Brussels City Guide

If a millennium’s worth of colorful history is not enough to entice you to visit Brussels, then maybe the incomparable food, music and nocturnal pastimes of this city might. Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest or more popularly known simply as Brussels is considered as one of the largest urban area this side of Belgium. It houses a great number of headquarters from various international organizations, including the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO.) This makes it the second international city in the world. Because it is globally competitive, this is the best place to shop around, enjoy the sights and gorge on the local cuisine while still enjoying the city’s rich historical atmosphere. Like most European cities these days, the fastest and most convenient way of traveling all over Brussels is by using their public transport systems. Buses, trams and over ground trains are the norm, but you might also want to try the metro system or the underground trains. It is also advisable to schedule your time here between the months of July and October. Not only is the weather sunnier during this season, but there are more local festivities you might want to engage in. As such, the ground roots of Brussels were first established by Lambert I of Leuven (1000 A.D.) From a small settlement of less than 3,000 people, the place quickly became a commercial center that called to people from all over the area. By the 11th century, it was transformed into a walled city that flourished heavily on trade and commerce between merchants from all nationalities. The same is still true of the modern day Brussels. Vibrantly cosmopolitan, there are sites in Brussels that can cater to people from all walks of life, nationalities and interest. The number of museums and architectural / historical alone can testify to that fact. For example: if you are after educational tours, then the Comic Museum, Museum of the Army, Museum of Ancient Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Royal Museum of Fine Art might suit your fancy. If you are willing to go on a couple of walking tours, you might want to visit architectural treasures like the Grand Place, St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral, the Royal Palace, Palace of Justice, the Mini-Europe Park, Laken Castle, and the Cinquantenaire Park… among many others. Cultural entertainment certainly does not come lacking too. For such pursuits, you might want to check out the shows at the opera houses that still stage memorable production numbers. Or, if you would rather redefine the meaning of culture, there are numerous techno bars, trendy cafes and dance clubs that remain open until the wee hours of the morning. It does not matter if you just want a quiet spot to enjoy the local brew, or you want to party the night away; assuredly so, there is an establishment that will serve your needs. However, if you are limiting your cultural endeavors to some good ol’ fashioned shopping, you might want to check out the shopping centers, local flea markets and gastronomical shops instead.