If there is a certain stereotype or look that you associate with the lesser loved countries of eastern Europe, you’ll find it in Brussels. The Grand Place is a darling square surrounded by sprawling seediness and graffiti. The Grand Place is a square basically, and has several buildings that are decorated in gothic architecture. It’s pretty and there are many good restaurants within the square to sit and look at the square. There is also a Starbucks if you are there in the morning.
Waking around the rest of Brussels, you may see people openly drinking and smoking outside of clubs and other odd riff raff. They don’t seem to mean ill of tourists, but don’t press your luck.
There are people you can find at the Grand Place to give you a free walking tour of the city. They then will try and up-sell you on other tours. If you’re real interested in learning more history the guides are engaging and very good. Just don’t get sold on a further tour after the free one.
In and out of the south railway station on Sundays you will find a flea market. It might be a cheap way to get a souvenir for your friends and family at home.
Flea market goods in Brussels
If you go: stop for about 3 – 6 hours. You’ll see enough.