Do you love art, history, and architecture? You'll love our list of the top things to see and do in Brussels.
There’s a particular vibe that distinguishes Brussels, Belgium's capital, that makes it a fascinating destination for tourists around the world. Its stunning architecture and rich history can be appreciated in every street. It combines its bureaucratic and formal atmosphere as administrative centre of the EU with a more laid-back and playful attitude found in places like the Manneken Pis statue and the Comic Strip Centre.
Brussels invites visitors to discover its multiple layers and there’s definitely something for everyone, from delicious and top-class chocolate to world-famous comics such as Tin Tin and everything in between. At Bonzah we’ve curated a list with the top things to see and do in Brussels. Read on!
Peace and reflection at St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium.
It's difficult to drive down a road in rural Belgium without encountering one of the subtle green signs of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission . Belgium suffered terribly during the First World War, as did the millions of troops from around the world who fought in the water logged trenches. But as I was to learn, visiting a war cemetery is not just an experience of sadness but also one of inspiration.
Rural Belgium is an unsung travel destination.
When you hop into the car for a bit of spontaneous exploration in Belgium, chances are you're not expecting to uncover lakes and rivers, hills and valleys. Belgium is a beautiful country, with arguably some of the most picturesque towns and cities in Europe, but it's not well known for wide open spaces, rolling hills, and rambling rivers. Our visit to the village of Landelies and to the nearby Aulne Abbey defied all our expectations and transformed the way we think about Belgium.
This hotel is dreamy in more ways than one.
If I told you I stayed at the dreamiest hotel imaginable, what comes to mind? Frills and lace? Lots of pink bows and frou-frou design? The Dream Hotel in Mons is a travel lover's dream come true, but there's not a bow or frill in sight! Instead you get an incredibly unique property, an ultra chic design, and the perfect base for exploring the city of Mons. This character-full hotel is the ideal compliment to the European Capital of Culture!
Housed in a centuries old former convent and chapel, the exterior facade melts into the city-scape. Inside, however, things are nothing but modern and chic. There's such a great marriage of the old and new and I especially loved the funky detail like the cool main floor bar, the bright red murals, and the funky black printed carpets and walls in the hallways.
Casteau, Vimy Ridge, and Arras make for an unforgettable roadtrip.
Every good travel experience contains a quest of some kind, a search for something special. When you're in southern Belgium and northern France, there's no end to the opportunities to explore with exceptional sites to discover. We started out on a quest of sorts in Belgium, paying homage to Canadians of the past, and what started out as a simple ride became one of the best roadtrips of our life.
The tiny village of Ville-sur-Haine carries a huge WWI memory: The final moments of Canadian George Price.
The Belgian village of Ville-sur-Haine has yet to make it into any travel guides. It has no entries on TripAdvisor and evenWikipedia gives it less than a dozen lines. In short, this is a village you don't stumble upon by accident. It's an ordinary place filled with ordinary people - whose ordinary lives were at center of the storm throughout the First World War. I couldn't help but think that every farm, every house we passed had been an unwilling host for so much suffering.
Plus: Here's how you can save 50% on almost any Brussels Hotel
Perfectly Positioned and Plenty of Personality!
With just 24 hours to spend in Brussels, we wanted a hotel that was located in the heart of the city so we could easily pop in and out as weather and rest necessitated. We also needed a quiet hotel that wasn't directly on the main part of Grand Place so we could have a peaceful, uninterrupted night of sleep before our early morning wake up call. And most of all we needed a hotel that met our criteria for cleanliness, comfort, charm and - of course! - good value so we could recommend it to other travellers. With the Hotel Atlas, we found everything we needed and more.
Just have one day in Brussels? Here's how to make the most of it!
Finally, we've made it to Brussels! Considering that Brussels was the original destination of this stopover it’s a good thing we've made it into town. In early 2013, Brussels was featured on my list of top ten destinations for first time, solo female travelers. I love its beautiful architecture, multi-lingual and friendly residents, and the clean streets and smooth public transportation. I’m thrilled to make a return visit and immerse myself in the city’s culture once more.
Let's all raise a glass to the Liegeois!
If you're a fickle, fussy foodie like me, you'll be sure to share my appreciation for the Liege food scene. A combination of hearty traditional Belgium fare like beef stews, tiny ethnic eateries which thrive thanks to the local student population, and tasty, affordable street eats means that there is truly something for everyone. And thrown into the mix are some very special tastes, unique to Liege, that could tempt even the most timid traveller.
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