I started off this year by celebrating my birthday the right way… in Brussels, Belgium. It was definitely one to remember! Many warned me about it being dangerous to go but I’m glad I didn’t listen. Not once did I feel unsafe or in danger. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. My cousin came along with me to celebrate. We used my flight benefits, which means we flew standby. It never fails, around my birthday it’s always raining. And of course this year there was a huge storm in New York. The flights to JFK were canceled and the flights to ATL were oversold. My cousin and I decided to fly from LAX to SEA and from there fly direct to AMS (Amsterdam). We got first class all the way! Once we arrived to AMS we took the scenic route to Brussels. We bought a 9-euro bus ticket to Brussels. The bus was really nice and comfortable.
We checked into Hotel Siru. The hotel was in the perfect location off the Rogier subway station stop. Walking distance to an alley filled with shopping boutiques and to the Grand Place. It was a small room but it was perfect for 2, very clean and located near a lot of other hotels. After checking in, we got ready to hit the streets and wander about. We stumbled into the long alley way filled with fun stores. We came across my favorite shop New Look. I bought a camel colored coat and some gloves… it was very very cold!
We decided to warm up by getting some dinner and beer. We headed back to our hotel and ate at a restaurant that was near called Brussels Grill. I ordered the half chicken with salad and chips (fries) and my cousin ordered steak with blue cheese, salad and chips. The beer menu is what excited us more. There were so many options of beers we’d never seen. I first ordered a Cuban beer and she order a raspberry beer. They were both a bit sweet. Next round we ordered a Leffe blonde.. these were a match made in heaven! The best part is that they came in gigantic glasses.
We off to the next bar! We came across the O Bar. I was in a hotel and packed with people and lit with fun colors. My cousin ordered a Juliper beer and I ordered another Leffe blonde. We finished up our swimming pools of beer and decided to head back to the hotel to get some sleep. The next day we had a lot to see!
The next morning we were on a mission to get us some waffles! Apparently, the waffle factory was THE place to go. I was located 4 mins away from the Grande Place. We walked through mini alleys filled with so many candy shops, chocolate stores, restaurants and cafes. Everything smelled so good and the architecture was incredible. We stumbled into a chocolate store and it was by far our favorite one! They had chocolate pizzas, hot chocolate sticks, slabs of chocolate, and liquor!
All of the chocolate tasting was making us hungrier and hungrier. We needed to get to this waffle factory asap! When we arrived to the Grande Place. IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE! So incredible it made my stomach drop. My cousin and I were both speechless. We took so many photos but pictures really don’t capture the beauty and feeling when standing in the center.
Down an alley, around a corner, we found WAFFLES!!
After Breakfast we jumped on the subway and headed to the Atomium. http://atomium.be
We ended the day with paella and beer. The restaurant was located down a small alley filled with restaurants. The alley was safe but I will warn you to be smart and ask a lot of questions regarding the price. The restaurant we chose had a menu outside of paella that came with a free beer. The man reassured us it was a great deal. He’s a man that sits on a throne of lies! They gave us a different menu that looked very similar. We ordered the paella and beer. When it was time to pay… instead of it being a total of 23 euros it was 105!!! I was furious!! We payed, even though I wanted to run out, FAST! We were more mad that we didn’t ask questions, making sure we were getting the same deal that was presented outside. The paella was okay and the beer came in a small glass. If you choose to eat in this small alley, BEWARE!
We figured the next step was to drink our sorrows away and headed to Delirium. It wasn’t too far from the restaurant and the Grande Place. We did a small beer tasting and ate amazing chorizo and cheese.
We ended the night walking back through the Grande Place and headed back to our hotel.
Jet lag hit us hard the next day and we didn’t get up out of bed until 12pm. Our last day in Brussels consisted of more exploring, candy tasting and we decided to do a proper beer tasting. We found one that was a few subway stops away. We grabbed coffee and some food first and as we were taking the day in we decided to do a proper beer tasting. We found one that was a few subway stops away. We grabbed coffee and some food first and as we were taking the day in we decided to do a proper beer tasting. We found one that was a few subway stops away. We grabbed coffee and some food first and as we were taking the day in It was like juice but not too sweet and a really pretty red. My friend from work, who is now living in Brussels, met up with my cousin and I. We had so much fun listening to live music and trying so many beers. There was literally a catalog filled with beers. After a few rounds, we decided to try absinth. we ordered mango flavor and I could only handle a sip, it was so strong!! At this point, we were really hungry and my friend took us to get the most amazing frites (fries) ever known to mankind! They come in a cone and a dollop of sauce is put at the top. We got mustard, curry and a spicy sauce… HEAVEN!Im so sad this trip had to come to an end. I highly recommend for everyone to visit, and understand that sometimes the media does hype up how safe and unsafe some places can be. It was an amazing trip and I really can’t wait to go back for more chocolate, more waffles and more beer!