Though small, Brussels packs plenty of culture and holiday fun. With its attractive, historic architecture, centuries of local, European, and world history to discover, and vibrant pub and restaurant scene, it satisfies all curious cultural travellers. Whether visitors are seeking a romantic break in one of Brussels’ most exclusive boutique hotels or a family holiday, this is a city that excites from the word ’go’.
Boutique Hotels in Brussels
The cultural and architectural side of Brussels
Brussels is one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally significant cities. At the Grand Place-Grote Markt, visitors can discover the very heart of Brussels. Boutique hotels here are a stone’s throw from landmarks such as the Town Hall and its imposing tower, and the 15th-century King’s House, a museum focusing on Brussels. For another example of the ornate, masterful architecture that makes the city famous, travellers will want to visit and snap some photos of the Maison Saint-Cyr by architect Gustave Strauven.
Other sights across the Belgian capital
Brussels features many other fascinating landmarks big and small, including famous Manneken Pis. Close to the Grand Place, this statue of a child urinating into a pond captures the cheeky side of Brussels. Meanwhile, the Atomium, which dates from the 1958 World’s Fair, captures the city’s scientific and innovative spirit. The striking atom-shaped structure houses exhibition spaces, an observation deck, and a restaurant. There’s also the 19th-century Bourse, or stock exchange, a stunning neoclassical-style construction and a common meeting point, and Mini-Europe, a park with miniature recreations of landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben.
Staying in and heading out in Brussels
One of the true pleasures of boutique hotels in Brussels is that they each capture a part of Brussels’ personality, whether they’re set in a quirky, arty abode or a traditional Belgian home. Central boutique hotels in Brussels place its visitors close to the city’s great pubs, which all serve up Belgium’s famously superb beers, such as Duvel and Rodenbach, a Flemish red. The city’s many restaurants draw crowds wanting to dig into tasty moules frites (mussels with fries) for dinner or Belgian waffles for an indulgent breakfast. Spicy speculaas biscuits are particular to the region, and make excellent gifts for loved ones back home.
European history and culture
For guests interested in getting a close look at the workings of the EU, Brussels is ideal. The European Parliament offers free tours and usually doesn’t need prior booking, though visitors should check opening hours and availability to be sure. Travellers to Brussels can also see the impressive European Council and European Commission buildings in the east of the city around the attractive Leopold Quarter. Visitors will want to take time to explore this beautiful old part of the city. It was one of the most prestigious residential quarters before becoming a hub for the powers of the EU.