Belgium Europe Tips of the Trade

Things To Know Before You Go – Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is a really beautiful city. It was a bucket list item that I can now check off. I was pretty excited to know I was finally going to be able to explore and try the things they are known for. Of course while visiting I learned some things. So here are some things to know before you go to Brussels, Belgium.

Taxis – Easy to get one if necessary. We barely used a taxi. Mainly just to get to and from the airport and one quick errand. Most of the taxis I saw were black Mercedes. So if you see them when coming out the airport those are it. It is cheaper to buy the roundtrip on the taxi than one way. Depending on where you are going will determine the price. Our ride was about 20-25 minutes, but cost a pretty penny so it made sense to pay for the roundtrip to the driver up front. We then had a guaranteed reserved time back to the airport. The driver came early to take us back too!

Grand Place (City Center Area) ©2017 HollyDayz

Stay in the City Center- I highly recommend staying in the center near Grand Place. Brussels is pretty walkable, especially in that area. There is plenty to see and do right outside the majority of the hotels. The train station is also not too far away. Surprisingly it wasn’t too noisy staying in the center of it all.

Weather- Several locals have told us that in one day you can go though all 4 seasons. That makes it a bit difficult to know what to wear. Every morning it was cold and rainy. Later in the afternoon it warmed up. Every so often though the clouds would cover the sun and it would be really cold. Everyone would begin putting on jackets. A few moment later the sun would be front and center and everyone is hot and sweating. Just be prepared for all-weather while there.

Sneakers and a light hoodie ©2017 HollyDayz

Wear Comfortable Shoes- I always stress this, but you really need them here. Many of the streets are cobblestone. Since the city is so walkable it is important to have them. I had my Sketchers walking shoes that I usually have every where I go and a pair of sneakers. Both came in handy, especially since my ankles were swelled up already.

Incoming Train ©2017 HollyDayz

Train- The train is really nice. Very clean, pretty comfortable, and have decent sized bathrooms. There are even little tables that fold down. However be very mindful of the train you are getting on. Just because it says the train you are looking for is the next one coming on a certain track at a certain time, that isn’t necessarily the train you are supposed to be on. A bunch of us had to learn that the hard way. Asking a local, they even said we were on the right train, but I had a feeling we weren’t and found out that feeling was right. What was supposed to be an hour ride turned into a 2 1/2 hour ride.

Inside a train ©2017 HollyDayz

Language- A few locals told us that there are many different languages spoken there, but that everyone speaks English. I also overheard some people talking saying they didn’t know which language to speak when walking into shops because there are more than 2 spoken, so people just speak in English. The other languages spoken in Brussels is French, German, and Dutch.

Belgium Waffle with Powder Sugar ©2017 HollyDayz

Waffles, Fries, Chocolate, and Beer- These are what Belgium is known for. French Fries? Not on their watch! The French stole that. The beer I tried was pretty good. Of course I found one better than the other. Fries were good and chocolate rich of course. Not all waffles are created equal. Don’t let anyone tell you to eat it anywhere they are all good, that is a lie. Best waffle spot in the city center I was told was Dan Doy. So after having a not so great waffle I went there. In Brussels they eat their waffles with just some powder sugar, but you can get whatever you want on it. Honestly the way they eat it, really is delicious just like that!

Belgium (not French) Fries ©2017 HollyDayz

Have you ever been to Brussels?

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  • kittytocity

    Brussels looks fantastic! I wonder what the price would have been to grab an Uber from the airport instead of a taxi? Sometimes they are a bit cheaper. Bummer about your not so great first attempt at their waffles, glad they were redeemed at Dan Doy’s.

    • Holly Dayz

      Not sure. Didn’t bother to check this time around. Usually when I check out the different it is either more or very close in price. All good I was definitely on a mission lol.

  • Jimmy

    Those trains look so clean and comfortable. I’m a huge fan of a Belgium waffle and chocolate so for that reason alone I feel the trip will be worth it one day. City photo shot looks great. Thanks for the post.

    • Holly Dayz

      They are very clean and comfy. I wanted to go for the food too!

  • Joanna

    Brussels looks spectacular and the waffle looks delicious. Great tips for this travel

    • Holly Dayz

      Brussels was really nice.

  • 2aussietravellers

    Those are some great tips. Comfortable walking shoes everywhere is my philosophy these days as we love to discover a city on foot and it always amazes me just how uneven city streets are and just how many miles you can walk in a day within the city centre. Still if I’m going to indulge is testing out the waffles it’s probably best that I get a good amount of exercise finding them.

    • Holly Dayz

      Always my philosophy, but always have to remind people. I have seen people struggling in heels on those cobblestones and I just question them lol. You can definitely walk a great deal exploring and not even realize it.

  • RaW | Ramble and Wander

    I’ve been to Brussels twice, once in a summer and the last time, it was in winter. Both times I’ve stayed a hotel near Grand Place so didn’t really need a taxi from the airport as the train station is just nearby. To go to other places in the city, I just used the metro. Most of the times however, I just stayed and walked around Grand Place – that place is so grand & beautiful even in winter! Would love to go there again one day when they have the Flower Carpet event.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, I stayed a block away from Grand Place. But I am not one for taking the train with a suitcase after a long plane ride. So that is just how we roll. I was wishing I could have been there when the carpet was out as well.

  • carrieemann

    Really, just powdered sugar on the waffles? I had no idea! Overall seems like a great city for a quick trip — good to know that the trains are so nice (once you figure out which one to get on).

    • Holly Dayz

      Yup, just powdered sugar. I actually enjoyed that waffle better than the first one with a bunch of stuff on it. It is a quick trip city.

  • TalesOfABackpacker🌍 (@clairesturz)

    Waffles and Belgian fries – yum!! The fries are thicker than I expected, chunky fries are y favourite! ooh and I forgot about Belgian chocolate – I need to go there just for the food!

    • Holly Dayz

      I was thinking the same thing before I went. Food alone I need to go lol.

  • Jeuelle

    I had family living in Brussels a few years ago and I was sorry that I never had a chance to visit them before they moved to the States. Belgium is on our short list of European countries to travel as a family and I appreciated your concise review of the some of the basics of navigating Brussels. I’m pinning this post for sure!

    • Holly Dayz

      Awww, well maybe you will get a chance to go still.

  • sincerelyonyi

    I’m salivating thinking about the waffles. Could be my preggo cravings lol

    • Holly Dayz

      Could be. Congrats to you!

  • Ty

    I have never been to Brussels but it looks amazing. It’s always so hard to travel in some cities because of the train system. Like you, I learned the hard way when visiting Japan. It looks like an amazing place to visit. Maybe I’ll get there one day.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, sometimes you have to reply on your instincts rather than listening to others, even if they are locals lol. It was really nice.

  • Janna

    Brussels is one of the places I need to check off my list! Thanks for sharing these tips to us. Would love to explore this city someday. I’d probably avoid the taxis and go for the train instead.

    • Holly Dayz

      I hope you get to. It is a nice place.

  • Carissa (The Green Eyed Lady)

    Brussels looks amazing!! I love that you said you can stay in the city center and walk everywhere, I like to plan trips like this when we travel!

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, just put those comfy shoes on and walk around. It is pretty easy to get your bearings doing that.

  • Tia | Pennies In My Pocket

    Belgium has been on my list for years. I am hoping to make it happen soon. I cannot wait to try the fries and waffles. I will definitely keep your tips in mind for when I plan my trip.

    • Holly Dayz

      I hope you get there soon. I am getting hungry thinking about all the food all over again.

  • Jetsettera

    I was also there 2 yrs ago and I have a photo on the same square as you did.

    • Holly Dayz

      Oh nice! I am sure you enjoyed.

  • Queen Thrifty

    Brussels is on my list for 2018 so your post will come in handy it looks amazing!

    • Holly Dayz

      Oh great! I hope you get there next year!

  • WanderingCarol

    Great tips. Now I know to eat waffles and buy a return trip to the airport. I’d love to explore Brussels, for some reason I always zip through on the train.

    • Holly Dayz

      You must stop and check it out. It is really nice.

  • Trisha Velarmino

    I’ve been meeting a lot of people these days and many were from Belgium! They have beautiful places there and I think I’ll add Brussels on the list once I visit them. You made it an interesting place to visit!

    • Holly Dayz

      It must be a sign for you to pay a visit. It is really nice.

  • Jenna Kvidt

    I think we need to give Brussels another shot sometime. We only spent an afternoon there when we were passing through on a train, but the weather was horrible and we were exhausted. I think it would be great to see the city with a fresh perspective because it really does look great! Good tips and that waffle pic makes me want one so bad!

    • Holly Dayz

      It seems like so many people pass through on the train. That weather is very fickle. While there is rained every morning. Being tired doesn’t help either. Hopefully you are able to give it another shot soon.

  • Kita

    That architecture is beautiful. I have never traveled overseas but I plan to once my children are off to college.

    • Holly Dayz

      Very beautiful and gold all over. Great, something for you to look forward to!

  • Kiwi

    I just need to go to Belgium to get chocolate but definitely. I want to go on a waffle tour!

    • Holly Dayz

      I brought some back with me. That would be a lot of waffle consumption lol.

  • Jonna

    good to know that most people speak English. That is always a concern of mine traveling to a country where I don’t know the language

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea it is good to know. Then you have one less thing to worry about.

  • tiffanytravelsblog

    If I ever go to Brussels I def want to try the Waffles because I know that is what they are known for. So are you saying the fries don’t taste good? I would love to ride the train it seems super nice and clean. Don’t you hate when there are so many different types of weather in a day, should you wear shorts, sweater or bring an umbrella etc.. LOL #bipolarweather

    • Holly Dayz

      The fries are good. They invented them. Definitely bipolar weather. I packed an umbrella because I checked the weather before going.

  • Katherine G

    These are some great tips! Looks like you had a great time. I would love to visit Brussels, Belgium one day.

    • Holly Dayz

      Thank you. I hope you get to go soon.

  • TheMrsTee

    Brussels seems like such an amazing destination. Definitely one I would love to add to my list of places to see . . .

    • Holly Dayz

      I hope you get to go. It is really nice.

  • mimicutelips

    I had no idea their waleather pattern was so crazy. They have a bit of luxury with their taxi, I like that. Cobblestone is killer to walk on, although it looks nice.

    • Holly Dayz

      It does look nice, but a pain to walk on! Yea, their weather is all over the place.

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