27 Reasons Why You Have To Visit Brussels Right Now
It's at the very centre of Europe and the home of the European Union but there's much more to the capital of Belgium than that. From their beer, chocolate and wonderful architecture Brussels is a city that doesn't often come to mind when thinking of the biggest tourist destinations in the EU but these 27 reasons will change the way you think about it and tempt you to book a flight right now!
1. There Are 400 Craft Beers
While the rest of the world is only wakening up to craft beers, Belgium has over 400 from independent breweries. Their beers are incredible, cheap and have every flavour under the sun from cherry to strawberry.
2. The Grand Place
Voted the most beautiful square in Europe - it has to be seen to be believed. Lined with awesome cafes and restaurants and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Incredible Flea Markets
Never has a city embraced flea markets more than Brussels. You'll find everything under the sun from art, old electronics to vintage fashion and is one of the most popular weekend activities for the locals.
A huge park in the very centre of Brussels that was built for the 1880 world expo. Home to several huge museums and the main road into the city even passes under it.
5. Belgian Waffles
You've probably had them all over the world but you have to come to the source to have the original and best ones. Tons of different toppings and available all over town.
6. Mini Europe
It is only fitting that the city at the heart of Europe would have a tourist attraction recreating all the monuments across Europe. Pose beside them strategically and you can pretend you have visited dozens of cities. Winning.
7. Cathedral of St. Michael & St. Gudula
Built in the 9th century and 110 metres high and looks even higher perched on the hill. It's as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside.
8. Quick Restaurant
The rest of the world has to make do with McDonald's and Burger King but once you've tasted a burger and chips in Quick you will never look back.
9. The Incredible Standard Of The Restaurants
People think of France when they think of amazing cooking on the continent but Belgium is every bit as good and very affordable. Home to loads of Michelin star restaurants at the top of the scale and affordable brasseries all over town.
10. Art Nouveau
It was in Brussels that the Art Nouveau style originated around the 1890s thanks to a pioneering architect, Victor Horta. Examples can be found all across the city.
11. The Chocolate
The country produces more chocolate per capita than any other in the country and you can enjoy it in boutiques, corner shops and restaurants. The key is the pureness of the cocoa. Has to be tasted to be believed.
12. The Manneken Pis
This small statue (60cm tall) was erected in the 1600s and is a national symbol for the Belgians. Tourists line up to take pictures with the little boy "pissing" who it is said was doing so on enemy soldiers according to legend.
13. The Best Chips In The World
A big call to make but the Belgians are as proud of their chips as they are their beer. Sold in small stalls around the country they are cooked twice and come with a choice of dozens of sauces. Amazing enjoyed on their own or as a side to a meal.
14. The Cartoon Culture
Brussels is home to some of the world's most famous cartoons including Tin Tin. It permeates every part of daily life here including cartoons on walls across the city.
15. The Centre Of The European Union
This is a city shaped by the tens of thousands of people who come to work for the European Union and in the Parliament. It has a whole eco system of businesses and supports around it that make the economy whirl.
16. Galeries St Hubert
This gorgeous, glass roofed arcade in the centre of town, lined with cafes, theatres and luxury stores has the distinction of being the first shopping arcade in Europe built in 1847.
Built for the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium represents a molecule's nine atoms – magnified 165 billion times. It provides a panoramic view of Brussels and its surroundings.
18. The Largest Design Market In Europe
Held on the 25th April this attracts sellers and buyers alike from all over Europe. You'll be blown away by the sheer size of it and the amazing quality and range of the designs on offer.
19. The Belgian Chocolate Village
After you have finished eating the chocolate around town you can visit this world class museum dedicated to all things chocolate. They have their own green house to show how cocoa is grown and take you through the entire process including demonstrations. Yes - you do get to taste it as well!
20. The Huge Range Of Festivals
The Belgians love a good festival and you'll find one for most of the important holidays. The highlight are the Christmas markets which bring the city to life and make the place feel magical.
21. Bois De La Cambre
Brussels is a city with loads of green areas and none better than the 1.23 square kilometres of "Bois de la Cambre". English soldiers even played a game of cricket here before the battle of Waterloo.
22. Perfect Hub For Day Trips
Brussels is only a couple of hours away from some of the biggest cities in Europe by train. It is the perfect hub for somebody wanting to see Europe. Add in the fact that you can visit the Belgian coast or the incredible Brugge (Venice of the North) and Brussels is an incredible hub for tourists.
A small bap that is famous in Belgian bakeries. This place takes it to the next level though with amazing toppings and a huge selection. If ever a sandwich were and art form this would be it.
24. The World Class Transport System
The city is covered by a metro, trans and busses and buying a day card means the city is yours to explore for a couple of Euros. Everything just works and is perfectly linked together unlike some European cities.
25. Sitting On A Terrace In Sainte Catherine
The bustling area of the city that is full of boutiques, cool little restaurants and cafes is a must visit and sitting outside on a terrace in summer is as good as any other European city.
26. Alcatraz Tapas Bar
Whoever came up with this idea must have been having a seriously creative moment but this bar that is a replica of the famous jail including cells and which serves tapas is a must visit.
27. The Seafood In Rue de Bouchers
This old street is a must visit on the tourist trail and although the literal translation is "butchers street" it is actually packed full of Shellfish restaurants and an incredible energy.
The nature of Irish 'Lickarsery' and Harry Styles' sexuality... listen to the latest episode of Before Brunch. Subscribe here