I’ve only been to Brussels once, a few friends and I decided to jet off after our Leaving Certificate Exams and as flights were cheap we chose Brussels. What was a somewhat random holiday choice (most of our classmates went clubbing in Ibiza), actually turned out to be one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. Despite being a modern city, Brussels has a great mix of architectural styles all jumbled together, fantastic heritage to explore, great shopping, and delicious food. Here are our top five picks for your time in Comic City.
Watch a little boy pee in a fountain…
This isn’t as seedy as it sounds; one of Brussels most famous landmarks is the Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue of boy gleefully urinating into a fountain. This statue is so famous that every corner of Brussels is filled with touristy items commemorating the little chap – from tea towels to doorstops he is EV-ERY-WHERE. However, the Jeanneke Pis is a little less well-known. As the name would suggest this a small statue of girl peeing and she doesn’t get as many visitors as her “brother” so it’s definitely worth a look. If you can’t enough of these, there’s also a dog to complete the trio called Zinneke Pis.
Eat chips with mayonnaise…
Food is pretty much a staple of GirlCrew life – from brunches to tapas, vegan-friendly dinner dates to a taco tour, we’ve done it all. For those landing in Brussles Pommes frites (French fries) come with a good dollop of mayo – generally served in a paper cone they are the perfect treat as you stroll to Grote Markt (The Grand Place). If you’d like something a bit more special, our members recommend La Quincaillerie, 45, Rue du Page for the ever-popular Moules Frites (mussels with chips) or AMI, 13, Rue Lesbroussart if you are seeking more rustic fare and homely charm. If you prefer life a little sweeter, then pop into Le Maison Dandoy, 31, Rue au Beurre for a delicious Belgian waffle.
Get the grey matter going…
There is no shortage of great cultural activities in Brussels, from the Atomium, to the Museum of Natural Sciences to Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts (The Fine Art museums). One event that our members love is the Pub Quiz at De Valera’s Irish Bar. Yes, we may be a little biased on this one, but with a great menu and the gorgeous wooden interior that’s typical of the traditional Irish pub it’s become a favourite in GirlCrew Brussels.
Finish your day with a chat and an aperitif…
Les Apéros Urbains is one tradition that everyone will love, 5pm means Happy Hour so people meet to sip a few casual drinks in the summer sunshine. It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors, playing bowls, dancing to live music or simply relaxing and chatting with friends. Once things quieten down, usually around 11pm, there are a number of Apéros Clubs available to keep the party going.
Making friends in Brussels
As a city filled with expats, making friends in Brussels can be a challenge. We’ve all had times where we’ve missed a gig or haven’t gone out because our social circles dwindled, and as we get older this can get even tougher. GirlCrew solves this problem as you always have people to call on to go for a stroll or go dancing on a Saturday night. It’s for women aged about 25+ and all you have to do is join the group for your city, post what you want to do, and then enjoy the fun of heading off on an adventure with some friendly new faces. Welkom in België!
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