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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  • It looks amazing!

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

  • Great post, enjoyed reading this, now i even more love Brussels xox

    https://theninebyivana.blogspot.com/

  • Candy Kage

    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.

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

  • Mostly Simple Life

    Really interesting! I’d love to visit someday!

  • 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).

    • 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!

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

  • 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!

    • 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 :)

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

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

  • bstoutsweeps

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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 :-]

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

  • Leah Hall

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

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

  • Tiffany Austin

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

  • Katherine Turro

    Brussels is such a magical city! thanks for sharing!! xox Katherine

    http://www.katherineinbrooklyn.com

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

  • Shani Ogden

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

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

  • Stephanay Jnote

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

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • Brussels is on my travel bucket list! I’ve heard great things!

    Rachel | http://www.theconfusedmillennial.com

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

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

  • Sheila Jo Spencer

    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!

  • Kathleen Brown

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

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

  • Mary La Fornara

    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.

    • Love to hear that! Nothing beats real Belgian waffles!

  • Wow! I didn’t know a lot of these! I need to go there to eat, with all those restaurants! :)

    Lauren
    http://www.StrongGirlCollective.com

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

  • 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

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

  • 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!

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

  • Joanna

    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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • I want to go to Brussels just for the waffles and chocolate now lol!

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlife.com

  • Ashley @ simmerandsprout

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

  • Nicole Parise

    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

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

  • 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!

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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

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

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

  • linda spiker

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

  • Pack Your Baguios

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

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

  • 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!

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

  • Bree

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

    • Sounds like you should definitely plan a visit then :)

  • anvita

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

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

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

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

  • Jenine Isa

    Cool. It sounds really lovely there!

  • Mary Welby

    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!

    • 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.!

  • DT

    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

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

  • I’ve always wanted to go to Brussels! Definitely on my list for my next big eurotrip!
    XO Amanda | http://www.glitterandspice.com