The 3rd day: taking the train to Brussels

Brussels Travel Blog

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The 3rd day we went to Brussels (Brussel, Bruxelles) by train. Travelling by train is very easy form Antwerp to Brussels. It was not my first visit to Brussels; I've been there about 15 times before. But every time you will see something else.

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and is also the border between the Flemish and Walloon part of Belgium. Most of the peolpe in Brussels speak French, only a few of them want to speak in another language when you announce that you don't speak French. I don't know if they are just lazy or that they really can't speak Dutch (or English). At this moment the big Belgium political issues are about the area around Brussels (Brussels - Halle - Vilvoorde) and problems between the richer Flemish part of Belgium and the Poorer part of Walloon.


Brussels is also the European capital city: the European Parlement, the European Commission and lots of other European Union buildings are stated in Brussels.

This day we visited the Belvue Museum (about the history of Belgium), het broodhuis (museum with paintings and carpets about Brussels and clothing from Manneken Pis) and the Museum of Cacao and Chocolate.
If you want to visit an old part of the royal palace or you are really interested in the history of Belgium, visit the Belvue mueseum. Otherwise I think it will be very boring for younger people. Price is about € 3,-. (area kunstberg)
Het Broodhuis is very interesting if you like to see old paintings and other objects of Brussels. The most interesting room in this museum is the room with all the clothes of Manneken Pis.
On special occasions during the year, he will be dressed in special clothing (like with Christmas as Santa Claus). Unfortunately it's forbidden to take pictures in this museum!!!! Price is about € 3,-. (area Great Market)
The museum of cacao and chocolat tells you how chocolat is made and where the cacao comes from. Not very interesting museum, only the demonstration how to make chocolat is nice (you can also taste 1 chocolat). Price is about € 5,- (near Great Market)

On your way to the royal palace / Belvue Museum from the Brussels Central station, you can see a wonderful bell (see picture). The statues of this bell will become alive when a hour has passed. This bell is not easy to find, so also look behind you (it's in a wall towards and near the Central station).

When you are in Brussels you must visit Manneken Pis. You will find Manneken Pis in a street about 500 meters from the Great Market. In the streets between the Great Market and Manneken Pis you will find a lot of souvenir - and chocolat shops. Watch out: if you want to buy chocolat, visit different stores first. The offers are almost the same everywhere, but there can be a price difference or more variations of chocolat.

After a lot of culture we went shopping, but we didn't buy anything... So we took the train back to Antwerp (from Brussels North), where we  ate at the Mc Donalds.
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The royal palace
Brussels is famous about their chocolats and Manneken Pis. But did you know that Brussels also has Jeanneke Pis? Jeanneke is Manneken Pis' sister. You will find Jeanneke in a small lane near the famous fish restaurants. The fish restaurants are in a street crossing the (expensive) shopping centre that is near to the Central station and the Great Market.

You can take the Metro (Underground; very cheap and easy) to the Atomium and Mini Europe. The atomium is a very large version of an atomium, built in 1958 for the world expo. In 2003 the Atomium has been renovated and is shining again. You can take a tour through this Atomium, with a nice view over Brussels. You need to be valide to go to the atomium, because there are a lot of stairs (there is an elevator to go up, but you need to walk through the balls to get down).

Mini Europe is near the Atomium. You will find small versions of important buildings of Europe, such as the tower of Pisa and the Eiffel tower of Paris. Not very big, but very nice for kids. You can buy a combination ticket if you want to visit both the Atomium and Mini Europe, it will save you some money.
The royal palace
The royal palace
Belvue Museum
Belvue Museum
The chocolat museum
The chocolat museum
The chocolat museum
The chocolat museum
Manneken Pis
Manneken Pis
Brussels North train station
Brussels North train station
Brussels
photo by: Vlindeke