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Aside from eating my way around Belgium, I also had a few other tricks up my sleeve for exploring the country. In Brussels, for example, I made it a point to seek out as many of the famous Brussels Comic Strip Walls as I could.
Sure, I could have just visited a few of the famous ones. But where would the fun in that have been? Nowhere, I tell you. If I’m not running around aimlessly in search of something with no idea where I am, is it really a day in my travel life? Probably not.
I originally set off my first morning in Brussels with the intention of making a stop at the Musical Instruments Museum. But, as usual, I got sidetracked. So sidetracked, in fact, that I didn’t end up making it to the Musical Instruments Museum at all during my time in Brussels. Oh well, I had fun anyway.
In this #classic example of me getting sidetracked, I spotted a cool looking church out of the corner of my eye and diverted my path.
St. Michael and St. Gadula Cathedral
The church was an eerie reminder of Notre Dame in Paris. Not only did it look the same on the outside, but the inside was set up in a similar fashion as well. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to notice this.
I sat down for a moment on the steps of the cathedral when I was done, because walking for approximately ten minutes was obviously far more than I could handle. I pulled out my phone for a little bit of entertainment (because why look at your surroundings when you can look at a screen, amirite?) and opened up my new favourite travel app.
That was when I noticed that I was VERY close to one of the Brussels comic strip walls I had told myself I would seek out. So, naturally, I forgot all about my plan to spend a morning in a museum and set out on a comic strip wall hunt.
Searching for the Brussels Comic Strip Walls
I walked straight past the first wall I had pinpointed. I had my head down in my phone, watching as the dot representing myself got closer and closer to the wall and then, suddenly, farther and farther away. What had I done wrong? Was I blind?
Yes, I was. The wall was behind me. As soon as I had the sense to turn around, there it was, in all its glory. There was no way to miss it.
Not gonna lie, I did that the first couple times I was approaching a comic strip wall. I would have my eyes on my phone, rather than actually looking for the wall, and walk right past it. Eventually, though, I learned that I should just figure out the general location and go from there. Oh, and turn around a couple times. That seemed to work out pretty well for me.
And guys. The Brussels comic strip walls are SO. FRIGGIN’. COOL. I loved turning a corner and being surprised by a new image every time. I could try to say something about the skill of the artists, but I’ll just let the walls speak for themselves.
Side Effects of my Hunt for the Brussels Comic Strip Walls
I think the coolest thing about running around the city trying to find all of this art wasn’t actually the comic strip walls, but the things I stumbled across while doing so. Like Brussels Pride, which was concentrated underneath two of the more famous Brussels Comic Strip Walls.
I also managed to stumble upon not only the famously disappointing Mannekin Pis, but his derivatives Jeanneke Pis and Zinneke Pis as well. Brussels just has a thing for peeing statues, I guess. I have to say, though, that I was much happier just stumbling across these little curiosities while on the hunt for something else than I would have been if I had sought them out by themselves. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t much to write home about.
All in all, I really loved that finding the Brussels Comic Strip Walls was my introduction to the city of Brussels. Sure, I could have taken a free walking tour. But where’s the fun in that? Been there, done that, I say. You can take a free walking tour of the top sights anywhere in Europe. You can’t find the Brussels comic strip walls anywhere else in the world, and flying around the city with no real idea where you’re going is the perfect way to dive head first into a new location.
Tips for Finding The Brussels Comic Strip Walls
There are several tours of the Brussels Comic Strip Walls available, but I think as I showed in this post you totally don’t need one to find them.
My number one tip for finding the Brussels comic strip walls is to download the USE-IT app. This free app has maps in cities all over Europe which are built by young locals. In Brussels, the map includes every single comic strip wall in Brussels. It can also be used offline, so all you have to do is download the map and go!
What I did when on my Brussels comic strip wall hunt was to open up this app, find the wall that was nearest to me, and then go there. Once I had appreciated that wall, it was on to the next! I spent a few hours doing this and it was so much fun.