So, our first day travelling Europe meant taking the Eurostar from London to Brussels. I can’t even explain to you how excited I was to start this journey!
We arrived in Brussels around 11am and went straight to our hostel to check in. The backpacks were enormous and we weren’t used to carrying them around just yet so we jumped in a taxi which seemed a bit pointless as it only took about 5 minutes to get there. Oh well – you live and you learn!
The hostel we stayed in was called the HI Hostel Brussels and it was quite basic… We were at the start of our journey so had nothing to compare it to, but after coming back from this trip it definitely was one of the most basic we stayed in. After all, we were only there for one night so it wasn’t too much of an issue!
The hostel was, however, pretty expensive (compared to other hostels we stayed in) with a shared room of 4 people costing 25euros each per night. There were two bunkbeds in the room, but only 3 of us sharing for that night. The bathrooms were very basic as well, and getting a warm and powerful shower was not on the cards.
Also note: this hostel didn’t have lockers in the room, and one plug socket per room – good job we brought locks for our backpacks, and portable chargers.
Things to do
We had around a day and a half in Brussels before we had to get the train the next day and we had a jam packed list of things we wanted to do! The hostel was located perfectly in the city, so locating around the map was pretty easy. (Maps are free at most hostels, and some provide ones with key hotspots on them – these were the best kind!)
First, we walked into the centre of the city and visited the Grand-Place where these fascinating buildings were.
We also visited the Brussels Museum and the Brewery Museum in this square, both of which were OK but not amazing. We found out quite a lot about the Mannequin Pis in the first museum, and went to visit afterwards, but unfortunately I didn’t get a good photo of this… but got loads of the ones in the museum!
In the evening we stayed out for some food and took a trip to the Delirium Cafe. The cafe was amazing with all the taps along the bar and different kinds of beer being served. The cafe decor itself was amazing with lots of different beer mats all over the walls and ceilings. We opted for Cherry and Raspberry beer and it was so nice!
After this we went back to the Hostel and got an early-ish night. It was, after all, a really long day of travelling and exploring. When we got back to the hostel, I started to actually panic about the travelling, and wondered if I’d done the right thing about leaving home for a few weeks. It was just a moment of weakness though and I soon realised I was doing the right thing and that this was going to be an amazing few weeks of exploring Europe!
Day 2 of Brussels consisted of going to see the Royal Palace of Brussels. Here we was able to explore the history of the Palace and go underground to where the palace would have originally been, and to be honest it was quite creepy and eery, but very pretty from the outside.
We also took a (very) long walk down to Cinquantenaire Parc, home to the Belgium version of the Arc de Triomphe. It was really nice to just get some sun and relax for a bit – you don’t realise how exhausting travelling and sightseeing actually is!
In the afternoon we took a walk back to the city centre and mooched about for a bit before getting ready to leave the hostel, as we were headed for Cologne next.
I enjoyed Brussels as it was the first stop on our travels, but I personally don’t think I’d go back… Definitely a good idea for a weekend away in Europe though!