My trip to Brussels, Belgium was the first trip I took outside of London during my spring semester. London was incredible and beautiful but nothing too hard to adjust to. Brussels was the first time I felt like I was in a true European city and was surrounded by people who spoke another language. Everything looked like it was straight out of a picture and it even had a small town feel to the city itself. The weather was sporadic- rainy and then sunny off an on the entire weekend but somehow the city seemed even prettier when it rained.
Be Sure To: Take a walking tour. I wouldn't recommend this in every city but Brussels was filled with a lot of history I knew nothing about. There are also so many cute corners to the city and this is the only way I would have made it to places such as Brussels Park (Parc de Bruxelles / Warandepark), the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula and the infamous Manneken-Pis (the fountain of the "rebellious spirit" peeing - evidently they even dress the statue in various suits for different events throughout the year.) Keep a look out for incredible street art hidden around the city during your walking tour!
Drink: All of the beer. Seriously. I'm not a huge drinker but over the weekend I had at least tried 10-12 beers and they were all insanely good. Hit up Delirium Cafe where there's more than 2,000 beers to choose from. Overwhelming, I know, but you can always just ask the bartender which is their favorite and try from there if you're unsure of where to start. Two of my favorites ended up being the Floris Kriek and Delirium Red - both of which are fruity beers. The Floris Kriek had a richer cherry flavor while the Delirium Red had the taste of blackberries highlighted with strong cherry notes.
Eat: Waffles, frites with andalouse sauce and chocolate. It's tempting to try the waffles with all of the toppings as you pass numerous stands throughout the city but try it first with just powdered sugar (trust me) and then eat all of the waffles that you can with all of the toppings that you want. After a night of going out the best (maybe not the best FOR you but best in the moment) food to grab is frites with andalouse sauce - a sauce made out of mayo, tomato paste and peppers. I'm still day dreaming about frites with andalouse sauce and it's been nearly 5 months since this trip. And chocolate. Honestly, just go into any legitimate chocolate shop and everything you try will be amazing. Lastly - I got incredible veal meatballs in a white beer sauce from Nuet Nigenough (literally translated to the Greedy Gluttons) and it was just absolutely incredible. Maybe even in my top 5 best meals list.
Visit: Cantillon Brewery. This brewey specializes in lambic beers and has been around since 1900. All of the beer is still brewed traditionally and they even use equipment from 1900. It's absolutely incredible to take the tour and see how it's done. It's unlike any other beer tour you have ever been to. On top of the tour you also get two free hearty beer samples. What kind of trip to Brussels would it be without a traditional beer tour?