Monday, September 3, 2018

Belgium during Easter Break (3 days Itinerary)


Decided to take a 3 day break to Belgium. As me and my friend had a really hectic term, we decided that this would be a really chill trip and focus a lot on food as we were food deprived previously. We did some sightseeing but all we did was eat and eat and eat in Belgium. The moment we arrived until we left, we were just basically spamming waffles and seafood.

DAY 1

BRUSSELS

Grand Place / Grote Markt

Huge town squared surrounded by historic building in the 14th century making it look really grand just standing right in the middle of the square. It is right at the central of Brussels city. These historic building were guildhalls and the Town Hall.



Caught the morning and night view of the square. We had to come back here after our dinner just for the night view of the town square. We also heard that it's suppose to be really lively with people basking and playing musical instrument around at night. Unfortunately, it was raining in the night so it was just pure tourist taking photos. 

Brussels Town Hall

The town hall of Brussels is a Gothic design building right in the Grand Place and opposite the Museum of Brussels. This building stands out in the Grand Place due to its Gothic architecture surrounded by more elegant designed historic buildings. Apparently, this is also the only remaining medieval building of the Grand Place. 

Got to admit, this was really a badly captured photo. I am not sure why I didn't get a nicer photo of the town tall
Well, I did get a better picture of the Museum of Brussels.

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Belgium is famous for their chocolate and my dear friend here was the biggest fan of chocolate so we headed to the shopping arcade to get some. According to her, the best chocolate was Pierre Marcolini followed by Neuhaus. I am not a huge fan of chocolate but I tag alone and got either ways. 


It's a long hallway and mostly sell chocolates. It's like chocolate market in the arcade and there were so many to choose from. Every one of them is filled with customers. I guess there isn't any best chocolate but more of the preferences of the buyers. 

Manneken Pis

The name simply translate to a little men peeing. I did not see this coming at all. I was wondering what's so special about this statue. It rose up to fame and became a popular tourist spot. In fact, all the souvenirs such as magnet, postcards, drawings were all of him. I guess he is a significant figure of Brussels. We went there and I was even more shock of how small he was. I mean it's good to finally see this famous little landmark for your own but I still did not find anything special about it. 


Monts De Arts

This is an area surrounded by historical building such as the Royal Library of Brussels and Meeting Centre. It used to be really densed in population but this area was definitely less crowded than the Grand Place, which is much more to our liking. We sat down around the area and enjoy the city moving along and people playing musical instruments.



Walking Tour Around the City

As my friend wasn't much of a cultural person, so we decided to skip the museums and just take a walk around the city and passing by all these landmarks. We were basically waffle hunting around brussels trying to search for the best waffles. For some reason we came to a conclusion that belgian waffles just wasn't our kind of waffles.



Saint Jacques-sur-Cordenberg

While we were walking, we pass by this neoclassical church located right in the central of Brussels with a grand, collonnaded portico and bell tower. I like the light blue colour at the top which makes the church look really elegant. 


There were actually a lot to see in Brussels but the both of us were actually so tired after the term we decided not to rush but just take a moment to enjoy walking around the city. We wanted to visit The Atomium and Mini Europe but it was almost an hour away so we decided to just explore the city.

DAY 2

BRUGES

Day 2 : We overslept! But it was the best sleep I had in that three (3) weeks after rushing for mid terms and coursework of course. Either way we made it to Bruges and I gotta say I love the Bruges much more than Brussels. We booked our lunch place which was a fine dining 3 course meal restaurant and gotta say I enjoyed it! That lunch took almost 2 hours which meant we had only 3-4 hours left to explore the city. 

Oh before I forget to mention, we bought our tickets from a tourist information counter instead of the ticket machine and it only cost us 18 Euro return trip per person. When we checked from the ticket machine it was 56 euro for two person. Do go to the information counter and let them know what you want and you'll get it at a much cheaper price.

Markt

The markt of Bruges is like the Grand Place of Brussels. Located in the centre of Bruges with colourful houses surrounding it and a mini amusement park there. It was raining and sunny every 10-15 minutes. It was quite annoying and when it was raining, we just went over to the amusement park and played for a bit. 


Bruge City Hall

This was the oldest halls in the entire Netherlands Region. The architecture and design looks amazing as well. Bruges was a city that was very much different from Brussels. It feels different and I really like how I was surrounded by all the amazing architecture building around. In Brussel, you only get this in the Grand Place. In Bruges, the design of those colourful houses is just everywhere and its beautiful.


Canal Boat Tour

Well of course, you can't see all of Bruges in a day so why not go on a canal boat tour which you also have someone telling you the history of the city and what different building represent. That was my favourite part of Bruges. You can to see everything and learn more from the tour guide. We had to choose between this and the Belfry Tower of Bruges and we chose this. 




The Beer Wall

Belgium being famous for their beer, would definitely have a famous place for beer as well. Located in the 15th century mayor house was The Beer Wall. For 20 euro, you get to try four (4) different kind of beers with snacks to match with it. They would give you a mixture of the strong and less strong beers to see which one you prefer and you can order further.





Church of Our Lady

The tower at the height of 115metres is actually the tallest in the city and also the second tallest brick tower in the world. That's something new that I didn't know. There is an art gallery in this church which was a very unique gallery I would say. It's not the typical art that you see but very subtle, beautiful, yet does give you a creepy feeling to it. I did not take photos because of the feeling that it gave me but it really has its own unique style. 


We ended our day in Bruges with the church and head back to Brussel for dinner. 

DAY 3

We had our brunch at Mer du Nord, by far my favourite restaurant in Brussels. To be honest, the food in Brussels especially the really popular ones are very expensive. And this place here is much cheaper and also much more delicious. 

After our brunch we decided to go around exploring Brussels again. Our only destination was the Parc Du Cinquantenaire. We actually walked there for about 40 minutes. So we pass by the financial district centre of Brussels as well where all the tall modern buildings were. 

Parc Du Cinquantenaire

This is a 30 hectare public park which have been around since the Leopald II reign. This esplanade was surrounded by gardens, pond and waterfalls. It's really pretty and has quite a view. The sole tenant is the Royal Military Museum in the Northern Hall. We explore the area about an hour or two. Across the Cinquantenaire, there is actually another town there where you can just head over for a walk during a good weather. It's actually pretty therapeutic. 


If you notice, she was my first travel buddy during my first ever Europe trip and here we are again after 1.5 years travelling. There is never a dull moment with her. Someone who you can do crazy thing with, order as much food and explore different things together.
Every trip with her is an adventure. Did I forgot to mention we only manage to enter our train in London to Brussels a minute before the door closes. It was quite a hectic morning so on our third day we arrive 2 hours earlier before our train only to find out our train has been delayed up 3 hours. Well, I didn't mind getting delayed with her as she is fun to be around with. Very easy going and we really do accommodate each other in our travels.

Well, that pretty much sum up our trip in Belgium. If you have time, you can visit other cities like Antwerp and Ghent which we didn't get a chance to do it in our three (3) days as we were taking our own sweet time in each cities.


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5 comments:

  1. This itinerary looks fun. I would like to try it out too.

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  2. I have always wanted to visit Belgium. Unfortunately, I haven't seen much of Europe yet. I definitely need to get there and explore. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

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  3. It is a shame it was raining at the square when you went back so the normal music and entertainment was not happening

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  4. It seems like you managed to pack in a lot of sightseeing into the short trip! I am impressed. We were meant to spend a day here back in May on our Europe travels but my partner broke her foot and we were sent home to the UK to rest and missed it all

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  5. Great pics and great places.... Would love to visit someday

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