A rookie’s guide to Brussels

I’ve been to Brussels twice now, and I wouldn’t say I have become an expert on the hidden gems of the city. But then again, I know few people that have visited Brussels for fun and not for work, and I thought that I might as well share some of my favorites if you ever happen to swing by. Hang on.

Shopping
If you do go to Brussels, make sure that there is a lot of free space in your luggage and that you did receive your last pay. The thing is, Brussels is great for shopping. Especially second hand shopping. If that’s not for you though, there are several streets that are great for mainstream shopping. On Rue Neuve you will find H&M, Zara, Primark etc. But watch out, it will be crowded. If you’re looking for something more quiet (but also more expensive), head to Rue Antoine Dansaert and don’t miss Filippa K and Brandy Melville.

Second hand
I’d say you’ll probably find the best second hand close to Place du Jeu de Balle, which is also a flea market that is open everyday. I found all sorts of cool stuff on the market – old vinyls, Levi’s jeans, old clocks, portraits and broken lighters. Definitely worth a visit. The vintage gems in this area are Foxhole (great for second hand shopping at regular prices – neither pricey nor cheap), Bernard Gavilan and Melting Pot Kilo on Rue Haute where you can buy second hand clothes at a kilo price (that is where I bought my Nikes!).

If you head to Ixelles, make sure to stop by Retro Paradise. The prices are a bit higher but it’s well worth it – you can find a lot of hidden gems here. And it’s still not crazy expensive. Next to Retro Paradise lies Spullenhulp – Les Petits Riens which could be well worth a visit too – at least the prices are much lower.

If you happen to visit Brussels the first Sunday of the month, make sure to pay a visit to Brussels Vintage Market. It’s a three-floor market where you can find anything from vintage designers’ clothes to cheap sport clothes in the basement. There is also a bar in the hall =you can drink a beer while checking out the racks.

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Going out
I don’t think you’ll ever have a problem finding bars in Brussels – there are at least three in every corner. And most of them are real cozy. And they serve splendid Belgian beers of course. But also anything else you’d want. If you want to go clubbing, you should probably head to Fuse. That’s actually the only club I’ve ever been to in Brussels, but they also have a really good reputation.

Eating out/drinking coffee
Alright alright guys. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to try Belgian fries while in Brussels. You do know french fries are originally from Belgium, not France right? For the best fries in town (or so I’ve heard), head to Friterie de la barriere.

And eating out? Now this is where you should ask a local for tips since I haven’t eaten out much in Brussels. Finding a restaurant is not tricky at all – they are everywhere – but sorting out the most touristy ones is a bit more difficult. Finding some fast food won’t be hard though. I had a good veggie burger at Ellis Gourmet Burger once, which is supposed to be the best burger place in Brussels.

If you’re looking for coffee, head to Place du Jeu de Balle and explore the streets nearby – Rue Haute, Rue des Renards and Rue Blaes for instance. There are loads of hip cafés and great second hand in that area. In Saint-Gilles, try out Maison du peuple, and if you are in Ixelles you should definitely head to Café Belga for coffee or drinks.

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Sightseeing
Well well, here comes my weak point. I’m really not the sightseeing-kind-of-girl. But there are lots of great places to check out in Brussels. Head to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts to get a good look at the fancy blocks in Zavel (it’s really pretty and definitely worth the stroll). In Zavel you’ll also find magnificent churches, fancy cafés and shops, art galleries and luxurious chocolatiers. Then there are all the touristy sightseeings of course, such as Grand Place, Mannekin Pis (not at all an impressing guy), Atomium etc etc, but I’ll let you find out about all that for yourself, ’cause I really don’t think the world needs another blog entry telling you to check the common tourist sites out. There are plenty of nice parks if you visit in summer or in spring though.

One interesting thing about the city is that every block looks entirely different from the other. There’s the fancy blocks, there’s the city center, there’s the hipster hood and there’s the poorer blocks. There are Flamish parts, French parts and parts dominated by entirely other etnic groups. Anywhere you go, you’ll get a new angle of the city. I definitely recommend you to go to Brussels. It’s pretty and it’s inspiring and the beer is worldknown. What else would you need?

What to do on a Tuesday off

Remember I told you I felt too restless to go home after Brussels? Well, I ended up going home directly on Monday after I’ve landed at the airport anyways. I was dead tired and couldn’t look forward to anything but sleeping in my own bed. Guess we all reach our limits from time to time. Started watching the Netflix Originals The Get Down, which seems very promising. I think I can recommend it even though I’ve only seen the first episode so far.

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It felt so good sleeping in on Tuesday morning, and even have time to read a book and drink a cup of tea while having breakfast on my own. After breakfast, I ended up trying all my swimsuits and bikinis and doing my makeup while dancing like crazy all by myself. That’s one thing I do whenever I’m alone, but then again, who doesn’t right. I was going to meet up with Norah in town for lunch at 12 am, but I texted her asking if we could meet 15 minutes later. “I think I have a good selfie in the making”. “Hahaha, of course”, she replied. True friendship.

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We spent two hours or so in town, searching the flea markets and checking out the Christmas market. There is really nothing to do in Mariehamn, especially not winter time, and especially not yesterday since it was the independence day of Finland and most of the shops were closed. But it’s still always kind of great to catch up with your bestie. We ended up having pasta and espresso at some Italian place next to the market. Talking about the future (what else these days), about how to fight inferiority complexes, how to boost your creativity and what kind of collaborative projects we would like to do some time. But also about love and life, ’cause you can never talk to much about those things.

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Also, I sported these new babes that I bought in Brussels. Always embrace the 90s babe inside of you. Anyways, after saying bye bye to Norah I went home to study for a couple of hours for some test I have tomorrow. There’s only four months left of high school now, I really can’t wait to get it over and done with. Starting from April, I will be free to do whatever I feel like (even though I’ll probably just end up working non stop until summer). 2016 is coming to an end and for the first time in my life, I have no idea of how the upcoming year will turn out. Where I will live, what places I will discover, if I will study or work or just travel (I’d take my guess on the last one).  It is both scary and super exciting at the same time.

My day off ended with yoga class and family dinner. For the first time in weeks, it actually felt good to get some rest. I’ve been everywhere and I’ve done so much recently. I do love this hectic lifestyle, but there is no way I manage without doing my yoga. You gotta find whatever keeps you alive.

Ink

The next evening he was at the Johannes churchyard, looking up to her window. There was a soft light. He walked up the four stairs and ringed the doorbell. No one opened. He ringed once more. No one opened the door. He ringed the doorbell a third time. No one opened. He went to a bar and drank an awful lot.tatThinking of getting a tattoo. Would be kinda nice to have one on the neck or right next to the hips. I just feel a bit insecure of getting one since it will have to fit when I’m 80 years old too. I’ll have to consider that. Sources from my pinterest. And btw, the quote is from one of my favourite books. Den allvarsamma leken (“The Serious Game”) by Hjalmar Söderberg. Read it on Christmas two or three years ago and I’m still hooked.

Postcard from Brussels

Hey there. It’s Thursday and I’ve been in four countries in one week. No time to rest, haha. I don’t feel bad about it though. Just wish I could find a way to bring in more money to pay for all this roaming.

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I’m currently in Brussels to visit a friend of mine. My flight back leaves on Monday morning, but I’ll probably stay in Stockholm for a day or so before I go home due to this restlessness that I really can’t get rid off no matter what I do. Hit me up if you want to hang out in Sthlm on Monday or Tuesday. I’ll be all yours. mobilcollage-bryssel-2

I’m planning on setting up a mini guide to Brussels for you guys when I come back home. You’re gonna have to deal with mobile photos though since there wasn’t any room for my camera in my hand luggage. And also ’cause I really don’t feel comfortable taking photos with a camera when I’m abroad, makes me look like such a tourist. Haha. I’ll have to get used to that again. I promise. Stay true to your blogger-self etc.

Weekend in copenhagen

Hi there, beloved ones. I feel great about writing my first blog post on this new site I got fixed up with lots of help from my dear friend Linus. Blogging has been part of my everyday life ever since I was an eleven year old kiddo or something. Over the past two months I have had a break due to stress and anxiety, but also ’cause I wanted to set this thing up. And here I am. Hopefully to stay for a while. For those who don’t know me, or who didn’t follow my old blog, here’s a short and concise presentation. Hi. I’m Jorunn. I’m an eighteen year old restless girl from a smalltown who likes to spend all my money on going places and shopping for clothes. I’m a sucker for all kinds of music – anything between deep house, Turkish folk music and Kanye West works out for me atm. And whenever I don’t spend all my money on expensive or inexpensive clothes and get my mind lost in the music, I fill documents and documents with texts that no one could ever understand. And I like taking pictures. And I hope you will stay.

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Last weekend was spent in wonderful Copenhagen along with three gorgeous gals. Emma, Norah and Emmy were going to a concert and I decided to go with them, extremely spontaneously, without even having a valid train ticket. But I managed to get both there and home without getting caught. Pheuw.

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Copenhagen was really fucking great, even though we didn’t do much during daytime. Mostly we just went out and had beers and whiskey and gin tonics, to be honest. We stayed at a really cute hostel called Globalhagen Hostel in Nørrebro, in which all the rooms were made as different countries. The location was probably pretty great too, but hey I can’t really tell since I only went to the clubs in Kødbyen.

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We had dinner at Kalaset and partied until late night/morning at Bakken and Jolene. Lindstrøm and Sven Weisemann played at Culture Box on Saturday. Weiseman rolled up to us on the dance floor and gave us free entrance tickets so we’ll have to visit again.

I really can’t get my head around why I never stay in Copenhagen for more than two or three days. I would have loved to have time to visit Louisiana, the modern museum or stroll down the cute streets of Nørrebro. We didn’t even have time to go the city centre once. But then again, we only had one afternoon in town and let me tell you, we were all kinda hungover that day. I guess this only calls for more. Vi ses København!