The best of Brussels (and Paris!)

It has been months and months and months. It has been months. So many months! I’ve been meaning to post this since April, and I don’t think my blog has been touched since January. There’s a lot to catch up on, and therefore probably lots of posts coming (?), so bear with me.

As many of you already know, Jake and I spend a magnificent 9 days in Europe — 4 days in Brussels followed by 4 days in Paris. I’ll keep it shorts and rattle off my top recommendations that might not be on your radar:


  1. Day trip to Bruges! It was cold as hell, but super beautiful. I highly recommend a bike tour to Damme and the windmill.
  2. Eat at Tonton Garby, Belga Queen, and Peck 47. Tonton Garby is a teenie-tiny hole in the wall with the best sandwiches ever; Belga Queen is fancypants, but delicious; Peck47 is apparently famous for their egg sandwiches? But I wouldn’t know because I just had their ginger ale and that’s what was excellent.
  3. Drink at Cantillon Brewery. Even as a non-beer-lover, I thought it was dope. And the beer was really good! I hate beer, so that means a lot.
  4. Visit Grand Palace, do NOT visit Manekin Pis. I mean do visit it if you want to, but I did not think it was worth the few minutes out of my life.
  5. IF you go during the three weeks of the year when it’s open, try to stop at the Royal Gardens. It’s a really beautiful tour.


  1. Stay at The Grand Pigalle. The neighborhood is wonderful, the prices are reasonable, and the customer service is unbeatable. This was the view from our room. They even left me a box of my favorite imported Italian cookies on our last day, because they knew I loved them and that you couldn’t buy them anywhere else.
  2. Drink (coffee) at KB Café. It’s in the 9th and it’s delicious.
  3. Eat at Frenchie. Book a reservation as early as possible, by any means necessary. Ask your concierge, schedule the rest of your trip around that restaurant, I don’t care. But get a table.
  4. Take a day trip to Versailles with the Blue Bike Tour. It was one of my best memories of the trip — despite having the worst allergies of my life — and when my fiancé accidentally threw my phone in a dumpster, the tour guides came back to help me find it. Just…so f*cking amazing.
  5. Listen to the ensemble performance at Saint Chapelle. Try to see it when they’re performing the Four Seasons. I cried the whole way through.
  6. Buy a large volume of beauty products from any pharmacie. My favorite purchases were Bioderma Crealine and Reve de Miel.

Okay, that’s that for now! Updates to come about our engagement weekend, my recent articles, and an impending move to DC…

Published by Julie Bogen

CT --> NYC --> Washington, DC. Audience Engagement at The Atlantic, formerly at & R29.

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