Guest Post: Brussels Off The Beaten Path

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Hello, Follow Your Sunshine readers! I’m Sandy from S Marks The Spots where I share my favourite  foodie and fun spots from Brussels, the city I live in, and other places I visit due to my incurable case of wanderlust!
Brussels is full of hidden gems that usually don’t make it on a visitor’s itinerary, so I thought I’d share with you a few local spots off the beaten path.

Start your day at one of the best brunch spots in Brussels


In my books there’s nothing better than a great brunch to fuel up for a day of exploring a new city. ICI is one of the most delicious brunch spots in Brussels that also happens to be one of the most pinned restaurants in Belgium. Located in a residential neighbourhood away from the Grand Place, it’s off the tourist radar and retains its charm and calmness.


Enjoy free 360 views of the city


While most visitors pass by the  Cinquantenaire Park which is located in the heart of the European district in Brussels, very few know that they can go all the way up its beautiful arches and enjoy panoramic views over the city for free. Finding the entrance is a bit of a challenge but the scenery is well worth it! If you’re an art lover, don’t forget to make a detour to admire Maison Cauchie, one of the most impressive Art Nouveau buildings in Brussels. 


Follow the Comic Strip Route


Put down your tourist map and follow instead the Comic Strip Route in order to discover Brussels in a fun and original way. The “promenade bande dessinnée” feautures over 50 colourful mural paintings of famous comic heroes born in Belgium, such as Lucky Luke and Tin Tin. The whole experience feels like a treasure hunt game and takes visitors around Brussels’ iconic neighbourhoods.


Visit one of Europe’s most beautiful bookstores


No trip to Brussels is complete without a visit to the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, the spectacular 19th century shopping arcades that house luxurious stores and lovely pastry shops. And although this spot is well-known, most visitors miss the secret that lies inside: Tropismes, one of the most beautiful bookshops in Europe.


Discover one of Brussels’ most secret cafes


I left the best and most secret spot for the end. There are even locals that have never heard of the lovely rooftop café of the National Library of Belgium, which can be found right next to the famous Mont des Arts. A great place with wonderful views for a coffee pit stop in between sightseeing.
So there you go – I hope I gave you a bit of inspiration for your next trip to Brussels! For more great spots in Brussels and beyond, hop over to my blog: and keep in touch!
This is such a wonderful post about a beautiful city which until now I didn't know nearly enough about. Thank you Sandy! If this doesn't have you reaching for your nearest Belgium guidebook, I don't know what will! Sandy writes a gorgeously descriptive blog on food and travel. She currently resides in Brussels, but describes herself as a 'citizen of the world' - which displays itself in her informed writing and special way of capturing the world around her through her descriptions and photography. Out of all my guest posters so far, I have followed her blog for the longest. Head on over here to find out why!


  1. Oh wow Brussels looks incredible! I'm hoping to get over to Bruges soon(ish) so maaaybe I'll make it a double stop tour!

    Lauren xx

    1. Sandy should write for the Brussels tourist board I think - she's convinced me it's worth a trip too! Do let me know if you end up going!

      Polly xx

  2. Love the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert but Ipve never noticed this bookshop! how did I miss that? I won't miss it again :-)

    1. Amazing!!!! So pleased you've discovered a new place through this post :-)

      Polly xx

  3. I love the look of the bookshop
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    1. It's soo gorgeous isn't it? I love the smell of big old bookshops like that. Wouldn't mind buying a book there and then heading up to the National Library's rooftop cafe for a read.

      Polly xx