We are going to inspire you to go from Lille to Brussels!
You wake up one morning in your new coliving and inspire your fellow colivers to go on a trip with you. Where do you go? We recommend you visit Brussels, known for its cuisine, numerous types of beers, and its history.
In less than 17km you could find yourself at the Belgium border, but to get to the city of Brussels it would only take you 35 minutes by train from Lille with Thalys. Whether you go for just one day to discover the nightlife or you escape for a weekend, you won’t regret this trip.
When is the best time to visit Brussels?
Speaking in terms of weather forecast they say the best times to visit would be March and May and September and October. However, as we are currently in December now, this article is written with winter in mind. We believe you should take advantage of the incredible Christmas Market the city offers until January 1, 2023. However, the Winter Wonder Woods will be available until January 8, 2023.
It’s time to get lost between the 200 booths that offer an array of artisanal products, food, fine wines, and cheeses. You must go ice skating in the rink they have set up while enjoying the light show and the 18-meter beautifully decorated Christmas tree. You may even want to bundle up and take a walk to enjoy the brass bands, parades, concerts in support of Ukraine, or the Crystal by Cirque du Soleil. The city truly gives it its all every year as the city expects with every passing year approximately two million people to visit during this time of year.
This year’s Christmas market is located a two-minute walk from the Mont des Arts. The exact address for your google search is Carr de l’Europe.
What should you see?
The Grand Place is the most visited and most famous square (plaza) in the town. Once you make your way to the center of it, you will be surrounded by great architecture. We believe the streets located near the square look like the “Vieux Lille”.
We also recommend you pass through the Place du Sablon. This is known as the luxury district, it is here where the high-class boutiques and antique dealers are located. From here you can also admire the impressive Atomium, a landmark created for the Brussels world’s fair in 1958.
If your goal is to avoid the most famous tourist streets we suggest you go for a walk in the Marolles District, locally known for its daily high-end flea market (located in Pl. du Jeu de Balle 79) as well as, modern galleries showcasing work by Belgian and international artists.
You cannot miss Manneken Pis, he is located between the Rue du Chêne and the pedestrian Rue de l’Étuve. He was designed in 1388 and is easily one of the most loved symbols of Brussels. His small bronze statue measures 50cm tall and is of a small naked boy urinating in the fountain. The legend claims he saved Brussels from disaster.
We also want to share with you his feminine version, much less known Jeanneke Pis, she is located on Bouchers street. Created by Denis-Adrien Debouvrie with the idea of restoring equality between men and women, as well as bringing more tourists to the street where Jeanneke is located, a street where he has many restaurants.
What should you eat?
Now that you are in Brussels you need to taste their culinary specialties which include; beer, french fries (that are actually Belgian), and waffles. Sounds great doesn’t it? It is.
Our recommendation is finding the little pubs around the streets, and enter in any one that strikes your attention. If you are a beer drinker, ask the bartender to recommend you one that they like or see if you can get a flight (between 3 – 4 12 oz beers) to try. This is also a great idea for tasting with your fellow colivers. Typical Belgian beers are very heavy in terms of alcohol, you may not be used to this so just be careful!
Right in the Grand Palace you will find Maison Dandoy, a well-known waffle house. However, if you are just wondering around the city you will find more of Maison, so don’t worry if you miss the one in the center!
Friterie du Miroir, is not in the heart of the city either but it is said to be the best spot for Belgian-French fries. They are made fresh and have just the right crisp to them.
What should you expect?
The Belgian people are known worldwide for their kindness and generosity. They are extremely welcoming.
If you don’t speak French or Dutch? Don’t worry, you will find a lot of people speak English as there are a lot of expats in the city making it extremely easy to communicate and feel comfortable. There are also a lot of “international districts” such as Ixelles and Saint Gilles. The neighbourhood of Ixelles is known for its artsy feel, trendy restaurants, and boutique hotels. While the neighbourhood of Saint Gilles they say feels like a village, known for its colorful terraces, beautiful arching architecture, and a paradise to fellow artists.
It’s your time to enjoy Brussels, wander the streets, and strike up a conversation with the people of the city! Enjoy yourself, be safe, and remember that your home in Lille will be waiting for you when you come back!