If you want the authentic European travel experience, the heart of Europe is the best place to start. From the best Brussels apartments to the Belgium capital’s exquisite art and architectural masterpieces, this guide is your very own treasure map to an unforgettable Belgian experience.
Anybody who’s walked the streets of Brussels will tell you ‘beautiful’ is an understatement. This tiny little city located at the heart of a small country presents but nothing minimal in terms of its multicultural offerings. It is lavish in architecture, humble in history - a complex concoction of visual and value aesthetics that lends the whole Brussels experience a unique character.
Yet to achieve the full Brussels experience, you need to do better than just sashay from one itinerary list to the next - a common traveler's fault. You will find that there are better advantages to be had in poring over the quality of your list than just ticking off one attraction after another.
To help you out, we've curated some of the most interesting suggestions for when you treat yourself into a little adventure in this charming Belgian capital.
No, it's not cheap to travel in Brussels. But if you're conscious of how you spend every dime, know that you can still enjoy the city without raiding your wallet. Explore these fun free things to do without spending a single euro.
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One of the most endorsed parts of a Brussels itinerary is to visit its popular attractions - and for good reason. From its majestic architectural marvels to offworld-looking structures, the city never disappoints.
Here are the top must-visit attractions in Brussels:
*For the purpose of not appearing redundant, we will only mention sites not previously mentioned or will not be mentioned elsewhere in this article in the following list.
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Image Source: www.monarchie.be
Getting to know a city often requires willingness to get to know its details. For more romantic travelers who want to take it slow, there's no better way to accomplish that feat than by feet.
From the flea market district of Place du Jeu de Balle to the spacious plaza of the Place Royale, Brussels is definitely a walker's paradise. Other popular walking spots include the Petit Sablon Square, the Moeder Lambic, the Galeries Royales de Saint-Hubert and the Taverne du Passage, as well as the La Bourse and Fritland.
The Moeder Lambic
When choosing Brussels apartments to stay, one of your main considerations should be the location. A rental’s walkability relative to places of interest is a great measure for selection.
Many great thinkers of the 19th century called the Belgian capital home at some point in their lives - the Bronte sisters, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, and Karl Marx, among others. If you're taking the not-so-casual Brussels traveler’s route, or are especially interested in the literary history of Brussels, retrace the footsteps of these famous authors, evident in the city's countless literary landmarks:
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Culture junkies can have their fill at the city's vibrant nightlife which never seemed to stray far from their historical influence, both past and present. Here are a few spots we recommend for you to enjoy your Brussels evenings.
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Brussels is frequented by many artists and interior design enthusiasts who find inspiration in many of the city's unique architectural ensemble. A distinctive feature uniquely evident in Belgian architectural design in the Art Deco and Art Nouveau style sported by the city's famous attractions: the Villa Empain, the Tropismes Libraries in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, the Solvay Library, the Belga Queen, Victor Horta’s Major Town Houses, and the Van Buuren Museum are notable mentions.
Image Source: www.brusselsmuseums.be
Brussels apartments inspired by signature Belgian art are not uncommon in the city and are perfect for travelers who want to complete their Brussels escapade cuddled in unique Brussels style.
Though we’ve already mentioned the most noteworthy architectural feats of Brussels in this article, it would be incomplete as it is without noting the Maison Saint-Cyr by Gustave Strauven and the Maison Cauchie by Paul Cauchie. The Flagey, a steamboat-shaped structure that is another fine example of Art Deco craftsmanship should also not be overlooked, along with the Koekelberg Basilica by Albert Van Huffel.
Maison Cauchie by Paul Cauchie
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The city of Brussels never falls short of having fine dining restaurants that offer the most classy and unforgettable European dishes. The Tonton Garby, the Comme Chez Soi, and the Le Chou de Bruxelles are all top-rated restaurants with the best cuisine. But if you want the real Brussels experience, you need to indulge in its unique flavors, from the signature Belgian waffles to the brewskis at Moeder Lambic.
Culture buffs never get enough of the historical inspiration offered by such a multifaceted city as Brussels. Despite its size, it's well-known for the buzz of its festivities, its literary museum, art shows, theater performances - all of which constitute a dynamic form that comes alive wherever you step foot in the city. All these unique experiential offerings make Brussels one of the most vibrant destinations for culture globally.
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And in our bonus list, the best places to purchase unique Brussels trinkets and memorabilias include the Avec Plaizier, the Neuhaus, Maison Dandoy, Belge une Fois, La Boutique Tintin, the Belgikïe, La Vieille Lanterne, the Place du Jeu de Balle itself, and for the beer manics, where else than the Beer Mania?
Image Source: Yves Herman, Reuters
Historically, hotels have always provided the safety, comfort, and luxury sought by travelers. Back in the day, there was little to no choice. Most cities frequented by travelers whether for business or tourism are spotted with hotels offering varying levels of service that are gauged by cost. Most lodging options only offer rudimentary accommodation services and were thus disfavored by most. That has always been the way things are. But in recent years, the birth of economy sharing has allowed private home owners to open their homes to guests - the same way Uber has allowed commuters to use their transport services. This extended the number of options for travelers looking for better privacy as well as those on a budget. In fact, homeowners with multiple real estate properties are taking advantage of the demand to target the upscale market.
In Brussels, this type of service is thriving. There’s never a shortage of luxury when it comes to finding a temporary space to call home. Brussels apartments attuned to the grace and ambience of the Belgian capital accept guests who want to take their well-earned rest in a cozy and homely space after a day of touring.
If you still prefer the convenience typical of hotel concierge services but with better privacy, you can opt for serviced apartments. You will still have your bed linens changed and you will still get your food and laundry on-site but with lesser cost if you want to extend your stay compared to hotels.
Meanwhile, if you don’t want to break your daily home routine, you don’t have to. A self-catering apartment is a type of apartment accommodation that allows you to do your own thing in your own space without worrying about intruding hotel maintenance personnel. Here, you can cook your own breakfast or do your own laundry, or dance around to your own jazz playlist just like any other day at home. It’s a wonderful privilege, especially for those who are more than just visiting, but not really settling.
Both types of apartments accommodate short term and long term stay.