Bruxelles

  brusselslightsgranplace

Brussels (in dutch Brussel or Bruxelles in france language) fits the definition of  “melting pot”, but still retains its own unique character. The city is an enclave in the Dutch-speaking Flanders region. Is also the capital of the European Union.

Brussels operates as a bilingual city where both French (80%) and Dutch (Flemish) (20%) are official languages. 

Brussels has a poor reputation for its weather. In the summer, average daily maximum temperatures rarely exceed 22ºC (72ºF). The summer visitor should always be prepared for rain in Brussels. Warm and sunny weather is not constant during that season or even to be expected. After October, temperatures drop off quite rapidly and winter months are damp and chilly. Snowfall is rare, and starts to melts fairly quickly, becoming slush on the ground. The winter visitor should be prepared for wet ground.

  

Act Local

brusselspalace– Drink local beer and try sour gueuze beer. It has a unique process, typical of Brussels and drink the proper beer at proper time. Trappist, Pils, white…First eat then drink. Local beers here can be quite tough, therefore your stomach and body should be prepared to a ‘Brussels night’

– Eat frites (french fries). The city is full of places where you can enjoy this specialty. Try different sauces and then decide what is your favorite one. Of the selection of bizarre sauces that go with ‘frites’  the most popular with the locals is probably “andalouse”

 – What’s going on? Pick up a copy of local free city newspapers Zone 02 and Agenda (together with dutch Brussel Deze Week), distributed in cafés and bars around the city

 – Fancy a movie? Musée du Cinema/Filmmuseum  features a carefully chosen selection of contemporary and classic movies. Entrance fee is cheap. 

–  Due to infamous weather Brussels has many wet and rainy days, water-resistant shoes are recommended.

 

Budgeteuro…tips

brusselsniteUse-it (Central Office), Steenkoolkaai 9B Quai à la Houille, Mon-Sat: 10h-13h, 14h-18h is the best source of tourist information provided by young locals, and this central office has nice facilities, coffee and free wifi.

– Meet a local greeter!  A Greeter welcomes you for a meeting and offers to help you discover Brussels through his/her eyes. As an inhabitant, (s)he will give you his own vision of the city and share with you his/her soft spots. A Greeter is not a professional guide but a volunteering ambassador of his/her city.

– Best way to discover the city is to join a free walking tour

– Use supermarkets. They sell same products tourist love (beer, chocolate…) for cheaper price.

– 10 ride ticket can be used by more than one person, when you enter the bus, or metro or tram, you validate the ticket accordingly to the number of people traveling together.

brusselsgraffiti– If you like street-art and graffiti, you shouldnt miss one of the biggest european graffiti area

– Get around Brussels by bicycle, “Villo” is a short-term rental system at 180 locations near the central city. The system only accepts Smart cards (the ones with an electronic chip and activated by a PIN code), it does not accept the regular magnetic stripe cards. The first half hour is free, the next costs €0.50. Registration costs €1.50 for a day and €7 for a week.

– Cantillon Brewery has a beer tour, which includes two small glasses of lambic and gueuze.  A ‘must to do’ for beer lovers! Tour with tasting € 6, tasting alone € 2

– Avoid tourist traps like restaurant in the centre, despite the attractive menu price they might rip-off you. Cheap Dining is available at small family-run restaurants, Kebap houses, snack bar and pizzerias.

 brussels brusselshouses

 

Events

rollingstone

 

– Couleur Café  Bruxelles June

– Iron Brussels Beer Marathon

-Tomorrowland (electro – festival) Schorre (outside Brussels)

-Rock Werchter Festival Werchter, Belgium (outside Brussels)

– Suikerrock – Tienen – July  (outside Brussels)

– Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel  -June (outside Brussels)

 

How to get here? What to see? What to eat and drink? Where to sleep? For any other practical information, click here.

 

Daily trips

Leuven is a real “student city”, as during the academic year most citizens in its centre are students. Leuven has one of the liveliest bar scenes in Belgium. It boasts the “longest bar” in Europe, the Old Market, and dozens of bars and cafés crammed into a central square in Leuven.
Bruges Very nice medieval town. Often called “Venice of the North”, because of the many canals that flow through and under it. Well worth an overnight stay, since it is most romantic at night

Ghent A medieval town a bit like Bruges, with more emphasis on cathedrals and other big buildings. Great center of medieval paintings exhibited in and around the cathedral of Sint-Baafs

Antwerp major destination in the region of Flanders. Known as the ‘diamond city” as more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp
Waterloo – About 15 km South of Brussels. Visit where Wellington and Bluecher faced Napoleon for an ultimate battle that changed Europe’s face forever. Further South, don’t miss the Abbey of Villers-la-Ville.

 

 

 

 

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