Brussels – what to do and where to stay
is the beautiful capital of Belgium and Europe. It is a lively capital with a very diverse mix of inhabitants. There’s plenty to see and do in Brussels, including the Grand-Place
, the Horta Museum
and the Atomium
. Good food and drink comes as a standard in Brussels and is heavily influenced by Belgium’s neighbours France, Germany and The Netherlands. You’ll find plenty of hotel accommodation in Brussels as it is a major destination for not just tourists but also politicians and dignitaries. For cheaper accommodation in Brussels, why not choose to stay in an apartment or guest room in the city? You’ll get to experience what it is really like to wake up as a local in the city!
Belgium was without a government for nearly two years! Those in charge couldn’t decide how to divide the power!
Belgium produces 220,000 tonnes of chocolate
The Royal Palace of Brussels
is over 50% longer than Buckingham Palace!
wrote the Communist Manifesto whilst living in Brussels between 1845 and 1848.
actually originated in Brussels!
Attractions and sights in Brussels
has much to offer visitors to the city. The main square, Grand Place
, is one of Europe’s most impressive old medieval squares and the breathtaking architectural splendor of the buildings is worth admiring. There are many cafes lining the square which are perfect places to soak up the sights and atmosphere. The City Hall
, located in the square, offers guided tours of the building from Monday to Thursday by appointment only. Also located in the city square is Brussels’ most famous monument – The Mannequin Pis
. This small statue of a boy urinating has become something of a symbol of Brussels and is certainly something to cross off your list of things to do in Brussels! The Musee de la Ville de Bruxelles
(Museum of the city of Brussels) is also on the Grand Place and contains, amongst many other things, small costumes worn by the Mannekin Pis!
Away from the main square, there’s plenty in Brussels to keep you occupied. One of the world’s most fascinating buildings is located in Brussels – the Atomium
. This building, or more accurately structure, is a replica of an iron crystal cell that has been magnified 165 billion times. The silver Atomium was built in 1958 and towers over the city. You can walk inside the structure and the five spheres contain halls and public spaces. The Royal Greenhouses
, a massive complex of hot houses and galleries, are also worth visiting and were built in 1873. You’ll find many rare plants and flowers in the gardens, which are located in the north of the city. A cultural centre also exists in the main building, La Botanique
, which hosts a variety of art and music events. The Horta Museum
is also well worth finding. Victor Horta, the founder of the museum, was one of the original Art Nouveau and the museum displays a collection of his fantastic works.
Food and Drink in Brussels
Brussels is renowned for its fine food and drink. Indulge yourself in chocolate
, gorge on frites
and sample some legendary Belgium beer
. Beer is to Belgium what wine is to France and there is a seemingly endless selection of beers available to try in Brussels bars and cafes. If you’d like to see beer made the traditional way, visit the Contillion Brewery
near the central station. It’s Brussels’ last remaining brewery and still sticks to the same brewing process that it began with in 1900. You can walk around the small brewery and of course try some samples. The best place to sample Belgium’s vast selection of beers is at Moeder Lambic
, which has 46 beers on tap!
Belgium is also famous for its frites
(or chips as we know them). Perhaps Brussels’ most famous frites shop is at Chez Antoine
at Place Jourdan. Frites are part of Belgium’s culinary heritage and are made using Belgium potatoes that are cooked twice and served in a paper cone. They are always served with mayonnaise and are unique to Belgium – they’re not to be confused with French Fries!
is internationally renowned and there are many chocolate shops in the city. We recommend you visit L’Art de Praslin
, a small but legendary chocolate shop run by an old lady. The chocolate made in this shop is superb and people come from all around to buy it! Pierre Marcolini
is without a doubt Brussels’ most famous and exclusive chocolate shop. Their products are surprisingly affordable and locals refer to it as the best chocolate in the world! If you’d like to learn more about chocolate, the Musee du Cacao du Chocolate
is a chocolate museum which charts the history of the famous cocoa bean. There are free samples in the museum and it is informative and fun.
is located 7 miles northeast of Brussels city. The best way to reach Brussels city is to take the train which is located under the terminal. 4 trains an hour run between the airport and the city and the journey takes approximately 17 minutes. If you are staying in the city centre then you’ll find most places that you want to visit are reachable on foot. Brussels has a good public transportation network consisting of buses, trams and trains that serve all the main tourist attractions, should you decide not to walk. Unlike like in most cities, the transport network is integrated and tickets work on all forms of public transport. Perhaps the best way to see the city and also save money is to purchase the ‘Brussels Card
’, which is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours and entitles you to free transport, free admission to many museums, discounts and a free map. Day trips to Bruges
are possible from Brussels and transport between the cities is frequent. Bruges and Antwerp are one hour from Brussels and Ghent is an even shorter distance.