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Brussels Travel Guide

Brussels Travel Guide

Brussels has become a bustling centre for bureaucrats and businessmen and is a thriving cosmopolitan metropolis; one very much enjoyed by those who visit it. The buildings in the city are a charming mix of architectural styles, and there are several museums of interest throughout. When in Brussels, travellers can experience the beauty of the art and architecture, admire the beautiful Grand Place, marvel at the bizarre sight of the Manneken-Pis statue, and spend time shopping for traditional souvenirs such as Belgian chocolate and lace.

When within the 14th-century walls of the city centre, visitors are seldom left without something to see, do or admire. The National Opera House is certainly a favourite and many other theatres host a variety of events and concerts for those wanting to experience some high culture. There are also an array of restaurants offering memorable cuisines, and there is also always the opportunity to have a drink or two in any one of the lively bars located near the Grand Place.

An effervescent city, Brussels is a metropolis of museums, history, and architecture among Europe's finest. Offering something for everyone to enjoy, Brussels is certainly worth the trip.

Best time to visit Brussels

Brussels' climate is fairly temperate, which means that the city is amiable for tourists all year round, but the best time to visit is probably between March and May, and between September and October. During these months the weather is pleasant and room rates are cheaper. Crowds also tend not to dominate top attractions at this time of year, making it ideal. Be sure to keep an umbrella with you, no matter the time of year, because Brussels can experience all four seasons in a day, and rain is a possibility throughout the year. Read more about Brussels' Climate and Weather.

What to see in Brussels

-The beauty that is the Grand Place, its cobbled streets and its magnificent Neo-Gothic buildings and museums are all a must-see for visitors of Brussels.

-The Manneken-Pis, thought to be the Eiffel Tower of Brussels, is a wonderful sight and one not to be missed when in the city.

-See the beautiful pieces in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts; a must for any lover of fine art.

-Appreciate the early architecture of the ancient Hotel de Ville, a historic site with its foundations laid in 1402.

What to do in Brussels

-Take a tour of the Palais Royal during the summer months when it is open to the public and see its fantastic State Rooms, the Throne Room and much more, all of which are impressive sights.

-Check out The Museum of Cacao and Chocolate and indulge in some of Belgium's finest and most adored chocolate treats!

-Take a trip to one of Brussels' water parks, such as Walibi Belgium, where dozens of slides and rides can be enjoyed in those warm summer months.

-Spend an afternoon at the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert which is said to be the very first shopping arcade in Europe and opened in 1847. Here visitors can shop galore and even catch some theatre or a film.

Beyond Brussels

Belgium is a small and densely-populated country, which makes getting around it fairly simple. With an efficient and accessible transport system too, travelling and exploring Belgium is generally a hassle-free endeavour. From Brussels, travellers can take a trip to nearby Antwerp, which is certainly a must-see for those in search of in-depth culture in the form of Gothic and Baroque architecture, churches, museums and galleries. Bruges, Belgium's most popular tourist destination, is also a short trip from Brussels and is considered Europe's best-preserved medieval city.

Getting there

International flights to the city will generally land in Brussels International Airport, located eight miles (13km) northeast of the city centre. While there is another airport further out of the city, the Brussels Charleroi Airport, majority of flights will land at Brussels International. From the airport visitors can either take a taxi, shuttle service, or express train to the heart of the city and beyond. Brussels' accessible and efficient public transport means visitors should not experience much difficulty navigating and reaching their destination. Read more about airports in and around Brussels here.

Did you know?

-Brussels occupies an area measuring 161.4 square kilometres (62.2 sq.mi) and a majority of its residents speak Flemish Dutch or French.

-About 27 percent of the residents of Brussels are not Belgium citizens.

-Brussels is a major trader of beer, waffles and chocolate. There are over 800 brands of beer on sale in Brussels alone.

Our Travel Expert

Maria L'Episcopo is an architect born and raised in Turin, Italy. Since 2006 she has moved to different countries around the world to work as project manager for the construction sites of the Olympic Games. She moved to Brussels last October and is currently working for NATO for a project related to the construction of the new Headquarters. The passions of her life are travelling, culture and sport.

>Read Maria's tips on Brussels
>Ask Maria a question

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