Before it became the administrative seat for both the European Union and NATO, Brussels’ power lay in the influential tradesmen’s guilds that built their guildhalls along all four sides of the city’s Grand Place. A breathtaking square of medieval buildings in pastel tones, the Place is dominated by the airy spire of the Town Hall, and if you’re really lucky, its pavement may be overlaid with the famous carpet of flowers that occurs once every two years. Continue your tour of old Brussels with a visit to the Royal Palace—yes, Belgium still has an active monarchy —and the Gothic St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral. Next, shift gears completely and ogle the Atomium, a 338 foot representation of a unit cell constructed of pure steel. From there, the Mini-Europe park is nearby and boasts miniaturized models of Europe’s greatest landmarks down to every fine detail. The interactive Parlamentarium museum helps shine a light on just how the many European governments converging in Brussels do their thing, while for lovers of surrealist art, the Magritte Museum within the Royal Museums of Fine Arts is a must-visit.
Sample some of Brussels’ famous chocolate and local waffles at the open air Gare du Midi market or in one of its chocolateries, where pralines and truffles are made like nowhere else in the world. Shop the luxury streets of Boulevard de Waterloo and Rue Antoine Dansaert, or stroll the refined Galeries St. Hubert arcade where the atmosphere is even more heady than the retail opportunities. To satiate those hunger pains, seek out the Place du Chatelaine or the Rue St. Boniface; this is where the locals go when they are craving traditional Belgian dishes like moules frites or are looking to indulge in cuisine from around the world. Be sure to quaff your thirst with a locally-brewed Iambic or the intriguingly flavored Kriek—or cherry—beer. Brussels’ sophistication truly shines at night when theatres such as the BOZAR open their doors for a wide selection of programming including dance and the National Orchestra of Belgium. A tribute to Art Nouveau design, the theatre and its exhibition halls can also be toured during the day.
Take the time to explore Brussels and reap the rewards of its distinctive Belgian heritage mixed with worldly sensibilities, when you choose one of our hotels in Brussels. With our sterling service, stylishly appointed rooms, and full suite of business amenities, we take the headache out of planning your stay. Book with IHG today and prepare for the experience of a lifetime.
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