BRUSSELS, BELGIUM/TRAVEL TIPS/WHERE TO STAY/ACTIVITIES TO DO/PLACES TO VISIT/RESTAURANTS/SHOPPING

KESKIVIIKKO, 22. HEINÄKUUTA 2020

BRUSSELS "UNITY IS POWERFUL"

Flight tickets to Brussels with Brussels Airlines.

Historic yet hip, bureaucratic yet bizarre, self-confident yet unshowy. Brussels is multicultural to its roots. Wherever else you go in Belgium, allow at least a little time for BRUSSELS, which is undoubtedly one of Europe’s premier cities. Certainly, don’t let its unjustified reputation as a dull, faceless centre of EU bureaucracy deter you: in postwar years, the city has become a thriving, cosmopolitan metropolis, with top-flight museums and architecture (including a well-preserved late seventeenth-century centre), a superb restaurant scene and an energetic nightlife. Moreover, most of the key attractions are crowded into a centre that is small enough to be absorbed over a few long days, its boundaries largely defined by a ring of boulevards – the “petit ring”, or less colloquially, the “petite ceinture”.

The cityscape swings from majestic to quirky to rundown and back again. Art deco facades face off against 1960s concrete developments, and regal 19th-century mansions contrast with the shimmering glass of the EU’s Gotham City. This whole maelstrom swirls out from Brussels’ medieval core, where the Grand Place is surely one of the world’s most beautiful squares. But Brussels' greatest architectural expression came at the turn of the 19th century with art nouveau, and its master builder is Horta. While restraint characterises his exteriors, the interiors are sensual symphonies of form and colour.

Sometimes it seems as if every building in the city is being converted into a contemporary art gallery, from townhouses to skating rinks to the vast canal-side Citroën garage being remodelled to showcase conceptual art. With property prices lower than Paris, many commercial galleries are choosing to shift to the city. And students and young artists are opening their doors to show work at open studio weekends and event nights. Whether you prefer iconoclastic or outsider art, Magritte or the Flemish Primitives, there really is something for every art lover in Brussels.

As with many other aspects of life, the people of Brussels like to eat and drink a little differently, and there are some deeply ingrained habits: delicious frites have to be double fried, and the classic waffle comes with a snowfall of icing sugar. They even have their own biscuit: the shortcrust cinnamon speculoos. In addition to the fabled beer, which many visitors focus their trip around, Brussels boasts the half-en-half, a heady mix of white wine and champagne. In recent times there has been an increasing focus on local organic cuisine, and this heavy eating city is definitely getting healthier.

Brussels’ once resolutely working-class Marolles quarter has partly shed its proletarian image with a clutch of intimate restaurants and funky interior-design shops along the main streets, Rue Haute and Rue Blaes. Nonetheless, pockets of original Bruxellois character can still be found, notably around the Place du Jeu-de-Balle. At a few of the enjoyable downmarket cafés here you might overhear people speaking in the earthy Bruxellois dialect, and at least one stall still sells the traditional street food: snails. Note that, despite the name, Jeu-de-Balle (aka balle-pelotte) is no longer played here.

First-time visitors to Brussels are often surprised by the raw vitality of the city centre. It isn’t neat and tidy, and many of the old tenement houses are shabby and ill-used, but there’s a buzz about the place that’s hard to resist. The city centre is divided into two main areas. The larger westerly portion comprises the Lower Town, fanning out from the marvellous Grand Place, with its exquisite guildhouses and town hall, while up above, on a ridge to the east, lies the much smaller Upper Town, home to the finest art collection in the country in the Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts.

 

 

 

BEST TIME TO GO TO BRUSSELS

There isn’t a bad time to go to Brussels. The city doesn’t experience too much snowfall and temperatures rarely fall below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Some notable annual events include Belgian Beer Weekend, held every September around the same time as the annual Comics Festival, Brussels Tango Festival held in April, and 20km of Brussels—an annual race for runner and joggers.

 

 

 

GETTING TO BRUSSELS

By Plane - Brussels Airport – Zaventem (BRU) is the most important international airport in Belgium and the operational HQ of the airline Brussels Airlines, offering excellent connections with Brussels and other Belgian cities.  Brussels Airport (BRU) is located in Zaventem, in the outskirts of the capital, hence why it is also called Zaventem Airport. The airdrome is the city’s international and busiest airport and is the home base of Brussels Airlines. Compared to Charleroi Airport, Zaventem Airport is extremely well connected with the city centre and other cities in Belgium.

By Train -  Bruxelles - Midi is the main station for international connections: the Eurostar, TGV and Thalys high-speed trains (prebooking compulsory) stop here. Most other mainline trains stop in quick succession at Bruxelles-Midi, Bruxelles - Central and, except for Amsterdam trains, also at Bruxelles - Nord. Information offices at all three stations open early morning to late evening.

By Bus - Eurolines Operates services to London, Amsterdam, Paris and other international destinations from Bruxelles-Nord.

 

 

 

 

GETTING AROUND BRUSSELS

 

Bicycle - There's a network of bike lanes and separate bike paths.

Car & Motorcycle -  Best avoided: the slightest hiccup on either ring road brings traffic to a halt, especially on Friday afternoons.

Public transport -  Brussels’ excellent integrated bus-tram-metro system is operated by STIB/MIVB. It runs from about 6am to midnight.

Rollerblades - Belgium is perhaps unique in having special road rules for ‘rollers’ (those on rollerblades or rollerskates).

Taxi - taxis run meters and have standard fares.

Walking - Brussels is a very walkable city: it's the best way of getting around the centre, and in more outlying areas it gets you up close to some lovely architecture, parks and gardens.

 

 

 

 

WHERE TO STAY IN BRUSSELS

 

  • Louise sur Cour

Louise sur Cour is situated in Brussels, 100 m from Place Stephanie and Avenue Louise. The neighbourhood offers many quality restaurants and designer boutiques. Every room at this bed and breakfast is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms feature a seating area to relax in after a busy day. You will find a coffee machine in the room. The rooms are equipped with a private bathroom. Extras include bath robes, slippers and free toiletries. Louise sur Cour is 1.1 km from the Magritte Museum and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. The Horta Museum is 900 m away. Brussels Airport is 11 km away.

 

 

  • Albert Molière

Located in the Vorst / Forest district of Brussels, Albert Molière features rooms with free WiFi. Around 1 km from Horta Museum, the property is also close to Avenue Louise. Every room is equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. The rooms are equipped with a private bathroom and a shower, and selected rooms include a balcony. A continental breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. Egmont Palace is 2.5 km from Albert Molière, while Magritte Museum is 2.9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 13 km from the property.

Gallery image of this property

 

 

  • Hooome

Hooome is located in the Elsene / Ixelles district in Brussels, 300 m from Avenue Louise. The rooms feature a flat-screen TV. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom with a shower. Extras include free toiletries and a hairdryer. Hooome offers free WiFi throughout the property. Horta Museum is 800 m from Hooome, while Egmont Palace is 1.9 km away. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 12 km from Hooome.

A bed or beds in a room at Hooome

 

 

 

  • B&B BE IN BRUSSELS

Located in the centre of Brussels, 200 m from Place Sainte-Catherine and less than 1 km from Place St. Gery, B&B BE IN BRUSSELS offers free WiFi, a shared lounge and air conditioning. The property features city views and is 1.4 km from Rue Neuve and 1.7 km from Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert. The bed and breakfast is equipped with a satellite flat-screen TV. Guests at the bed and breakfast can enjoy a continental breakfast. Popular points of interest near B&B BE IN BRUSSELS include Grand Place, Brussels City Hall and Museum of the City of Brussels. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 13 km from the accommodation.

A bed or beds in a room at B&B BE IN BRUSSELS

 

 

 

  • B&B Villa 36

Set in Brussels, less than 1 km from Place St. Gery and a 15-minute walk from Brussels City Hall, B&B Villa 36 provides accommodation with amenities such as free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. The property is 1.6 km from Mont des Arts and 1.7 km from Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert. Guests at the bed and breakfast can enjoy a continental breakfast. A sun terrace is available for guests to use at B&B Villa 36. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Grand Place, Museum of the City of Brussels and Manneken Pis. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 14 km from B&B Villa 36.

A bed or beds in a room at B&B Villa 36

 

 

 

  • All In One

Situated in Brussels, 5 m from Rue Neuve, All In One has a terrace, a shared lounge and on-site dining, as well as free WiFi. The property is around a 3-minute walk from Rogier Square and a 10-minute walk from The King's House. The property is 800 m from Grand Place and 900 m from Museum of the City of Brussels. At the bed and breakfast rooms are fitted with a patio with a city view. Each room is fitted with a coffee machine and a private bathroom with a bath, while certain rooms will provide you with a kitchen. All rooms have a desk. A continental breakfast is served every morning at the property. Brussels City Hall is 900 m from All In One, while Manneken Pis is 1.1 km away. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 20 minutes away from the accommodation by train.

A bed or beds in a room at All In One

 

 

 

  • Résidence18

Featuring a garden, Résidence18 is located in Brussels in the Brussels region, 600 m from Avenue Louise and 1.1 km from Horta Museum. The property is around 2.1 km from Palais de Justice, 2.2 km from Place du Grand Sablon and 2.2 km from European Parliament. The property provides a terrace, a 24-hour front desk, and free WiFi is available. Guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Each room is fitted with a private bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. The units will provide guests with a fridge. Place Royale is 2.5 km from Résidence18, while Egmont Palace is 2.5 km away. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 15 km from the accommodation.

Résidence18 $85 ($̶1̶0̶8̶). Brussels Hotel Deals & Reviews - KAYAK

 

 

 

  • Maison Jamaer

Located in Brussels, less than 1 km from Grand Place and an 11-minute walk from Brussels City Hall, Maison Jamaer provides accommodation with free WiFi and a garden with a terrace and garden views. The bed and breakfast offers a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a hairdryer, free toiletries and shower. A fridge is also provided, as well as a kettle and a coffee machine. A continental breakfast is available daily at Maison Jamaer. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Museum of the City of Brussels, Place St. Gery and Manneken Pis. The nearest airport is Brussels, 17 km from Maison Jamaer, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

Bed & Breakfast Maison Jamaer, Brussels - ar.trivago.com

 

 

 

  • Canopée guesthouse

Situated in Brussels, within a 4-minute walk of Avenue Louise and 1 km of Horta Museum, Canopée guesthouse features free WiFi. The property is located a 16-minute walk from European Parliament. Set in the Elsene / Ixelles district, the bed and breakfast is within a 17-minute walk of Egmont Palace. Canopée guesthouse is equipped with a shared kitchenette with a microwave, fridge, coffee machine and electric kettle. All guest rooms include a desk. Guests at Canopée guesthouse can enjoy a continental breakfast. Magritte Museum is 1.8 km from Canopée guesthouse, while Film Museum is 1.9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 11 km from the property.

A bed or beds in a room at Canopée guesthouse

 

 

  • Guest House Dasos Kynthos

Situated in Brussels, 3.6 km from European Parliament, Guest House Dasos Kynthos features views of the garden. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The guest house has family rooms. At the guest house, rooms are equipped with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. At Guest House Dasos Kynthos all rooms include a seating area. Continental and Italian breakfast options are available each morning at the accommodation. Mont des Arts is 5 km from Guest House Dasos Kynthos, while Magritte Museum is 5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Brussels Airport, 12 km from the guest house.

A seating area at Guest House Dasos Kynthos

 

 

 

 

 

THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO GO IN BRUSSELS

The capital of a tiny country, Brussels often draws the short end of the stick when it comes to city trips and quick getaways. All the while, this multicultural underdog is alive with historic highlights, buzzing flea markets, and indulgent cuisine. Even though the weather in Belgium is not always compatible with outdoor activities, on the rare occasion when the sun is shining, this country offers many activities that adults will enjoy as much as children.

 

  • Ride A Cuistax By The Seaside

If you are going to the seaside, you cannot miss the experience of riding a cuistax. The cuistax is a combination of a car and a bike. To ride this car down the coastal boardwalk without any engine, roof, or doors, is a very popular activity in Belgium. You can easily find stores like, Cyclo - Karts, that rent them for one hour or more. You can find cuistax for one person and up to groups of six people.

Accident de cuistax: Le go-cart, plus dangereux qu'il n'y paraît ...

 

 

 

  • The Labyrinth

Near the city of Durbuy, which is considered one of the smallest cities in the world, a giant maize labyrinth offers a unique experience for children and adults. The labyrinth is actually a theme park open during the summer, and includes various activities with actors that adhere to that year’s theme. For instance, in 2015 the labyrinth was designed around the story of Peter Pan.

Best Time to See The Labyrinth of Durbuy in Belgium 2020 - Rove.me

 

 

 

  • Pairi Daiza

 Paira Daiza is more than a traditional zoo; it is a real travel experience that takes you on a trip around the world. You can discover the architecture, ecology and animals from various regions, all within Belgium. The park has won several prizes including three stars from the famous Michelin green guide.

Pairi Daiza zoo,Belgium

 

 

 

  • Marvel at the steel ball oddity that is the Atomium

Ever since the World Fair came to town in ’58, the Brussels skyline has been defined by a bizarre 102-meter-tall creature hovering over its horizon. Quite the feat of balance and technical prowess, the Atomium was modeled after an elementary iron crystal. Its nine steel-clad balls are all held together by tubes that house the elevators and staircases that allow visitors to get around in this massive oddity. Five of the spheres are open to the public as they house the permanent exhibition on Expo ’58, other temporary exhibits, and a panorama restaurant with an unequaled view of Brussels by night.

Atomium | Expo '58 | Brussels, Belgium | Andre Waterkeyn | België ...

 

 

 

  • Sample local brewskis at Moeder Lambic

The mother hen of all Brussels beer cafés, Moeder Lambic has over 400 beers on offer that range from the most obscure Belgian draughts to international bottled specialties. The Saint - Gilles establishment has been an institution among local and international beer lovers since 2006 thanks to its highly knowledgeable and helpful staff and has even opened a second venue on the Place Fontainas due to popular demanded. With 40 Belgian beers on tap in an authentic red brick décor, Moeder Lambic is the ideal place to discover what your favorite Belgian beer is by sampling the night away.

A Beer Enthusiast's Guide to Brussels

 

 

 

  • Bargain your way to antique treasures at the Place du Jeu de Balle Flea Market

To immerse yourself in the local atmosphere of the Marolles, head to the Place du Jeu de Balle at the heart of this authentic neighborhood. Turning the corner, you’ll face a glorious chaos where bric-a-brac is king, and haggling your way to a good deal is mandatory. A sea of old silverware, used clothing piles, skis, coffee grinders, old posters, jewelry, and just about everything else presents you with the challenge of finding the treasures buried within. The market is open every day of the week, and while the early bird might uncover a hidden gem during the quieter weekdays, weekends are bustling with locals as it’s the better time to hunt down antique treasures.

The Complete Guide To The Jeu De Balle Flea Market In Brussels

 

 

 

  • Munch on a delicious gaufre

Walking around the city center, you’re bound to catch a full-on whiff of Belgian - or Brussels - waffles. Their sweet fragrance makes it impossible to resist, and most visitors end up caving when they bump into one of the signature yellow waffle trucks. Crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside, this street treat often comes with a snowy layer of sugar or even strawberries and cream on top.

la gaufre de Bruxelles. Begian waffles displayed in a store at ...

 

 

 

  • Discover the city’s comic book riches

Brussels has no qualms about calling itself the comic book capital of the world, and when paying a visit to the Belgian Comis Strip Center, it’s hard to disagree. Housed inside of the last semi-industrial building designed by Belgium’s Victor Horta, of Art Nouveau fame, the museum honors the small country’s paper heroes with fervor. And not only are the Smurfs, Tintin, Lucky Luke, Marsupilami, and many others hailed in the BCSC, they are painted proudly on the streets of Brussels in a project the museum launched only two years after opening its doors. Today over 50 cartoon murals can be discovered all over the city, and the Comic Strip Route has become a whimsical game of a treasure hunt ideal for discovering the lesser-known nooks and crannies of the capital, even for locals.

Comic Strip Museum | Brussels | Belgium | felicia change

 

 

 

  • Become a flâneur at the Galeries Royales

A relaxing stroll underneath the 200-meter-long glass-paned Galeries Royales Saint - Hubert – it’s the 19th-century flâneur’s ideal pastime. Currently waiting to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, the luxurious Italian-style arcade from 1847 was one of the first of its kind. The historical passage is still home to clothing boutiques, watchmakers, a cinema, and the Théâtre du Vaudeville.

flaneur – Three Flaneurs

 

 

 

  • Experience the best of the melting pot at Matonge

Brussels is about as multicultural a capital as they come. Case in point is Matonge, an eclectic meeting point alive with varying tastes, flavors, and fragrances. The bombastic neighborhood – in between the European Quarter with its suited men and women and the posh Avenue Louise – originated in the ’60s, when Congolese students moved to Belgium in the wake of their country’s independence. To wander around in Matonge is to discover fruits you never knew in exotic grocers, to hear laughter drift out of African barbershops, and to treat your taste buds to unknown delights at Indian, Japanese, and Vietnamese restaurants.

Top 10 Things To Do And See In Matongé, Brussels

 

 

 

  • See the craftsmanship of Art Nouveau pioneers

Belgium conquered a prominent place on the early Art Nouveau scene, and this is mostly due to innovators Victor Horta and Paul Hankar. Horta’s town mansions in which he pioneered the architectural movement’s rounded lines, floral patterns, and cast iron embellishments are still spread throughout Brussels, and most of them can be visited. Among them is the artist’s former atelier, and the flamboyant Maison Saint-Cyr by his apprentice Gustave Strauven is more than worth a visit. Other Art Nouveau gems include the MIM, Maison Cauchie, and Villa Empain.

Palau de la Musica Catalana

 

 

 

  • Travel back in time at the Grand Place

There’s a reason the Grand Place  often overflows with tourists. Much like with Bruges‘ Grote Markt, following the cobbled paths up to the medieval market is like stepping into a time machine set to Belgium’s merchant heyday. Think away the flashlights, and the Gothic City Hall, Broodhuis (the Museum of the City of Brussels), and gold-adorned guild houses create the impression that Charles V and entourage could come parading through at any second (a 16th-century event that’s still commemorated annually by the folkloric parade De Ommegang).

The Top 10 Things To Do Near The Grand Place, Brussels

 

 

 

  • Treat your ears to smooth jazz

Sounds Jazz Club, Jazz Station, The Music Village, and L’Archiduc – don’t ever say the hometown of Toots Thielemans is short on great jazz bars. One to count itself amongst the best in the world is L’Archiduc, an Art Deco rendezvous point for businessmen and their assistants that pianist Stan Brenders turned into a jazz temple when taking over the reigns in the ’60s. Miles Davis jammed here with local musicians when in town, and the old school jazz tunes still linger during its Jazz after Shopping sessions.

The Music Village, Brussels | Jazz club, Live music, Jazz

 

 

 

  • Summer Festivals

Belgium is one of the countries that hosts the highest number of summer festivals, which are a great way to listen to musical performances outdoors. One of the more internationally renowned festivals is Tomorrowland, which is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world. Every year, thousands of people travel from all over to witness incredible live music from a range of established DJs and performers. However, Tomorrowland is not the only festival you can enjoy in Belgium; there are many more, such as the Brussels Summer Festival, Rock Werchter and the Dour Festival.

Cultural festivals and events | City of Brussels

 

 

 

  • Dinner In The Sky

Dinner in the Sky is a wonderful experience that combines discovering Belgium cuisine and the capital of Europe from above. More than 10 years ago, the first edition of the Dinner in the Sky was organized in Belgium, showcasing the best of Belgian cuisine with leading Michelin rated chefs serving guests who were suspended above Belgium. For the 10th anniversary of the concept, Dinner in the Sky had ten tables hovering in the sky right next to the Atomium.

Top Belgian Chefs Celebrate 10 Years of Dinner in the Sky with ...

 

 

 

  • Topiary Park

Topiary art consists of cutting a plant in order to create a particular form. The Topiary Park of Durbuy offers a walk dedicated to viewing these beautiful and original topiaries over one hectare of land. In the park, you can see animals in plant version, and also the famous Belgian Manneken Pis.

What Gives? 8 Things To Do In Durbuy, Belgium - Updated 2020 | Trip101

 

 

 

  • Mini Europe

If you want to travel around Europe in a few hours, Mini Europe in Brussels is the perfect place to go. Here, you can walk around 350 of the most famous monuments of Europe in miniature version. This offers you the opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben in the same day.

Brussels: Combo Ticket Mini Europe + Atomium - Brussels

 

 

 

  • Comic Strip Murals In Brussels

Many Belgian comic artists are well known around the world, and some of their comics remain on the walls of Brussels. For instance, you may have the chance to find a Tintin or an Asterix drawing when walking about. It is almost impossible to walk around the city without seeing any of these.

The Comic Strip Route: Discovering Brussels from a different ...

 

 

 

  • Flower Carpet Of The Grand Place

Every two years since 1986 a huge flower carpet covers the Grand Place in Belgium during the summer. Brussels’ Grand Place hosts over 600,000 flowers that together represent a detailed drawing. The flower carpet takes four hours to make by a hundred dedicated volunteers.

A Look at Belgium's Flower Carpets, Made of 750,000 Stems | Floral ...

 

 

 

  • The Lion’s Mound Of Waterloo

This mound is the symbol of the Waterloo battle of 1815. It was built on the place where the Orange prince, the next king of the Netherlands, was injured. The mound is 40 meters high and the lion that has been placed at the top represents victory. If you are brave enough to go up the 226 steps, you will have the chance to have a beautiful view of the surroundings.

Battlefield of Waterloo: Well-worth Visiting - Go 4 Travel Blog

 

 

 

  • Musée des Sciences Naturelles

Thought-provoking and highly interactive, this museum has far more than the usual selection of stuffed animals. But the undoubted highlight is a unique ‘family’ of iguanodons – 10m-high dinosaurs found in a Hainaut coal mine in 1878. A computer simulation shows the mudslide that might have covered them, sand-boxes allow you to play dino hunter and multilingual videos give a wonderfully nuanced debate on recent palaeontology. The bus here departs from next to Gare Centrale in the direction of Homborch, stopping at De Meeus on Rue du Luxembourg.

Brussels 2: an overview of the RBINS | dinosaurpalaeo

 

 

 

  • Musée Mode & Dentelle

Lace making has been one of Flanders’ finest crafts since the 16th century. While kloskant (bobbin lace) originated in Bruges, naaldkant (needlepoint lace) was developed in Italy but was predominantly made in Brussels. This excellent museum reveals lace’s applications for underwear and outerwear over the centuries, as well as displaying other luxury textiles in beautifully presented exhibitions. There's a new focus here on Belgium's ahead-of-the-curve fashion industry, with changing exhibitions of contemporary textiles.

Sixties ! - Fashion & Lace Museum

 

 

 

  • Train World

Wonderful old engines gleam in the low light of this imaginative and beautiful museum, located in the renovated 1887 Schaerbeek station: exhibits include Le Belge, the country's first locomotive. You can climb on board the engines, wander into a historic station cottage and walk over a railway bridge. A train simulator is an added bonus.

Train World Railway Museum, Brussels, Belgium

 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS IN BRUSSELS

 

  • Bouchery

Using locally sourced and organic ingredients, award-winning chef Damien Bouchéry puts his own twist on French cooking with veal tartare and grilled nectarines, and chickpea fries, among the delicate dishes to grace the four- to eight-course evening menus. Almost everything is homemade, from the bread and butter to the lacto-fermented goods. Weekday lunches are a vegetarian buffet.

Damien Bouchery et son buffet lunch végétarien | Restaurant Uccle

 

 

  • Laurent Gerbaud

A bright and welcoming cafe with big picture windows that’s perfect for lunch, coffee or hot chocolate if you’re between museums. Don’t leave without trying the wonderful chocolates, which count as healthy eating in the world of Belgian chocs because they have no alcohol, additives or added sugar. Friendly owner Laurent also runs chocolate-tasting and -making sessions.

Laurent Gerbaud, The New Face Of Belgian Chocolate - Chocablog

 

 

  • Comme Chez Soi

The name evokes cooking just like ‘at home’, but unless you have a personal chef crafting North Sea lobster salad with black truffles and potatoes, sole fillets with Riesling and shrimp mousseline or perhaps spicy lacquered pigeon breast with wild rice, it’s nothing of the sort. This is extraordinary food from master chef Pierre Wynants’ son-in-law, Lionel Rigolet.

Laurence et Lionel Rigolet - Picture of Comme chez Soi, Brussels ...

 

 

 

  • Claire Fontaine

Just off Place du Grand Sablon, this is a tiny but atmospheric tile-floored épicerie, fragrant with spices and home-cooked dishes – there’s a small kitchen at the back. It's perfect for a nutritious and filling takeaway sandwich or quiche, or you can stock up on oils, wine and boxes of pain d’épices (spiced biscuits).

CLAIRE FONTAINE, Brussels - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone ...

 

  • ÖTAP

ÖTAP chef Paul-Antoine Bertin serves small seasonal plates with natural wines and expertly presented cocktails. Expect anything from Iberico ham rolls to smoky, stuffed courgette flowers and warm Breton artichokes with a mustard dip. In warm weather there's street seating outside the attractive whitewashed building. Bookings recommended.

Ötap | Brussels' Kitchen

 

 

  • Arcadi

The jars of preserves, beautiful cakes and fruit tarts at this classic and charming bistro entice plenty of Brussels residents, as do well-priced meals such as lasagne and steak, all served nonstop by courteous staff. With a nice location on the edge of the Galeries St-Hubert, this is a great spot for an indulgent, creamy hot chocolate.

ARCADI, Brussels - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

 

 

 

  • Kitchen 151

Standing at a culinary crossroads, Kitchen 151 offers a whole world of flavours from the Middle East. Drag thick, fluffy pitas through velvety hummus, or gorge on a veggie burger made with pumpkin, Portobello mushrooms, tahini and almonds. If you’re sharing a mezze, be sure to try the smoky baba ganoush.

KITCHEN 151 - S Marks The Spots

 

 

 

  • Sea Grill

You’d be hard pressed to find a more unlikely setting for Brussels’ finest seafood than this '80s-styled place. But at the Michelin-starred Sea Grill, Yves Mattagne and his team create just that in the open kitchen. Try the Brittany lobster, crushed and extracted in an antique solid-silver lobster press (one of only four in the world) and prepared at your table.

brass - Picture of Sea Grill, Brussels - Tripadvisor

 

 

 

 

WHERE TO SHOP IN BRUSSELS

 

  • Place du Châtelain Market

Fabulous food stalls cluster around an elongated, leafy square at this market. It's a true foodie heaven, featuring cheese, charcuterie, fresh fruit and veg, seasonal fodder – truffles, mushrooms, berries and so on – a Middle Eastern food van, Turkish bread, vats of Congolese stew, a wine bar and cake stalls. Well worth a special trip.

Place du Chatelain (Ixelles) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE ...

 

 

 

  • Place du Jeu-de-Balle Flea Market

The quintessential Marolles experience is haggling at this chaotic flea market, established in 1919. Weekends see it at its liveliest, but for the best bargains, head here early morning midweek.

The Complete Guide To The Jeu De Balle Flea Market In Brussels

 

  • Stijl

A top address, Stijl is well stocked with Antwerp Six classic designer ware (Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten) but also features up-to-the-minute designers, including Haider Ackermann, Gustavo Lins (www.gustavolins.com) and Raf Simons. It’s a hip place but not unduly daunting to enter, and unlike many such boutiques, prices are clearly labelled. Has fashion for men and women.

Stijl | FASHION.vlaanderen

 

 

 

  • Gare du Midi Market

Said to be the biggest market in Europe, this sprawl of colourful stalls next to the railway lines has an international flavour, with North African and Mediterranean spices, cheeses, meats, clothing, leather goods and much more. Its food stands, selling Moroccan crêpes with cheese and honey along with mint tea, are a favourite with clubbers winding down from Saturday night.

A trainee in Brussels: Gare du Midi market

 

 

  • Belge une fois

Belge une fois is a concept store selling creations by the eponymous designers’ collective. It also sells artefacts, accessories and light fixtures by other Belgian designers. Expect everything from simple postcards and concrete cactus holders to large photographic prints.

Belge une fois Grand-Place | Visit Brussels

 

 

  • Crush Wine

A wondrous cellar stocking over 190 Australian wines (the most comprehensive selection in Europe). Look out for rare drops from Tasmania and deliberate over dozens of Margaret River reds. There are daily tastings and tapas and regular wine events; call ahead for the schedule of Saturday openings.

CRUSH WINE, Brussels - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number ...

 

 

  • Neuhaus

Belgium’s original – established in 1857. This stunning flagship shop has stained-glass windows and sumptuous displays. It is the home of the praline, a chocolate-filled bonbon invented here in 1912.

Chocolate shop Neuhaus, Brussels | Chocolate shop, Chocolate ...