Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the European Union making it the political centre of the region.
Grote Markt otherwise known as Grand-Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today this is the cities main square where there are often markets and concerts held. Do some people watching and admire the architecture of the old buildings that line the square.
*All Brussels photography taken by talented @caley.jean
Hôtel de Ville is the Town Hall located in the above square. You can enter for just 5 Euro and climb the gothic tower to see views over the whole city.
Belgium is famous for its comics and there is a whole museum dedicated to them. The comics art museum features popular characters including Tin Tin and the Smurfs. If you keep your eyes peeled you will even see comic strips painted as murals dotted around the city.
The comic character Tin Tin has his own statue in Brussels which can be found at Rue Rouge 47 and Manneken-Pis, Brussels most photographed statue known as the ‘pissing boy’ stands at just 60cm tall on the Corner of rue de l’Etuve and rue Chêne
Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest church in the world. It was inspired by the Sacré-Coeur in Paris and was built in 1971. The cupola platform offers views of the city.
Boulevard Leopold II
Markets are always a great place to observe local life as well as find some cheap buys. The Antique market in Place du Grand Salon has all kinds of things on display. There is also a flea market at Jeu de Balle Place with second hand goods. Marche du Chatelain is a food market in Place du Châtelain where you can try both Belgian and French cuisine.
Arts Hill on Place de l’Albertine is where locals go to lay on the grass and relax in the sun with a beautiful view from the hill top. Here they often do outdoor art expositions.
Sainte Catherine & Antoine Dansaert quarter are trendy areas where locals hang out. Here you can find boutique shopping, hole in the wall bars and outdoor cafe’s. Go for a wander and explore the area when you want a break from sight seeing.
Place Poelaertplein is a great spot to get a beautiful view of Brussels. Take the free elevator to the top and watch the sun go down over the city.
Park Royal is the famous park right in the centre of the city. There is also Bois de la Cambre park and Parc du Cinquantenaire. Lush parks to relax in the shade or go for a morning run. Parc du Cinquantenaire is also the home to famous museums and monuments.
Coudenberg Castle once sat atop a hill and is now buried under the ground. Access one of the many rooms and hallways that still lie below the surface.
Paleizenplein 7 Place des Palais
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Brussels Hello Hostel offers dorm beds for around 17 Euro a night and includes a free buffet breakfast. There is also free wifi and a hostel bar. Although it is not located in the city centre there is direct access to a metro.
Rue de l’Armistice 1, Brussels, Belgium
Urban City Centre Hostel is in an ideal location but dorm beds cost a little extra at around 22 Euro.There is an outdoor terrace and 24 hour reception which always helps if you are planning on staying out late. Request a lower level room if you have heavy luggage as there is no elevator.
Rue Woeringen 1, Bld Le monnier 193, Brussels, Belgium
Some typical dishes to look out for when scanning menus in Brussels are local beers, mussels, hot chips, waffles and chocolate. Not a bad selection to choose from and the best news is that all of these things are cheap eats that can be found easily around the city and even on the streets.
Look out for food stands selling waffles and chips all over the city. Try to avoid the ones parked outside main tourist attractions as they are always over priced.
Chez Jef & Fils near the Bourse is a street eat experience that you probably won’t find elsewhere. Known for their karakollen that they have been serving for 50 years they have their recipe perfected. Close your eyes and sip that tasty soup while trying not to think about the snails floating in it because it only costs 5 Euro! Who could pass up a bargain like that?
Boulevard Anspach, Brussels 1000
Bia Mara is the best fish and chips you will find in Brussels. All ‘sensibly sourced’ fish with home made crumbs and sauces, this is better than your average frozen, fried boxed up lunch. Forget the indoor seating and opt for the street food option and take it away.
Rue du Marche Aux Poulets 41, 1000 Brussels.
Fritland serves a delicious bread role for about 4-5 Euro. They fill it with hot steak and salad topped with your favourite Belgian fries. This big baguette will keep you full all day long. Wash it down with a beer and you’ve got the perfect cheap lunch.
Henri Maus Straat 49, 1000 Brussel, De Beurs.
Peck 47 is a trendy little cafe that has become extremely popular since opening. Gourmet sandwiches, burgers and breakfast dishes are the favourites here. Sleep in after a big night out and visit Peck47 for a long brunch.
Rue Marche Aux Poulets 47, 1000 Brussels.
Samurai Ramen is where to go if you are ready to mix up the cuisine from the traditional Belgian dishes and try some Japanese Ramen. It’s no wonder why this steaming bowl of tasty broth filled with silky noodles and all kinds of toppings has become popular all over the world. Here in Brussels, Samurai offers you the choice of your favourite ramen with a side of three gyoza dumplings for 16 Euros. It’s a lot of food and the perfect thing to warm you up if the weather is characteristically chilly.
Rue Fossé-aux-loups 28, 1000, Brussels.
Let that ice cold pint go down guilt free because lets not forget… it’s a cultural experience to drink beer in Belgium!
Cafe Belga is a locals favourite. Cafe by day and bar by night, the spacious lay out and views of the city with live bands and DJ’s at night give a great atmosphere. Although it isn’t right in the city centre it’s worth the trip to experience a more ‘locals’ hangout. Check the Facebook page for events. Just as you think the night is over, pass by the outdoor ‘fry stands’ on your way home in the same square across the road. Traditional Belgian hot chips are the perfect midnight snack to warm you up…and sober you up.
Place Eugène Flagey, 1050 Bruxelles
Moeder Lambic serves local Belgian beers that are sought after all over the world. This is one of the less touristy bars you might see in Brussels and can be found in two locations.
8 Place Fontainas, 1000 Bruxelles
68 rue de Savoie, 1060 Bruxelles
Bonnefool serves 1 Euro pints all day long so drop in here to drink your fill. Don’t feel bad about staying on into the evening because you’ll be treated to live bands with crowds of people that come to enjoy the music.
Steenstraat 8 Rue des Pierres, 1000 Brussels
Madame Moustache is where to go when it’s getting later in the night and you’re ready to hit the dance floor. Live music and events are often held here with themed nights so check their website for updates. Usually it’s free entry except for the weekend when there is a 5 Euro cover charge. This is a party in Brussels not to miss!
5-7 Quai su bois à Bruler; 1000 Bruxelles
Travel by train or bus from Brussels to Amsterdam.
Be careful to research your options when buying tickets because there are high speed trains that cost significantly more than the regular trains. Train tickets usually cost around 40 Euro for a 2 hour trip but check for promotions because if you’re lucky you can find special offers for half price. Book here