24 Hours in Brussels
Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Finally, with the travel restrictions being lifted gradually around Europe. A trip that my friend and I were meant to undertake in May took place! With cheap tickets on the Eurostar between London and Brussels, we had planned a 24-hour adventure.
Eurostar currently has every second seat empty which is great during the current climate. Starting the Eurostar trip from London St Pancras to Brussel-Zuid with some Moet Chandon to kick off our first time being able to travel in months.
With only one day and many things still closed, below is a small account of what is possible in 24 hours.
The Grand Place
The iconic and photo worthy Grand Place is the central square located in the city of Brussels. Smaller than expected, but beautiful, nonetheless. Being as restrictions had only recently been lifted, the usual tourist crowds weren't around and capturing the iconic Grand Place photo was easy.
There are restaurants within the square, although they are overpriced. The Starbucks provides outdoor seating and your favourite Starbucks coffee to enjoy whilst marvelling at the surround the square minus the extra £££. Save that for later.
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
A mere 5-minute walk from The Grand Place will take you to The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert.
A picture perfect shopping arcade where you can shop (or window shop) high-end boutiques and chocolate shops.
Enjoy Mussels in Brussels
Considered the national dish of Belgium, you can find mussels served almost anywhere in the city. Mussels or moules-frites are served with fries, and you can typically find an array of different recipes to choose from. I chose an original recipe of garlic and white wine sauce and it did not disappoint!
There is a list of popular places to have your mussels in Brussels fix, but I prefer to walk around and choose a restaurant based on its appearance, prices and if I can see any local looking people eating there.
Try a Belgian waffle
With the name stating it all. You will find waffle stands and dessert shops scattered around Brussels selling delicious and warm waffles. You can choose the toppings to your liking, so ask for that extra Nutella!
Purchase chocolate from a Belgian Chocolatier
A significant industry since the 19th century, today it forms an important part of the Belgian nation and the economy.
There is no shortage of chocolatiers in Brussels to entice passersby to purchase some of their cocoa goodness. Even if not for yourself, Belgian chocolate makes for an excellent souvenir and if you don't go to Belgium for the beer, mussels or waffles then it has to be for the chocolate!
I purchased my chocolates from a boutique called Elisabeth.
Get lost within the city
Sometimes a jam packed itinerary can have visitors miss out on the hidden gems that you can stumble across by walking the local streets with no destination in mind. Sitting at a restaurant with outdoor seating with people watched for a good hour whilst enjoying an Aperol spritz.
This is actually how I came across our mussel's restaurant and a shisha bar that had an excellent vibe!
Despite it barely being the first week of UK opening up to a few countries around the world, I felt completely safe and felt a massive relief seeing that the world is continuing as normal despite some changes.
I had so much fun with my friend Tyler, it's amazing how much you can experience in such a short time. Brussels exceeded my expectations and I will definitely be returning to see more of the beautiful city. Full of food and beer, we were two very happy travellers returning back to London.