Brussels Travel Guide 1

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Brussels is one of the most influential cities in the world; the de facto capital of the European Union — yet it’s not a city that many think of when considering a European vacation. Brussels is influential in a quiet but effective manner, which is a fair reflection of the city itself.

There are many bright lights to be found in Brussels, providing that you know where to look for them. So let’s investigate further into what Brussels has to offer; and perhaps you may even find yourself tempted to visit.


Things To Do In Brussels During The Day


With many cities, you can immediately think of at least one classic “tourist” thing you would want to do if you visited. Going to New York? Well you’re going to have to climb the Empire State Building. London? Go and take a photograph outside of Buckingham Palace. Venice? Head to a gondola and sail beneath the Bridge of Sighs– and so on and so forth.


There is no such “tourist” experience in Brussels; the city is just not well known enough. However, this does have its upsides; it means that you are going to discover something wonderful all for yourself.


Begin with a trip to the Grand Place; a name that suggests a significant location, and one that doesn’t disappoint. Grand Place is the main market square of Brussels, and was voted Europe’s most beautiful square in 2010. Grand Place is often decorated for the seasons; flowers in spring, or a winter wonderland during the colder months. Explore the surrounding stores and sample the local cafes; chocolate fans will particularly be in heaven at the range of handmade treats on offer.

Grand Place Brussels

If you are more enthused by the idea of heading to a museum, then Brussels has some quirky choices you may want to consider. The Train Museum is self-explanatory but surprisingly enjoyable; while an afternoon spent at AutoWorld will bring an appreciation of cars to even the most determined of pedestrians.


If you’re in need of a little peace and quiet after your time spent exploring the city and its museums, then head to the Sonian Forest. You can walk for miles, explore the beautiful countryside, and relax and decompress. The forest is around a half hour from Brussels itself, so you can enjoy the day and then head back into the city to enjoy the vibrant nightlife that awaits you.


Things To Do In Brussels At Night


Belgian beer, a truly party atmosphere, and welcoming locals — a night out in Brussels is one you are unlikely to forget.


If you’d prefer a refined evening, then opt for a sojourn to Ixelles; an upper-class area filled with fine dining establishments and designer stores to peruse. Explore the stunning art nouveau buildings that surround the area; all are well lit at night, inviting a moonlit stroll.


Tourist Tips


As has clearly been demonstrated, Brussels is a wonderful place to visit. If the city is calling your name and you see a visit in your future, you should find the tips below beneficial.


Tipping Custom


Tipping is well-established and encouraged in Brussels, though 10% is usually seen as the maximum. In more established, tourist hotspots, staff may expect you to tip more, but this is entirely of your choice. Hotel staff and porters can also be tipped if you see fit. Just bear in mind that, unlike the US, Belgian service staff do not rely on tips for their income– so while tipping is encouraged, it’s not strictly necessary.


Airport Links


Travelling from Brussels airport to city centre destinations is fairly straightforward. The airport is located less than seven miles from the city itself, making it one of the most conveniently-placed airports in mainland Europe. Taxis and private transfers are the fastest and most effective way to get to your hotel as quickly and efficiently as possible, or explore the rail and bus public transport options.


Navigating The City


Brussels is extremely easy to navigate, with an excellent public transportation system that includes plenty of English signage. You have a variety of options including rail, trams, and buses, and even taxis are affordable for short journeys.


In Conclusion


Brussels may not be as famous as other European countries, but it still has plenty to offer. Lose yourself in the gorgeous architecture, the wide open spaces, and authentic Belgian bars that offer a night out unlike any other. Give the city a chance, and it’s sure to guarantee a wonderful experience that you will never forget. `


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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

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