A week before the March terror attacks at Brussels Airport’s main terminal, I was wheeling my luggage toward a departure gate in the same building.
My stay in Brussels had been a last-minute decision. I’d just wrapped up a week-long jaunt through Flanders, Belgium. Nearly everyone had warned me to skip boring, bleak, bureaucratic Brussels for Paris or London.
But I decided to see Belgium’s capital for myself. And four days there left me with a very different impression.
This is Europe’s most underappreciated city. Culture and dining rival Paris or Madrid. A rich stock of centuries-spanning architecture makes Brussels a visual treat. And a nonstop influx of global influences — the airport had check-ins for airlines I’d never heard of — means the city is thrillingly international and in constant flux.
What Brussels has never had is crowds of tourists.