Our last stop on our Belgium trip was Brussels. We used our ACPrail tickets and took the 35 minutes train ride from Ghent straight to Brussels. We took a cab straight to Hotel Made in Louise and started exploring.
Brussels is very different from Bruges and Ghent.
First and foremost, it is a HUGE city! It is the capital of Belgium and the European Union.
There is TONS of security around. Armed military personnel at the train stations and other areas around the city.
Brussels feels a lot more European, and they speak French instead of Dutch.
Manneken Pis is the symbol of Brussels.
It was made in 1619.
It is a 24-inch high bronze statue that depicts a boy peeing into a fountain basin.
It is quite the tourist attraction.
The city even dresses him up for various events in the city.
This day he was wearing his soccer uniform for the big game!
I read somewhere that he has over 900 costumes.
Right next to the statue are several great waffle shops.
They have replicas of Manneken Pis.
I got caramel and whipped cream.
Look at all the choices! Waffle Heaven!!!!
I also sampled a liege waffle with Nutella and whipped cream. YUM!
I loved the waffle shops in the super touristy area – they were only 1€ for the waffle and 1€ for each topping.
Maison Dandoy is famous for inventing Speculoos cookies.
I think most of us in the USA know speculoos as Biscoff.
Maison Dandoy is also famous for their waffles!
We tried a fresh Brussels Waffle with caramel.
The caramel was more like syrup.
The Brussels Waffle is what we call Belgium Waffles.
This was THE BEST Belgium waffle I’ve ever eaten! SO good!
We also sampled Maison Dandoy’s liege waffle.
We got out waffle with speculoos spread on it.
It isn’t on the menu, but they will add it on top of the waffle if you ask.
It was to-die-for!!!
There are LOTS of Maison Dandoy locations in Brussels.
To get the waffles, go to the Maison Dandoy Tea Room.
The address is:
Rue Charles Buls 14
1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels.
It is MAGNIFICENT!
This building is the King’s House. It houses the Manneken Pis’ wardrobe.
Town Hall – isn’t it wonderful?!
The buildings are covered in gold!
They apply the gold by hand and are constantly maintaining it.
Legend has it that Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto here at the Swan House Restaurant.
I LOVED the colorful windows of this building!
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a beautiful shopping place in Brussels.
There are tons of great shops. Most are very high end.
It is a great place to check out the best of the best in Brussels.
LOVED the lanterns on this street!
Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
Mont des Arts
LOVED the garden and the view of the Grand Place.
The garden of Mont des Arts is maintained by Brussels Environment Institute according to the spirit of René Pechère, the landscape gardener who created it in 1958.
Le Carillon du Mont des Arts is a Jacquemart Carillion clock with 24 bells found on a arch of the Mont des Arts.
Notice the 12 figurines – they represent important historic and folkloric figures of Brussels through the ages.
Jacquemart type clocks can be recognized by the character on top which marks every hour by striking the bell with a hammer. It was built for the 1958 World Fair that took place in Brussels.
Place Royale is located right behind the Mont des Arts area.
In 1831, the coronation of King Leopold I, Belgium’s first king, was held in the place.
The funerals of King Leopold III and Prince Charles were also held in the square.
Royal Palace of Brussels is the official palace of the King and Queen of the Belgians in the centre of the nation’s capital Brussels. However it is not used as a royal residence.
The King and his family live in the Royal Palace of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels.
The palace is located in front of Brussels Park.
Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon
Legend has it that in 1348 Beatrijs Soetkens had a vision from the Virgin Mary telling her to steal a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary from the church in Antwerp and bring it over to the Sablon chapel in Brussels. Since then, the church has become a place for pilgrimage in Belgium, with an annual procession to honor the statue.
Across the street from Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon is Square du Petit Sablon.
The fountain-statue represents earls d’Egmont and the Hornes and was sculpted in 1864 by Charles-Auguste Fraikin.