Belgian beer in Brussels

Belgium is known for their beer, and during our weekend in Brussels, we got to taste quite a few of them. I like trying different kinds every time, and with the range of beer types, that is no problem at all. Choose between lambic, wheaty white beer, fruity kriek, red, brown or golden beer. And the list goes on.

We decided to visit the brewery museum, situated in a beautiful baroque building at Grand Place. The museum is very small, and honestly not very interesting. When entering down the stairs we arrived in a room with old brewing equipment, including large wooden tanks. Moving on to the next room, there were a few tanks, a poster on the wall, and some rows of chairs for watching a 20 minute video. We walked around a bit looking at the different objects, wondering if this was it. One of the other tourists approached us and asked if there was another level. It was obvious he had the same thoughts as we did. We decided to sit down and watch the movie. Starting of with snapshots of different Belgium cities (I visited a few of them this summer, and they were absolutely fabulous), following by clips from beer festivals and photos of the different brew houses, feeling more like a commercial poster without words. Not at all what we expected.
The brewery museum in Brusssels
The bar at the brewery museum in Brussels
By all means, I probably pictured it to be more a brewery experience, learning more about the different types of Belgian beer. The similar part was the beer tasting in the end, that is included in the ticket. We chose the raspberry beer, and did not regret! It was perfectly balanced, not too sweet. Given the fact that a glass is often 3-4 Euro, the entrance fee is not at all too bad, just don’t go expecting to learn very much about the brewing tradition and craft.

We just wandered around, and sat down at the cafes or bars as we went along, sometimes in the sun at open squares, others in hidden back alleys. If you need some tips where to start, Brussels even have their own beer route! The tourist information sell a small map to the beer route, including an introduction to the different places.
Happy beer drinkers in a cozy back alley bar in Brussels Cozy back alley bar in Brussels Westmalle Belgian Beer Leffe Belgian Beer Rodenbach Belgian Beer Different collection of Belgian Beer Belgian Beer
If you did not get to visit enough bars, there are beer shops all around the city. Some of them have beer shelf’s as far as your eye can see.Lots of Belgian beer to choose from

Comics in Brussels

Brussels is the homeland of Tintin, Spirou, The Smurfs, Lucky Luke and the Dalton brothers, all international comic strip heroes.

I off course had to take a closer look, and started at the Belgian Comic Strip Center (CBBD). The center is divided in several exhibitions; some permanent and some of them are changing. When entering you get a short introduction to the origin of the comic strips, actually dating back to the rock carvings. The second permanent exhibition is “The art of the comic strip”, showing the creative process with original drawings from different artists, and also their different methods for making their comic strips. It is a lot of work, both being creative making the story but also drawing the sketches often several times before finishing them in ink.
Comic strips in Brussels Belgium2
Comic strips in Brussels Belgium3 Comic strips in Brussels Belgium4
The range of genres is wide; Science fiction, heroic fantasy and humorous, but also historical and educational comic strips are displayed. Not to forget the resistance comics during wars, both the informative and the ones to keep up the spirit.
Comic strips in Brussels Belgium7
Comic strips in Brussels Belgium5Comic strips in Brussels Belgium6Comic strips in Brussels Belgium8
Most of the comics displayed are in French, but some of them are without words and obviously easier to understand for all languages.

Comic strips in Brussels Belgium
The comics are also evident in the cityscape. Scattered around throughout the city you find murals of different artists. VisitBrussels have even made their own maps for the comic trails; one with directions to the paintings in the footsteps of TinTin or Nero, and one with several artists. It can almost feel like a treasure hunt, as some of them are concealed in back alleys.
Victor Sackville mural in Brussels, Belgium Ric Hochet mural in Brussels, Belgium Olivier Rameau mural in Brussels, Belgium Broussaille, the first comic strip mural in Brussels, Belgium
Tintin mural in Brussels, Belgium Gaston Lagaffe mural in Brussels, Belgium Mural in Brussels, Belgium
Want more comics? Read about the Comic Strip House, Hergé Museum, MOOF – Museum Of Original Figurines, comic strip bar and much, much more!

Read more post from Brussels.

Brussels in brief

Beer and chocolate. The first two things that comes to mind when I think about Belgium. Good thing then that Brussels have countless places to get it, and actually also a museum for both. Add waffles and moules frites, and you are all set!

Brussels is honestly not the first city that comes to mind when planning a weekend trip. Coincidences led me and my friends here, but we ended up being pleasantly surprised.

We had booked the nice and spacious Apartment The Opera Residence right next to the Opera, with two balconies facing the shopping street Rue des Fripiers.

Arriving quite late, we just dumped our luggage in the apartment and went out to find something to eat. That was not only a pleasant experience.

To be fair, we were in the touristic area, and we should know what to expect, but honestly, we could never imagine that it could be like this. Walking up Rue des Bouchers, we were literally attached by people trying to convince us to eat at their restaurant. I must admit, I really hate that! If it would be enough to politely reject them, I would let it pass and just move on, but they actually blocked the way still trying to convince us. All my time travelling, I have not experienced anything like this. The closest would be in touristic areas like Hurgada in Egypt or several places in Turkey. I must say I was quite shocked to experience this here! Since it was getting late and we were very hungry, we still ended up eating in that street, but at one of the few places that did not have staff acting like vultures trying to fetch you.
Off course we had to eat moules frites
Waking up Saturday morning just after 10, we were a bit surprised the street was more or less empty and the shops were closed. We began to suspect something was wrong.

Breakfast was first in line, and since it was a beautiful and sunny November morning, we were determined to sit outside enjoying the warm sunbeams. As the sun was still low, and the houses still tall, the only places near by combining outside tables, sun and breakfast, were on Grand Place. Sitting down, enjoying a huge breakfast, we found out it was a national holiday and all the shops were closed… Not quite according to the plan, but still. More time to wander the streets and get to know the city then.
Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium3 Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium2 Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium
Top attractions in Brussels include the Grand Place, Atomium, the Comic Strip Museum and the statue of Manneken-Pis. Legend has it that the small boy saved the city from being blown up in the 14th century, by peeing on the burning fuse leading to the explosives. Good boy! If you are after something a bit quirky, the City of Brussels Museum holds a permanent exhibition of Manneken-Pis different outfits.

The 61 cm tall bronze statue on the corner of Rue de l'Etuve and Rue des Grands Carmes was made in 1619 by Brussels sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy the Elder.

The 61 cm tall bronze statue on the corner of Rue de l’Etuve and Rue des Grands Carmes was made in 1619 by Brussels sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy the Elder.

Mentioning comics. Brussels is the homeland of several international comic strip heroes like Tintin, Spirou, The Smurfs, Lucky Luke and the Dalton brothers, to name a few. Quite a lot of the museums are linked to comics, and large murals are to be found all around the city. VisitBrussels have even made their own maps for the comic trails, and I walked parts of it.
Ric Hochet mural in Brussels, Belgium
Broussaille, the first comic strip mural in Brussels, Belgium
Moving on to two of the other important things in Belgium; chocolate and beer. One expression describes them both; Mmmmmm!
Belgian chocolate heaven in Brussels Belgian Beer
Bottom line: Wander around at you own pace, looking at the beautiful surroundings, and stopping from time to time to enjoy some nice food, beer and chocolate. But please do some research before going out for dinner, and unless you enjoy the (in my opinion negative) attention, stay away from restaurant street Rue des Bouchers.

How to get to Brussels from the airport:
As we were five persons, we got a maxi taxi from the airport to the city center. The price was 50 Euro. As the train would be 8,5 Euro per person, this was an easy pick for us, but there are off course other options.

Figure out what more Brussels have to offer.
Brussels parkStreets and houses in Brussels, Belgium7The Opera in BrusselsStreets and houses in Brussels, Belgium2Streets and houses in Brussels, BelgiumSt. Hubert gallery in Brussels, with shops and restaurantsStreets and houses in Brussels, Belgium6Streets and houses in Brussels, Belgium4Streets and houses in Brussels, Belgium5Streets and houses in Brussels, Belgium3Grand Place silhouette