Moving to a new city is very exciting. Especially because there are so many places you want to visit and try out. In a city as touristy as Brussels, it can be hard to know where to begin. So when Marco Polo Guides asked me to use and review their Brussels guide I was very excited!
My favorite parts of their guide were the Do’s and Dont’s of Belgium (particularly the driving laws of the city), the useful phrases section both in French and Dutch, and their Discovery Tours suggestions. For this review we did a little bit of a mix and match of their Discovery Tours section, given that we had the baby with us and we wanted to go around by public transportation.
We were also very relieved that the restaurant suggestions all come with the place’s schedules. Restaurants in Brussels are usually not open on Sundays, and only open during lunch time or dinner (ex. 12-2, and 6-9pm). Luckily, the park we visited had a festival that particular weekend and it was filled with food trucks!
Le Pain Quotidien is a cute cafe opened every day, and in the mornings on Sundays. My favorite meal is the avocado toast, but their small breakfast is also good. They have a couple of jams to choose from and dark or white chocolate spread. Ohh, the perks of living in the chocolate capital of the world!
VISIT THE CITY CENTER
They are tons of cute neighborhoods to explore in Brussels but you might not get to find a lot of thins open on Sunday, that is why I suggest visiting the Grand place first. Now that I am “a local”, I try my best to avoid it because it is very “touristy” but we somehow always end up there. You will most likely find everything open, even on Sundays of course. And don’t assume that just because it is the city center it will be more expensive than the rest of the city. Eating out in Brussels is generally expensive, so all prices everywhere you go are kind of similar. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend at least 20€ per person (this includes your main dish and drink). But trust me, food is generally good. Honestly, if we were not saving for Mexico, you might find me spending all my money in every cute restaurant and bar out here. But enough about food, if you are not a foodie (or at least a part time one) you can also enjoy a variety of shows, tours and museums around the city center. And if you are a history lover, let Marco Polo’s guide educate you on the hidden secrets of Brussels!
I wanted to showcase this picture, because this spot is a must-see in Brussels. Honestly, just visit it for the sake of it or just skip it and let this picture show you what it is instead. The crowds are crazy, making it quite challenging to take a picture with the statue. But once you think about it, it is funny that you traveled all this way to just take a picture with a mini statue of a little boy peeing? Are Belgians playing some twisted trick on us? Let’s hope not, haha!
Monts des arts
The art district is the city’s equally touristy neighborhood but a little bit more calm and less crowded. If you want to enjoy some epic views of the city like the one pictured below, climb the steps of Monts des Art. During your visit in the summer, you will find a city bar there as well. Stop and enjoy the view! But if you are in the mood to learn more of the art and history of the Belgian capital, almost all big museums will be there in the area. The Royal Palace is also near, and it is quite the stunner!!
RELAX AT THE PARK
At the end of the day, we usually detour to this part of the city, this is the European Quarter area. What we love is that the access by metro with a stroller is a breeze and now that the weather is good, there are festivals taking place there every single weekend. This particular festival pictured below had an open bar and tons of food trucks, a couple of weeks later the Medieval Fair took place and it was a massive gathering of fun costumes, history and medieval food. This past weekend, a kid’s music festival took place there. And we will probably go there again this next weekend because there will be something to do there for sure.
The Atomium is the last stop of the Brussel’s at a Glance Discovery Tour, and though it is quite far from the city center, it is worth the visit. First of all, it is massive and you can climb to the top (by elevator) and have an epic look of the whole city. There’s a children’s museum inside the Atomium’s (every is a hall). There’s also a park around the area and another museum outside. Parking space is free on Sundays and there are also festivals happening here almost every weekend. You can rent a bike or have a picnic and explore the surrounding areas.
Another great and useful thing about the guide are their blogs, links and apps suggestions. For example, did you know that Brussels has a Toilet Finder app? One of the most useful apps in travel history, if you ask me!
I love getting to explore the city, this Marco Polo Guide opened my eyes to all the activities the city has to offer and I feel so lucky that we might get a chance to do lots of them now that the sun is out!
What will you like to explore in Brussels?
This post was made in collaboration with Marco Polo Guides. All opinions remain my own.