Thousands of Breweries and hundreds of beer varieties, creamy chocolates and yummy fries to completely and delightfully indulge into. This liberal city has a lot on offer for a young solo traveller. Brussels is one of those cities which demands attention when in Belgium. Ask anyone who has travelled to Belgium, and there will definitely be words of praises for Brussels. And I am no exception. Be it the beer and an exciting food scene in general, or the ethnic architecture amidst the backdrop of rustic villages, Brussels is a city to behold.
The city is segmented into famous and apparent contrasts like the Flemish and French; bizarre versus boring or historic versus hip. The awe-inspiring city is thus full of contradictions and it is this multicultural dimension which goes further deeper than just the famous Eurocrats. Brussels manages to seduce one and all as one of the best hidden gems of Western Europe.
The small town charm of Brussels works in its favour the most. Trendy bar and fantastic nightlife don’t hurt either. Along with the original Belgian beer to soothe the throat, the old-fashioned and traditional settings of the bars set the clock back and can take you in a different world altogether. Known as ‘Estaminets’ in Brussels, these bars have maintained their settings and interiors from as long as the 18thcentury. Bars like the A la Becasse, A La Mort Subite and the Tavern Greenwich are a pleasant reminder of the glorious past of the city.
If you are a die-hard chocolate fan, a must visit for you is the famous Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate in the city which is located at a stone’s throw from the main market square of Brussels. Here, along with delighting your taste buds you can also explore the history of chocolate making during the times of the Mayans and Aztecs, who were also known to grow cocoa over a thousand years ago!
You also cannot miss to go on a beer tasting tour in the city and savor the choicest of beer samples and it will get revealed why the country is also famous for its mouth-watering samples of beer as it boasts of having a diverse and rich brewing tradition. Brussels provide varied artisan brews each with a unique flavor. You can also go for an adventurous experience through fun sipping on to the “Gueuze sur lie” belonging to De Keersmaeker as you have a bite of the local tête pressée or kip-cap (pig cheeks).
Beginning in September’s first weekend, the Brussels’ popular Grand Place is the only UNESCO World Heritage site to host an annual beer festival. Out of all brewing countries, Brussels has the best authenticity which is evident from the nation’s exclusive blend of cafes, ‘tea-rooms’ and brasseries available in the city and you can surely have a good time while here.
Along with beer and chocolates, one thing that Brussels is absolutely famous for are, as astounding as it may seem, fries. Pronounced as ‘frites’ by the Belgians at Brussels, the city is lined up with ‘fritkots’, as they call it. It is a way of life for people at Brussels, and places like Maison Antoine, Friterie Clementine, and the more popular Flagey, throng with locals and tourists alike for the varied and delicious Frites.
With hundreds of cafes strewn around, it is difficult to choose the best, but Café Belga comes close. With lip smacking delicacies all through the day and coffee to die for, this makes for the perfect hangout place after a busy day.
Much about inside the city, the true liberation comes on the rustic outside tracks and villages surrounding Brussels. With more castles per square mile than any other place in the world, the architectural prowess of Brussels stuns one and all making for a smooth drive among the ethnic architecture laden structures. Travelling within and outside of the city has been made easier by car hire companies such as Thrifty Car Rentals. Brussels is truly a treasure, just waiting to be explored!