Everything you need to know before going to Brussels

Most associate Brussels with beautiful architecture, EU headquarters, French fries and chocolate. The Belgian capital had long been on the "go for the weekend" list, and now was the perfect opportunity to make a dream come true. The last summer days in September made the trip really enjoyable. It was also a bit nervous, because being there, I realized how much I don't know French and how much we want this language to become the one in which we will communicate every day.

How to get to Brussels from Charleroi airport?

One of the easiest ways is airport transfer (taxi), but it is also one of the more expensive options. One way taxi fare from the airport to Brussels is around PLN 350. It is much cheaper to get there by flibco bus (thanks to Iza for hints!). One adult ticket costs 17 euros and can be purchased as soon as you exit the airport. At present, Charleroi Airport is undergoing renovation, so the flibco cash register is moved outside. Tickets can also be purchased at flibco websitewhich is also in English. Buses from the airport leave approximately every 30 minutes.

How to travel from Charleroi airport to Brussels

The flibco bus stops at Bruxelles Midi (Brussels-South railway station), which reminded us very much of the Central Station in Warsaw. Both trains and metro depart from this station. We tried to get to the hotel by metro but unfortunately due to renovation the station close to our hotel (Le Plaza Brussels) was closed. We found out about it when, after 1,5 hours of wandering around the station, we found a machine to buy a ticket and after entering the name of the metro, it turned out that our station was closed. Fortunately, there is a taxi rank near the exit of the station, so we decided not to wander anymore, but to drive faster to the hotel.

How to travel from Brussels to Charleroi airport?

The fastest and cheapest access is via the flibco bus (the same bus we took from the airport). The bus departs from Brussels-South railway station Bruxelles Midi from the exact same place where the airport bus stops. I recommend buying a ticket online (link above), because at the station we did not find a ticket office selling tickets for these buses.

Brussels tourist attractions what to see

I will not fool anyone that Charleroi airport is close to Brussels. The bus trip takes almost an hour (I recommend planning it in case you want to go from Brussels to the airport also by flibco). Unfortunately, we did not understand that the bus at 7:30 am at the airport is at 8:25 (we had a flight at 9:05). Luckily there wasn't a lot of people at the airport so we made it just before the gates closed.

Hotel in Brussels - where to stay?

While in Brussels, we decided to stay at the Le Plaza Brussels hotel (Adolphe Maxlaan 118/126).

Staircase in a tenement house Brussels

This hotel met our expectations 100%. Not only was it very clean but also beautiful inside and out.

Le Plaza hotel Booking

The room itself was very large and comfortable. We decided to use it and take some pictures while the light was perfect. The only downside for me was the bathtub instead of the shower (but for me that's a minus as I'm not a tub fan).

Brussels hotels

What is worth visiting in Brussels?

There are a few must-see spots in the Brussels Center. I will not only describe the places that appear in the guidebooks, but also those that we visited on the way.

Churches Brussels

One such place is definitely the Église Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon on Rue des Sablon - it's an amazingly beautiful church worth visiting, as well as the Église Notre-Dame de la Chapelle.

Brussels shopping mall

A must-see is the beautiful shopping center - Galeries Royales Saint Hubert. There you will find luxury brands such as Longchamp and a lot of Belgian chocolate shops with the smell of chocolate from the entrance.

Townhouses in Brussels

I was most impressed by the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (Cathédrale des Sts Michel et Gudule), in which we spent the most time admiring its beauty. Entrance to the cathedral is free.

Chairs in Brussels
Brussels tourism

If you are going to Parc de Bruxelles, it is worth stopping at the Square of Petit Sablon - a small but very charming park. It was there that we sat on the bench opposite the Statues des Comtes d'Egmont et de Horne and gathered our strength to get to the Prac de Bruxelles.

Tourist attractions in Brussels

On the way to the hotel, we also saw Place Royale Bruxelles and Colonne du Congrès. Unfortunately, we did not go to Mont des Arts because this is where there were dangerous riots.

Nice places in Brussels

Where to eat in Brussels We recommend Aux Gaufres De Bruxelles, where Piotrek ate a vegan burger with Belgian fries and a salad. I, on the other hand, tried Belgian fries and a waffle with chocolate.

What surprised us the most in Brussels?

Brussels is not only about delicious chocolate, beautiful architecture, but also a depressing sight of homeless people sleeping in the streets. Perhaps the biggest surprise was their amount (even when entering our hotel on Monday morning, we saw people sleeping on cardboard). It is a terribly depressing sight that I have not experienced in Poland on such a scale so far. Of course, I see homeless people near the train station in Warsaw, but despite everything, people sleeping on cardboard boxes next to office buildings were really annoying. The second surprise was the large amount of garbage. Unfortunately, Brussels is not one of the cleanest places (of course, it's not dirty everywhere!).

Where to go in Brussels

A huge plus is the freedom to communicate in English. In Brussels, many places are described both in French and also in English (often also in German, so I suspect that communicating in this language would not be a problem either).

Mandatory points in Brussels

Brussels is a place where you can meet people of different nationalities, and a place where you can be in the heart of the riots in an instant (I do not recommend this experience, more info in the featured "Travel" report on Instagram).

Sardinia - holidays in the era of coronavirus

This year's vacation is unusual. Most people decided to spend them in Poland (is it really safer than trips abroad? I would argue). We also put off our trip to the last minute, which is why we chose the Last Minute offer for Sardinia. As a reminder - in May we were supposed to go to City Break in France. It was supposed to be a short trip to Nice and the surrounding area - Cannes and Monaco. Unfortunately, due to the current situation, our trip did not take place. Today the situation is a bit different and it is possible to travel (of course, everything is reasonable and safe). However, returning to our vacation, we agreed that we are going to beloved Italy. This is how we spent 8 wonderful days in Sardinia. As a reminder - last year we were in Milano Marittima (Adriatic Coast). We visited closer (Cervia, Ravenna) and further surroundings - Florence or San Marino.

Porto San Paolo - paradise beaches like in the Maldives

As I mentioned before - this holiday was different than any other. And we also approached them differently. There were 1000 photos and Instagram stories. We and wonderful Sardinia mattered. It is true that we were a bit angry that the optional trip to the Costa Smeralda did not take place, but this is not a bad thing. We could have spent more time carefree swimming in the crystal clear water and caring for the tan (which I feel is fading away with each passing day). We rested not only mentally, but also physically despite the high physical activity (we walked the length and width of the area).

spiaggia di coralina porto san paolo

Porto San Paolo is a small fishing village near the town of Olbia (there is an airport there which is very close to Porto San Paolo) in the northeastern part of Sardinia. The most beautiful beach that we liked to visit in the area is spiaggia di coralina. It is located approximately 15 minutes from the hotel where we were (San Paolo, which we do not recommend). Spiaggia di coralina is simply insane! Soft sand and azure, crystal clear water are really impressive.

Italy vegetation flowers

Sardinia means not only beautiful beaches and a guarantee of wonderful weather (it was windy only once during the whole trip), but also lush vegetation. Various types of palm trees, cacti as well as beautiful flowers. Can you not fall in love with Italy?

What is worth eating while in Sardinia?

Sardinia is also delicious food! Porto San Paolo is really intimate - a few restaurants (we especially recommend the one next to Hotel Il faro di Molara, because there is delicious pizza there! And Ristorante Il Portalndo, where it is worth to sit with a glass of wine and admire the beauty of Isola di Tavolara, i.e. the island of Tavolara). Being in San Paolo, you cannot miss the best ice cream in the city - Gelateria da Mimmo. And don't be surprised that after sunset you will be standing in a long line - it's worth it! Honestly, it has the best ice cream in Italy (it even broke the ice cream in Florence next to the Chanel boutique). Just watch out for the mysterious fruit called myrtle. Taking myrtle ice cream (it only said in Italian, so I didn't know what it was), I was sure I was buying blueberry ice cream. Nothing could be more wrong. Myrtle tastes a bit like… juniper. It is very aromatic and completely unpalatable as ice cream.

Isola di Tavolara view from Porto San Paolo

There are also 3 supermarkets in the village - the most recommended is Dettori Market Crai Rete, because it is best stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, Italian sweets and crisps (sorry, I love Italian crisps!) With olive oil. There you can also buy the famous pane carasau, i.e. Sardinian bread (which is also brilliant as a snack on the beach) with olive oil or rosemary. Strength breads are usually served in sauces, and sprinkled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt, it becomes a tasty snack called - pane guttiau. You can find Pane Carasu in every store in Sardinia. It tastes a bit like maca.

Sardinia also means regional dishes, e.g. culurgiones, which is something that I personally liked to taste something between dumplings and dumplings. There was stuffing inside and the whole thing was covered with tomato sauce. A very tasty dish worth trying. Of course, Italy is the kingdom of pasta, so this one could not be missing here - malloreddus, a Sardinian pasta resembling gnocchi, usually served with tomato sauce and meat (we ate the meatless version, of course) is really tasty.

Safe travel during the coronavirus

We wondered for a long time whether a holiday outside Poland this year is a good idea. However, we decided to fly to a place that was safe at that moment (in Sardinia on the day of our departure there were only 35 cases of coronavirus confirmed). And I will continue to insist that Sardinia was safer than the Baltic Sea, where no safety standards are met. I have the impression that in Poland we have loosened the rules a bit too much, which is reflected in the increasing number of cases. Let's remember that the coronavirus is still taking its toll and we must be vigilant all the time and take care not only of our own but also of others' health. In Italy this is very respected - throughout our stay we did not see ANYONE who entered the shop without a mask. Unfortunately, we see such people in Poland very often.

white dress for summer

On our Instagram @dpblogpl There were a lot of questions about traveling abroad in the era of coronavirus, so I decided to write a little about it. Of course, I note that this is how it looks like at the moment, I do not know what will happen in a week, two or even more a month.

Entry to the Chopin airport is possible only with a boarding pass. As a curiosity, I would like to add that anyone can enter the airport in Olbia. When you check your boarding pass, the temperature is also measured. It is obligatory to wear masks both at the airport and during the flight, we also had to have a mask on the bus that took us to the hotel. We flew with a travel agency, so we did not worry about certain issues, such as "what if the borders close". Contrary to popular belief, returning home in the event of border closure is not at the expense of taxpayers, but under insurance. We took out additional insurance which included higher medical costs. Better safe than sorry, especially since the current situation is very uncertain.

Sardinia sunset

After the hotel, as well as in the canteen, there was also an obligatory mask, and dishes, contrary to what we are used to, were served by the service. Despite this whole situation, the staff was very nice and did not give the impression that we were traveling during the epidemic.

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Sardinia is magical and it is worth visiting this place not only once. If you are looking for a place for a quiet vacation (lounging on the beach and splashing in the azure water), Sardinia is where you will find everything you want. You don't have to take warm clothes with you, because in Sardinia there are over 300 days of sunshine. Just take a large filter with you, because the Sardinian sun likes to catch it by surprise.