Brussels Travel Guide

  • City Hall
    by Roadquill
  • Grand Place
    Grand Place
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Grand Place - Grote Markt
    by TooTallFinn24

Brussels Highlights

  • Pro
    Bigjones profile photo

    Bigjones says…

     Very international, great architecture, cool people ;-) 

  • Con
    melissa_bel profile photo

    melissa_bel says…

     Bruxellisation (destroying old-time and often beautiful building to put ugly insignificant but more modern ones), looks a little sedate at first. 

  • In a nutshell
    sourbugger profile photo

    sourbugger says…

     Nutshell must conform to E..U Directive 347b...all nutshells must.... 

Brussels Things to Do

  • Manneken Pis

    I still wonder from were came the idea of building a fountain with the water streaming out a pipi, zizi or as used in Brussels and Brabant dialect a "pisellewiet" or "tichke". What we know is that according to documents from 15th c. there was at the same place already a stone statue called " Juliaenekensborre " or " ‘t Menneken Pist " supplying...

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  • Atomium

    Built for the international exhibition of 1958, this imaginative construction is a museum, with displays in five of its nine spheres. As Eiffel tower in Paris, it became one of the symbols of the city, and the main attraction in a park with several other interesting elements.

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  • Cathédrale St Michel & Gudule

    In Brussels we are used to call the Cathédrale St-Michel by the name of Sainte Gudule whose statue stands above an entry. During the 50 years I lived in Brussel, I always saw the cathedral with dirty dark grey stones, it's only when I left that they started cleaning and restoring the church outside and inside. To make appear the colors of the...

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Brussels Hotels

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Brussels Restaurants

  • Fish, Mussels & Seafood

    There are a whole lot of seafood restaurants on the Quai aux Briques and we chose this one because it has a nice 3 course lunch menu for 23 euro. The restaurant overlooks a lovely square flanked by the St. Catherine's church. The metro stop is about 50 metres away and the Grand Place perhaps 10 minute walk. On a sunny day, it is wonderful to enjoy...

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  • Other Belgian

    "Probably the oldest inn of Brussels, as indicates it its pinion dated 1587," L'Estrille du vieux Bruxelles " is in keeping with the heart of a street deeply related to the past of the legendary Sablon and its vestiges of the first medieval urban surrounding wall." * Yes, that's what we may read in the page of this restaurant where we didn't...

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  • Chez Léon

    Ok, the first thing is that Chez Leon is on Rue du Bouchors .... where you'll find all the tourist type of restaurants with tourist prices, Since mussels are in seasons we decided to try this place for it's mussels.... we've read mixed reviews about this place on VT. So we decided to give a shot. So we arrived and we were seated promptly on a busy...

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Brussels Nightlife

See all 318 Nightlife in Brussels
  • Other Pubs & Bars

    Great new bar right next to the Bourse. They had lots of different Belgian beers and also a great choice of spirits. I enjoyed their concerts on 2 nights in a row and was well impressed by their friendly staff. There are actually two floors with a smoking room on each. The place is full of screens (25 I counted) and they show whatever you ask...

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  • Dancing

    Chez Johnny I think embodies a bit of the Belgian spirit. It's kitsch, quirky, does not take itself seriously and above all, knows how to have fun. People, if you're looking for cutting edge techno, this is not your place! First of all, Chez Johnny doesn't call itself a "nightclib" but a "party room" and no need to wait after midnight (like in...

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  • L'Archiduc

    I first visited this bar more than 10 years ago, and the décor was getting old then. It doesn't appear to have been replaced. However, that doesn't detract from the appeal of L'Archiduc. The cocktails are excellent if not cheap at around €10. There is quite often live jazz in the early evenings; this is replaced by a DJ who usually plays until the...

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Brussels Transportation

  • Métros/Trams/Bus

    Local public transportation at night is carried out by the following night buses : N01 De Brouckère – Peter Benoit N02 De Brouckère – Saint-Vincent N04 De Brouckère – Cimetière de Bruxelles N05 De Brouckère – Marcel Thiry N06 Bourse – Musée du Tram N07 Bourse – Herrmann-Debroux N08 Bourse – Wiener N09 Bourse – Boondael Gare N10 Bourse –...

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  • Trains

    The Thalys trains are a joint service of the Belgian, French, Dutch and German railways. They look like French TGV trains, which essentially is what they are. These trains can reach speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour when the tracks permit. In practice, this means they are very fast between Brussels and Paris, but not on the rest of the...

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  • Local taxis

    In the view from inside the taxi, I can see that there were also streetcars in those days and apparently similar cars are still operating. Arrival times, departure times and stops are shown at each tram stop. There are also convenient street maps at each stop. In 1950, we arrived by train (flying was not as common in those days) so we had no need...

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Brussels Shopping

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  • Shopping Malls & Streets

    Saint Boniface is probably one of the most vibrant places in Brussels. It located between the avenue Louise, porte de Namur and place du Luxembourg. It's one unique places in brussels where you can find such a multicultural mix. It's visited by artists, bankers, eurocrats, young, older, you can hear different languages on corner. It's a mini...

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  • Chocolates

    Around the Manneken Pis there's a lively chocolat business. Several shops rival displaying the most inviting chocolat candies, some of them with fruits. It's difficult to resist, and more difficult to choose the right shop. Skip this area if you're in a diet!

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  • Antiques & Flea Markets

    Located West of the fine art museum and palace, just North of Church of Notre Dame au Sablons, this outdoor market featured a good selection of used goods, jewelry, and the prices seemed reasonable, not cheap, but not sky high either. One of items I found interesting were the bread stamps from the 1,800's, where a family would stamp their unbaked...

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Brussels Local Customs

  • Eating

    Mussels with frites are a national dish in Belgium. We call them "moules casserole" as they are cooked in a "casserole" which is a large pan of minimum 3 liters content. This volume is needed to prepare the usual amount of 1 kg mussels per person. This quantity of mussels contains about 250 gr. of flesh. The crux of the matter is the mussels. They...

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  • Drinking

    Some day I will write a bit more about them because these beers when brewed in the authentic way (Oude Kriek) are somewhat sour so that people not born in the Senne Valley often don't appreciate them. They are beers for Brusseleirs and genuine Brusseleirs are a species in danger of extinction. About the other beers I must say that we were anxious...

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  • Languages

    The Flemish University of Brussels VUB has just published a study about the languages spoken in Brussels. There are 104 different languages spoken in Brussels. I don't know if there were as many at the Tower of Babel? Nr 1 is French 88%, Nr 2 English 30%, Nr 3 Dutch 23%, Nr 4 Arab 18%, and Nr 5 Spanish 9%. (A large number of inhabitants speak...

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Brussels Warnings and Dangers

  • Avoid at Night

    It is always possible to write that nothing bad happens in Brussels. Brussels politicians were especially strong in telling people that everything is fine and when criminals shoot at police with an AK 47 automatic assault riffle it was only a "fait divers". But that talk is now over and out because: 1° elections are near and citizens are fed up...

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  • Pickpockets

    I had my wallet stolen from inside my bag (which was zipped) in a Pain Quotidien Cafe in the area of Merode in Brussels. I was sitting at the communal table at lunchtime, which is a large table in the middle of the room, surrounded by other smaller tables. I was there for about 8 minutes with my kids. The place was very busy, we hadn't much time...

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  • Driving

    This topic was quite helpful in identifying why I am still terrified and am phobic of crazy traffic. I lived between Bruxelles and Waterloo and traveled by car to the surrounding EU countries often for 5 years. Being a passenger, I was astonished to see so many daily accidents- buses/cars/motorcyclists/mopeds and people. There was never a day in...

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Brussels Tourist Traps

  • Restaurants around Grand' Place

    The Rue des Bouchers looks very tempting in summer with all the tables spilling out of it's restaurants onto the narrow cobbled street but try not to be tempted by the pushy restaurant owners trying to drag you in to their establishment for their special "Tourist set menu". Whilst these 3 course meals for €12 seem a great deal they usually leave...

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  • Atomium & Heyzel area

    The Heyzel area with Mini Europe and the EU museum, even atomium itself are a bit of a tourist trap. Note: I have been informed this attraction will be closing in the Fall of 2013. I enjoyed Mini Europe despite and it was cool to see Atomium but inside Atomium was very dissappointing. Save yourself some money and just take snap some shots from...

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  • Manneken Pis

    "Is that it?" everyone says, just like they do with the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, and it is perhaps the best comparison as it has the same tourist trap feel to it, but at least Manneken has several advantages that Mermaid has not. One being that it is only a couple of blocks away from the centre and not in a windy harbour, the other that the...

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Brussels What to Pack

  • My guide books in Brussels and Belgium

    Here are my guide books that provided me details about a geographic location, tourist attractions, or most interesting itineraries in Brussels.Brussels. Editions THILL S.A. – Spain, 2003, 98 pages.thill-nels.comBelgium. Le Petit Fute. Michel Strogoff & Ass., City-Guides, Country-Guides, Paris-Luxemburg-Moscow. 2000, 206 pages.

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  • Comfortable shoes and an umberella are a...

    I would always take a suitcase on wheels as it is a lot easier - just watch other folks feet - particularly when leaving train stations and the airport. comfortable shoes are a must. We did lots of walking whilst here and heels were just not practical - many parts of the central area are cobblestones so flat shoes are more practical.The weather...

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  • Packing for Airline carry-on bag to...

    The airlines are notorious for losing luggage, we all know that. Yet, there are still people who make the foolish mistake of putting valuable items in their checked luggage! Most airlines allow you a carry-on bag and one personal item (briefcase, laptop or something like that).Soft-sided luggage constructed from high-tech material is the best for...

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Brussels Off The Beaten Path

  • Tours & Walks

    Directly next door, at Avenue Palmerston, 2, an extension to Hôtel van Eetvelde (at Avenue Palmerston, 4) was designed by Victor Horta in 1898. Known as Hôtel Delhaye, this building has a beautifully detailed sandstone façade. It was designed to house a garage, an office and a billiard room for van Eetvelde, as well as apartments, therefore it...

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  • Jeanneken Pis

    This statue of a little girl urinating is in a little-used street a few blocks from Brussels's Manneken Pis. Little boys peeing has been a staple of fountains for a thousand years, but I don't know of a female version from before 1985, when sculptor Denis-Adrien Debouvrie made this one and struck a blow for the sisters. It's protected by an iron...

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  • Parcs & Gardens

    And suddenly we found ourselves in Spain. The statue of D. Quixote and Sancho Pança that I knew in Madrid was in front of us. Well, it is not Spain, but Spain square, wisely ornamented with a replica of the original creation of Lorenzo Valera. Somewhat hidden, but very nice.

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Brussels Sports & Outdoors

  • Scuba diving in Nemo33

    Nemo33 is a purpose built scuba diving pool with platforms at 1.4, 2.5, 6 and 10 metres and a 34 metres pit.There are swim throughs and you can even have a chat with your buddy at 10 metres down in one of three air 'caves'.The water is now slightly chlorinated water warmed at 30 celsius.There is a nice bar (serving deprofundis beer on tap) and a...

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  • King Baudouin stadium

    We took the metro to Stade Roi Baudouin to see a concert of Madonna ( !) but the history of the stadium takes me back to the 80s and the disaster of Heysel stadium (that was the name of the stadium at that time). I still remember the final match for european cup between Juventus and Liverpool when 39 italian fans die and more than 500 injured....

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  • Constant Vanden Stock Stadium

    We drove from Antwerp on the day of the match to watch RSC Anderlecht play Manchester United in the UEFA Champions league.Getting lost on the ring road made us about 10 mins late and so we decided to park the mini bus near the ground in what we thought was a quiet spot. This quiet spot ended up with the bus being surrounded by the local fans after...

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Brussels Favorites

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  • Grand' Place & guild houses

    I use to say that this square is the most beautiful that I know. Great proportions well balanced and harmonized buildings, precious details. The only sad thing was its dark look. You may imagine my pleasure when I saw that the buildings are being cleaned, and the white stone is now shining almost as much as the shining gold in some facades. Well...

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  • Chocolate, Waffles & Fries

    Genuine Belgians use the word PRALINES for what is called "chocolates" by tourists. If outside the touristic centres you ask for chocolate you will get a bar of chocolate. The production of pralines in Belgium is now in hands of a number of companies who have industrialized the process what does, fortunately, not mean that quality has diminished....

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  • Tours & Walks

    Leaving the Gare du Nord on the first day of my first visit in Brussels I was excited to see everything. There was one sight I would never have expected in a million years, but it drew me back. Just to make sure. Looking out the window of the car I saw something different--from anything I'd ever seen in the USA, even at the movies--a mannequin in...

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Top 10 Street Food Cities: Brussels

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

While we promised an article free of French crepes, we certainly can't compile an article on street food sans frites! Two stands vying for top spot in French-influenced Brussels are Frit' Flagey in Place Flagey and Maison Friterie Antoine in Place Jourdan, which is also famous for its variety of sauces, from the traditional Flemish topping of mayonnaise to a Brazilian take on ketchup and quatre poivres. Multiple VT members noted that waffles in Belgium, apparently vastly different from the American version of Belgian waffles, are alone worth the trip on the Eurostar. While the Brussels-style somewhat resembles the wide-spread notion of a Belgian waffle, the Liege waffle is denser and coated in a caramelized sugar. Either variety can be topped with powdered sugar, fresh whipped cream, strawberries and/or chocolate. One final treat not to miss are Brussels' shellfish specialties of moules frites (mussels served with fries) and caricolles (small snails boiled in broth).

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Explore Deeper into Brussels
Grand Place - Grote Markt
Things to Do
Palais Royal
Things to Do
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Things to Do
Mini Europe
Things to Do
Chinese & Japanese Towers
Things to Do
Eglise Notre Dame du Sablon
Things to Do
Laces & tapestries
Shopping
By Car
Transportation
Museums
Off The Beaten Path
Markets & Flea Markets
Off The Beaten Path
Chinese & Japanese Towers
Off The Beaten Path
Food & Beer Stores
Shopping
Taxis
Warnings and Dangers
Atomium & Heyzel area
Favorites
Excursions
Off The Beaten Path
La Kasbah
Restaurants
Comic Strip Art
Local Customs
Vegetarian
Restaurants
Museums
Favorites
Waterloo
Off The Beaten Path
Manneken Pis
Favorites
Le Cerceuil
Nightlife
Tipping
Local Customs
In't Spinnekopke
Restaurants
Atomium & Heyzel area
Off The Beaten Path
La Mort Subite
Nightlife
Sound & Light Show
Nightlife
Speculoos
Shopping
Vincent
Restaurants
Planes
Transportation
Estaminets & Beers
Nightlife
Flower Carpet
Local Customs
Le Fuse
Nightlife
Estaminets & Belgian Beers
Restaurants
Festivals
Local Customs
Markets & Flea Markets
Local Customs
Estaminets & Beers
Favorites
Cinquantenaire & museums
Favorites
Théâtre de Toone
Nightlife
Aux Armes de Bruxelles
Restaurants
Map of Brussels

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