This cosmopolitan capital city is a melting pot of languages, cultures and traditions, and the perfect destination for the discerning gourmand.
Located in the heart of Belgium, Brussels is a bustling hub with a vibrant and diverse population. Immigrants from all over the world have made this city their home, enhancing its already rich culture and cuisine. Belgium has two main national languages, French and Flemish, and you'll see evidence of this linguistic cohabitation on street names and signs all over the capital.
Brussels is a great city to explore on foot. It may be the largest metropolitan area in the country, but its centre is compact and full of historical buildings and period architecture. Take a stroll through the city centre and, as you meander through the attractive streets, learn a bit about this young nation's history. Visit the Royal Palace of Brussels on the edge of Brussels Park, then walk through the park itself to see where the Belgian Revolution began. No trip to Brussels would be complete without a visit to the Manneken Pis. This world-famous statue of a urinating child gives you an insight into the national sense of humour.
The city has some great museums, and the vibrant BELvue, dedicated to the country's political, military and royal history is highly recommended. Modern masterpieces can be seen at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Belgium is famous the world over for its chocolate, beer and dairy produce. Brussels' lively, restaurant-lined Place du Grand Sabon is a great place to sample some of the country's culinary delights, or stock up on some antiques. The Cantillon Brewery, meanwhile, is an absolute must for beer enthusiasts; as well as seeing how their century-old beer is made, you'll be able to sample some of the fine finished product.
Summers in Brussels can be damp but, because the temperature doesn't generally exceed 25 degrees Celsius, it can be an oasis of cool when temperatures elsewhere in Europe are soaring. You can fly to Brussels International Airport, but with Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam so close, many opt to come by high-speed train or Eurostar. There are no less than 19 municipalities in the city, all of which are connected by a reasonably priced and reliable metro system.