Brussels, is a historical city within Belgium. For many years it has been a city long forgotten, but in the last decade it has seen a huge transformation. The city is now truly a cosmopolitan and bilingual city of wonder. Packed with fine food and culture, Brussels is a fine example of glorious Art Nouveau architecture and the origin of many a famous character, including the one and only Tin-tin.
The Grand Place is certainly the place to be. Known as the heart of Brussels, it is the legacy left after the city was blitzed in 1695. It was rebuilt as a spectacular array of gables, known as the richest outdoor theatre in the world. It is a wonderful place to lounge and take in the casual Belgium atmosphere at one of many boutique terrace bars surrounding the Grand Place.
Brussels is also known for being the capital of the European Union, as many parliamentary events take place within the city. The famous parliamentary buildings are located in the centre. Part of which can be seen by the public with free entry. Who knows the kind of people you may just bump into if you stay long enough!
Of course, who would be without the world acclaimed chocolate of Belgium, and Brussels is no exception. With chocolate shops, mouth watering restaurants and bars, there is certainly no shortage of great places to socialise or dine. The relaxed and casual aspect of Brussels, against its glorious architecturally magnificent backdrop, makes it hard not to fall in love with.
There are plenty of places to explore the history of Brussels too. With many museums and galleries offering an array of hidden treasures. Musees Royaux Des Beaux-arts showcases masterpieces by Bruegel the Elder or perhaps take a look at the Musee d’Art Moderne, complete with a café serving dishes devised by triple Michelin starred chef; Peter Goosenns. If the architecture is more appealing then you cannot leave without visiting the Musee Horta, sampling much of Victor Horta’s work and how it changed the face of Brussels in the late 19th Century.
And not forgetting the fabulous markets of Brussels. A daily flea market takes place within the city, with an amazing bustling feel to it. You can pick up some amazing finds at great prices too. On a Sunday just outside the Gare du Midi Station, you will find a grand market selling the finest produce of Brussels. A perfect way to spend a Sunday, perhaps before jetting off to experience the wonders elsewhere.
And if all those exciting places give you a thirst, be sure to visit the famous Cantillon Brewery, and sample the only spontaneously fermented beer in the world; Lambic.
It is probably a good idea to plan your journey in advance, as there is simply so much to see. But don’t forget to take a look at the Brussels Card. From as little as 24 Euros it is a great investment, as it will gain you entry into over 30 museums and exhibitions for free and offers discounts off bars, restaurants and shopping.
Photo by saigneurdeguerre on Flickr