Being in Belgium: Tips of the Travel

Last month I took a trip out of Ireland and all the way to Belgium.  My friends and I had no plans or itinerary for when we arrived in Brussels Belgium.  We just wanted to explore and find our own way, and thats exactly what we did.  When we arrived at our hostel the first thing we did was ask “Where can we get waffles?!”, lets be honest that’s why anyone goes to Brussels right? So let me tell you what I did, what I recommend and what I don’t.

Exploring Brussels. Photo credit: Allie Hanson

Exploring Brussels. Photo credit: Allie Hanson

Waffles:

I found that Belgium waffles are like Pizza.  When they’re good, they’re freaking amazing, and when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good.  You just have to keep eating in order to find the best one. Also, in Belgium they eat Waffles generally for dessert not breakfast, but who really cares what time of day you stuff your face

Belgian Waffels. Photo credit: Allie Hanson

Belgian Waffels. Photo credit: Allie Hanson

Transportation: 

So there is a lot to see in Brussels and not everything is remote to the center city.  I highly suggest walking wherever you go even though you come be walking 3.5 miles to sites (as we did) it was worth it.  You get to see so much more of the city that otherwise you would have missed in a taxi or bus.

Sights:

  • Atomium The Atomium has been said to be the Eiffel Tower of Brussels, so pretty much a must see! There is an elevator in the middle that takes you to the highest point where you can see practically all of Belgium.  From there escalators take you through different exhibits throughout the structure.

    The Atomium in Brussels. Photo credits: Allie Hanson

    The Atomium in Brussels. Photo credits: Allie Hanson

  • Comic Strip Museum– This was very cool, not just for the comic strip nerds.  The artwork throughout the museum was incredible and even had an entire section on the Smurfs! It was kind of a quirky thing to do that got us out of the rain for a few hours.  I absolutely suggest checking it out.

    Comic Strip Museum in Brussels. Photo credits: Allie Hanson

    Comic Strip Museum in Brussels. Photo credits: Allie Hanson

  • Grande Place– This should be your first stop when arriving in Brussels, it is the center of the center city Brussels. Filled with restaurants, museums and plenty of beautiful architecture. This is what exemplifies the city of Brussels.

    Grande Place in Brussels. Photo credits by Allie Hanson

    Grande Place in Brussels. Photo credits by Allie Hanson

  • Sablon– This is a large antique market.  Its was exciting to barter with the locals and buy some beautiful trinkets away from the souvenir shop.
  • Chocolate Museum– There are plenty of chocolate museums throughout brussels.  The museums usually allow samples and demonstrations, and i can assure you this will be the best chocolate you’ve ever tasted.

    Chocolate tasting in Brussels. Photo credits: Allie Hanson

    Chocolate tasting in Brussels. Photo credits: Allie Hanson

  • Lastly, the best part about traveling….Food: The MUST eats of Brussels
      • Waffles: Of course, like I said just keep eating them.  I think I had about 5 during my weekend there.
      • Mussels: Apparently a must eat, for about 15 Euro I got a pot of 100 or so mussels.  They were magnificent.

        Tasting Belgian mussels. Photo Credit: Allie Hanson

        Tasting Belgian mussels. Photo Credit: Allie Hanson

      • Fries: I’ve been told that Brussels is the birthplace of fries.  If you order as much as a salad, you will get fries.  They come with EVERYTHING. And, to say the least they made my stomach smile.
      • Chocolate: Rich, decadent, delicious, oh my what else can I say? Do not leave without getting some chocolate into your system.

        Champlain College students exploring Brussels. Photo credit: Allie Hanson

        Champlain College students exploring Brussels. Photo credit: Allie Hanson

I took an adventure, got lost, and found myself.  What an amazing experience. I highly suggest a visit to Brussels if you ever get the chance.

Read more about my study abroad adventures on my personal blog: www.byallieblog.wordpress.com

Allie Hanson
Champlain Abroad Dublin, Spring 2015
Champlain College Marketing Major
Class of 2016

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Champlain Abroad

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