Explore: Brussels, Belgium

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

We’ve had nearly constant snow fall for the past 22 hours, so this seems like the perfect time for me to finally share some photos from our visit to Brussels over the summer. 

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is chock full of historical architecture, and the Grand Place is pretty spectacular. We had fun going around and checking out all the old guild halls trying to decipher their names and figure out which guild they represented. There’s also no shortage of chocolate shops to pop into if only to dream about tasting the expensive Belgian chocolate.

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

Majestic churches were absolutely everywhere, and they’re usually free to go inside and gawk at.

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

My future U.S. Congresswoman definitely had to visit the EU Parlaiment site. This is also free to go inside and have a look around when not in session. They even give you a free audio guide. Just make sure to bring your passport with you. We also got to walk through a pretty park to get there. Bonus!

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is big, so if you plan on getting around on foot, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and bring water with you. There’s not a shop on every corner like there might be in other places. Food is also pretty expensive in restaurants, so I recommend carrying some snacks with you for hangry emergencies. 

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

We did hop on the subway to venture a little further out of town to visit a park that was once the site of a world expo. They have a giant model of an atom and a few other random structures still standing. It was also nice to spend half a day in a wide open green space after being in cities for so long.

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

The architecture of Brussels is pretty unique. Belgium is a French/Flemish/Dutch mash up, and that’s very evident in Brussels. Some streets were reminiscent of Paris while others reminded us strongly of Amsterdam. These all exist side by side in this big, beautiful, crazy city.

Explore: Brussels, Belgium

Brussels was interesting, and I’d definitely visit again. I can never get enough of waffles and chocolate. 

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Explore: Luxembourg City

Explore: Luxembourg City

Before we went to Luxembourg City, I didn’t know anything about it. It seemed like a logical stop on our Belgium trip, and I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and interesting it was. 

The city is full of contrast which is most notable in the stark levels it’s built upon. Dramatic architecture can be found atop the cliffs the city is built around, and down in the valley, there are quaint homes and lush parks. There’s definitely plenty to explore just wandering the steep and curvy roads, but we also visited a couple of interesting and enjoyable museums.

Explore: Luxembourg City

If you’re visiting Luxembourg City with your family, I definitely recommend getting a Luxembourg Family Card. For a flat and reasonable fee, you can get access to quite a few museums as well as public transport. We used the app and had an issue at one museum where the person working there didn’t seem to know how it worked, but hopefully that’s been taken care of. It definitely saved us money.

Explore: Luxembourg City

While we were there we visited the huge National Museum of History and Art. It’s five floors and goes right underground showing you the rock that it’s embedded in. You’ll find everything from modern art to ancient artefacts here. The cafe wasn’t half bad, either.

We also explored the Luxembourg City Museum which was intriguing and interactive. We learned a lot about a place we had never really given much thought to. Bonus for being nice and cool on a really hot day.

Explore: Luxembourg City

Luxembourg is a very wealthy country, and it shows in the shops and restaurants, but most especially in the cars you can see driving down the road. This can be a hindrance, though, if you’re trying to eat on a budget. One of the major drawbacks is that restaurants are quite expensive, and shops are hard to find and close early. 

I’m so glad we decided to explore Luxembourg City. It was absolutely beautiful, and I’ll never forget it.

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Explore: Bruges

Explore: Bruges

Explore: Bruges

By far my favorite place on our travels this summer was Bruges. I’ve been wanting to go there ever since I watched the dark comedy In Bruges. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you do. Don’t get offended. Just laugh. And then check out the setting because it’s gorgeous.

Explore: Bruges

Bruges is every bit as magical as the film makes it seem. It’s so adorably historic it almost felt unreal. Even the walk into the center of town from our cheap hotel near the train station was full of fascinating little details and intriguing alleyways. I wanted to stay forever.

Explore: Bruges

Because it’s so iconic in the film, we had to climb to the top of the bell tower. It’s quite steep and windy, and while going up was a definite cardio challenge, it was going back down that was actually pretty scary. If you’re nervous at all about heights, you’ll definitely need to practice your deep breathing here. I recommend going there first thing in the morning before it gets busy. The spiral stairs aren’t really wide enough for two-way traffic, so you don’t won’t to fight the crowds trying to get back down without falling. There are some cool displays of the bells on the way up, and the views from the top are really cool.

Explore: Bruges

We also went on a canal boat ride which was a great way to see some sites a bit further out from the center of town without having to walk miles and miles. (We still walked miles and miles, but we’re just weird.) 

Explore: Bruges

There are some extravagant old churches to explore, each with varying levels of what you can see without paying. There are also quite a few museums, but they’re all paid admission. We like to keep it cheap, so we chose the bell tower and canal boat as our paid attractions for the day. I definitely want to go back and check out some different stuff, though.

Basically, the whole place is like a living museum. The architecture was completely different from anything I had ever experienced. As always, I loved just wandering around and looking up and all the buildings and houses and signs and skyline that make Bruges so unique.

Explore: Bruges

We did go wandering and found a giant windmill which was pretty awesome. 

Explore: Bruges

The major drawback to Bruges is that the restaurants and cafes are all a bit pricey. Seeing as how their economy mainly relies on tourism, it’s not that easy to find a cheap place to eat, unless you want to go all the way to Belgium just to end up at McDonald’s. I’m not at all above eating frites or waffles and ice cream from street vendors. It’s the way to go in my opinion.

Explore: Bruges

Bruges has my heart. I would go back there in a minute. I could just walk up and down every street for hours on end just getting lost in my own imagination. Get there and fall in love.

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