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Ma belle, in the heart of Europe

Brussels in short

Brussels, eclectic par excellence, capital of Belgium but also of Europe, is a vibrant cosmopolitan city that offers a unique experience to its visitors. Whether you're looking for sightseeing, cultural activities or culinary discoveries, Brussels has everything you need to keep you entertained. It is known for its Art Nouveau architecture, popularised by the famous architect Victor Horta. The Gothic style is omnipresent in the city centre. Discover the Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Novotel Brussels City Centre - Brussels Brussels

Novotel Brussels City Centre - Brussels

The Novotel Brussels City Centre is located in the lively Sainte-Catherine district, 200 metres from De Brouckère metro station. It offers modern accommodation, a spa with gym and 24-hour room service.
8.2 Very good
£166 / night

The Grand-Place is the nerve centre of Brussels. It's the place to be for a whole host of events, including the legendary flower carpet, the Christmas market, concerts and sound and light shows. It's a place where the people of Brussels love to hang out! One of the most beautiful squares in the world, it's a marvel of the city. Take a stroll through the narrow streets around it, and you'll discover some typically Belgian shops, cafés and restaurants. But don't miss the Manneken Pis, another of Brussels' iconic tourist attractions. This small bronze statue of a boy urinating has been a symbol of the city since the 17th century. A testament to the Brussels zwanze (Brussels humour akin to self-mockery), tourists are often taken aback by its small size. Barely 55 centimetres high, it thumbs its nose at visitors who often expect something more impressive. The city centre is a compendium of the city's history. Belgium may be a young country (barely 200 years old in 2030), but the history of Brussels goes back to the Middle Ages! But far from being a museum city, the capital is dynamic and appeals to all visitors!

Flower carpet on the Grand-Place

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But another reason why Brussels is so charming is the warmth of its people. The people of Brussels are known for being hospitable as well as being party people. So you'll find plenty of bars where you can enjoy a Belgian beer and great cocktails at the end of the day. The city has many lively neighbourhoods, and the Halles Saint Gery is famous for its bars and lively nightlife. And don't miss the Delirium Café, renowned for its extensive beer list, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the establishment with the most different brands of beer in the world.

Halles Saint Gery, Brussels, Belgium.

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Brussels is also known for its artists and museums, such as the Musée Magritte, dedicated to the work of the famous Belgian artist René Magritte. Visitors can also visit the Museum of Fine Arts or the Museum of Musical Instruments to discover the region's unique artistic treasures. If you're travelling with children, there are plenty of museums in the city to pique their interest. Start with the Museum of Natural Sciences, which boasts one of the largest collections of fossils in the world. Dinosaurs and other animals are on display in this magnificent museum. And don't forget that Belgium is the birthplace of the comic strip, where you'll find the Comic Strip Museum, which is sure to interest the whole family. Comic strips have a strong presence in the city. In a bid to modernise the centre, the authorities decided to have more than 50 frescoes by Belgian artists created in the city. Called the Comic Strip Route, you can follow an itinerary that will take you through all the frescoes in the city, discovering it from another angle!

View of the Magritte Museum from Place Royale, Brussels, Belgium.

- © Adam Szuly / Shutterstock

Finally, Brussels is a green city. With almost 8,000 hectares of green spaces, the city is full of parks and forests for family walks or romantic picnics!

Cinquantenaire Park, Brussels, Belgium.

- © Pocholo Calapre / Shutterstock

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How to get there?

Brussels is only around two hours by train from London. Flights take about 1 hour, 15 minutes, and a bus ride will take up to nine hours, although you could find fares for as low as £9 if booked in advance.

You could also take your car through the the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais, then take the highways A18 and A10 to Brussels, which would take around four hours. Although, parking can be quite difficult and expensive in Belgium's capital.


🚆 Your journey to Brussels by train

Discover the picturesque Belgian capital
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Where to stay?

The city has excellent public transport links and is not very large. On a human scale, you'll have no trouble getting from one district to another. However, if you are staying in Brussels for a short weekend and are unfamiliar with the capital, opt for a hotel in the city centre, close to the Grand-Place and the city's other most visited points of interest. You'll find trendy hotels, rooftops, swimming pools and charming bars - the choice is yours!

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Practical information

In a nutshell

Brussels is an astonishing capital that overturns preconceived ideas, and all the better for it. French-speaking as well as Flemish (although English is the most spoken language here...), European and neighbouring, Belgium's largest city manages to appeal to all types of traveller. Younger people enjoy a friendly nightlife that other cities sometimes lack. Older people go shopping and visit the antique markets. Shopping addicts have long been familiar with the big names in Belgian fashion, looking for something new and unusual. Gourmets head here at weekends to indulge in pralines, sugar waffles and spice biscuits. Art and history lovers will linger on the Grand-Place, despite the crowds, to admire this pedestrianised quadrilateral, which resonates with the crowds (this is how we discover that cities were not silent before the invention of the car), whose lofty mansions, lit up like monuments at dusk, illustrate the crossroads of trade that Brussels has always been.


The train journey between the Belgian and British capitals takes about 2 hours. A Thalys/Eurostar ticket to Brussels is valid for all arrival stations: Midi (where the Thalys trains terminate), Gare Centrale (300 m from the Grand-Place), Gare du Nord (between the Botanical Gardens and the Manhattan business district) and Gare du Luxembourg (opposite the European Parliament). To get to any of these stations, keep your Thalys ticket and take one of the trains (separate from the metro) serving them from Brussels Midi (departures every 15 minutes or so). Zaventem airport is the largest in the country and is very close to Brussels. If you're arriving via Charleroi, it's a 1-hour bus journey to the capital. The city is extremely well served by public transport. The Brussels STIB network works in conjunction with the Flemish Delijn network, which links the city centre with Zaventem airport.


Since UK is no longer part of the Schengen area, so you'll need to go through customs when departing the UK, so make sure you have a valid passport with you. The Belgian capital is fairly safe, but as in all big cities, be careful with your personal belongings - pickpockets are never far away! And, as always, use your common sense.

When should you go?

Belgium can be visited at any time of year. However, as everywhere else in Europe, spring is a beautiful and mild season. It's a great time to discover gardens and parks in bloom! Summer is also a great time to visit the city, although in recent years summers have become increasingly intense in Brussels, and it can often be very hot and stifling! Make the most of the winter to discover the city's magnificent Christmas market. For years now, the city has been organising "winter pleasures", a magical journey through the city centre, from the Grand-Place illuminated by a thousand lights and its sumptuous Christmas tree, to the Bourse and its chalets, all the way to the Place Sainte Catherine, its market and its Ferris wheel! The city puts on its winter coat and it's absolutely magnificent!

What to eat?

Belgium is not known for its gourmet cuisine, but it is homey, friendly and sometimes surprising! Don't miss out on the famous Belgian fries, exceptional chocolates and waffles! But don't forget to have lunch in a typical brasserie for a stoemp (carrot and potato purée with sausages), Flemish carbonade, rabbit in beer sauce, chicory au gratin, waterzoï, prawn croquettes or the famous moules frites!

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Brussels is a city worth visiting! The people of Brussels are friendly, so don't hesitate to strike up a conversation and discover the art of living the Brussels way!

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