International Destinations

The Capital of Europe {Brussels, Belgium}

Brussels is home to the European Union, but a small statue of a boy peeing (Mannekin Pis) is probably its most famous landmark. This city is the one that started my 12-day adventure in Europe with my cousin, a trip we have lovingly dubbed the Johnson Progeny European Adventure.

Due to scheduling, we only spent 6 hours in this beautiful city. So, here is what I recommend seeing if you are only in the city for a quick layover or a short visit.

Belgium Waffles & Beer

Did you know that Belgium has 138 restaurants per square mile? This city s undoubtedly a foodie’s heaven.

When it comes to waffles, there are two styles of Belgium waffles: Brussels Waffle (light and fluffy) and Liège Waffle (denser, darker, and sticky). No matter which type you choose, make sure you top it with your favorite toppings!

With an overnight flight to Europe, breakfast was the first thing on our list, and Aux Gaufre de Bruxelles did not disappoint in providing me my first taste of real Belgium waffles. This restaurant is located in the center of Brussels and is within walking distance of Grand Place. It also happens to be the oldest tea-room in Brussels.

After a day of sightseeing, a cold beer hits just the spot, and Belgium has the greatest diversity of original beer styles on the planet. We opted for Delirium Café, home to a Guinness World Record for the most number of beers. In 2004 Delirium Café broke the record with 2,004 different beers from more than 60 countries.

Old Town & Grand Place

Grand Place is the town square, and it has some incredible architecture. If you love Brabantine Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles of architecture, then you need to stop by. The square is surrounded by the Houses of the Guilds (or Guildhalls), the Town Hall, and the King’s House. The King’s House is now home to the Brussels City Museum. We didn’t get to see much of Grand Place or explore the museum due to the USA vs. Belgium game in the World Cup, and the whole square was covered in grandstands.

Manneken Pis

About a 3-minute walk from Grand Place, you will find this famous little guy. It’s definitely worth stopping by to say hello and to say you saw him. In addition to being the emblem of this city, Manneken Pis also has an impressive wardrobe. Each day he is dressed in something different. He has more than 900 suits, and you can find a hundred of them in the Brussels City Museum.