The temptation was huge: I could have planned to spend basically a week in Brussels in our upcoming trip to Europe. That one week would include several day trips and would be jam-packed because I wanted to see it all. But no, I planned for 2 nights, 1 full day.
Why did I do that?
1) One week would not be enough: this is going to be our first time in Brussels (and Belgium) and I really want us to get a flavor of the place and want my husband and daughter to have that “we need to go back there soon” feeling – that’s how I can get my way for the next trip 😉
2) I was packing way too much in way too little time: yes, I get carried away when planning a trip to places that mean something to me. I have a sweet spot for Belgium because of the TV series “Septieme Ciel”, which was a great resource for me to learn French and I’ve always been curious to see the street murals with Tintin (whose adventures I used to read with my grandmother growing up) in Brussels. All that not to mention Bruges, the beach at De Panne, the many castles this beautiful country has…
Based on that reasoning, I am structuring a full day for our group. Here is my plan:
* Morning: have a classic Belgian breakfast and head to visit the Atomium (opens at 10am).
* Afternoon: have a light lunch and go for a walking, self-guided tour that will cover the Comic Strip Route (the painted murals) and also the famous Manneken-Pis, Jeanneke-Pis and Zinneke-Pis, stopping for a chocolate snack in any chocolate stores we find on our way.
* Evening: go for happy hour in a brewery and find a restaurant for a yummy meal before wrapping up the day with a night view of the Grand-Place.
It seems like a lot to do in one day, but excluding visits to museums and putting the Atomium as the first thing to see, it gives us a leisurely feel and I am sure it will make us all wish we had stayed longer. And I really feel this will make us come back soon to check our road trip from Belgium to Luxembourg off our Travel Wish List!
Now let the countdown begin to take some beautiful pictures and eat a lots of chocolate and frites!
Links for more info:
* Visit Belgium: http://www.visitbelgium.com – this is a great resource to start planning your Belgium adventure.
* Visit Brussels: http://visitbrussels.be – this is a great Brussels-specific resource to help frame your itinerary.
* Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com – this does not need introductions! Lots of great information, cool maps, tips and walking tour ideas.
* Atomium: http://atomium.be