Friday Feature: Brussels, Belgium

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Brussels

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While it boasts many great options for junk foodies (i.e. chocolate, fries, waffles, and beer), Brussels is so much more than just a food lovers paradise. As the “unofficial” capital of Europe, Brussels is one of the best connected cities in Europe because of its importance in the EU and its geographic location. It is a quick day trip or additional stop from most cities in Northern Germany or France. How do you get to this beautiful city? There are numerous direct flights from various cities in the United States to Brussels Airport. Direct flights leave from the following cities: New York (JFK), Chicago, Newark, Atlanta, Washington and Philadelphia.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Brussels is between March and May and September and October, the shoulder seasons; this is when room rates are cheaper and fewer crowds clog the top attractions. This city also experiences all four seasons, and rain is a possibility year-round.

Things to do:

People watch in Grand-Palace. One of the best ways to start your trip around Brussels is to visit the Grand-Place, one of Europe’s most beautiful squares and best places to just watch the world go by. The heart of Brussels began as a thriving market, soon spreading out into the surrounding maze of little streets: the butter street, butchers street, the chicken market, herb market, and cheese Markets.

Eat. All. The. Things. We are serious about this one you guys… Brussels is known for it’s chocolate, beer, and waffles so it would be almost a waste of a trip without indulging in what makes this spot so great! So pack some stretchy pants and live your foodie life to the fullest during your trip! If you would like to add some education to your trip, stop by the Choco-Story museum to learn all about how this delicacy is made!

Take in the greenery of Bois de la Cambre. Although the sprawling cityscape of Brussels may make you think it's entirely covered by industry, Brussels is actually one of the greenest cities in Europe. It's also located on the northern edge of the huge Forêt de Soignes, which means you don't have to travel too far outside the city to be immersed in nature either.

Explore Trendy Sainte-Catherine. The Sainte-Catherine district, located just opposite the old Bourse (stock exchange), is a trendy, modern destination for shopping and dining at some of the city's best new restaurants and shops. Also, if you're interested in sightseeing, don’t miss the delightful Notre-Dame-aux-Riches-Claires, a Flemish baroque church that is well worth going into if it’s open. For more information, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Hotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise, Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo, Hotel Navarra Brugge

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Things to know before you go…

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  • The weather isn’t always perfect. It can easily go from sunny and gorgeous to a 30 minute spell of rain, and then back to sunshine. So make sure to pack accordingly!

  • Save your pennies. Brussels has exceptional shopping so make sure to spend some time strolling the beautiful streets and checking out the local shops and markets.

  • Check the schedule for seasonal festivals. Brussels is a great city that always has a lot of things going on from chocolate festivals, music festivals, or various film festivals.

  • You don’t need to talk the talk to love this city. Most people speak French, while people within the Flanders region tend to speak Dutch. Visitors are able to get by with English, as it tends to be fairly common and accepted in Belgium.

    Check out more information HERE.