Brussels Travel Information
Rich in history, Brussels is a sophisticated city with a lively,
You could start with a stroll around the magnificent Grand Place which
is one of the most
beautiful squares in Europe. Deservedly regarded as one of the world's
gastronomic capitals, discover for yourself Brussels' first class
cuisine in the restaurants of 'I'llot Sacre' or stop at one of the many
pavement cafes around the bustling squares to sample the famous beers
The Atomium, Brussels
Dynamic trend setter at the heart of what is happening in Modern Europe,
Brussels is a city with a rich historical past.
At the very heart of the city you with find the Grand Place, which is arguable the most
beautiful square in Northern Europe, with its wonderfully ornate 17th
century guild houses, relaxing pavement cafes and colourful flower
stalls in the summer months.
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Brussels Travel and Flight
Brussels is home to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO
surprisingly far removed from its image as a bland city. Brussels is in
fact appealing, lively and cultured and since being selected as a
European Capital of Culture in 2000, the city has been sprung in to life.
t its centre is the impressive Grand Place, a baroque masterpiece
rebuilt after the city was destroyed by Louis XIV's troops in 1695, but
still retaining whispers of its medieval origins. The surrounding narrow
cobbled streets are a delight to wander in. A few blocks to the south is
the famous bronze statue, Manneken Pis, whose name says it all.
Most of the best sights are within walking distance: the Stock Market
building (La Bourse), Palace of Congress, Parliament building and the
formal gardens of Warande Park. Then there's the Cathedral, Palace of
Justice, museums and art galleries – works by Rubens, Van Eyck and
Breughel are particularly worth seeing.
The commercial hub of the
city is 1.6km (1 mile) to the east, among broad avenues and green parks.
Farther out (to the north) is the Atomium (a huge stainless-steel
landmark), Royal Palace of Laeken, the Chinese Pavilion and lacquered
It has 1.1 million inhabitants that live in 19 districts, or "communes",
each with its own distinct personality. There are some amazing French
restaurants, thousands of bars and cafes, the atmospheric ethnic markets
of Boulevard d'Ypres and exquisite Art Nouveau houses. The core of the
city, measuring around 3.2km (2 miles) from north to south and enclosed
by wide boulevards, is where most of tourist interest is found.
Brussels lies among the gentle undulations which interrupt the overall flatness
of Flanders. At the centre of a rail system connecting with the rest of
Europe; an efficient motorway network radiates outwards like spokes of a
At the centre of Belgium, 113km (70
miles) east of the coast. 37km (23 miles) south of Antwerp. National
airport 11.3km (7 miles) northeast of city centre.
Where to Stay
Mainly 3 to 5 star hotels with
the most interesting selection (from dodgy to brilliant) found in the
old centre. Reduced rates are often available at weekends and holidays,
when business customers aren't so abundant. Hostels,
guesthouses and a few apartments are also available.
Things to do
Daytime: sightseeing, museums and art galleries; walking tours (leaflets
available from tourist office); open-top sightseeing bus; cafe society.
Nightlife: centres on Boulevard Adolphe Max, with the bars on Grand
Place also worth visiting; plenty of nightclubs, theatres and opera.
The stunning Grand Place and the surrounding cobbled streets, where you
will find the famous Mannekin Pis statue. Visit St Michael's Cathedral,
the Royal Palace and the beautiful Parc de Bruxelles. Just outside the
city centre and well worth a visit is the intriguing Atomium.
Mannekin Pis, Brussels
Don't miss the Museum of Fine Arts, where the collection spans from Old
Masters including Rubens and Van Dyke to the modern surrealism of
Magritte. Other highlights include the Cartoon Museum, Erasmus' House
and Gardens and the Costume and Lace Museum.
Belgian food quality matches that of France
and comprises a wide variety of dishes with perhaps a bias towards fish
and seafood. The best hotels have some good although expensive restaurants and
the area around the Grand Place is full of eateries of practically every
category. For something different, Matonge, which is a predominantly African
district near Porte de Namur is full of places serving high-quality,
interesting African food. The wine is good, but the beer is not to be
The Grand Place is home to restaurants and
cafes but is also a great place for souvenirs as there are shops selling
chocolate and lace. There is a weekend antique market on pretty Grand
Sablon and Place Jourdan has a market on Sundays.
Half day tour: Mechelen, a medieval town; Waterloo, site of Napoleon's
defeat; university town of Louvain.
Full day tour: Namur, Dinant and the
Ardennes for hilly scenery and interesting towns.
Brussels has an efficient metro system covering the city centre. The
city is also well serviced by a network of trams and buses.
modern Metro system covers the
central area and also reaches out to the suburbs to the north and west. Many
Metro stations have bus and tram connections. Tickets must be validated
and are valid for an hour or unlimited day travel cards are available,
valid for all 3 networks. The services run from about 6am to midnight
and then a nightbus service runs until 3am. The Brussels city pass is
available covering museums and transport.
Who is it for?
to a broad spectrum of people, particularly those who enjoy culture, as
it offers streets full of history and atmosphere and a wide choice of
restaurants, bars and cafes. A large and ever-increasing number of
business visitors, as Brussels continues its development as the centre
of European affairs. As a rule, business customers predominate during
the week whilst tourists take over at weekends and holidays.
Direct flights from the UK to Brussels airport are
available at discount rates from your local airport. The flight time to Brussels airport is approx 1 hour.
Belgium's main international airline
Visit the daily flower market at the Grand Place and the weekend
antiques market at Place du Sablon. For designer clothes and jewellery
head for Avenue Louise. For nightlife try the many theatres, cinemas,
concerts, jazz clubs and discos.
The Grand Place, Brussels
Brussels boasts over 1800 places to eat, from exclusive gourmet
restaurants to small bistros serving the delicious local speciality of 'Moules-Frites'
- mussels and chips! Belgium is also the land of beer with a bewildering
choice of strengths and flavours to try - visit the Gueuze Brewery
Daily average temperatures (Approx) 'C
JAN 5 FEB 6 MAR 9 APR
13 MAY 17 JUN
20 JUL 22 AUG 22 SEP 19 OCT
14 NOV 9
Brussels by Hessle Travel
> The Grand Place - Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque in one
> The city houses the European Community and its multi - national
> Around the Grand Place are tiny streets lined with restored
Renaissance or Belle Epoque houses
> Home to the famous Brussels sprout
Love them or hate them...the Brussels sprout
> Food buffs say its cuisine equals, if not betters, Paris
> Famous for its chocolate, Brussels is no city for slimmers
> Explore peaceful Sablon for antiques housed in elegant centuries'
> The Belgium beer carries a hefty kick
Book yourself a flight or city break to Brussels with Hessle Travel.