Brussels is awash with Art Nouveau architecture and its contemporary cafe culture sets this fine city alight. There are handmade Belgian chocolates in all flavours to savour, as well as ample local craft beers to sample - perhaps to wash down a brimming plateful of local favourite moules et frites (mussels and chips).
The city’s Grand Palace often takes the top spot on any visitor’s itinerary. The central square is at the heart of city life, and as well as buildings that date back to the 1600s, there are also a range of eateries, bars and shops based in this area.
If shopping is your thing, a visit to Galeries St-Hubert is a must. There are a number of chocolatiers based here, so you can sample the wares before choosing some to take away with you. This domed, glass-roofed arcade also has a selection of sophisticated, upmarket boutiques. If you prefer to hunt for a bargain, then the Louise district is fashion central. Brussels also hosts various flea markets, which are ideal for those who want to unearth a vintage treasure to take home.
The food is perhaps a more surprising highlight. Folk in Brussels like to do things their own way, meaning that the skinny chips are double-cooked and the waffles are invariably dusted with icing sugar. In addition to the famous beers, Brussels also boasts its very own grape-based cocktail in the form of the ‘half-en-half’, a potent combination of wine and champagne. The classic street food in the Belgian capital is snails, which you can purchase from stalls in various areas of the city, such as up-and-coming Marolles.
Art is also growing in popularity in Brussels. Some art galleries are drawn to the city by the cheaper property prices than those in Paris, and you’ll find contemporary installations housed in former homes, garages and even a skating rink. It is becoming the norm for budding artists to showcase their work at open events too, making modern art very accessible for locals and tourists alike.
Why not check out our range of Brussels hotels, which range from cheap hotels in Brussels to 5-star hotels. Brussels really does have it all when it comes to accommodation as well as things to do, so see for yourself what makes this appealing Belgian city tick.