Brussels has a plethora of neighbourhoods to explore and enjoy during your time off. One of my favourite areas to spend my Sundays is Jourdan. Here you can enjoy the Sunday market, have a drink at one of the cafes and go for a stroll at the adjacent Leopold Park. Exploring everything Jourdan has to offer is a fun activity that puts you in contact with some of the best Brussels has to offer.
One of my favourite activities to do on the weekend is exploring the many markets Brussels has to offer. Brussels has over a dozen weekend markets which are a popular place for locals to buy their weekly groceries or to have a coffee and an artisanal snack in the sun. Some might prefer the Midi Market– being the third-largest open-air market in Europe it does have a lot to offer: but the noisy crowds and constant stream of people quickly get a bit too hectic for those of us who just want to stroll around and see what is on offer without getting swept away. Do not get me wrong though there is almost nothing you cannot find there and usually at unbeatable prices – but it is not what I would describe as a relaxing affair.
One of my favorite little markets is the Jourdan Sunday market which provides a more laid back experience compared to the Midi Market. It is stone's throw away from the European Quarter and easily accessible by its nearest metro station Schuman or a range of buses. Here you can find mainly fresh produce, but might also stumble across a furniture stall, and most importantly here you will find a relaxing experience.
On the Jourdan square, you will also find a very popular chip shop called Maison Antoine. For three generations they have been making traditional Belgian fries. If you do not want to take my word for it you can just ask their clientele that range from members of the Belgian royal family to Angela Merkel – who stopped by for some fries after a busy EU top a few years ago.
Even when it is not a market day, Jourdan is still an attractive place to spend some time with a range of bars and restaurants to enjoy. The businesses on the square have a good relationship with each other and will allow you to eat chips on their terraces – providing you order a drink of course. My favourite wine bar "Pepete & Ronron" serves some great wines along with their tapas and a short walk down of the sidestreets will lead you to "PokéBar" where they serve some of the best poké bowls I have ever had: keep in mind they have no seating area and only do takeaway.
Once you have had your fill of food and drinks you can have a stroll through the Leopold park which is right next to the square. The park traces its history back more than a century where it originally started out as a zoo. Unfortunately, the only exotic animals you will find there now are the ostrich statues in the playpark that function as a tribute to its past. If you get lucky though you might also spot a turtle in the pond!
Jourdan really is a great place to explore. I live just around the corner and am still discovering new activities and sights every day. I would definitely recommend for everyone to get to know the area and discover what makes this place so special!
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