Click the dots on the map above to view pictures I have taken in these locations.
It’s one of those places that just know how to eat and drink. Famous for their beer, chocolate, and waffles, Belgium knows how to do it right. In Brussels, around every street corner is some kind of indulgence. And you’re walking around the city anyway, right? So it’s okay to go for it.
Walking through the streets of Brussels, you’ll probably end up in the Grand Place, the dramatic plaza in the heart of the city. The screaming Gothic architecture completely surrounds the plaza, and you can almost feel it looking down on you. Included in the plaza is the city’s Town Hall, guildhouses, and the Breadhouse.
Another notable “attraction” is just down the street from the Grand Place, where people stand around taking pictures of a statue of a urinating boy that is Mannekin Pis. To make it even better, his attire is changed. One day, he may be dressed as dracula, but a few days later may dress like a tennis player.
While in Brussels, I decided to take a brewery tour at Cantillon Brewery, a historic brewery who has hardly made any changes to their beers since 1900. The processes here are so much different than I have ever seen in the US. Whereas most breweries carefully ferment their beers, Cantillon’s Lambic is fermented completely spontaneously, meaning that it all happens naturally. They also make a famous beer called Gueuze, which is a mixture of young Lambic and old Lambic and are refermented. This, again, is a process I have never seen at other breweries.
At the end of the tour, we’re all in the tasting room knocking back a few beers. Being a solo traveler, I was by myself. Since no one likes to drink alone, i struck up a conversation with another guy who was in the tasting room. Turns out that he was from Colorado and visits the brewery often to buy beer. He introduced me to one of the brewery workers (a local guy), and we all kind of hit it off. After the brewery closed, we stuck around to try a few different beers. At this point, it was about 6pm, so we headed back towards the city center to grab something to eat.
I ended up getting a great tour around the city, had an amazing meal at a local restaurant, and made a few new friends. The generosity they showed has left me with a phenomenal memory of Brussels.