Brussels, Belgium

Our trip to Brussels was unexpected, random and one of those trips where you think “wow this flight is really cheap, so let’s book it!” and so we did. I personally had no desire to go to Brussels at the beginning of my semester abroad but it actually turned into one of my favorite places that we visited.

We had a super early flight out of Pisa so when we arrived in Brussels, we were in dire need of coffee. BUT we had to figure out how to get to our Airbnb. The metro system wasn’t easy for us first timers. I mean we were walking around in circles in this massive station, but with help of a guy at a ticket desk we finally knew which way to go… and then the car we were on ran out of power. After a few minutes a new one came and we were finally on our way.

With our stuff dropped off at our place we headed to the city center and stumbled across a beautiful church and a park.

We found our way to the Royal Place that was absolutely stunning. I just had to take photo after photo to try to get the gold to stick out and to look as beautiful in a picture as it did in person.

After spending a good amount of time admiring The Royal Place, we wandered off into the side streets with adorable little shops and found the main shopping street. It was much colder than I thought mid 50’s would feel like so I picked up a scarf from Zara.

We also stopped for a couple sweets along the way and lunch at Drug Opera that was recommended to us by a friend. I had the croque-monsieur and it was so comforting and filling.

We also kind of stumbled upon this beautiful indoor outdoor shopping area with beautiful antique shops, chocolatiers and higher end retailers of jewelry and handbags.

Delirium Cafe & Beer images via Katie.

After we had to find this beer place called Delirium Cafe with over 2000 beers. I had a couple that I actually liked, one was Delirium Red, but at the end of that one the cherry became a little too overwhelming for someone who doesn’t like cherries. I also liked the Florsum Apple! It reminded me of a cider.

We ended up staying there for hours and on our walk back home we stopped by The Royal Place again to look at it in the nighttime.

One of the restaurants we loved for dinner was Fin de siècle. My roommate Katie and I split the short ribs and they were fantastic.

The next morning we had breakfast at Peck 47 and WOW it did not disappoint. They have benedicts, juices and waffle-benedicts galore. It was a delicious breakfast and worth the wait. I had the cheesy leek waffle and added bacon on the side and also ordered a cappuccino and an orange lemon juice. (The juice was inspired by the amazing one I had in Capri!)

If you are in Brussels you have to try this place!

After breakfast we of course had to stop by The Royal Place again on our way up to find the Palace and a specific chocolatier. But on the way up we of course had to stop for more coffee, and on the search for postcards we found a cute jewelry store nearby capital coffee.

The chocolatier was the Pierre Marcolini Haute Chocolaterie. I ended up picking up 2 bars of chocolate, splitting a few macaroons with Sarah and also split a hot chocolate with Sarah as well. The hot chocolate wasn’t like normal hot chocolate that I’ve had but was still rich and tasty. It had more of a vanilla bean taste. Unless you can finish a really rich chocolate dessert by yourself, I suggest splitting this with someone!

After this stop it was off the the Palace.

The Palace was HUGE. I loved the black and gold gates and thought the palace was beautiful. Unfortunately we didn’t go outside because we didn’t have enough time but I still would recommend walking up to this spot because even the view of Brussels is good.

After the castle, the last stop we had to make, before heading back to the main station (that we got lost at) was to see the peeing boy. Apparently it is a big thing to see in Brussels? So we headed over that way and ended up retracing all of our steps to go see it. (We should’ve just found it when we were at The Royal Place.)

Image via Katie.

He was a lot smaller than I originally thought he’d be, so it took a minute for the shock to wear off. But after, I for some reason was glad I had seen the little statue.

We caught the bus back to the airport and headed back to Italy that night!

xx, Chandler

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