Brussels, Belgium: 7 Attractions in 3 Hours

Belgium Gingy

Driving from Bruges to Paris, we only have time for a quick stop in Belgium’s capital to see the highlights, grab lunch, and indulge in one last Belgian Waffle.

1. Manneken Pis

Mannekin Pis Statue

  • A big attraction in Brussels, Manneken Pis, is actually quite small standing only 2 feet tall. Each holiday, the bronze statue of a peeing boy is dressed accordingly. On special occasions, bands play while Manneken Pis pees Belgian beer for those celebrating.

2. Everard t’Serclaes

Everard t’Serclaes

  • The bronze statue, a monument to Everard t’Serclaes, Hulien Dillens, is of a dying man lying in front of three reliefs: the liberation of Brussels, the entry of Jeanne and Wenceslas, and the destruction of the Gaesbeek castle. It was made to honor him for liberating Brussels in the 1400’s. It is believed touching Everd t’Serclaes’ right hand will bring good luck and running a hand along the statue from head to feet will bring a year of happiness.

3. La Grand Place

La Grand Place Belgium

  • In 1998 UNESCO declared the Grand Place or Grote Markt as a world heritage site. Once a marketplace for trading, many of the nearby streets are named after food: butter, cheese, chicken, and herbs. The cobblestone square is outlined with an eccentric mix of Gothic and Flemish guild houses, Brussels’ city hall, Hotel de Ville, and Maison du Roi, the Museum of the city of Brussels. Inside the L´Arbre d´Or (right), the Belgian brewers’ headquarters, visitors can explore an 18th century replica brewery and beer making tools.

4. Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville  Bruges

  • The Gothic town hall, Hotel de Ville, is still used for civic purposes. The ornate, arched windows and nearly 200 sculptures of drunken monks have earned this building the title of Brussels’ finest civic building. A statue of Brussels’ patron saint, St. Michael, slaying evil stands atop this asymmetrical building. It is believed the architect jumped to his death from one of the building’s towers upon discovering his perfectly symmetrical building had an off center entrance.

5. Maison du Roi

Maison du Roi Bruges

  • Maison du Roi, the Museum of the city of Brussels, is the most visited building in Brussels. Maison du Roi meaning King’s house in french, is known as Broodhuis, or bread house in Dutch. The Neo-Gothic style building was designed during the transitional period from Gothic to renaissance architecture.

6. Indulge in Belgian Waffles

waffel mania Brussels

  • In Belgium there are actually 2 types of waffles, Brussels or Liege. Brussels waffles are light and crispy made with a thin batter allowing for perfect rectangular edges and deep holes. Liege waffles are made with a thick, doughy batter resulting in a thick, chewy waffle with uneven edges.

7. Maison des Ducs de Brabant

Masion de Ducs de Brabant

  • The most modern addition to La Grand Place, Maison des Ducs de Brabant, House of the Dukes of Brabant, is a group of neoclassical guild houses.

Next stop: Paris.

September 2015


Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

My fiancé, Mitch, and I have been traveling together over four years. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, PA, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, and experiences to maximize our time. Any time we travel, we try to visit to a local brewery and can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. 
 In Tokyo, we laughed every time we saw someone talking on their large, animated phone case. We had to buy one. Having an obsolete IPhone 5, the selection was limited. We purchased a gingerbread off a neglected rack in Shinjuku, Tokyo and The Traveling Gingerbread was born. You can purchase your own adorable gingerbread friend here! The Traveling Gingerbread is an entertaining account of our travels, fun facts, and tips we learned along the way.

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