Brussels, Capital of Belgium
Language: French, Dutch
Tax Refund: Can be done together on your final departure from European Union
From Airport / Train Station to the City
Belgian Rail operates trains with the cheapest ticket from €8,60 every 15 min from the airport at Level -1 to Brussels’ three main stations. The journey to the Central Station takes 15-20 minutes. Tickets can be bought from vending machines or the train ticket office located in the airport train station at Level -1. To enter or exit the train, push the green button on the door, as the doors are not automatically opened at the stations as they are in other systems.
Avoid taxi at all cost as it pretty expensive at 35 Euro.
Brussels has three main train stations. The Midi-Zuid, to the south of the city core, Central-Centraal, which is right next to the city center, and Nord-Noord, to the north of the city center. High-speed trains stop only at Midi/Zuid, except the ICE also stops at Nord/Noord. The central station is located right in the city. Most sites are fairly nearby and if not you can always transfer to the metro.
A UNESCO world heritage site, this Grote Martz, the central square of Brussels is well maintained and contain many opulent guildhalls including the city town hall and also the bread house building. Enjoy the scene, the people and a waffle which one of the best could be found on the north east corner of the square. Most of the buildings here are more than 300 years old. You could also visit the town hall, which is the most prominent building on the square.
Royal Palace of Brussels
Of neoclassical architecture, the royal palace was open in 1934 as the official residence for the king and queens of Belgium in Brussels. The surrounding gardens and buildings are beautiful. However the palace is only open in the summer months.
Located on a small hill where the previous Palace of Coudenberg is housed at. This is also the place where the previous seat of government was at. Now it is an archaeological site where you can explore the remains. Damaged and destroyed by a huge fire in 1731. The entrance to the remains is through the BELvue museum. It is open from Tues to Fri from 9.30am to 5pm while on weekends and Jul to Aug it is open from 10am to 6pm. Concession tickets cost 5 euros.
Manneken Pis & Jeanneke Pis
These two iconic fountains are located across each other of the Grote Markt. It is an iconic bronze museum that depicts a young boy urinating into a pool. There are many theories that lead to the symbol of this statue. Located on the other side is Jeanneke Pis, the other opposite partner of the statue.
St Michael Cathedral & St Gudula Cathedral
An imposing roman gothic cathedral in the heart of Brussels, it is known for hosting royal ceremonies and palace. It is built in the 16th century and has an impressive tall tower. The interior of the cathedral is also extremely grand and imposing. While the cathedral is free to enter the treasury and the archaeological site are chargeable.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brussels
Located on the west of the city centre, this church is one of the largest 5 in the world. It towers over the city and offers a bird eye view of it. It is super gorgeous, together with the surrounding gardens. It is also possible to go up to the top of the church for 5 euros. It is known as Panorama.
Of course being the seat of the European Union the parliament itself is an attraction. It is possible to visit it with multimedia guide in most languages. You will need to bring identification.
The perfect place to learn and try some traditional Belgium beer with the iconic tradition of using natural yeast fermentation. You will be surprise by the taste of the natural beer. It is open from Mon to Sat from 10am to 5pm, except on Wed. A tour with tasting cost 6 Euro.
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Open in 1847, this place is more famous of the place itself rather than the shops. It is modelled like the famous Galleria Vittorio in Milan where the architecture and façade is absolute beautiful. The place is located to the right of the Grand Place towards the central station. With the glass roof and steel building style, it is sort of a gem.
A notable chocolate shop in this city that famed that brown little bars. It is worth heading down to try some of their creations. Their ice cream is definitely worth trying. There are a few outlets scatter over the city with one just right next to Grote Markt.
Marché du Midi – Zuidmarkt
Located a little out of the city, this is the largest market in Brussels. From prepared food to fresh produce of the region. This Sunday market here is definitely the hype of the place, take a walk, see the stuff and grab something to eat while doing so. The place can be reach with bus 3 or 4 from the Grand Place. The Moroccan Pancakes is a must get. It is open from 6am to 2pm.
For that spiced biscuit speciality of Belgian, this is the place to be. Try out their large number of products from biscuits to cakes and other pastries all made with the freshest local ingredients. They have many stores, with one right along the street to the Grand Place.
Rue des Bouchers 18, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Moules Frites. The Belgian famed pot that everyone here will eat. They are also absolutely devious. Who would expect Belgium to be famous for mussels and fries? Dipping that fried potatoes into the sauce of the mussels. Delightful. Chez Leon is one of the famous restaurant serving up many version of it. Stay surprised. Open daily from 11.30am till 11pm on Sun to Thurs and 11.30pm on Fri and Sat.
1040, Place Jourdan 1, 1040 Etterbeek, Belgium
Located out of the city in the European Quarter in Place Jourdan this kiosk sells the best fries in town. Expect a queue to form behind the smell of gourmet fries. Various sauce are available to choose from and you will not be disappointed. Open from 11.30am to 12am.
Rue de Tabora 2, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Another famous stall selling fries in Brussels, this is actually a fast food stalls with other food in addition to fries. It is located right next to the Brussels Stock Exchange. Some fries while exploring that is a great idea. The fries are freshly cut and this speaks of its quality. Open daily for almost 24 hours.
Rue du Pont de la Carpe 2-6, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
A super trendy wood panel bar with terrace sitting. Even when the weather is too cold to be outside you will find lots of warm inside with some Belgian beer. This place is famous with both locals and other expats communities, giving them a cosmopolitan feel. It is open daily from 11am or 12pm till late.