Brussels by Instagram

I’ve been in Brussels at least 50 times, mostly for work, but sometimes purely for play. After finishing uni, I hung about Brussels for ages, partly because I wasn’t ready to begin a proper job right away, and partly because that’s where everyone was in those days. Later, when I did get around to finding a job, it was one that brought me to Brussels frequently. In fact, I was there for an EU committee meeting on the very day Norway had the referendum which rejected yet another invitation to join the union.

And that’s perhaps what first comes to mind when thinking of Brussels. Not Norway, specifically, in fact, not Norway at all – but the European Union.


flags outside the European Parliament

But Brussels is a city in its own right, beyond being the capital of Europe. There’s yummy chocolate, first-rate beer, fabulous architecture and groovy street art, and there’s TinTin. What more could one want? Here are a few Brussels Instagrams.

Brussels main square, La Grand-Place, is one of the prettiest in all of Europe, encircled by the 15th century town hall the 16th century King’s House and several 17th century guildhalls. I love how the various architectural styles – some are Baroque, some are Gothic and some Louis XIV – work so beautifully together.

Grand Place is surrounded by little streets and alleys full of quirky shops, bars and cafes. I always seem to pop into the TinTin boutique and adore the clever little Belgian journalist.

On my last visit, I was lucky enough to catch the International Festival of Ice Sculptures ‘Ice Magic’, dedicated to the world of comics – including (but not limited to) Smurfs, Thor, Asterix, Gaston Lagaffe, Thorgal, Lucky Luke and, of course, TinTin and his entourage.


The temperamental Captain Haddock

He is indeed a Brussels icon, and the subject of several works of art around town.

Even without TinTin, the street art scene of Brussels is dynamic and colourful.

The city’s architecture is world class, and not just La Grand-Place. This is the apartment (and museum) of Victor Horta, one of several gorgeous Art Nouveau town houses in Brussels he built in the late 1800s.

The Horta Museum is located in St Gilles, Brussels’ artistic neighbourhood, full of galleries, boutiques and pubs.

Another notable architectural feat is Stoclet House, designed by Josef Hoffman and an excellent example of the Vienna Secession movement.

But food….. isn’t there any food? From the country that has given us some of the world’s most famous beers, chocolates, frites (fries), and waffles, surely just one Brussels Instagram of food…

OK, since you asked: Here’s just a small selection of the ubiquitous Gaufre belge:

 

unesco logo

La Grand-Place, the townhouses of Victor Horta and Stoclet House are all UNESCO World Heritage sites – that’s three for one here in Brussels.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites we have visited around the world.

13 Responses to “Brussels by Instagram”

  1. Muza-chan 6 February 2014 0951 #

    Beautiful photos :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..Old Japanese stories, Harimaya-bashi

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 February 2014 1305 #

      Thank you; Brussels is a photogenic city.

  2. Corinne 7 February 2014 1422 #

    Brussels is not my favorite city in Belgium, but I do love certain parts of it. I do love Belgian food, too. I love your instagram pics.
    Corinne recently posted..What to do in Mt. Kinabalu National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2014 1944 #

      Thanks, Corinne. Many sweet towns and cities in Belgium… Brügge, Ghent, Dinant, Namur, Tongeren…

  3. John Gorge 7 February 2014 1653 #

    You’ve been in Brussels for at least 50 times? Either it is mostly for work or for play; You have an idea and exact knowledge sabot the place. Though Brisbane is my favorite place I love to travel anywhere and discover things.
    John Gorge recently posted..Dine in and Grab a Taste: Must-Visit Restaurants in Brisbane CBD

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 February 2014 1931 #

      I quite like Brisbane, too :)

  4. Lisa Goodmurphy 9 February 2014 2248 #

    Oh my, that photo of waffles is enough to convince anyone to travel to Brussels! I’d be willing to make the trip just for TinTin as well. Haven’t yet been anywhere in Belgium – but hopefully soon!!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..Experiencing the Magic of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 February 2014 1309 #

      Lots of fun things for kids to do and see, too – not just TinTin :)

  5. Mary @ Green Global Travel 10 February 2014 0416 #

    Brussels looks very unique. I love the picture of the street art. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 10 February 2014 1312 #

      Brussels – and Belgium – are in some ways similar to the neighbouring countries, but in other ways very unique. A few years ago, they even managed to run the country for almost 2 years without an elected government.

  6. Mette 12 February 2014 1951 #

    I love Brussels. It’s such an interesting combo of Paris and Amsterdam yet very much its own place.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 20 February 2014 1052 #

      And the location is great, too.

  7. Deb 4 May 2014 1621 #

    Lovely, You’ve shown me a different side of Brussels. We’ve been twice, but I have to admit I’ve never truly explored it other than the very touristy part of it.
    Deb recently posted..Authentic and Real Trekking in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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