Brussels, the European capital of beer, chocolate, waffles, and fries. It is a crowd favourite when it comes to city trips – it’s small enough to cover in a weekend. Boredom is not optional. Brussels is full of tourists in the summer – especially in mid-August for the famous flower carpet. It remains an incredibly romantic city as a result. Sound good? Stay with me, because here’s four reasons why you should spend the Valentine’s Day in Brussels.
1. The Chocolate
Chocolate alone should be a convincing reason. It is the tradition to gift your other half with chocolates on Valentine’s Day, as it is said to be an aphrodisiac. So what better place to get some than the place where chocolate pralines were created? There you can find the finest Belgian chocolate at varying prices, depending on your taste. But there is no denying that at least half the tourists in Brussels come for chocolate tastings at Marcolini, Neuhaus and Leonidas.
2. The History
If you haven’t seen the Grand-Place of Brussels, you should add it to your bucket list. The main square of the city has remained almost the same for centuries now, and its beautiful buildings with intricate gold details is something worth seeing. The most impressive edifice of the square is the Town Hall, adorned with the sculptures of the Dukes and Duchesses of Brabant and completed by a 310 feet high tower on top of which Saint-Michael, patron saint of the city, is slaying a dragon. Though the construction was destroyed by a fire in 1695, it was rebuilt, and to this day, has kept its initial function of city hall. You can visit it on Wednesdays and Sundays, which is perfect as Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year. For those who would rather stroll around the centre, you will be more than pleased with the unique, small streets surrounding the Grand-Place.
3. The Art
Brussels is a very rich city when it comes to museums. There is something for everyone. Bookworms will enjoy the Royal Library and the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, while art lovers can spend hours in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts where they can see paintings from old Flemish masters like Bruegel or van Dyck as well as an entire section dedicated to the surrealist master Magritte. For couples who enjoy more unconventional museums, it’s the perfect occasion to visit the heart museum, where a collection of more than 500 objects illustrates the symbol. Museums are open everyday except Monday’s, and if you want a good deal, you might think about getting the Brussels Card, a 24/48/72 hours pass that gives you access to over 30 museums and many attractions.
4. The Parks
Nothing is more romantic than a walk in a beautiful park followed by a nice picnic next to the trees. Brussels has many parks and gardens open to the public. While the biggest park would be the Jubilee park, created for the 50th anniversary of the independence of Belgium, the most famous one is the park of Brussels, just in front of the Royal Palace. If you want a wilder setting, the Cambre woods are just what you need. A little outside of the city centre, it is easily accessible by public transportation and has a couple of small restaurants if you want a break. For those who have a passion for landscape gardening, the Van Buuren garden is a perfect attraction. Part of the David and Alice Van Buuren Museum, it is composed of three parts: the Picturesque Garden, The Labyrinth, and the Garden of the Hearts.
by MARGAUX NADLER