A European City break is always a good idea. The Belgium city of Brussels is somewhere I've visited a few times, in fact, the last trip was my third over the last 10 years but the previous trips have always been shorter on time so I didn’t have much chance to explore the city. On this trip, it was a full weekend which included exploring the city & visiting the European Parliament.
Our hotel, the Thon EU is only a few minutes walk from the European Parliament in the European Quarter. This meant it was about a 20-minute walk into the centre. Over the weekend there isn’t much happening in the area around the hotel because it’s more of the business area. At the hotel, we had breakfast included which was a large buffet with plenty of choices.
On Saturday we made the walk into the centre of Brussels. Once we were on the edge of the Grand Place (the central area of Brussels), we stopped for our first Belgium beer – This is a running theme to the trip. I’m not a huge beer drinker but I really enjoyed the Belle-Vue Kriek, which is a cherry flavoured beer.
We then stopped at the Grand Place for some photos before another drink stop where we shared a meat and cheese platter.
Next up, we walked around the shopping area, stopping at a couple of chocolate shops along the way. Many of the shops offer free samples too which is always nice.
Off of the Grand Place, there are streets full of restaurants. To be honest most of them have very similar menus so we just picked one! It was nice and I enjoyed one of the local specialities of Moules and Frites, these ones were especially tasty with garlic. After a long day, we made the walk back to the hotel in time for a trip to Bruges the next day.
I’ll be sharing my Bruges trip in another blog post so stay tuned.
The European Parliament
On the final day, after a relaxed morning, it was time to go to the European Parliament. We had lunch in the MEP’s restaurant before having a tour of the parliament. We were also able to sit in on some of the discussions of the Foreign Affairs Commission. I found this interesting as they were discussing the recent elections which had taken place in Armenia.
This visit was before the Brexit Election & it was interesting to hear the differing opinions - This is definitely not a political piece! As well as UK MEP Amjad Bashir we heard from an MEP from Denmark. It was interesting to hear their take on Brexit, the state of the EU now and in the future and also more general views of the political world right now.
We finished the tour with some time in the Hemicircle which is where the Brussels discussions take place when they are not in Strasbourg.
Like most weekend breaks, before we knew it, it was time to go back to the hotel for our coach back to the airport.
It was a really enjoyable weekend in Belgium exploring both the city of Brussels & Bruges for the day.
About the Author:
Caroline Towers is the founder of Dreamers who Travel. When not travelling, she is researching & dreaming of the next trip!