We couldn’t end a tour of Brussels with a focus only on Grande-Place, even as memorable as that historic site is. There’s so much more to this capital city of Belgium, so we’re ending our Holland/Belgium tour with a few extra places to see and a signature food: Belgian chocolates!
The Cathedral of St. Michel and Gudula
As we’ve shown you in previous posts, we love touring European cathedrals, basilicas, and private places of worship. So, it’s no surprise that we’re leading you into Brussels with glimpses of a magnificent structure built in the 9th century, deserving of the title given by “10 Best Things for Couples to Do” as “one of the oldest buildings in Brussels.”
From the ornate sculptures on the outside to the peaceful, tall white vaulted ceilings, this church will put you at rest as you roam the interior. Take a closer look at the pulpit, spacious passageways, and columns. It’s within walking distance of Grande-Place, so it’s a short walk to see this worshipful, quiet place.
Brussels is vibrant. You can feel the energy as you walk the sidewalks, peer into windows, and mingle with locals and tourists alike.
Don’t miss Brussels Park (aka City Park) with its fountains and tree-lined walkways or dip inside Galerie de la Reine to check out the fashions. Top it all off with sandwiches to go or coffee and a Belgian waffle eaten at a sidewalk table. It’s Brussels at its finest!
A cat goes well with people and a bike goes well with the city.Alain Sechas, artist/creator of La Cycliste
If you love street art, it doesn’t get any better than Brussels! From comic book murals to life-size sculptures to the everyone-has-to-see Manneken Pis and TinTin. Brussels is known for art! And you won’t have to go far to see it.
In the last few hours we spent in Brussels, we ended this dream trip making chocolates at Neuhaus. Ever since Jean Neuhaus Jr. invented the Belgian praline in 1912, all Neuhaus chocolates have been made entirely in Belgium, and we were privy to their techniques (well, a little bit).
Thanks to Emily and her assistant, we learned how chocolates are made and decorated. We became chefs for the afternoon, adding sprinkles and nuts to fashion original treats. Eating, of course, was the best part.
The most fun? Sampling, sampling again, and buying chocolates for the folks back home.
We’re ending this series on Belgium and Holland with a thank-you to our readers. Traveling in two modes — a river cruise with Viking and a private tour with driver — may be something you’d like to try. It afforded us the opportunity to see many places in a short amount of time while making new friends with Viking, and then, with our guide, we had a chance to stroll leisurely and learn about the cities of Belgium one at a time. Whatever mode you try, here’s hoping you see places around the world in the way that suits you best.
Rusha & Bert
This post is one in a series prompted by a recent trip to The Netherlands and Belgium. Thank you to Viking cruises (Holland & Belgium 2022) and our travel agent, Lauren Gunnels of Ortelius Travel Advisors, for the arrangements and free time to enjoy the scenery!