Free day in Brussels

Brussels Travel Blog

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Vintage car exhibition outside the Palais Royale

There's really not a whole lot to see in this city, is there? And the few that are seemed to be closed on non summer months! I woke up later than I hoped, rather about one hour later at 9am, and got ready quickly and went for a walk around town. It was wet, and drizzling non stop.

First stop was outside the Palais Royal. The interesting thing was a lovely vintage car race/exhibition going on in front of it. It was nice seeing so many enthused fans and drivers braving the wet weather cheering on their favourite car/"team" and generally having fun. the Palace by itself is your average European grand building, nothing more, nothing less. The problem is that it's open to  visitors only during the Summer months. The outside didn't have much photo value though.

The Palais Royale

A quick walk to the centre, a hot waffle on the streets and then I went to the Musee Royal des Beaux Arts. This is a lot bigger inside than it looks on the outside. Infact, it almost never seems to end. The paintings and art however were very average. That's the thing as a foreigner that I'm noticing about Bruxelles - it's a nice place but a caricature European town without too much to offer in its own right. Every place I've walked in has a ring of "been there done that". I can see now why a lot of people said the town's a bit boring.

After the visit at the Museum, I took the local train to see the biggest tourist atttraction that Belgium has on offer - the Atomium. It's tough to believe that this landmark has been around from the 1950s.

Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts
Gosh, that's over 50 yrs! It was originally built for an Expo but stayed on after its increasing popularity. Now it's just a tourist trap. And surprisingly, it's the first one I didn't go to. I found the price a bit of a rip-off, too childish and the weather had started to clear up so I really didn't want to spend the first rays of sunshine indoors.

From here, after a quick photo stop, my next destination was a place I was quite looking forward to - The Royal Museum of Central Africa / Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale. This was originally founded to celebrate the colonial empire of Congo, but today it's really just an exhibition of all things Africa, including stuffed animals, butterflies, etc. The ironic thing is that the pieces found in the museum are so-so, but the ride to the museum is fantastic.

Inside the Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts
You take the tram that goes through a really green part of town - a park with lots of trees, it was beautiful. I was seeing a different side of Bruxelles no doubt. Then there's the museum itself - it's lovely. It's got the whole Palace theme going on, nice pond, nice elephant statues and a lovely garden and park. I wish I had stayed here for a longer time to enjoy the outsides, but the problem with Bruxelles is that tram service from the edge of the town back to the centre is so limited on Sunday evenings I didn't want to risk being stuck in some weird suburb!

And finally, upon my return to Bruxelles, I went for a nice walk around the centre of town, peeking into chocolate stores and seeing the fancy choc pieces, and just general walk around town. It's really a nice European town to go for a walk, it was well lit up and stuff. I love walking on those cobbled pavements as well, plus the big bonus of Bruxelles is that everywhere you go, you can smell the waffle. And my GOD it's grand!

Got back in the night around 11pm or so, and went straight to bed. I had some interesting company in my room - 2 Swiss boys and a Canadian so was good conversation. I wanted to be up and about early the next day to go to Antwerp, or should I say Anvers!

then to the Atomium, then to the Central African museum (what a lovely park/forest) and then walk around the main area.

Africancrab says:
Still one of my favorite cities in Europe.
Posted on: Dec 26, 2010
YantiSoeparno says:
Aaah chocolate.... *drooling*
Posted on: May 10, 2009
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Vintage car exhibition outside the…
Vintage car exhibition outside th…
The Palais Royale
The Palais Royale
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts
Inside the Musees Royaux des Beaux…
Inside the Musees Royaux des Beau…
Parc de Bruxelles
Parc de Bruxelles
Atomium, ack!
Atomium, ack!
Musee Royal de lAfrique Centrale …
Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale…
Elephants at the Musee Royal de l…
Elephants at the Musee Royal de l…
More chocolates (Neuhaus)
More chocolates (Neuhaus)
Butcher Street - the rsnt haven of…
Butcher Street - the rsnt haven o…
Mannekin Pis!
Mannekin Pis!
Picture of Emilie Jacqmain Blvd fr…
Picture of Emilie Jacqmain Blvd f…
Brussels
photo by: Vlindeke