I literally spent one night in Brussels. Why? One word: Beer.
My brother had been to Brussels and was talking about an awesome beer tour that he went on. Naturally, I had to go find out for myself. It was essentially my pit stop between Amsterdam and Paris.
How'd I get there? A 10 euro Flix Bus from Amsterdam. As we arrived, the bus driver asked that we all leave the bus through the front door and to wait until everyone is off before he unloads the luggage. He continued to explain to us that the crime in Brussels is "very bad" and last time a bunch of luggage was stolen. Not exactly the first thing you want to hear entering a city you've never been to.
Where did I crash for the night? 2G04 Hostel (city centre). It was actually pretty nice. Nothing too luxurious but the bathrooms were pretty nice and the showers had those rain shower heads which are amazing.
Did I do anything else other than the beer tour? Not a whole lot else. I just made sure I didn't leave Belgium until I had some chocolate and a waffle. I did both. I also visited the original Delirium Café—if you don't know, the only US location opened up in my hometown of Leesburg, VA. Crazy! I had to stop by and have a Tremens beer (apparently voted best beer in the world at some point.) Afterwards I randomly met a nice French girl who gave me some tips for my upcoming time in Paris.
The Beer Tour: This is where you can sign up for the beer tour I went on: Click Here. It was the pricier one but definitely worth it. You are given a personal tour with just a few other folks. There was 7 of us, including the tour guide! Our guide, Sebastian, was awesome. He lived his entire life in Brussels and he seemed to know someone every 10 feet as we walked between destinations. He took us to the hidden pubs that are down alleys—purposely hidden to keep tourists out. Apparently some of the pubs even have knocking codes at night so only locals know how to get in. Pretty amazing.
On the tour, we got to enjoy some delicious Belgian beers, including Trappist beers. These beers are special because historically they were always brewed by monks. I believe there is still a few beers actually brewed by monks, but nowadays, most are simply overseen by monks. One of the other interesting things about Belgium beer is the emphasis on the water as a key ingredient. Apparently they have water with unique characteristics—this adds to the exclusivity. You get to try some beers on the tour that are literally only available in Belgium.
I met a cool Canadian on the tour—he and I were the only single people on the tour. We ended up hanging out and getting dinner afterwards. We ate at a Neapolitan pizza joint called NONA...it was delicious.
- Go on the beer tour.
- I was told to be a little careful after 10pm... take that with what you will.
- Eat some chocolate, have a waffle, drink Belgium beer.
- Don't eat by any of the tourist spots: The good food is near the St. Catherine Cathedral. This is where the locals eat.