Business is certainly not the sole reason to visit Brussels. The European capital has heaps more to offer city trippers with its vibrant culture and great food. Read more below!
Brussels is perfect for a weekend break to the city. The European capital far surpasses its reputation as a city meant for business alone. Its history is rich and its cuisine unparalleled. So what more would you need to top off a weekend break? These 24-hour tips will help inspire you with memorable sights, sounds and flavours of the Belgian capital.
A morning stroll
While walking through the city, you’ll notably see that Brussels is not just strictly business. Working-class neighbourhood the Marollen for example offers a taste of quintessential Belgian hospitality. The Vossenmarkt has been home to a flea market, held there every morning since anyone can remember. Take a breather at café Pin Pon settled along the old entrance to the square. The glasshouse on the second floor provides a stunning view over the market. The café is open from 8am onwards, enough time to enjoy a hearty meal before or after your market adventure.
Perfect for a stroll and a good alternative is the neighbourhood in and around the Sablon, or De Zavel. Meander through the many antique shops and quirky boutiques. Bear in mind however that this area is in a different price range altogether. Afternoon tea accompanied by Belgian chocolate is recommended on the Grand Sablon (Grote Zavel) or in one of its side streets. Be sure to try out Wittamer or Chocolaterie Pierre Marcolini for amazing cocoa-inspired sweets!
An afternoon culture-fix
The city’s heart is the Grand Place, or Grote Markt. Imposing and historic architecture like the Broodhuis (Museum of the City of Brussels) can be found here. These form the perfect panoramic background for your city trip pictures! Manneken Pis, known the world over, is walking distance from the Grand Place so be sure to pay him a visit. The high façade mounted on top of immense pillars form the front of the Beursgebouw, or Brussels Stock Exchange. The ever-impressive structure located on the Beursplein, the second most important square in Brussels, is close by as well.
Enlighten yourself with more cultural history in the relatively new Fin-de-Siècle Museum. Several ethnic influences from 19th century Belgium are exhibited here, covering impressionism and Art Nouveau. The building furthermore depicts works by major Belgian and international artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Paul Gauguin en Pierre Bonnard. Art lovers are also recommended to delve into another kind of history in the Belgian Comic Strip Centre (Stripmuseum) in Brussels. See the chronicles of comic heroes like Spike & Suzy (Suske & Wiske) and Tintin (Kuifje) since their conceptual beginnings!
An evening cuisine
Spoil your palate with appetising Flemish cuisine after an eventful day walking through Brussels. A variety of stews cooked with chicken, lam or rabbit prepared with Belgian beer are on the menu. But the mussels and chunky, golden-brown Flemish fries are sure to make your mouth water too! Close to the Brussels Stock Exchange we can recommend the vibrant street Rue Antoine Dansaert, where you will find a great variety of good restaurants. A classic example is the colourful decorated restaurant Bonsoir Clara, which is well known in Brussels gastronomic present. Rather head out for the evening after dinner instead of back to the hotel? See who’s performing at Le Botanique, a cultural complex and music venue in Brussels.