Brussels, Belgium is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. While everyone is rushing to get to London and Paris, Brussels sits idly by, waiting for you to notice how great it is! Here’s why you should visit Brussels:
1. Mussels from Brussels. The gastronomic delight of mussels cooked to perfection in their rhyming home of Brussels cannot be understated. I had never eaten mussels before, but as I found myself in Brussels during their Gastronomy Week, I couldn’t resist the opportunity! When that steaming pot filled with butter-soaked molluscs came out of the kitchen, I knew I had made the right decision. I ate to my heart’s content, pairing the mussels à la mariniére with a crisp glass of riesling.
2. It’s not crowded! One of the major reasons I loved Brussels was that I could enjoy everything the city had to offer without battling other tourists for a spot with a view or for a seat in the restaurant. With all the charm and appeal of other European cities, Brussels won my heart with its easy accessibility.
3. Belgium waffles. I feel like that is reason enough to move to Belgium and never look back! There are waffle trucks positioned all around the city, luring you in with the scent of freshly pressed waffles, coated in sugary goodness. The smell of waffles is so present throughout the city that I had a hard time resisting my sweet tooth temptations!
4. It’s a walkable city. Much like my beloved hometown of Boston, this city is very easy to explore by foot. You can spend all day strolling around, meandering through windy back roads and through major city squares, taking in the city at the pace it was meant to be seen. When you don’t have to rely on taxis or buses or trains to take you around the city, your experience is slowed down, and you can enjoy every moment of getting to your destinations.
5. Belgian chocolate! I think you may be getting the sense by now that Brussels has a lot to offer to the hungry traveler, which is a beautiful truth. The chocolate here is sweet, rich, creamy, and mixed to perfection the way that only chocolatiers that have honed their craft for decades can do.
6. It’s the EU capital. As the central hub of the European Union, Brussels has managed to cater to international business and politics, while upholding the appeal and tradition that make it so historically and culturally rich. Brussels maintains its small-city appeal, insistent upon keeping with the unique characteristics that separate it from the rest of Europe, even as it becomes a bustling hub of international activity.
7. The quirky attractions. For reasons unique to each example, Brussels is home to some of the oddest sights and attractions. The Atomium, an enormous 102m geometric structure, is a remnant of the 1958 World’s Fair. And Mannekin Pis is a bronze statue of a little boy peeing, as he has been doing since the 17th century.
The attractions are weird and the politics are bustling, but the food is to die for and the charm is over-the-top. Brussels is a truly lovely city, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!