Brussels: Holidays

The Smallest World-City

Backpacking

Backpacking in Brussels

Backpacking in Brussels is an affordable way to explore the city with several good value for money hostels within easy walking distance of public transport, the Grand Place, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, shopping, fine food shops and many popular tourist attractions. Most backpacking accommodation in Brussels is situated conveniently near Grand Place and the historic city centre. Offering a variety of hostels ranging in price from about €25 - €30 per night most include towels, linen, washing machines, 24 hour multilingual reception and self catering facilities. Not all hostels in Brussels provide breakfast. Backpackers in Brussels should book a hostel in advance. Arrangements can also be made for backpackers to explore beyond the city such as day trips to Antwerp or Bruges.

City Breaks

City Breaks in Brussels

Brussels offers the ideal destination if you’re looking for a city break in a vibrant European city. A city break in Brussels is a great opportunity to visit one of Europe's most celebrated cities with the iconic Grand Place, buzzing art galleries, cobblestone streets, market shopping and a lively nightlife. Starting in the historic city centre most sites can be taken in in one visit. Public transportation such as the Metro, trams, and buses are helpful for getting around in winter and taxis are also surprisingly reasonably priced. In warmer weather most of the main tourist sites can be reached by foot but take along a good map.

Corporate Weekend

Corporate Weekend in Brussels

A corporate weekend in Brussels is a great opportunity to visit Europe's political hub, and a celebrated medieval city. With its numerous and diverse range of sights to see, things to do and places to stay, Brussels caters for most budgets and tastes. As the most politically diverse city in Europe, and home to the EU and NATO Brussels provides the perfect setting for business people and ideas to come together and for team building to thrive. Brussels is an ideal setting for corporate weekends.

Culture and Arts

Culture and Arts in Brussels

The arts and culture scene in Brussels is world-class. Considered the city of the Arts, Brussels is home to some 80 museums, the National Orchestra, Brussels Ballet, Philharmonic Society, Brussels Film Festival and over 30 theatres throughout the city. Favourites include the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Ancient Art Modern Art); here you will find incomparable masterpieces by Rubens, Breughel and Bosch. Also visit the Horta Museum for a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture, which has helped earn Brussels the title of the capital of Art Nouveau. The Musical Instruments Museum and the Comic Strip Museum are worth a visit, and of course no visitor should leave Brussels without visiting the Grand Place (and Musee de Ville), the most memorable square in Europe.

Cycling Activity Holiday

Cycling Activity Holiday in Brussels

If you are feeling brave, bicycling in Brussels can be a thrilling experience. Cycling in Brussels is an efficient and low budget transportation option; although it can take some getting used to the traffic (Belgian drivers are notoriously bad). Bicycles in Brussels do not follow rules, you can weave between traffic jams and lanes, as well as disregard sidewalk barriers. Cycling is also the national sport of Belgium and it is common to wear a helmet, a bright vest, and/or leg stickers. If you want to rent a bicycle in Brussels there are rental stands throughout the main tourist sites such as train stations. Try La Maison de Cyclistes. Bikes can be rented for a day (15€), weekend even up to a year for a small fee. Try to avoid buying a bike from Midi Market as many are stolen and not high quality. Bike repairs can be done at a surprisingly small number of bike shops in Brussels. Note that late May- September is the busiest time and you might need to make an appointment. Bicycles are permitted on the metro, but you must buy a ticket. From April to October you can book bike tours such as a half day tour which costs 9€ and 8€ for the bike rental. Brussels also has many green park areas which are nice to cycle.

 

Disabled Needs

Disabled Needs in Brussels

Brussels is a very disabled-friendly city. Signs mark disabled access for public toilets and Metro stations with elevators (Brussels has 10 in total), as well as disable parking. The Eurostar provides excellent transportation for disabled people and upon arrival at Gare du Midi, you can take a taxi or access the Metro. Brussels National airport is designed for wheelchair accessibility and has passenger assistance that provides point-to-point transportation and assistance for persons with disabilities as well as for others who require assistance. The services consist of wheelchair and attendant assistance. Bus 71 is wheelchair accessible and visits the top attractions such as the Grande Place, Museum of Fine Arts and Musical Instruments Museum which all provide disabled facilities. Beware, however, of Brussels' cobblestone streets. Taxi Verts has around 40 taxis for people with disabilities and are adapted for wheelchairs; available 24 hours.

Family Holiday

Family Holiday in Brussels

Brussels is a good city to enjoy a family holiday. It is a bustling city with many attractions catering to younger people. Children and adults alike will be amazed by the impressive Grand Place. In colder weather head to the Scientastic Museum, only a two minute walk from the Grand-Place. There are over 80 interactive hands-on exhibits. In summer families in Brussels can take full advantage of the sun by walking around the cobblestone streets and stop off to any number of chocolatiers. There is even a Museum of Chocolate! The Comic Strip Museum is also a hit with children and includes a Smurf exhibition. Mini Europe is another good place to see mini Paris, and London just to name a few. Even with younger children you can do most of Brussels’s sightseeing on foot and there are plenty of green spaces for a family picnic. Families can also head to Beach Brussels for some coconuts and sand (but don't plan on going for a swim). There is also a wide range of family friendly accommodation options available for reasonable prices. Brussels is definitely a good option for a family holiday.

Gay and Lesbian

Gay and Lesbian in Brussels

Once a conservative city/nation when it came to rights for gays and lesbians Brussels is now one of the top European destinations for gays and lesbians. Many of Brussels' gay and lesbian clubs, bars and shops are located in the city centre around the Rue de Marche au Charbon and Saint-Jacques. Although perhaps not the most exciting gay and lesbian scene in Europe, Brussels does attract many visitors and offers same sex marriages to gay couples. Belgium was the second country in the world to eliminate gender from its marriage laws. Homosexual couples in Brussels can also legally adopt children. Events for gay and lesbian travellers in Brussels include the gay and lesbian film festival in January, the BLGP (Pride Parade) in May, the Pink Screens Festival in October and World Aids Day Belgium in November.

Hen Destination

Hen Destination in Brussels

Brussels is an affordable European destination for a hen do. There are plenty of cheap flights, deals on the Eurostar or Belgian trains available in order to reach the heart of Brussels. Brussels offers a laid back atmosphere with lots of cafes and chic restaurants. If you are looking for a party city, Brussels maybe not the answer for your hen party. The city has a few good clubs such as Fuse which stay open until early morning hours. Brussels also hosts the Klinkende Munt an outdoor music festival held in July. It is, however, perfect for those looking for a weekend of relaxation and sophistication. Brussels offers some good hen party alternatives, including gallery hopping with beer tasting along the way, spa days, fine food, jazz nights and charming shopping streets.

 

Honeymoon

Honeymoon in Brussels

Brussels offers honeymooning couples the charm of a medieval city and the modernity of Europe's capital. Brussels provides an intimate backdrop for couples, with chic restaurants and the impressive, not to mention romantic setting of the Grand Place. For an added touch of luxury stay at the Metropole Hotel which is on the doorstep of the Grand Place. Brussels offers a good shopping scene with many local and speciality shops, the most popular of which is chocolate. Chocolate loving couples can also head to the Museum of Chocolate. Stroll the streets for fine examples of Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture and stop into any number of Brussels's famous galleries and museums. Accommodation will normally offer exciting honeymoon packages to suit every budget and can help plan activities such as tennis or golf.

Golf Activity Holiday

Golf Activity Holiday in Brussels

Brussels and Belgium are home to some of the oldest golf courses in Europe. The oldest golf course in Brussels is the Royal Golf Course of Belgium founded in 1906 by King Leopold II. There are 11 top golf clubs located around Brussels which is no surprise given the large amount of business visitors Brussels receives each year. Courses cater to all abilities and offer 9 up to 18 holes. Driving ranges are also a good place to practice your golfing techniques in Brussels. Check in advance with the individual golf clubs in Brussels in order to know their rules and regulations in regards to club cards and access.

Hiking Activity Holiday in Brussels

Brussels surprisingly has some very good hiking and walking trails and is one of the best ways to get around Brussels (from a sight-seeing point of view) even in winter. Bring a street/metro map to plan your itinerary or simply wander around the Grand'Place area. Remember top attractions and streets often have both French and Dutch names. If you plan to hike in Brussels try the old canal embankments or the disused railway tracks or follow any number of trails in the Forest de Soignes. Be sure to wear good walking shoes, bring sunscreen and a hat, water bottles and insect repellent.

Party Holiday - Singles Life

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Brussels

Brussels is not typically known for its nightlife and often gets labelled as boring, but in actuality the city is an up and coming gem. Singles will find Brussels is full of funky cafes and cool bars, traditional beer pubs and trendy eateries. Brussels as something for everyone and makes for a relaxing and inexpensive night out. Famous for its beer, (there are more than 450 different varieties of beer in Belgium) Brussels boasts the Brewer's House a beer museum in the heart of the city on the Grand'Place. Here you will also find numerous cafés with exhaustive beer menus. Brussels has historically been the home of Lambik beer. Weekends are busiest but the nightlife is still vibrant and often cheaper during the weekdays. If you’re single and looking for crowded dance floors and the latest dance music you won't always get a lot of choice but there are some good places to go. Try Duke's, or Le You which is just off Grand Place. For jazz and cocktail's try L'Archiduc. For a more upscale night out head to the Sablon. Eateries stay open late.

Gay and lesbians looking for a night out in Brussels can also check Tels Quels magazine, the most comprehensive gay nightlife listings in Brussels.
 

Single Scene for girls in Brussels

Brussels makes a good destination for single girls offering plenty of chic cafés to drink lattes, read a book, relax and people watch, particularly around Grande Place. Beer loving girls will not be let down. There are also lots of art galleries and museums to fill up more than an afternoon, and Brussels has no shortage of restaurants, shops or boutiques. In good weather spend the day walking around the cobblestone streets and city centre. The nightlife in Brussels usually starts in pubs or after going out for a meal. Eateries stay open quite late. If you’re single and looking for something more lively Brussels offers plenty of trendy lounges and jazz bars. Try Le Coq or Archiduc (enjoy Art-Deco interior amidst a night of jazz). There are also a few good clubs in Brussels for single girls who love to dance. Head to Mirano Coninenta or FUSE – La Demence.

Touring the city or walking out on the streets as a single girl is safe at night in the main tourist areas (e.g. Grand Place). Girls should avoid walking near the westward arc between North and Midi railway stations, and Rogier and De Brouckere Metro Stations. It is best to catch a taxi (which are reasonably priced) or take public transportation. Keep to well lit areas and don’t go down any dark streets or alleys. Always carry a map, your accommodation address and if not a mobile phone at least enough money to use a payphone.


Single Scene for guys in Brussels

Brussels offers a great single scene for men who love beer. Single guys should head to Delirium Cafe located right in the centre of Brussels and within five minutes walk of the Grand Place. The bar offers 2004 different variations of beer, a Guinness World Record. Try any number of local Belgium beers (there are over 450 varieties). But if cocktails and cool music are more your thing, try bar©ode one of the most beautiful cocktail & dj bars of Brussels. Featuring a huge cocktail selection two floors, bar©ode is the perfect place to start a night out. For local rock try Magasin 4, which features local talent rock and indie bands in a small converted warehouse. Brussels is a jazz loving city; single guys should check out Archiduc, an art Deco setting complete with celebrities, cocktails, and a fanatical fan base open til 4 am.

Aside from site-seeing, art galleries and museums, single guys in Brussels can also check out the red light district. Night clubs stay open late and gay-oriented men should head to the areas surrounding the Grande Place.

 

Shopping Holiday

Shopping Holiday in Brussels

Built on its mercantile trade Brussels has been a shopping haven since the Middle Ages. The city is best known for its speciality shops and high quality design. Visitors can stake out any number of streets and find fashion gems, but a walk along Rue Antoine Dansaert Straat should not be missed. Here shoppers will be impressed by avant garde Belgian designers and fashion boutiques. Keep an eye out for top Belgian designers such as Jean-Paul Knot, Maison Martin Margiela and Annemie Verbeke. Equally impressive is Avenue Louise which is home to all the major international designers such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior and Belgium's own Diane von Furstenburg. The pleasure of this street is that amidst high end brands you will also find affordable shops. Innovation, a large department store is also located here. For bargains, and one of Brussels's most bustling shopping areas go to Rue Neuve in the city centre. Shopping lovers in Brussels can also pay a visit to Gallerie St. Hubertis (the first shopping arcade in Europe). Admire the glass and iron roof, while perusing the shops, known for their unique window displays. Belgium is also famous for its tapestries, crystal and antique shopping and of course chocolates.

Well-being and Spa

Well-being and Spa in Brussels

Whether you’re a bride-to-be or just needing some relaxation time, when it comes to professional and modern spas Brussels is an ideal destination. Offering luxury spa holidays designed to melt away the stress, and promote relaxation, you can indulge and pamper yourself or your partner. Soothe the mind and body under the care of professional therapists providing modern treatments, and tailor made programs to help you get exactly what you need in mind, body, and soul (and your budget). Spa holidays are about unwinding with a soothing massage or choosing from a range of rejuvenating packages. Most Brussels hotel spas make great spa retreats as the majority have everything to offer including steam rooms, outdoor pools, thermal baths, saunas and relaxation areas. A spa retreat in Brussels might not be cheap but is well worth the money.

Stag Destination

Stag Destination in Brussels

Brussels offers a great stag do choice for men who love beer. Guys should head to Delirium Cafe located right in the centre of Brussels and within five minutes walk of the Grand Place. The bar offers 2004 different variations of beer, a Guinness World Record. Try any number of local Belgium beers (there are over 450 varieties). There are literally hundreds of beer cafes and pubs surrounding the Grand Place not to mention the rest of the city. If you're in the mood for music try Magasin 4, which features local talent rock and indie bands in a small converted warehouse. Brussels is also a jazz loving city. Check out Archiduc, an Art Deco setting complete with celebrities, cocktails, and a fanatical fan base open til 4 am. Start the night at bar©ode listening to the best dj's then head to Cartagena a favourite club with locals and known for its South American and Latin sounds. Brussels also has a red light district very similar to Amsterdam's but a bit smaller. Brussels is an affordable option for a stag party as it offers a wide range of accommodation choices suited for every budget and taste. Overall, Brussels makes a good stag-do choice.