My daughter (22 yrs old) and I have 1 full day in Brussels before heading back to California. We'll be at the Conrad Brussels Hilton. Suggestions on what to do in Brussels for a day? Best place to get a waffle? Shopping area? I need to buy my wife some linen stuff.....tablecloth, napkins, etc.(?).
Depends on what your interests are. If you're looking for high end shopping for linen and so on try Avenue Louise and the area of the ring road around the place where it starts, by Louise metro station. Definitely see the Grand Place - single best site and free. If you are an art/museums person pick one or two from the National Gallery, Comic Book Centre (but only really if you can read French and/or Dutch to a decent standard), or the Musical Instrument Museum. Or if you like twentieth century architecture take a stroll round the art nouveau town houses in Saint-Gilles. You can get waffles anywhere from stands or cafes - I'm not enough of a connoisseur to pick a special one. If you're into chocolate at all beware of the tourist rip-off places around the Grand Place which sell mediocre chocolate in tacky pictorial tins. My favourites are the Neuhaus, Galler or Corne Port-Royal chains which are in multiple locations (there's a Galler only a few metres of the Grand Place which is the only place in that immediate area you should buy chocolate from), or if you like chocolate enough to make a special trip somewhere go to Marcolini and/or Whittamer on the Place du Grand Sablon, Mary's near the Congres column, or Blondeel by Sainte-Catherine metro station.
Perfect! Thanks so much. My wife told me that ".....you forgot to ask about the chocolate...."; so thank you for your recommendations!
If you have any interest in the world wars, the Royal Museum of Military history has a huge collection of material from both conflicts. Half of the museum is a relatively uninteresting trove of Belgian military uniforms and equipment, but the space devoted to the world wars is the most impressive I have seen.
Just find the Grand Place and go to all the shops around there. You can find all the linen and lace stuff there. There is a beautiful tapestry shop/museum near the Manneken Pis. Buy the chocolate that is sold in individual pieces - it is magnificent! Be sure to get a tourist map - with all the tourist attractions on it. Because, you can see almost everything in one day. Brussels is a surprisingly awesome and wonderful city! It has a very young feel to it. When we were there, there was a light show at night at the Grand Place. One of my favorite memories - at the Godiva shops, you can buy a combo of small coffee with three chocolates that you choose, and you just sit at a table and enjoy!
I was a foreign exchange in Belgium. Try a light, crispy belgian waffel or a dense "Leukse" waffel. Both are a delight! Definitely see the Grand Plaatz, and areas around. Also, I can not recommend more highly having "frites", (french fries) from a frituur. The absolute best in the world! My personal favorite chocolates are from a store called Leonidas. It is a chain and are much, much better than Godiva. Take a home a kilo or two. You won't regret it!!