Flights to Brussels (BRU)

You won’t find yourself short of things to do in Brussels, a city filled with distinguished architecture, legendary art museums and gorgeous eateries.
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Brussels, Belgium

What to do in Brussels

Visit the Grand Place

One of the most beautiful city squares in the world, the Grand Place will stick in your memory forever. Cobblestones, guild houses and gothic accents are all blended together to create something that’s truly timeless. Make a point of passing through whenever you can – you’ll notice something new every time.

Rue du Marché aux Herbes 77
1000
+32 2 279 2211
www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm

The Atomium

This unique building dates back to the 1950s. It’s modelled on the structure of an atom, and there are eight levels spread out over five levels. The Atomium was originally built for the World Fair in Brussels in 1958 and today it houses a number of cool permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Avenue de l'Atomium
Laeken
1020
+32 2 475 4775
atomium.be

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Europe’s biggest dinosaur gallery is the main draw here – look out for the towering Tyrannosaurus – but the entire museum is excellent (and a great place for kids as well as adults). Another highlight is the spellbinding collection of Antarctic meteorites.

Rue Vautier 29
1000
+32 2 627 4211
naturalsciences.be/en

Indulge in Belgian chocolate

It would be unthinkable to visit Brussels without sampling the local chocolate, and the area around the Grand Sablon (a square near the Mont des Arts district) is home to eight different chocolatiers. Sample treats from Leonidas, Passion and Pure and, if you’re feeling generous, buy some to bring home as gifts.

Leonidas
Rue au Beurre 34
1000
+32 2 218 03 63
leonidas.com

Explore the Brussels Comic Book Museum

Belgians’ love affair with art doesn’t end with Magritte – Tintin is a nationally beloved creation, and this museum, housed in a Victor Horta-designed Art Nouveau building, does full justice to the comic strip. Also known as the Comics Art Museum, it’s not just for kids either – it’s for anyone who’s ever enjoyed the funny pages.

Rue des Sables 20
1000
+32 2 219 1980
comicscenter.net

Browse the art

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium covers a huge range of Belgian art in a large complex that warrants at least a few hours, if not an entire day. Spend time with old Flemish masters like Rubens and Brueghel before heading over to check out masterpieces by Magritte, of which there are more than 200.

Rue de la Régence 3
1000
+32 2 508 3209
fine-arts-museum.be

Where to eat in Brussels

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La Belle Maraîchère (Seafood)

You can’t leave Brussels without stuffing yourself with mussels, and La Belle Maraîchère is one of the best places to try them. Wood-panelled walls and old-fashioned light fixtures make for a warm, elegant atmosphere in which to enjoy dishes like market fresh fish soup, mussels and grilled salmon.

Place Sainte-Catherine 11a
1000
+32 2 512 9759
labellemaraichere.com

In't Spinnekopke (Belgian)

An inexpensive place to sample some classic Belgian dishes, this restaurant’s menu is heavy on meat and cheese and also does a tempting selection of mussels. It’s got an appealing retro vibe, with tiled floors and wooden tables.

1 Place du Jardin aux Fleurs
1000
+32 2 511 8695
spinnekopke.be/en/welcome.html

Comme Chez Soi (French)

French cooking with Belgian ingredients (and an emphasis on local, sustainable food) makes this a top stop for foodies. Dishes like stewed saddle of hare with goose liver and mascarpone will keep you coming back for more.

23 Place Rouppe
1000
+32 2 512 2921
commechezsoi.be

Chez Franz (International)

All brass, glass and wood, as befits a proper brasserie, Chez Franz is worth heading to residential Chatelain for. Sit on the terrace and have a few snacks among the neighbourhood’s chic denizens – the weekend brunches are especially popular.

30 Avenue du Haut-Pont
1050
+32 2 347 4212
chezfranz.com

BarBeton (International)

BarBeton is one of a handful of modern restaurants located in trendy Rue Antoine Dansaert. It’s a chic little place with wooden shelves (giving it a homey feel) in a nice location on a rapidly gentrifying corner.

114 Antoine Dansaert Street
1000
+32 2 513 8363
barbeton.be

Au Suisse (Cafe)

This snack bar has been around since the late 19th century, if you can believe it. Grab a sidewalk table at lunchtime and scoff down some fresh sandwiches, seafood and coffee for a refreshing, reasonably priced and historical treat.

73-75 Boulevard Anspach
+32 2 512 9589
ausuisse.be

Places to stay in Brussels

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Sleep Well Youth Hostel

A ten-minute walk from the city centre, the Sleep Well Youth Hostel has both dorms and private rooms. Lots of other amenities are included in the price of a bed, such as breakfast, free Wi-Fi and even walking tours. They also rent bikes to guests – which is a great way to see the city.

23 Rue du Damie
1000
+32 2 218 5050
sleepwell.be

The Dominican

The Dominican stands on a site that was once a 15th century abbey, and that history resonates through the stellar design aesthetic, which you could describe as ‘medieval modern’. The rooms are a good size, and they come with Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines and spacious showers.

9 Rue Léopold
1000
+32 2 203 0808
thedominican.be

Hotel Cafe Pacific

A boutique hotel with just 13 rooms, the Hotel Cafe Pacific has a chic, bohemian vibe that gets fancier as the rooms (and room rates) get more high-end. Some have funky mobiles dangling from the ceilings, others have skylights with city views.

57 Rue Antoine Dansaert
1000
+32 2 213 0080
hotelcafepacific.com

Hotel Bloom!

A hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Hotel Bloom! has a good sense of fun, from the wall frescos and oddball furniture to the names of its restaurants (SmoodS and OO!). The rooms are beautiful, modern and funky all in one – it’s an upbeat place that’s both comfortable and stylish.

250 Rue Royale
1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
+32 2 220 6905
hotelbloom.com

Hotel Amigo

With a great location on a quiet street just behind the Grand Place, the Hotel Amigo has warm rooms and suites decorated with beautiful fabrics and ceramics. In the bathrooms you’ll find Tintin prints, and there's also the option to book yourself into the Tintin suite if you’re a super-fan.

1 Rue de l'Amigo
1000
+32 2 547 4747
roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-amigo

Aloft Brussels

The Aloft chain comes from the W Hotel group and it’s a cheaper alternative that’s well worth checking out. The Brussels hotel is good value, with loft-inspired rooms, excellent beds, shared public spaces, a gym, and oversized walk-in showers. It's a good choice for a young couple.

Place Jean Rey 3
1040
+32 2 800 0888
aloftbrussels.com

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