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Brussels, yours to discover!

Brussels, yours to discover!

Step out of your hotel in Brussels and you’ll find things to see and places to go without even jumping on a tram or bus. Europe’s capital city is small and compact, so whether it’s business or pleasure, almost everything is right on your doorstep.

The first thing you’ll notice is the diversity. Shops, cafes, offices and museums live side by side on the same cobbled street. It’s an exciting mix that gives the place its historical charm and modern buzz. 
Why is Brussels so diverse? It’s because the city is a collection of villages – all with their own ambience and character.

Your European village

A great way to see the city is to take one of the promenades from the official tourism guide. The Designers Trail, for example, takes you past Dansaert’s trendy boutiques and studios.

Or set out from the Cinquantenaire and visit the European institutional quarter – striding from the imperial architecture of the past to a glass-and-steel future. Under the shadows of the European institutions lies the Art Nouveau area. Although traces of this artistic heritage can be found all over the city, fans won’t want to miss the facades and Victor Horta museum.

No-one even thinks of leaving Brussels before walking through the historical part of the city. And with good reason! Its icon is the Grand’Place market square – unsurprisingly proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its stunning filigree stonework and gilded facades.

There’s more close by: a myriad of tiny ancient cobbled streets with restaurants, boutiques and cafes; the Galleries St Hubert with stone arcade and luxury shops; and the St Michel and Gudule Cathedral where royalty marries. Step back in time with a Classical walk in ancient Brussels. Night or day, it’s like theatre; only real.

Green capital of the EU

On many of these short walks you can pause in parks and gardens. Brussels is Europe’s most leafy capital. Draw inspiration from the broad avenues of Brussels’ Park and Leopold Park; or stroll in the hilly Woluwe Park with its sweeping, English landscape and ponds. If you’re shopping for antiques, take the time to enjoy the gardens of the Petit Sablon – a quaint gem sculptured in the centre of town.

If you want to go for the real thing, take a stroll or jog in the 450-acre wood (Bois de la Cambre), easily accessible from the fashionable Louise shopping area. This wood was laid out for the king’s pleasure and marks the beginning of the magnificent Foret de Soignes beech forest that brings softness and fresh air to the south side of the city. 

Art de vivre

"Zinneke": the mixture of cultures that makes Brussels’ lifestyle so unique. Not just in the food and specialities – although the city’s restaurants serve some of the world’s best food and taverns will offer you an amazing choice of local beers – but everywhere you choose to go.

You can feel the art de vivre in the quality of Belgian chocolate pralines and experience it in the street life, markets and terraces. Brusselers are brought up to appreciate art de vivre, and take the time to enjoy it.

Brussels works

Of course, there is a business side to Brussels. Life is not all play. The city is capital of a great trading nation, Belgium.

The European institutions and their attendant services are a rock on which the modern city has laid its foundations for prosperity. They have also ensured that Brussels developed world-class infrastructure, services and support. Excellent communications and transport access have done Europe’s capital city no harm. To the benefit of all, the city functions. Brussels works.

Leading conference city

Brussels hosts more than 55,000 registered meetings, congresses and exhibitions every year. Why Brussels more than any other European city? Because they get world-class infrastructures, a fantastic choice of special venues, and support and ideas from a highly-professional front line. On top of that, Brussels offers great value for money.

Come to Brussels in 2009! Ask Brussels International for more information.

More reasons to come to Brussels in 2009…

If you’re organising a congress, put the brand new Square on top of your list. The 10,000 m² centre (formerly Palais des Congres) will open its doors in 2009, offering meetings of all sizes state-of-the-art facilities in the centre of town.

Next door, the new Magritte museum will open in 2009. An occasion to see Belgian surrealism, the only one of its kind in the world.     

Brussels is home to Tintin, the Smurfs and many other life-long comic strip favourites. In 2009, Brussels will be paying tribute to these heroes with a series of events and festivities right through the year.

Your capital city, your European village

This brochure contains seven trails, each with an illustrated map, that will help you discover all the institutional and cultural “must-sees” of the capital of the European Union as the fancy takes you and at your own pace, in a simple and enjoyable way, accompanied by typical local experiences.







Your contacts in Brussels:

Brussels International – Tourism & Congress
The Brussels Convention & Visitors Bureau
Brussels Info Place (BIP)
Rue Royale 2-4 Koningsstraat, 1000 Brussels
Tel. : +32 2 549 50 50                                                        
Fax : +32 2 549 50 59

Town Hall of Brussels
Grand’Place, 1000 Brussels
Tel. : + 32 2 513 89 40
Fax : +32 2 513 83 20

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