"Belgium is a beautiful city." - DJT - Belgium 2017
Shannon woke up on her last morning in London to Brooke frantically informing her that they had missed their train. In classic Shannon fashion, she said "oh, okay." While Brooke paced through the apartment in a panic, Shannon calmly laid in bed and Googled bus schedules. We eventually found a bus, but only had an hour to pack and make it to Victoria Coach Station. After literally sprinting through the crowded streets of central London, we made it to the station only to realize our terminal was the last of 25. We made it onto the bus with no more than two minutes to spare (and proceeded to strip down because we were sweating to death).
Our time in Brussels only improved from here.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at a huge hostel located right on the canal in central Brussels. We had no idea what to expect from this as we decided on adding this stop last minute with very little research. Meininger - Brussels City Center was (thankfully) only a short walk from our bus stop. It was also really close to the city center, so we got to walk through it on our way there. We stayed in a 10 person Mixed Dorm and were happy to find the room full. While private rooms are definitely nice sometimes and keep you away from loud snorers, we love staying in dorms sometimes because you really get to meet so many people. We immediately made friends with everyone in our room and all went for dinner together. The hostel was clean and modern and provided a bunch of spaces to hang out with our new friends. Our only complaint was the bad wifi, prohibiting us from forcing FOMO via social media upon our friends back home.
Where To Eat
Mary is one of the oldest chocolatiers in Brussels and is loved by the locals. It was recommended to us by our tour guide and was everything we have ever wanted from a Belgian chocolate store. The feminists in us love the fact that Mary was the first woman chocolatier. Reasonably priced, we definitely recommend you stop here for your authentic Belgian chocolate fix.
Yellow Waffle Trucks
Well known throughout the city of Brussels, these famous yellow trucks serve up delicious Belgian waffles (which we may or may not have eaten for all three meals). Cheap and easy, these authentic waffles have a crisp sugar coating, making them waaaaay better than regular waffles.
The last traditional Belgian food that we stuffed ourselves with during our one night in Brussels were Belgian frites. Even though it was just fast food, these frites satisfied our craving. We even got to choose from over 10 different sauces, which was an exciting development for fry lovers such as ourselves.
What To Do
Reccommended to us by a friend (thanks, Mike), this huge bar was the perfect spot to spend our only night in Brussels. We think it's three floors, but it's so big and served us so much good beer that we may have missed some. Their taps pour over 2,000 types of beer, both craft and corporate. We had a great time with our new friends (shoutout Rudy & Jamie), because the atmosphere was super social and we easily found a table on every floor. The alleyway in front of the bar was lit and full of locals and tourists alike. Honestly, you just can't go wrong with good music and Belgian beer.
Sandeman's New Europe - Brussels
Shannon has been a prime promoter of Sandeman's tours since she studied abroad in 2014 and has literally not shut up about them since. Brooke finally understands the obsession after we took a tour with Maggie around the city center of Brussels. Both educational and entertaining, the tour was the perfect way to see the most of the city as possible in our short time there. Maggie's passion for both her city and her job were absolutely apparent and she helped us fall in love with a previously unknown city.
Sidebar: Brussel's point of pride is literally a statue called Manneken Pis that is a little boy peeing. Legend has it that centuries ago, the city was on fire and the little boy peed on the city to put out the fire and saved Brussels. No joke. Everywhere you go in Brussels, you're bound to come across depictions of Manneken Pis in restaurants, stores, and everything in between. Our favorite were these little corkscrews in a souvenir shop. ;)
After our stressful day of missing a train, sprinting through the streets, and sitting on a bus for 7 hours, all three of us needed a beer (or seven). We were thrilled to find some friends to go out with and we all had just a little too much fun at Delirium. Wandering through the streets of Brussels with a slight idea of where to go, we stumbled upon the legendary BFC. Well, legendary to us, now. BFC stands for Best Fish and Chicken, and let me tell you, it is nothing short of divine. From the outside, it looks like just a classic shitty fast food chain. But inside is the compilation of all the dreams of a drunken backpacker. When you take your first bite into their perfectly seasoned Crispy Chicken Sandwich, all you cares and worries float away. We refuse to believe that this was just because we were a few beers deep. The seasoning was magical. It's a been a week, and we still talk about it every day.
BFC, ILY. <3
Next up, Parisien men and Moulin Rouge. Uh-oh.
Watch the video recap of our time in Brussels below!