Brussels on a Budget is quite doable.
Patricks Day Weekend, my friend and I got cheap enough flights for €118 and we decided to hit up Belgium. Neither of us had been to Belgium before, and have both always really wanted to see Bruges! We arrived early on Saturday, and left on Monday evening so it was a short and sweet trip!
Brussels can be an expensive city, but keep reading if you want some tips and tricks to make it as affordable as possible.
From Dublin, you can fly either Aer Lingus or Ryanair. My friend and I actually flew separately and the difference in the flights between airlines was €20 or so, so have a look and see why times suit you the best! Brussels Airport is big, but it’s easy to navigate and the train station is so close too.
The flight time is 1h45 and they’re an hour ahead of us! Getting to the City Centre is really easy. It’s €12.70 one way into the centre and it takes 18 minutes. The train station is right in the centre, so you don’t have to worry about the cost of a taxi when you arrive.
While researching places to stay, I automatically looked at Airbnb first. While prices were good, I actually stumbled across the 5 Star Hotel “Hotel Metropole” for an excellent price! While I wouldn’t classify it as being a 5-star hotel being totally honest but for the 2 nights each it was €126 and the room was fit for two queens!
The bed was ridiculously big and so comfortable. The only complaint was the floorboards above us were quite creaky but it didn’t bother us too much. It was only a 5-minute walk from the main square so it’s in an ideal location. It was just unfortunate they’re making that street pedestrianised and they had quite a lot of building work going on!
Being a big foodie, and a lover of waffles, chips and of course chocolate – Belgium seemed like my ideal destination. The food was generally the same price as Dublin. Frites and Waffles were everywhere you looked! We got some fries for €2.50 in what was probably the least appetising hut, and I’m still thinking about those chips! So it’s definitely cheap to snack in Belgium! You’ll find them on every street corner with so many different types of Mayo dips.
Waffles are always a winner! I had my first savoury kind in Peck47 (see below) and we had our fair share of sweet ones too! The Leige waffle originally served on it’s own with sugar was a nice pick me up, while my Nutella doused one was definitely one for the chocoholics! Like fries you can’t walk a few yards without finding ample places selling waffles. I’d suggest trying them all 😉
We had so many recommendations for Brussels for eats, but we actually just stumbled on a few places. I generally prefer to be a bit spontaneous while travelling as for me, it’s part of the fun!
Best for Brunch: Peck47
We met the loveliest couple in the queue; Kelsey & Brandon from Atlanta and it was so lovely to chat and we ended up having brunch together.
It’s what I love about Traveling, everyone is so open and it was a thoroughly lovely morning! I got the waffle with chorizo and poached eggs, and I’ll tell you it was delicious – for €14 it was worth every penny! We added a mimosa for €7 that also went down a treat.
Best for Lunch: H & K Burger
My friend got this recommendation, and we were not disappointed. We’re burger fans and H&K was very good! Not groundbreaking or anything, but it was nice and tasty, and it definitely filled a gap! You got to choose your bun, your meat, your fillings and sauce and for a burger and fries, it came to around €15 and it’s a 10-minute walk to the square too.
Best for Dinner: Toukoul
Amazing Ethiopian Food. It’s definitely different, and the waiter will show you how to eat it properly. He’ll literally feed you and will assure you is “hands are clean!” – friendly atmosphere, great staff and something a little bit different.
If you’re a fussy eater, this place isn’t for you. It’s got a cool, chilled African decor and it was buzzing on a Saturday night. Have an open mind – we went for one of the sharing platters and we were both impressed – and were absolutely stuffed!
We, of course, had room for dessert and a cocktail mind. For a sharing platter, a desert, a carafe of wine and 2 cocktails it came to just under €100, a little pricey – but well worth it for the experience!
Other things to do:
- Grand Palace
- Manneken Pis
Although the best thing we did is do the Bruges and Ghent Day Trip – but I’ll do more on that in another post! Here’s the tour but 10/10 would recommend our guide was excellent, we had sufficient time in both places and the coach was comfortable.
All in all my only advice for Brussels really is Wander. While I’m actually not Brussels biggest fan (I much preferred Bruges and Gent) It was nice in parts. The square is magnificent, especially at night. It’s such a walkable city too.
Maybe, we didn’t give it a chance, but being entirely honest it was probably my least favourite European City so far. I didn’t really particularly safe walking at night (and I generally have absolutely NO fear). I’d like to give it another chance perhaps in Summertime.