Brussels, Round Two

Monday 30 December 2013

Way back in September (I can't believe it's been that long) I joined in on @rovingaltruist and @thecultureur 's twitter chat, #SeeTheWorld, where Belgium was featured.  At the end of the chat, it was announced that I was the lucky winner of a weekend stay at the luxurious The Hotel in Brussels.  We had visited Belgium the year prior for an F1 race and while we enjoyed our time there, we weren't planning a return trip in 2013 but I certainly wasn't going to pass up this opportunity so we rearranged a couple of things and booked flights to Brussels.

Upon arriving at The Hotel, we checked into the most gorgeous suite - so gorgeous, in fact, I had trouble motivating myself to actually leave it!  (I wrote about our stay in detail for The Hotel's blog which you can find here.)

But alas, as comfortable as it was, we had a city to revisit.

The beauty of exploring a city for a second (or third or fourth) time is you feel less pressure.  Instead of scrambling to take in all of the sights, you can revisit those that were noteworthy and then head off to explore the rest of the city you haven't uncovered.  It leads to wandering down side streets and stumbling across markets you didn't know existed.  It allows for more time to linger at that cafĂ© and you feel less guilty about returning to that fantastic suite a little early to enjoy the complimentary mini bar and stunning views.
Brussels often doesn't rank as well with visitors as other destinations in Belgium.  It might not be as picturesque as Bruges and she might not sweep you off your feet at first glance but there is something about Brussels that's intriguing.  If all else fails, there's plenty of beer, waffles, chocolate and quirky shops to keep one occupied for days on end.

The weather during our stay in the city wasn't particularly welcoming but that didn't stop us from pounding the pavement.  We wandered for hours on end until we became too cold or our feet were too sore.  As usual, we mapped out our path on our city map, making sure to head into unexplored territory and when the weather really turned on us, we ducked into the Musical Instrument Museum (which deserves a post all on its own) for a few hours.

While the trip wasn't necessarily in the grand plan of travel for the year, we were thankful to have a second look at Brussels.


  1. I am a sucker for a nice hotel room and that one looks really, really nice! :)

  2. We just started talking about our Fall Europe trip and we want to go through Belgium, perhaps Bruges and maybe a quick stop in Brussels! Looks like an interesting city!

  3. I have quite a few friends who have studied abroad in Brussels and loved living there. I definitely hope to visit one day! That is awesome that you won a complimentary stay :)

  4. Very nice! I've always skipped Brussels when talking about potential European holiday destinations but it does look quite nice!

  5. Ah Brussels, she's certainly not Paris or London with her grit, quirk and schizophrenia...and that's exactly why I love her. Very glad you guys had a lovely time! ;-)

    1. You're right JoAnna - she's not London or Paris but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  6. What a great thing to win, Jay! This hotel and your suite look beautiful - it really must have been hard to leave it to explore the city! ;) I visited Brussels a couple of years ago with my parents and I didn't really care for it - but a lot has changed for me since then, so I would probably feel differently these days. Revisiting cities is great, though: I love seeing how my feelings for a particular place develop!

  7. Oh Brussels - this post makes me nostalgic! I love seeing posts about a place I got to know so well it was almost hard to write about it in the end. Great touch with that telescope you had in The Hotel :) And the Musical Instruments Museum does deserve a post of its own. Happy Almost New Year Jay!

  8. i'm still so sad my trip to brussels was canceled last year. and that hotel! you know how i feel about big white hotel beds :)

  9. So jealous! The pictures are beautiful!

  10. That hotel looks nice - it's so crisp and clean looking! Brussels and Bruges are on our list of possibilities for 2014. I really hope we get to go!!

  11. Happy New Year! I've been to Belgium but not Brussels...looks gorgeous!


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