I have been interested in visiting the capital of the European Union for a long time, but somehow I always prioritized other destinations over it, even if it is one of the most easily accessible cities in Europe. Ryanair flies there from almost every major cities, the flight tickets are extremely cheap and the low number of attractions make it perfect for a short visit. So you literally have no excuses for not visiting this city!
We traveled with an early morning flight to Brussels Charleroi Airport and from there was an additional hour to get to Brussels. We took a bus, which proved to be a very convenient and low-cost solution. We got off at the central station of Brussels and then headed towards our hotel which situated in the city center, just right next to the Grand-Place.
After checking in the hotel, we agreed to grab something to eat before we explore the city. I'm sure we found the coolest place for fish & chips, it is called Bia Mara, located only five minutes from the Grand-Place. Everything from the food to the service was amazing.
Our first stop was the Atomium which is a little bit further away from the center, but we walked there anyway. It was built in 1958 for the World's Fair and forms a unit cell of an iron crystal. With a total 102 m height, the view from the top is impressing to the city. Today it operates as a museum, where you can learn about the construction works of the Atomium and 1958 fair, see the exhibition of the legendary Belgian airline, Sabena, which operated between 1923-2001 and even have lunch in the restaurant which can be found at the top. There is a nice park around the Atomium, so if you have the time, you should check that out as well.
Our next stop was the city center again and we returned to the Grand-Place, to spend more time here and take some photos. It is really one of the most beautiful squares, I've ever seen before and instead of a flower carpet, now dozens of tourists and locals had a picnic on the cobble stones. This place has a unique atmosphere and I definitely recommend you, to have at least a cup of coffee on one of the surrounding restaurants' terrace.
Due to the lack of time, we had to give up the visit of the European Parlament, which I know is a shame, but sorry, we were more interested in the Manneken Pis! People always complain about the size of the Little Mermaid, which I never really understood, but once you see the Manneken Pis in live, you will change your opinion. It is really tiny... But yeah, it's cute, I won't deny it. Fortunately, there weren't tons of tourist at the time we were in Brussels, so we could take some really cool photos of everything we wanted.
All in all we spent two and a half days in Belgium and our next stop was Bruges, check out our article about it as well.
Buy in advance your bus tickets from the airport, it is a little bit cheaper and it's always better to travel well-prepared, no?
The city is not famous for its tourist attractions, but you should visit it for its special atmosphere, the nightlife, restaurants and bars are amazing.