7 Highlights of Brussels, Belgium

belgium gingerbread

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

1. Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis statue

Manneken Pis brussels

  • 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 Statue

  • The bronze statue, a monument to Everard t’Serclaes, Julien 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 Gaasbeek castle. It was made to honor him for liberating Brussels in the 1400’s. It is believed touching Everard 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 Brussels

  • 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 (pictured right), the Belgian Brewers’ Headquarters, visitors can explore an 18th century replica brewery and beer making tools.

4. Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville brussels

  • 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 Brussels

  • 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. Belgian Waffles

waffle mania

  • 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

Maison des Ducs de Brabant Brussels

  • 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.

September 2015

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

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