Brussels real estate is at an all-time high, although EU-weary Brussels real estate agents are busily strapping on their parachutes as they await the giant explosion of the bubble. But, never mind: The food is spectacular, the beer legendary, and the ambience of this fine old city is unbeatable.
BRUSSELS is often overlooked as the city of some serious diplomatic business. But if you explore beyond the city’s European Union tag, you unravel a Brussels which is the birthplace of the Art Nouveau architecture, the comic strips of Tintin and yes, it is also famous for its toothsome varieties of Belgian waffles and chocolates. Sujoy Dhar discovers all that and more in a little over 48 hours in a year the city marks 30 years of the Brussels Region and 150 years of the Brussels tram…
Where to find accommodation in Brussels during your stay? Neighbourhood by neighbourhood, here are the best places to stay in the Belgian capital!
Finding accommodation in Brussels, the “capital of the European Union, beer and fries”, is not really that hard. What is likely to be difficult is choosing among all the diverse accommodation that the Brussels Capital region can offer to its visitors. Located in the centre of Europe, the capital of Belgium is a travellers’ paradise where people come for its lively atmosphere, its multiple riches – history, culture, gastronomy, etc. – and also of course, to discover the charms of Belgian beer.
The name Brussels is used to refer simultaneously to the Brussels-Capital region, the City of Brussels and the Community institutions of the European Union which sit there. The city of Brussels as such is made up of 177,863 inhabitants, however, the Brussels-Capital agglomeration – Belgium’s economic lung – includes nineteen municipalities with a total population of 1,197,732 inhabitants (2017) over 161 km². There are a variety of choices available for staying in Brussels: guesthouses and hostels, cheap hotels, more refined hotels, private accommodation for rent (on Airbnb, Wimdu) …
The Grand Place or Grote Markt is the Central Square of Brussels. Amazing Gothic buildings make up the sides of this elegant square. The cities Town Hall and The King’s House or Breadhouse are two elaborate buildings that face the square. Within the King’s House is the Museum Of Brussels.
The Grand Place is the most magnificent square in all of Europe, and is 223 feet by 361 feet. It is a major tourist destination and one can not easily forget such an outstanding landmark. The square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This medieval square is one of the grandest in all of Europe.
The magnificent Gothic City Hall, which is 315 feet tall, is on the South side of Grand Place and is topped with a 12 ft statue of Saint Michael destroying a demon.
This impressive Gothic Town Hall, also known as the Hotel de Ville, was built in the early 15th century. It is still in use for marriages and other official business of the Mayor of Brussels. It is open to the public only during official tours.
Miguel Claro is a professional photographer, author and science communicator based in Lisbon, Portugal, who creates spectacular images of the night sky. As a European Southern Observatory Photo Ambassador and member of The World At Night and the official astrophotographer of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, he specializes in astronomical “Skyscapes” that connect both Earth and night sky. Join Miguel here as he takes us through his photograph “Lunar Corona above Town Hall in Grand Place.”
This cityscape shows a colorful lunar corona at the left side of the Town Hall building in the city of Brussels, home to many central institutions of the European Union (EU).
A lunar corona is formed while bright moonlight is diffracted by water droplets in thin clouds that drift in front of the lunar disk. The beautiful building in the foreground is the Town Hall building, a Gothic building from the Middle Ages — built between 1401 and 1455.
The building’s main tower is topped by a statue of Saint Michael slaying a demon. It is located on the famous Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you are looking for a destination which has diversity, history, culture, outstanding architecture, and great food and beer, then it’s time for a Belgium vacation. This is definitely not a large country. In fact, it is very compact, which is a plus for getting around, especially as Belgium has a good rail network.
Starting with diversity, there are two parts to the country. It is literally split in two from both a language and cultural point of view. The Dutch-speaking Flemish occupy the north and the French-speaking Walloons, the south. Belgium’s capital, Brussels, has absorbed both of these, which makes it a truly diverse city. Perhaps this is why it was chosen as the headquarters of the European Union. Belgians are reputed to have a fairly dry sense of humour. Maybe this is the reason for the Manneken Pis in Brussels.
Belgium is known to be the land of waffles, chocolate, beer and frites. Brussels, is one of Europe`s unexpected hotspots. The Belgian capital is a free spirited, dynamic and multicultural metropolis – Find the heartbeat of Europe in Brussels.
A Metropolis at the Heartbeat of Europe
Brussels might be an underdog compared to other European cities, however, the the diversity and cultural richness of this city are striking. Marvellous squares, an exciting artistic scene and vibrant night life – Brussels has this feel of Paris, Amsterdam and Milan all at the same time. Find out 10 reasons to visit the Belgian capital.
A World Record with more than 3000 beers
Belgian beers are world famous. It is the complexity and rich flavors of Belgian beer – from fruity, to spicy, from herbal to earthy – that is enjoyed by beer fans from all over the world.
Brussels is a complex city. Both historic and modern, ornate and sleek, busy and quiet, the city has different personalities in only the span of a few blocks. But despite these contrasts (or maybe because of them), there’s something new and different at every turn. And I loved every bit of it. My Brussels visit was a rather quick one. I had just over two days in Brussels to explore this expansive capital city and the administrative center of the European Union, but I made the absolute most of my time. As I pounded the pavement, bused my way through the city, and even climbed high above it, I discovered that there are more than just a few fun things to do in Brussels. Here’s a look at my lucky 13 favorite activities.
Eighty acres of brightly-colored tulips, daffodils and hyacinths at the Keukenhof Gardens, six miles of gates and barriers protecting The Netherlands’ lowlands from the North Sea, and 19 18th century windmills that have become symbols of the nation: There were the viewing highlights of an early April, 10-day Rhine River cruise that began in Brussels and ended in Amsterdam.
My wife, Jane, and friends from Omaha and Maryland, traveled with Avalon Waterways on the 150-passenger ship, “Impression,” on the Rhine, and several of its tributaries, with stops in Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent in Belgium; and Middelburg, Veere, Willemstad, Kinderdijk and Rotterdam in Holland.
The Impression was the same ship we had taken on an earlier Avalon cruise on the Danube River, and the captain and some of the crew were familiar, friendly faces.
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.