Brussels Journals

Eight Hours in Brussels, Belgium

A March 2003 trip to Brussels by ext212

Grand Place (Grote Markt) Photo, Brussels, Belgium More Photos
Quote: We spent a week in Amsterdam and also took a day trip out to Brussels to, what else, EAT!

Eight Hours in Brussels, Belgium

Overview

Brussels, Belgium Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
We spent a week in Amsterdam but decided to spend eight hours in Brussels to eat!

Quick Tips:

If you just want to see Brussels, a whole full day is enough. You'll leave with an eyeful of architecture, art and culture.

Best Way To Get Around:

We walked all over Brussels, trying to cover some famous spots mentioned in our guide book. We were always taking breaks to drink wheat beer and we looked forward to every meal we ate while there.

Au Suisse

Restaurant

Au Suisse Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
It's lunch time and I'm waiting for the boy, my navigator and the designated map reader, to finish reading the map and take me to the best sandwich place in the city.

Au Suisse is packed this time of the day and we stood in line for about twenty minutes before we had a chance to speak in French and order the best bread lathered with foie gras. We walked back to the square and sat on the ground to finish off a second sandwich: roast beef.

Yum, yum, yum! The French bread is fresh and toasty and not hard to bite at all. The foie gras was excellent and I could have eaten the roast beef on its own.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2004

Au Suisse
73-75 boulevard Anspachlaan
Brussels, Belgium
32-2-512.95.89

Falstaff (Le)

Restaurant | "Le Falstaff"

Falstaff (Le) Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Dinner was at the famed Le Falstaff on 7 rue Henri Maus. Before we left Amsterdam, our Dutch friends recommended the restaurant and marked it on our Brussels map. We didn't have reservations so we tried to eat before it was completely dark. We figured it would be easy to get a table before all the diners come out to eat and play.

We had oysters to start. I got the rabbit for my main course and the boy ordered lamb chops. Both were excellent with a bottle of Pinot Noir.

The service was excellent and the food was incredible but we couldn't stay for too long because night had fallen and we had to catch the last train back to Amsterdam.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2004

Falstaff (Le)
19-25 Rue Henry Maus
Brussels, Belgium

Grand Place (Grote Markt)

Attraction | "Grote Markt"

Grand Place (Grote Markt) Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
As soon as we got out of Bruxelles Centraal Station, we walked to Grand'Place or Grote Markt. Brussels' citizens rebuilt the square in Flemish Renaissance Baroque style in three years after Louis XIV's army razed the square in 1695. It was pretty amazing to stand in the midst of it all.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2004

Grand Place (Grote Markt)
Central Square
Brussels, Belgium 1000

Cathédrale des St-Michel et St-Gudule Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Next stop was the Cathédrale des St-Michel et St-Gudule. Although built in 1226, it has only been a cathedral since 1962. The masterpiece of Brabant Gothic architecture was where Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde got married; their wedding photos are posted in the back of the church. The cathedral also has a grand collection of golden chalices and paintings by famous artists. Like most churches that are also major attractions, the space becomes less solemn when numerous tourists walk around. Try sitting in for a service so you can get a better feel of the place.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2004

Cathédrale des St-Michel et St-Gudule
Brussels
Brussels, Belgium

Jubelpark/Cinquantenaire Arch

Attraction | "Arc de Triomphe"

Jubelpark/Cinquantenaire Arch Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
Brussels has its own version of Paris' Arc de Triomphe and Berlin's Bradenberg Gate on an avenue named after John F. Kennedy. Leopold II had it built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Belgium's independence in 1880. If you watch enough BBC, you'll notice that the arc is their backdrop for EU stories.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2004

Jubelpark/Cinquantenaire Arch
European Quarter
Brussels, Belgium 1000

Museum voor Moderne Kunst

Attraction | "Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts"

Museum voor Moderne Kunst Photo, Brussels, Belgium
Quote:
To immerse ourselves in some Flemish art, we went to the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts. It houses the Musée d'Art Moderne and the Musée d'Art Ancien.

I was just amazed at how well-lit this museum was compared to, say, the Prado of Madrid. Spending more than two hours inside was so pleasant. It was a refuge from the bustling city outside.

One of my favorites, Robert Campin's Annunciation, was behind thick glass but I was able to touch another favorite, Jacques-Louis David's Marat Assassinated. It also had a separate wing for Pieter Pauwel Ruben's gigantic paintings.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2004

Museum voor Moderne Kunst
Koningsplein 1-2 Place Royale
Brussels, Belgium 1000
+32 2 508 33 33