Me and my mate decided to book a long weekend in Brussels as the flights from Dublin were on sale with Ryanair. We paid about 50 Euro for a return flight and the hotels are pretty cheap so we managed to book a pretty cheap weekend.
Upon arrival in Brussels airport we caught the bus into the city centre what’s great about Brussels is that they speak both French and Flemish which meant I could practice my French. Although what I learnt was nearly 15 years ago I managed to have a brief conversation with the Tourist Information lady where we decided to by a Brussels Card valid for 72 hours which gave us free access to plenty of Museums and lots of discounts at restaurants, bars and even some shops.
We found the hotel and checked in then decided to set out and find food and beer as it was nearly tea time and we were pretty peckish. Surrounding our hotel was plenty of little cafes so we just grabbed a Pizza and enjoyed a few of the very tasty Belgian Beer..
The next day after a great breakfast of Croissants and coffee we set off to the Museum of Ancient and Modern Art, which was awesome. The pride of the museum is the Bruegel collections which were really really pretty to look at.
We then went to Grand Place which is the heart of Brussels with its historic market square and splendid guild houses which are very impressive. There were plenty of places to eat here and all the streets are lined with cafes and chocolate shops as well as plenty of pubs. We decided to take a break and look for the Manneken restaurant as we had discount and were told it was a nice place to stop. We eventually found it and although the food was a little pricey the beer was cheap so we had a couple of bottles. I like the Lambic beer with raspberry but we decided to take it easy and do some more sight seeing knowing we would probably head out tonight to sample a few more.. We did however stop of in one of the Leonidas chocolate shops and purchase a few to eat as we were walking around, although expensive they are so good and are probably the best chocolates I have ever tasted…
We then went to see the famous statue called Manneken Pis which literally translates into “the peeing kid”. There are many legends as to why the statue is there one of them is that there was a little boy who extinguished a fire with his pee, so they built a little statue to honor him. He has over 740 festive outfits according and if you come at Christmas they dress him in a little Santa outfit.
Eventually we walked back towards the hotel looking for somewhere for some dinner. We came across a place called Chez Leon which is a traditional restaurant which also brews its own beer. We couldn’t resist going in and we had a great meal of Mussels which again you have to try whilst visiting Brussels. We were also given a free glass of Leon beer which was quite nice. We eventually made it back to the hotel and although we were going to go out the amount of beer we drank at the restaurant started to have an affect and we passed out fully clothed as soon as we got back..
The following morning feeling slightly worse we decided to go to the Museum of Natural science which was awesome and the new major attraction of the museum is its fantastic collection of the “Iguanadons of Bernissart”. The skeletons of these dinosaurs were found in the late 19th century in the small village of Bernissart in the south of Belgium. After here we just walked around until we found the shop known as De Biertempel which is home to over 700 beers so we bought a few to take back with us especially the fruit beers which are great.
For lunch we went back to the Manneken Pis as we had seen the restaurant also called the Manneken Pis whilst visiting the day before and the place looked great so we went and had some awesome food, they do the best sausages I had a Wild boar and Cranberry sausage which was amazing and it wasn’t just the food that was great they had a huge beer menu we would of spent the day here if we didn’t have a late night flight back.
After food and beer we headed back to the hotel picked up our luggage and headed to the airport.. Brussels was great and a reasonably cheap weekend. I just wished we had one more night to be able to sample some more of the beer. I will definitely be returning for the Beer Festival..
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