We've been told that you could never possibly fall in love with Bruxelles first time you see it. Our courageous hitch-hiking & always travelling friend would even sump it up as a boring and average place. Well, we would rather say: when in Bruxelles, give yourself time to challenge your idea of the city. At first sight it awe-inspires with it’s beautiful-as-jewel, elegant Art Deco or Art Noveau buildings. Then comes a potpourri of multicolored, exotic flavour of some districts, streets full of smells, lights and loud folks hanging out in the bars or more often right at the streets till very late, especially little but great in numbers groups of young boys, perky and persistently picking up or goggling and whistling at whatever moves (doesn't it sounds a little like Italy, or other warm climes cities?;). In the historical city centre of Bruxelles, there's ornamental Town Hall, and just around the corner - surprising neighbors: elegant Saint Cathrine's and a big chinese supermarket, nothing new, big city life with neons and advertising, but in Bruxelles, where everything should be in order, planned with taste and in moderation, where things should be very down-to-earth, maybe even a bit stiff?
So before you even know it, you're flaneuring around, tasting variety of city’s flavors and wrestling with the thought that maybe deep down it’s already pretty strong infatuation and you can’t figure out how you could fall for something not so grand and dapper like Paris or hip as London, but got attracted to something you can't pick up, something in between. That’s how Bruxelles works it’s charm. It’s chaotic but at the same time very prim and proper, elegant but walking on the wild side, most accurately - it’s the evergreen surprise. It’s not obvious choice for love but if you let it show you it’s true colours you might find out it’s the one…
Different layers and faces of one place - that's of course the often case with many cities, it's just in our opinion Bruxelles is one of these that don't get enough credit for being so colorful, intoxicating, and a bit edgy:) If you used to think of Bruxelles in this exact fashion: 'nice but regular', or not consider it at all, maybe you would like to make a little detour with us? For starter, check out these places:
- Art & music in Brussels metro
arguably every platform is one of a kind: a bit of Horta, a bit of colorful opt art, and a collection of glazed ceramic statues.
- Tantin cartoon characters painted all over the city’s walls
at some point of your ‘exploring the city on foot’ you get into a habit or more of an ‘collect them all’ sort of obsession. When you’re first time in Wrocław we will welcome you with similar city game, all tourist eagerly fall for that:) Can you spot all of gnomes, the symbol of Wrocław, scattered all over the city? One would be hanging from a street lamp, other one guarding the entrance, a Gourmet has eaten too much, the very sleepy one is already in bed…
- Le bar du matin, Chaussée d'Alsemberg 172, 1190 Forest
we loved flavoured beer and an open-air terrace, where locals were leisurely enyoing their drinks in a low-key, chilly, not rushed afternoon manner. A glimpse of inner life of a district. Quite nice refreshment from tourists crowded and always bustling centre.
- Le Pianocktail, 304 rue Haute a 1000 Bruxelles
When in the area, it’s a good spot to relax and unwind. Coffee is cheap & good, we have soft spot for this sort of mismatched and funny interior design which reminds us of quirky East London cafes/pubs.
- magnificient and overwhelming architecture of Art Deco church: Basilica of Koekelberg
simply a must-see on your schedule. It will give you such shivers.
- Streets painted in yellow in Madou
we loved eco-friendly cars-turned-plant pots, just imagine NYC cabs with grass sticking out from inside, yep, that’s the size of it.
- have your instagram-moment at Place Poelaert , the breathtaking overview of Bruxelles.
-Brusseliciousxxx - open air exposition at Bruxelles Royal Park. 35 giant hand painted sculptures of chocolate, beer, fries…we really liked experiencing such quirky landscape pop art in the royal backround, let’s talk about Koons in the Verasille, but that one we only know from pictures;)
Have yourself a very special tailor-made Bruxelles moment;)