Brussels has undergone a true transformation in the years since 1992, when it became the capital of the European Union (EU). During these changes, old buildings were replaced by more modern architecture and the EU brought money to the city. Flights to Brussels became more and more popular, and today the city is a top tourist destination.
The heart of Brussels life – its cafe and bar culture – is still very much alive, and it’s one of the best things about the city. And while Brussels is home to world-class art galleries and museums, some of the best art can be spotted on the walls and buildings that you pass on your way – the Tintin murals in particular are a Brussels specialty.
Dining in Brussels is a delight too. Belgian food relies heavily on rich ingredients like cream and pate, which makes it a gastronomic paradise and a place to indulge (and not count calories). Belgian cooking is some of the best in the world, and in fact Brussels has more Michelin stars (per head) than Paris.
Whilst the best restaurants in Brussels are mostly Belgian, there are some good alternatives around the Grand Place, which is home to a number of small Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek places where you can fill up for a few euros. Yet simply picking up a paper wrap of frites (French fries), liberally drizzled with mayonnaise, to munch on while you explore the sights is a simple pleasure that should be repeated daily while you’re visiting.
There's a wide range of hotels in Brussels, from the cheap and cheerful to the ultra-luxurious. A number of boutique and design hotels are available too, so there's something to suit all tastes and budgets.
More and more accommodation options are opening all the time, reflecting the growing popularity of a city that draws you in with its abundant nightlife, world-class cuisine and relaxed cafe culture. Try to spend at least a few days here – you’ll be surprised at how much there is to enjoy.