Thursday, October 19, 2017

Durga Puja 2017 in Brussels

We had the pleasure to attend the Durga Puja festivities in Brussels this year.

We try to attend Durga Puja in different parts of the world every year, and this year it was Brussels. The puja had a very homely feel to it - thanks to the organizers; and we had an absolutely enjoyable time.

For more details of the Durga Puja in Brussels, please refer to the association website (link).



Grote Markt


Focusing on the city itself, Brussels is a typical European capital with its fair share of museums and cathedrals. As a tourist, the place that you need to target is the Grand Place or Grote Markt, which is the main square in Brussels, and all touristic activities including shopping, restaurants / cafes and palaces / cathedrals are centered here.

Impressive architecture at Brussels Grand Place (Grote Markt)

The architecture is indeed impressive, and it looks even more spectacular at night with colorful lights.

Brussels Grand Place (Grote Markt) at night
Brussels Grand Place (Grote Markt) looks so dramatic with lights

Of course, when you are in Brussels, do not forget to sample two of Belgium unique culinary delights - chocolates and waffles. There are numerous shops selling both waffles and chocolates and we honestly did not find much difference among the fancy ones (like the one in the pic below) and the more traditional ones; so feel try to try the first one you see rather than trying to find the most elusive one based on Tripadvisor reviews.

Royal Palace

The 2nd place to visit in Brussels is the Royal Palace. As before, this one is also an architectural marvel. As you are not allowed to go inside, the visit should be pretty quick unless you want to visit the Palace museum.

If you have time, there is a huge park/garden right in front of the Palace which is ideal for catching a breather.

Hotel Metropole


We stayed at the Metropole hotel in Brussels.  It is one of the oldest luxury hotels in Belgium and the hotel is a landmark in itself. As you can see from the pictures below, the hotel interiors are quite grand! The rooms however are not that well maintained, and are in need of some serious renovation. Hence, do not expect 5* luxury based on the pictures on their website.



If you are in Brussels, a day trip to Bruges is definitely worth it.

Bruges is a lovely fortress style city. There are no cars allowed inside the city, and the best way to explore the city is by foot or the beautifully decorated horse carriages. 

There is a labyrinth of canals and a boat ride of 30mins is also a great way to explore the city.

The whole city is quite beautiful, but one of the more famous attractions include the Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde (below), which is the only preserved beguinage in the Bruges. The place has a kind of mysterious aura around it and is definitely worth visiting.
Beguinage (Begijnhof) nuns house

Once you get tired from all the exploring (read walking), head towards the City Centre (Grote Markt) - there are plenty of shops and restaurants/cafes around including a few impressive building such as the City Hall.

The colorful city of Bruges

End of the tour, we realized that as a tourist it probably makes more sense to set-up base in Bruges and then visit Brussels for a day :)


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