I decided to make my great escape from the UK and wander over to Belgium. (Also deciding to write about Belgium while it’s still fresh.) After an exhausting overnight bus/ferry trip from London I finally made it to Brussels! A quick search on hostel world revealed, surprisingly, a hotel as one of the cheapest accommodations.
There were very clear directions on how to get to the hotel via public transport from the central bus station, and the underground was very eat to navigate dispite the language barriers. I finally made it to Meininger Hotel late morning. Unfortunately check in is quite late at 3 pm, but the time if no surprise they clearly stated such online. While I couldn’t check in early I was able drop off my bags and was then free to wander the city.
A word about Meininger Hotel: it is absolutely amazing. The dorm rooms run at €15 per night and can sleep up to 6 people. The beds are comfortable, come with linen and blanket (and bath towel), and each bed has a personal reading lamp and an outlet. The toilet and shower are separate, which is convenient, and both are located in the room. The shower gets nice and hot and there is excellent water pressure! You even have a hair dryer. It is like having a nice hotel room at a quarter of the cost! I would definitely recommend this hotel/hostel to anyone going through Brussels.
Brussels itself was a little bit underwhelming for me. It is a nice enough city with plenty to see but it lacked personality and felt a bit like “just another city”. However, it is worth spending at least a day wandering around and checking out. I got a kick out of the mannekin pis (little pissing boy), which is a famous landmark for both tourists and locals alike. There is also a pissing dog and a pissing girl somewhere in town, but I didn’t find them (a bit of a scavenger hunt for you when you choose to visit!).
On the road just near mannekin pis you can find shop after shop of chocolate and waffles. Thank you Belgium for being you and providing such wonderful treats. 🙂 After fully engorging myself on a chocolatey waffle I wandered over to Grand Place.
During the day Grand Place is, well, grand. It’s very pretty and you can admire the architecture and whatnot but if you do nothing else in Brussels….go to Grand Place at night!
I promise you it will be worth it. Standing in Grand Place at night feels just like you are standing in a fairy tale. I now know where Disney got the inspiration for the castle. I was amazed at the transformation from day to night of this place, it was stunning! Don’t miss this.