05 Apr 24 hours in Brussels
When I started writing this blogpost, something awful happened in Brussels. Several terrorist attacks changed the face of this European capital and time stood still. I was in Brussels a few days before it happened so it felt very close. The people of Brussels that so warmly invited me to enjoy their city and taste their food, sleep in their amazing hotel and opened up their wonderful shops. That’s why I feel it’s even more important to shine a positive light on this city and share my experience. Brussels is only a few hours away from my hometown but crazy as it seems, I had yet to discover it. I had the opportunity to explore it when hotel The Dominican invited me for a visit. Traveling to Brussels is extremely easy by train. The Thalys takes you there within a few hours. I love traveling by train because it’s fast, quiet and I can do some work without getting distracted.
“The people of Brussels that so warmly invited me”
During my stay in Brussels, I slept in funky design hotel The Dominican. This hotel has a history and dates back to the 15th century. It used to be a Dominican monastery (hence the name) and was later the home to Jacques-Louis David, a artist/painter. It was later taken apart and rebuild to this hotel but a lot of main features have remained intact such as the impressive entrance gate. Their courtyard features a fig tree that has been moved there from a square in Brussels where the monks use to sit to chat and read their books. Pretty cool!
Entering The Dominican
Every room in the Dominican is unique and I got lucky because they gave me an upgrade! It had something to do with the mystery box that I found on the bed..
The Dominican has a cool concept called: The Dominican and the City box. You can purchase this box with your room for €50,- extra which automatically gives you an upgrade, champagne and a late check out. (so the cost are already covered with those extra’s) Inside the box you will find several objects and notes that give you discounts, goodies, tips and tickle your curiosity. It wouldn’t be fun to tell you what’s in it so I would advice you to buy it and find our for yourself.. It’s a perfect gift for your partner or friend! You can purchase the box online when you book your stay or you can buy it at the reception upon arrival. The inside of the box changes now and then especially when it’s valentines day or holiday season.
My spacious “loft” room. Suitcase by Eastpak
Don’t stay in your room for too long because on Friday night there is a DJ spinning deephouse music at the “Brut” night. I was told that all sorts of people come here to drink cocktails; bloggers, the fashion industry, business people.. Don’t miss breakfast cause it’s delicious and both buffet and a la carte! (especially the pancakes are good). The Dominican is located in central Brussels so it’s easy to explore the city from here. Tip! Bring some earplugs as the walls are a little thin..the couple next to my room were having a good time..all night! (earplugs would have saved me)
I only had one day so that would mean a lot of walking but you’ll be surprised on how close everything is to each other. The one thing you will notice, is that the streets in Brussels are covered with streetart from all different kinds of artist. Cartoonist are very popular here so you will find this style across some buildings throughout the city center. Belgium is famous for their chocolates and let me tell you, there are chocolade shops around every corner! You smell waffels and other sweets all day so it’s up to you to keep on walking or to indulge yourself! One of the most famous attractions of Brussels is of course “Manneke Pis“, a small bronze sculpture of a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. Funny enough he was dressed when I saw him. (it was a little bit cold outside after all!)
Apart from the many chocolade stores, you will find some cool stores where you can go all out. Some of my favorite picks are:
» Taschen for those cool books on the coffee table’, Lebeaustraat 18
» Gallerie St Hubert for window shopping in the 19th century shopping mall, Galerie du Roi 5
» Hunting & Collecting, hunting for multi brands Rue des Chartreux, 17
» Les Enfants d’edouard, find the most stylish vintage clothing here
Fear is something that will drive us apart, let’s keep on loving, exploring and wandering. Also in Brussels.