It may be the capital of the EU, but there’s far more to Brussels than briefcases and bureaucrats. Experience the city’s fairer side with a long weekend of history, culture and good eats.
When to go
Just a short flight from the UK, Brussels is the perfect destination for a city break, whatever the season. However, if you’d like to avoid crowds and get the best rates on accommodation, look into planning your visit in the off-season, between March and May, or in September or October.
Where to stay
If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, look no further than The Sofitel Brussels Le Louise. The 5-star hotel is the work of renowned architect Antoine Pinto, and its stylish interiors will make you feel like an esteemed guest in the city. The hotel’s situated in the famed Avenue Louise district, within walking distance of some of the most luxurious shops in Brussels.
For a more budget-friendly option, the Motel One on Rue Royale offers incredibly good value in a fantastic, city centre location.
What to see
As you stroll through Brussels’ beautiful city centre, be sure not to miss Grote Markt (Grand Place). The city’s main square is also one of its most famous tourist attractions. Its perimeter is made up of the Town Hall building, the Museum of the City of Brussels (both also worth a visit) and other stunning examples of Belgian architecture. Every two years in August, the square is covered in a “flower carpet” made of colourful begonias.
Another must-see attraction is the city’s Musical Instruments Museum. Located in the heart of the city, the museum contains more than 8,000 instruments. When you visit, you’re given high-quality headphones so that you can listen to the various exotic and historic instruments on display.
On a sunny day, there’s no better way to escape the city’s hustle and bustle than a stroll through Bois de la Cambre, a vast city park on the edge of the Sonian Forest. The gorgeous green space is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic and get a feel for local life in Brussels.
What to eat
As cliché as it may seem, don’t leave Brussels without enjoying some delicious waffles and some of the purest beer you’ll ever drink. For waffles, check out the charming, family-owned cafe Maison Dandoy. For beer, you can’t go wrong with the famed Delirium Cafe, a pub that holds the world record for the highest variety of beers on offer. With its funky décor and eclectic atmosphere, it’s the ideal place to enjoy a lively night out in the city.
Of course, Belgian cuisine isn’t limited to waffles and beer. Tonton Garby on Rue Duquesnoy serves up the best sandwiches in town, and the always-charming Le Copeau on Rue Emile Wauters is ideal for a romantic dinner of authentic French/Belgian cuisine.
Do you fancy a long weekend in Brussels?