The whimsical, weird, and wonderful city of Brussels is like no other. With its medieval architecture, and prize place as the centre of the European Union, Brussels is a hub of mix-matched cultures, languages, and visitors. The combination of French and Flemish (a dialect of Dutch) sets the scene for the home of the best beer, fries, chocolate, waffles, and mussels in the world.
With few large landmarks in Brussels, the city is best seen by experiencing the great food, culture and surreal nature that it has become famous for. The Grand Place is the main square in the heart of Brussels, with picture-perfect medieval architecture holding modern day cafe’s and restaurants. Nearby, you can visit the Mannequin Pis — Brussels’ iconic statue of a young boy urinating. As strange as it sounds, tourists from all over come to take a photo in front of this small and strange statue. Delirium cafe is commonly known as ‘the best bar in the world,’ with three floors of madness and over 2000 kinds of unbeatable beer. A must see stop in Brussels! The Cinquantenaire is a large arch and park that symbolises Brussels, and with a museum attached to the arch, its the perfect visit no matter the weather. While walking around these landmarks, stop and try a waffle or fries! Vendors are all over Brussels, and you won’t regret tasting their culinary feat.
Brussels is full of charm, but is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to iconic Belgian cities. Antwerp, a port city, is in Flanders — the northern and Flemish speaking area of Belgium. Antwerp is the fashion capital of Belgium, with fashion schools and shopping all over. Antwerp is accessible an hour away from Brussels by train, and its shopping area the Meir is the most popular stop. Take another day trip to live out your ‘In Bruges’ dreams. Visit the scene that inspired the famous film. Bruges architecture recalls its medieval past, and is about an hour away from Brussels on the train. See the cobbled streets, canals, and churches. Outside of Belgium, Amsterdam in The Netherlands is two hours away on the train. See Dutch art at the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, while you take in Amsterdam’s bustling bike culture and canals. Not to be missed!
Tripping can help you organize your trip to Brussels, with thousands of rentals all over and outside of the city. Rent accommodation in the center of downtown Brussels to be near the best shopping, tourist attractions and food. However, the suburban areas of Woluwe St Pierre, Woluwe St Lambert, Etterbeek etc are all just a tram-ride away from the city’s center. The tall, thin, art-deco, medieval or pre-war houses that make up Brussels are an architectural dream to stay in. Let Tripping help you find your dream home while travelling in Europe’s capital, Brussels.
Brussels is extremely easy to navigate, as it is pedestrian, biker, driver and public transportation friendly. Public transportation is all over the country with trams, metro’s, buses and trains going deep into the suburbs to make getting around Brussels simple. Brussels has two airports (Zaventeem and Charleroi), and the Eurostar train goes easily between London, Brussels and Paris.
Brussels is a city with eclectic neighborhoods, each one adding to the surreal charm of Belgium. The Sablon and the Mont des Arts neighbourhoods, or “quartiers” as the Belgians call them, are bursting with art and antiques. The European Quarter and the Ave Louise/Toison D’or neighbourhoods are bustling with business in the centre of Brussels. The first two have the charm, while the second pair have the cosmopolitan feel.
The Sablon has two main squares, the “Big” and “Little” Sablon. The area of the Sablon is graced with gorgeous architecture, as old white houses and the grand neo-gothic church give the neighborhood its prestige. The Sablon is known for its wondrous antique markets every weekend at the Sablon Square, where you can find one-of-a-kind items with rich history. The Sablon is also known for its high quality chocolatiers and bakeries. Stop by Pierre Marcolini, one of the finest chocolatiers in Belgium, and pick up some delicacies along with some pastries.
The Mont des Arts, meaning “hill of the arts,” lives up to its name by being your one-stop-shop for museums. The Royal Palace is also in this area, bringing it both importance and glamour — a must see while you’re in the country. The Brussels Park is nearby, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (known as the Beaux-Arts to natives) houses some of Europe’s great masterpieces. See works by Van Dyck, Rubens, and even David’s “Death of Marat.” The Musical Instrument Museum is nearby, featuring an incredible array of instruments. The museum mostly features Saxophones, in honour of the Belgian Adolphe Sax.
If you’re in Brussels on business, you’re most likely to be working in the European Quarter. This neighbourhood houses the Berlaymont building, as well as the headquarters of the European Commission. The neighborhood buzzes with languages, flags, and briefcases as business men and women join together at this hub of Europe. The European Union brings visitors from all over the world to unassuming Brussels. All of these offices are nearby to the Cinquantenaire park, with Belgium’s famous arch — a symbol of the country.
Avenue Louise and Toison D’or are the shopping districts of Brussels. As the veritable centre of town, restaurants, cinemas, shops and hotels are littered around the neighborhood. Avenue Louise is a gorgeous shopping street, where high street and high-fashion shops are housed in the gorgeous hundred-year-old buildings. The street turns your run-of-the-mill chains into the likes of museums. Nearby, see the awe-inspiring Palais de Justice, the law courts of Belgium and the largest courthouse in the world.
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