Brussels may be known for their beer and waffles, but there is so much more to the city than you would expect.
After visiting Bruges, I took a train to Brussels and spent about 2 days there. If you are planning on doing a weekend trip to Belgium, I would highly recommend splitting your time between Bruges and Brussels because the train ride between the two is only a couple of hours and is really inexpensive. This time I stayed in a hostel in the heart of the city called 2GO4 and was able to walk just about everywhere. I would definitely suggest staying somewhere near the city center as there are a lot of things to do around that area that are walking distance, but the metro is also super easy to use, so no matter where you stay in the city, it’s not hard to get around. The very first thing I would recommend doing is going to the Grand-Place of Brussels, it has Brussels Town Hall, Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, Museum of the City of Brussels, and the Belgian Brewers Museum in it. There are also a lot of waffle stands and shops near the Grand-Place, like Australian Home Made Ice Cream which has life-changing waffles for only 2€. A few other sights that you can visit around the main plaza is the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert and Manneken Pis Fountain. On a side street called Rue des Bouchers, there are tons of cafes and restaurants that have really cheap lunch menus, like Chez Léon who has a lunch special of a main dish (mussels, salmon, beef stew, etc.), fries, and a beer for only 10€. As long as you stay away from the super touristy areas of the city, you’ll find that most of the restaurants in Brussels are reasonably priced. If you’re in Brussels while it’s still warm, one of the best ways to really see the city is by renting a bike and spending an afternoon riding around the city. Just be prepared to get a pretty good workout because Brussels is surprisingly hilly. Some other things that I would recommend seeing is the Royal Palace of Brussels, the UN Building, Cinquantenaire Museum, and Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Another big tourist attraction is the Atomium and Mini-Europe. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to go see it because it was on the outside of the city, but the metro system in Brussels makes it really easy to get to and from the Atomium from center of the city if you have the time to make the trip. Personally, my favorite thing about Brussels is their beautiful parks. They have so many throughout the city, but the best one I found was Cinquantenaire Park which has an amazing view of the Cinquantenaire Museum and the Arc de Triomphe du Parc du Cinquantenaire. It’s the perfect place to just relax and enjoy being outside with your friends. As for the night life in Brussels, there are a lot of bars with good happy hour specials, like WXYZ Bar which has two Stella Beers for 5€, and really cool night clubs like You Night Club and Fuse.
My advice when traveling to Brussels is to just walk around the city and spend time in their parks instead of just visiting the museums and monuments, you’ll see a lot more of the city and get a better idea of what it’s like to live there. Also try the small, local restaurants while you’re there, I found that the food was so much better and less expensive. Overall Brussels has some of the best parks and most amazing food in Europe and is well worth the trip.