10 Things You Might Not Know About Brussels

Continuing my “10 things you might not know about” series, today it’s all about Brussels! The capital city of Belgium is incredibly beautiful, filled with lots of unbelievable architecture, and like most European cities, a lot of history! Test your knowledge and see how many of these facts you know about Brussels!

How well do you know Brussels? Check out these 10 things you might not know!

 

  1. Brussel’s is most famous for waffles, chocolate, and beer (and for good reason – YUM)!
  2. One of the city’s most famous landmarks, Manneken Pis, is only 61 cm tall and is dressed in different costumes based on holidays/other events happening locally.
  3. There are 138 restaurants per square mile in Brussels.
  4. Grand Place (Grote Markt) features several 17th century public and private buildings around a cobbled square. However, the earliest reference to the market square dates back to the 12th century!
  5. Brussels’ International Airport is the world’s largest chocolate selling point.
  6. The city’s often called the “Heart of Europe,” as the European Union (EU) is headquartered here, and more than 30% of the population aren’t natives of the city/country.
  7. Comics have a huge influence on the city (especially Smurfs and TinTin, which has the most comic artists per square kilometer. Many exterior walls in the city are filled with comics, and there’s even a museum dedicated to comics.
  8. French is the most widely spoken language here, but signs also appear in German or Dutch, since Belgium has 3 official languages.
  9. The Atomium was an almost 335 ft. sculpture built for the science-themed Brussels World Fair in 1958. It was only supposed to be around for 6 months, but it became so popular that it became a permanent part of the city’s landscape. The monument consists of 9 spheres, representing the atom make-up of a cell of iron crystal (the atom was a big topic in science in the 1950s).
  10. Famous actress, Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels.

 

Want to know more about Brussels? Read all about our stay at Hotel Amigo and how we spent 24 hours in the city (including drool-worthy waffles)!

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95 Comments

  1. September 28, 2016 / 9:10 AM

    It looks amazing!

    • October 2, 2016 / 1:11 PM

      It really is! I hope you get a chance to visit one day!

    • October 2, 2016 / 1:12 PM

      Thanks, Ivana! It’s such a beautiful city!

  2. Candy Kage
    September 28, 2016 / 10:21 AM

    I lived in the Netherlands for four years and we use to go to Belgium all the time. Love remembering all the places and wonderful things we enjoy while living there.

    • October 2, 2016 / 1:12 PM

      That’s amazing! I’m looking forward to visiting the Netherlands in a couple months!

  3. Mostly Simple Life
    September 28, 2016 / 11:18 AM

    Really interesting! I’d love to visit someday!

    • October 2, 2016 / 1:12 PM

      I hope you can, you’ll love it!

  4. September 28, 2016 / 11:52 AM

    oh i love these posts, i learn so much. i really wanted to go to Belgium when we went to Europe, but we couldn’t find the time/money. One day! We really want to go to Brussels and Brugge/Bruges (I never know which is correct lol).

    • October 2, 2016 / 5:15 PM

      Thanks, Kristen :) Hopefully you’ll get to both soon! We didn’t have time to hit Bruges last time so I’m hoping to get there one of these days too!

  5. September 28, 2016 / 1:00 PM

    We took a train through Brussels but that was my only experience with it! Thanks for sharing these fun facts.

    • October 2, 2016 / 5:15 PM

      Thanks for reading, Jill! Where were you traveling to that you passed through it?

  6. September 28, 2016 / 1:34 PM

    I had no idea that Belgium has three official languages! That’s so cool! I’ve heard amazing things about the Belgium beer, and I would love to try some true Belgium waffles!

    • October 2, 2016 / 5:16 PM

      It’s crazy! I hope you’ll get there to check it out yourself one of these days. But warning, you’ll never enjoy waffles nearly as much anywhere again after trying true Belgian ones :)

  7. September 28, 2016 / 1:56 PM

    I didn’t know any of this! Now I want to visit.

    • October 2, 2016 / 5:16 PM

      I hope you can plan a trip soon, Cris! It’s such a fun city!

  8. bstoutsweeps
    September 28, 2016 / 2:03 PM

    I love this, I learned so much! Very pretty pictures too. Thanks for sharing.

    • October 2, 2016 / 6:04 PM

      Thank you! Glad to hear it :)

  9. September 28, 2016 / 3:02 PM

    I had no idea that the airport is the worlds largest selling point for chocolate. That is so interesting and makes sense. I haven’t been to Brussels yet but am planning a trip in late 2017 or early 2018 to visit with family.

    • October 2, 2016 / 10:08 PM

      That’s so exciting! I hope you love it as much as we did!

  10. September 28, 2016 / 3:08 PM

    I love lists like this! Such a fun and easy read :)

    • October 2, 2016 / 10:08 PM

      Thanks for reading, Charlotte!

  11. September 28, 2016 / 6:06 PM

    Oh wow, I had no idea that Belgium had 3 official languages! I always wondered what language they spoke. Also, I can’t believe they dress up Manneken pis, that Google search definitely brightened my day :-]

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      It’s such a diverse city! And that little statue is hilarious! Glad it brightened your day :)

  12. Leah Hall
    September 28, 2016 / 9:00 PM

    I have never been, and this is some great info, so interesting! Thanks for sharing this!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      Thanks, Leah! Hope you learned some new things :)

  13. Tiffany Austin
    September 28, 2016 / 9:02 PM

    I didn’t know any of this! Ha! Never been but it looks stunning. I’ll get there some day!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      You must! It’s such a beautiful city!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      It really is! I can’t wait to get back again one day!

  14. Shani Ogden
    September 29, 2016 / 12:26 AM

    I have never been to Europe but would love to go! Brussels looks amazing! And, hello, chocolate. :)

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      It’s such a cool city! And YES the beer, waffles, and chocolate alone are enough reason to plan a trip :)

  15. Stephanay Jnote
    September 29, 2016 / 7:55 AM

    I have yet to visit this place but maybe one day. Would love to do some traveling to destinations like this!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      I hope you’ll get there one day! It’s such a neat city!

  16. September 29, 2016 / 7:58 AM

    Would love to add this to my travel bucket list! I love learning new things about different places! Thank you for sharing☺️

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      So glad to hear it! Thanks for reading, Kiara!

  17. September 29, 2016 / 8:54 AM

    Always love these posts. Number 10 – who knew ? Looking forward to checking Brussels off my bucketlist. For now – I will dream of waffles and chocolate.

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      Thank you! I hope you get to Brussels one day soon. Waffles and chocolate will never be the same after :)

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      It’s such a fun place to explore! I hope you get there soon!

  18. September 29, 2016 / 9:26 AM

    Can’t wait to visit! Thanks for the helpful list!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      Anytime! Thanks for reading!

  19. Sheila Jo Spencer
    September 29, 2016 / 10:06 AM

    So, I always have several food options nearby in Brussels, and waffles/chocolate/beer is probably on the menu? This sounds like a fine city to visit!

  20. Kathleen Brown
    September 29, 2016 / 10:07 AM

    Brussels sounds amazing. I loved reading thus blog. Makes me want to book a trip today. Thanks for sharing

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      Thanks, Kathleen! I highly recommend taking a trip there!

  21. Mary La Fornara
    September 29, 2016 / 10:34 AM

    It’s been many years since I have been to Brussels. You have inspired me to visit again…soon! I need one of their delicious waffles in my life.

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      Love to hear that! Nothing beats real Belgian waffles!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:11 PM

      So glad to hear you learned some new things! And yes you do! The food in Brussels is SO good!

  22. September 29, 2016 / 11:25 AM

    Apparently I need to visit that airport and get my chocolate fix. :) I didn’t realize Brussels was Audrey’s place of birth? I adore her!
    xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com

    • October 3, 2016 / 3:57 PM

      You definitely do :) And yes! I was surprised when I first learned it too!

  23. September 29, 2016 / 11:31 AM

    I had to read this because Brussels is the only place I’ve been where I would not go back. I was curious to check out this article and see if there’s anything I didn’t know. I did NOT know that about the comics! That surprises me!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:17 PM

      Wow, really? Why wouldn’t you go back? Glad to hear you at least learned something new :)

  24. Joanna
    September 29, 2016 / 11:58 AM

    I have been to Brussels twice. I like it. I prefer Ghent and Bruges though. Very beautiful and of course you really have to try mussels when in Brussels.

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:18 PM

      I haven’t made it to Ghent or Bruges yet. I hope to soon!

  25. September 29, 2016 / 12:15 PM

    We lived near Brussels when I was a kid. It was a beautiful city back then. I didn’t realize that Audrey Hepburn was born there. We lived there pre-Smurfs and I don’t remember anything about comics. The waffles and chocolate are amazing, but I was too young to try beer. I thought the Manneken Pis was hilarious, possibly because I was 8 years old.

    • October 3, 2016 / 6:36 PM

      That’s awesome! The Manneken Pis is just as hysterical in your 20s (and 50s) we found :)

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:12 PM

      It’s TOTALLY worth it, girl!

  26. Ashley @ simmerandsprout
    September 29, 2016 / 12:34 PM

    Wow, I had no idea French was the most spoken language. And where can you go wrong with waffles and chocolate??

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:17 PM

      Exactly! They’re out of this world!

  27. Nicole Parise
    September 29, 2016 / 1:33 PM

    I have been to Brussels a few times (I live near Amsterdam) but I had no idea German was also an official language. The more you know!
    xx nicole
    http://www.nicoleparise.com

    • October 3, 2016 / 6:32 PM

      Jealous you’re so close! I’d be popping over for waffles all the time :)

  28. September 29, 2016 / 2:15 PM

    Wow! It’s so fun to learn new facts about Brussels. I’ve been to Europe several times but never to Brussels. I didn’t realize it has 3 official languages and soooooo may restaurants. The history there is amazing!

    • October 3, 2016 / 6:36 PM

      Glad to hear you learned some new things :) You’ll have to consider a stop in Brussels during your next trip to Europe!

  29. September 29, 2016 / 2:36 PM

    I love that, like Switzerland, Belgium has three official languages!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:12 PM

      Wow, really? I had no idea! Switzerland’s another place on my list :)

  30. September 29, 2016 / 3:30 PM

    Oh wow! What a beautiful city! I haven’t been to brussels but it is definitely a bucket list vacation for me!

    • October 3, 2016 / 6:32 PM

      It really is! I hope you’re able to plan a trip soon. You’ll love it, Kristin!

  31. September 29, 2016 / 4:06 PM

    I really want to go to brussels! I love that it has three languages and it’s so multi-cultural. Definitely the heart of Europe. I’d have to try some waffles too. x

    • October 3, 2016 / 6:32 PM

      I hope you can get there soon! The waffles are out of this world!

  32. September 29, 2016 / 4:36 PM

    I love comedy and this city looks beautiful… adding to the bucket list :)

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:12 PM

      Yay! I hope you can get there one day soon!

  33. linda spiker
    September 29, 2016 / 5:46 PM

    Lovely. And you are right, I didn’t know a few of those things!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:17 PM

      Glad to hear you learned some new things!

  34. Pack Your Baguios
    September 29, 2016 / 6:59 PM

    I wonder how comics became so popular there. I love all of these interesting tidbits!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:12 PM

      I’m not sure how it started, but it’s so cool that it did!

  35. September 29, 2016 / 8:51 PM

    I knew many of those but of the ones that I didn’t, the one that surprised me the most was #3 (138 restaurants per square mile)…wow!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:15 PM

      Crazy, right?! Be prepared to eat lots if you ever visit Brussels!

  36. Bree
    September 29, 2016 / 11:37 PM

    OMG we used to watch Tin Tin on TV when we were kids!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:15 PM

      Sounds like you should definitely plan a visit then :)

  37. anvita
    September 30, 2016 / 12:01 AM

    OMG, I would love to try some waffles there. Honestly i didn’t know so many things about Brussels.

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:17 PM

      Glad to hear you learned some new info :) The waffles are amazing!

  38. September 30, 2016 / 8:35 AM

    The waffles there were amazing but I also had the best pizza EVER. I loved hanging out around the Grand Palace and Delerium village.

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:16 PM

      Ooh I definitely need to get back if that’s the case! The food is SO good!

  39. Jenine Isa
    September 30, 2016 / 12:27 PM

    Cool. It sounds really lovely there!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:15 PM

      It is! We loved our visit!

  40. Mary Welby
    September 30, 2016 / 1:03 PM

    I love the architecture of Brussels! IT’s gorgeous. I had no idea that comics played such a large role though. I can’t believe that many restaurants are in a square mile!

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:16 PM

      It really is! I had to keep pinching myself to remember it’s real! We don’t have anything like it in the U.S.!

  41. September 30, 2016 / 11:03 PM

    I probably only knew #1— good to know the other 9. Would love to see all that for myself someday! It looks beautiful.

    — DT | Here I Scribble

    • October 3, 2016 / 6:31 PM

      I hope you get there, Brussels is fab!

  42. October 5, 2016 / 4:17 AM

    I love Manneken Pis!! I saw him in his raincoat and it cracked me up! The waffles are SO GOOD!!