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Only 25 minutes away from Paris, Brussels is a city full of surprises that just needs to be seen to be loved. You only need to discover the city centre to be enchanted by the restaurants and top quality but affordable Cheap accommodation in Brussels.
This is a multicultural and polyglot city with at least a third of its population coming from another country. That is what gives Brussels its diversity. It is a paradise for gourmets as the restaurateurs have managed to mix cuisines and flavours from different cultures.
Despite being the capital of the European Union, Brussels is a small city with eclectic facades and forest like parks that give the capital a feeling of being in the countryside. At least a quarter of the surface of the city is composed of parks and forests -around 4000 ha.
Places not to miss in Brussels:
1) La Grand Place. One of the most famous stops in Brussels. Take your time to admire the Gothic façade of the Hotel de Ville. Visit the local museum and why not, have an afternoon of shopping in the Galleries Royale.
2) La Place Royale. Around this area you will be able to choose from the RoyalPalace, the BellevueMuseum and the archaeological site of Coudenberg.
3) The Cinquantenaire Park. From here you can choose to visit the Royal Museum of Art and History or the Autoworld.
4) The musical instruments museum. This is a place to admire as much for its architecture as it is for its collection.
5) The RoyalMuseum of Arts.
6) The Cauchie House, built in 1905 is a perfect example of Art Nouveau.
7) Le centre Belge de la Bande Dessinéé. A magnificent Art Nouveau building which houses the history of comic characters in Belgium. Of course, the star of the show is Tintin!
8) St. Michaels cathedral
9) La Brasserie Cantillon. This is a living museum. A brasserie is the place where the beer is made (a brewery) there are only two traditional brasseries left in Brussels and one of them belongs to the Cantillon family. Stop at the Cantillon brewery and you will taste a beer that is a far cry from the industrially made beers. The best time to visit is between October and April.
Brussels’ parks and gardens
Brussels is a delight to visit for gardeners and lovers of the outdoors. The flowering season starts in April at the ancient Botanic gardens where you can marvel at more than 40 varieties of Irises. In May, the Palace of Laeken where you can visit a tropical forest opens its doors to the public only for two weeks.
In the city centre you can take a green break at the RoyalPark and not only enjoy the fresh air but also enjoy the mythological statues sprinkled along its geometrical set up. If you are looking to wet your toes during a hot summer day, why not stop at the TervuerenPark and see the lovely ponds, this is the favourite place for the locals’ Sunday walk.
If you are a romantic, then the best park for you is the Tournay-Solvay de Boitsfort. The park is dominated by romantic ruins of a neo-renaissancepalace and it has a lovely rose park.
Food in Brussels. 2012 Belgium year of Gastronomy
Everybody Eats Well in Belgium a country that boasts more three-star restaurants per capita than any other nation
with German and Dutch country-cooking influences. The author describes Flemish food as "still deeply rooted in medieval cookery," with centuries-old reliance on such ingredients as nutmeg, saffron, almonds and dried fruits.
Visit Belgium Calendar of Events 2012
- Visit Belgium Calendar of Events 2012
The iNternational festival of love films, Brussels book fair, The Eurantica fine art and antiques fair at Brussels Expo, Museum Night fever and many more events.
- Calendar of Events
Events such as the QUEEN ELISABETH MUSIC COMPETITION : This competition that awards young violinists is unique in the world , not only for its importance and its influence but also due to the difficulty of the tests, the preestigious jury...
Brussels is a lot less expensive than other European capitals like Paris or London.
Plan to spend:
- Between 12 and 30€ for a meal.
- Between 2 to 5€ for a museum entrance.
- 1.30 € for a tram ticket.
- At least 1€ for a coffee or a beer.
- At least 4€ for a cocktail.
- Between 6 and 15€ for a disco entrance, a place at the theatre or for a concert.
- Chocolates and pralines will cost you at least 20€ a kilo in the specialty shops.
Get a Brussels card to save time and money
- Brussels International : Brussels Card
The Brussels Card is the best way to see this fascinating capital of Europe. It offers you free entry to 30 museums, free use of public transports and exclusive offers in designers boutiques, shops, exhibitions, restaurants & attractions.
One cannot talk about Brussels without talking about chocolate. Imagine chocolate in all its forms and you will have an idea of what Brussels can offer. It was here that the “praline” was invented in 1921 by Jean Neuhaus. The quality of the chocolate in Brussels was once upon a time tightly controlled by the state which shows how serious the Belgium’s take their chocolate. Nowadays you can still visit Neuhaus shop on Galerie de la Reine. Stop there and try its Caprice or Tentation (nougat covered in fresh cream). Count to spend at least 34€ for a kilo of chocolates.
Do not miss Pierre Marcolini’s chocolate shop on 1 rue des Minimes. The chocolates are all artisan made, you can choose among the most rich selections of ginger, pistachio, violets and even green tea covered in chocolate.