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With a bus delay in Düsseldorf I finally arrived in Brussels at about 9.45pm. I did not look up any directions at all and my phone was about to die and I started to panic a bit, since I needed it for the directions to the hostel.
A day in Brussels: Arrival
When I arrived at the Gare du Nord train station it was all dark already and really windy. And while I was starting to walk it also started raining of course. The streets were really empty I barely saw any people walking around. Which is understandable with this weather. About 35 minutes later I had arrived at the Meininger Hostel.
Gladly it was not really difficult to find, I just had to follow a long canal and keep going straight the entire time. Also the hostel was really big and had a huge sign with its name on it that could not be overseen.
I checked into the hostel and after leaving my luggage in my room I had a little walk around the neighbourhood, also to see if I could find any food which wasn’t the case so I was glad I still had some food left from the bus ride. I was tired anyway and went to sleep just a little while after, there was enough time the next day to explore the entire city.
The next day in Brussels
The next morning I woke up early, also because people started blow-drying their hair in the room. I got ready, got a map at the reception and made my way into the city of Brussels. I did not really had a plan of where I was going but that’s usually what makes the best trips.
On the way I had some problems concerning my camera, somehow it didn’t seem to work even though I tried every setting. It would just not make any pictures. It was also raining a little again and I wasn’t in the best mood. I ended up taking out the battery and putting it back in and that somehow resolved the issue. Now I could continue walking. I kept going straight since I seemed to believe that was the direction where the city centre was located.
My first impression of Brussels
The weather is shit. There were a lot of little streets and it could get confusing finding your way around. At least if you are as bad with directions as I am. However, it didn’t make the city appear as that big.
Half an hour later I made it into the shopping street as it seemed, I suddenly stood right in front of Pull&Bear which is pretty much my favourite store. I did end up buying a jacket which I had to carry around the entire day, probably not the smartest move.
Other than that the other stores did not seem as appealing and I made my way to the Grand Place. I was really lucky I found it I didn’t even check the map.
Being a tourist in Brussels
It was time to be a typical tourist and click around with my camera. Looking back, the pictures weren’t as good as I expected them to be. The Grand Place on the other hand looked pretty majestic in real life. Having taken about a dozen of pictures I continued walking, as I do. That day I managed to walk about 25000 steps according to my phone.
I made it to the Palace of Justice, found a view-point, made it to the more fancy area of the city and tried a Belgium Waffle. I have to say, Belgium has to offer a lot of pretty architecture. From cathedrals to museums to the stock exchange, everything deserves to be part of a picture.
The city also has a lot of streets going up and down and I really got lost at one point. I was at the central station and I was trying to find my way back to the hostel. I had the map but it was impossible to know which street was which and I did not find the right direction.
I ended up trying out every street leading away from the train station until I ended up in a place that seemed familiar, as I had already been there before.
Conclusion: Did I enjoy my time in Brussels?
I know there are a lot of other attractions in Brussels, that I haven’t been to that day, such as the famous Mannekin Pis that manages to be part of every post card and souvenir shop, as well as the Atomium.
I did not have time to see everything but I also just like to see the city from other points of view. While walking around all day I made it to parts of Brussels that weren’t as touristy, tried Belgium fries (a little disappointing) and just saw how the local people lived.
A day is not enough to see a city as big as Brussels in its full facettes and for me to decide if I liked the city or not.
Good that I had another day in Brussels. But after all the walking I was glad when I arrived at the hostel again in the evening. Being a traveller can be exhausting at times.