolate as possible! I’d love to see Belgium!

  18. Nikki Wayne

    Belgium sounds to be a fun place. I want to have a tour or stay for at least a month there.

  19. I’ve never been to Belgium. The Grand Place looks amazing! If I go, I will totally smother a waffle in strawberries and whipped cream! 

  20. Kristi

    That is on my bucket list. I have a cousin that lives there and LOVES it. Beautiful photos you shared as well.

  21. I love this review on your visit to Belgium. You definitely cant go to Belgium without getting a waffle!

  22. Amy Desrosiers

    This part of our world looks amazing! I know my husband loves their beer and has often said he’d love to visit!

  23. Rosey

    Oh yea, I forgot about the little pee guy, hahaha I’d like to visit Belgium one day.

  24. Robin Rue

    This looks like it was such a fun trip. I would love to visit Belgium one day.

  25. Mellissa Williams

    Brussels looks like such a fun and beautiful place to visit. I have always wanted to see all these places that you have mentioned.

  26. ellen beck

    Ha! That little statue must be famous! I didnt know it originated in Belgium that long ago. I of course have seen it many times reproduced, it was one of those kitchy things quite a few years ago and now and again you still see fountains like it. I think I would go just for the wafffes.
    How exciting to go there! Such great pictures!

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