Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

My trip to Brussels – part 1

My trip to Brussels – part 1

Hi everyone,

I hope everything is going well with you. On the reading week, I decided to travel to Brussels to see my family, because I missed them and since the 3rd year can be stressful, I needed to see them for extra support. I know it was not the best time to travel because of the coronavirus, but I ensure you I took the right precautions while I was there.

I left on Thursday afternoon and as you should know, I always have a story to tell when I am flying. This time, when I got to the airport they had evacuated everyone and everyone was outside for at least one hour. Due to this all flights were delayed, and my family had to wait for me at the Brussels airport for 2 hours. When I finally got onto the plane, it was the smallest plane I have ever been on, but the seats were comfortable, and it was only 50 minutes on the plane. At 4pm I landed, but it was already 5pm in Belgium, so we went to pick up the car that we had rented for one day. I don’t know how much in total the vehicle cost but the parking for one night in the city centre was 18€, which is quite expensive but Belgium is a costly country.


At 7pm we got to the hotel, and our hotel was called Hotel Floris Arlequin Grand Place. The room was very pleasant and clean, it included a fridge, a safe and wifi, so we didn’t have to pay extra for any of that. After everyone was settled in their rooms, we decided to go for dinner, and since most places were already closed because it was Thursday, we went to Mcdonalds. It was the most expensive burger I have ever had, my parents and I paid 35€ for 3 medium menus and all the sauces that you get in the UK for free, you have to pay 0,5€ there. I know the prices are not the best, but I will show you some pictures that you are going to love, and you might want to go there as well.


We woke up very early so we could visit the two nearest towns called: Bruges and Gent. We started in Bruges that was around 1 hour driving from the city centre of Brussels, but you can always take the train, but since there were five of us it was cheaper this way. We got to Bruges at 10am so we had a lot of time to explore. We started by seeing the Minnewater Park and then Beginhof, they were the two main things on the way to the centre of Brussels. Then we saw some cathedrals, and we decided to take a boat trip around the town, that cost 10€ per person, but it is definitely worth it because you go around all city and at the same time they tell you a story about the village.

We walked around the town for a couple more hours, to see the famous squares and the smallest bridge. We had lunch here, but I forgot to take a picture because the food was not very good.


At around 3pm we drove to Gent where we only stayed for 2 hours and had a look around. I wish I had more time because this town was also so pretty. The old architecture present in the buildings is really amazing. In this town, we saw the castle, the canal, the most famous street Graslei and more bridges. When we finished the city sightseeing, we had to go and try their waffles. As you know, I love sweets, so I decided to go to the best country wherein every store they offer you chocolate to try, and there are minivans in the city selling waffles for only 2€. But this one that we had was a little bit more expensive, but it was so good, I think each day I had at least one waffle, haha.


If you have time, I recommend you to go to both of the cities. They are very different, but each of them enchanting.

I will leave the part of what I did in Brussels for the next post. See you next week,

Madalena Ribeiro

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