5 unusual places to visit in Brussels
ABOUT BRUXELLES BY LULU
Hi there ! I'm Lulu, a Frenchy in Brussels. I love to have new experiences and discover unusual things to do in Brussels. It makes me feel like an urban explorer on a tresor hunt.
With my blog (http://bruxelles-by-lulu.be) I hope to inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and try new things out. Brussels is a great place for that ! It ihas so many faces, it definitely deserves more than a little tour in the center and a stop for a beer.
Through my blog I discovered that I love digital communications. So I decided to bring this passion to my professional life. I currently work for the web communications unit oft he European Parliamant as a Web Editorial Consultant and am in charge of SEO.
I love new experiences and guess what: Brussels is full of original places! I’ve prepared for you a list of five unusual places; one for each of the following occasions: a historical visit, a drink, a dinner, a brunch and a walk. A perfect mix to enjoy an original weekend in the Belgian capital!
- A HISTORICAL VISIT AT THE COUDENBERG PALACE
Palais Coudenberg Paleis par Coudenberg
Do you want to time travel? I advise visiting the Coudenberg ruins!
The Coudenberg was the ancient Palace of Brussels and an important political center in the Middle Ages. It was also one of the main residences of the famous Charles V.
Built in the 12th century, it burned down in 1731 and has never been rebuild. As the new royal district was constructed 40 years later, the old Palace remained buried under it.
What makes this visit so special is that you’ll go underground to access this archeological site located right under the Museums Place and plunge into another time.
You will sometimes hear cars right above your head while walking on streets from the Middle Ages. Quite disorienting!
- A DINNER AT KOKOB
After such a visit, you’ll certainly be hungry. I recommend trying out Kokob, an unusual restaurant in the city center. I looove this Ethiopian restaurant: the food is tasty, the decor really original and the atmosphere warm and colorful. But this restaurant is also non-standard because you eat with your hands! You’ll be using an injira, a sort of salty crepe, to grab your food. The helpful staff are always at hand to explain Ethiopian eating rituals. So, wash your hands and get ready for a special dinner! You should book a table before dining here as this place is very popular.
- A DRINK AT THE HOTEL LE BERGER'S BAR
The history of the Hotel Le Berger is unique. In the 1930s, it was a place where rich business men would meet their mistresses, drink champagne and enjoy their second hidden life (not to be mistaken with a brothel, however). To provide added discretion, the hotel is designed in a way that minimized patrons running into other each inside its premises. Today it is a normal hotel with rooms decorated with a vintage touch and named after women as a hat-tip to this special history. I recommend this place since more time travel awaits you here. You will dive into the beginning of the 20th century thanks to the art nouveau furniture and decor. I love the atmosphere of this vintage bar. In short: comfy and classy!
- A BRUNCH AT LULU HOME INTERIOR
This photo of LuLu Home Interior is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Time for Sunday brunch, but where should you go?
I recommend Lulu Home Interior in the nice Chatelain area. First surprise: it is a concept store where you can shop Scandinavian style home furniture and decorations. But it is also a café with a warm, cozy atmosphere. What I like with their brunch is that classic recipes are given an unexpected twist. For example, here I’ve eaten British beans with cinnamon sauce - really tasty!
You should also make sure you save space to try out their delicious cakes! Though no worries as you can also take them out if you’re full. Bon appétit!
- A STREET ART WALK AT THE LA CHAPELLE STATION AND THE CANAL
Now, it’s time for a walk to digest all this great food. Why not visit some street art spots in Brussels?
Your first stop will be at the junction between the Sablon and Marolles districts, where you will enjoy a taste of underground culture by walking around the skate park and the abandoned train station La Chapelle. Don’t miss the frescos under the three bridges you’ll find after the former entrance of the train station.
Then take the direction of the canal, the former industrial heart of Brussels. The quays along the Avenue du Port and the Quai des Charbonnages are full of great street art from the Kosmopolite Art Tour. Finally, walk until Tour & Taxis and have a look at great frescos between the building and the canal.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of some of Brussels’ lesser-known gems! If you want more tips and read French, don’t hesitate to have a look at my blog Bruxelles by Lulu.