Culture, going out and good food
Day 1: Saturday
As many comic strips and beers as you can handle!
Brussels and comic strips go hand in hand.
> Comic Strip Trail
Discovering Brussels in pictures and speech bubbles is fun! For your first walk in the Belgian capital, pick out part of the Comic Strip trail from “Bruxelles, my guidebook, my plan”. You can admire huge murals depicting cartoon characters in streets, squares and bars, and at the same time enjoy the charming historic city centre. And don’t forget the rebellious, jolly and unusual Brussels spirit in Tintin’s mischievous smile
> Belgian Comic Strip Centre
Would you like to know all about Tintin, the Smurfs and other cartoon heros? Then head for the Belgian Strip Cartoons Centre. And that’s not all, for the centre is housed in a gem of a building in Art Nouveau style () designed by famous architect and pioneer of the style, Victor Horta.
> Beer delirium
In Brussels, beer is as popular as strip cartoons (). And the Delirium Café is the ideal place to convince yourself of this! The huge range of top-quality beers stocked here (more than 2,009!) will surprise you and will pull you in to the great local ambiance
> Already a taste for travel
If your visit to the magnificent mediaeval The Grand-Place in Brussels (BRUXELLES) has made you hungry, lunch at the “Cercle des Voyageurs” (“Travellers’ Circle”) is what you need. In addition to good value delicious food, this establishment regularly organises cultural events, film screenings and conferences.
Around Brussels on a bike
Cyclocity the city’s bicycle hire scheme has ranks of hire bicycles every 300m around the city. It’s an ideal way to travel from the city centre to the European district, less than half-an-hour away by bike! The huge glass buildings housing the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (UE PARLEMENT), the EUROPEAN COMMISSION (BRUXELLES) and the European Council are grouped together just 1.5km from the historic centre., and form a dramatic stylistic contrast with the rest of the city. The Leopold Park behind the European Parliament is a reminder that Brussels has nearly 28m² of green space per inhabitant. Enjoy a walk through the park to the Place Jourdan where you can buy freshly-cooked chips, reputedly the best in the city, at Chez Antoine.
Make way for the party!
Dinner at the “Sterkerlapatte” restaurant, which specialises in traditional Brussels food, will set you up for a night on the town in Brussels! To make a selection from the huge number of venues available, have a look at the
Day 2: Sunday
> The Marolles and its flea market
Did you get back at a reasonable hour last night? Then enjoy a morning discovering the Marolles. This working-class district has preserved the true soul of Brussels, and you may well hear the local dialects spoken in the streets here, even though it is said they are dying out. On the Place du Jeu de Balle in the Marolles District (BRUXELLES), you’ll find the flea market, a potential real treasure-trove for furniture, clothes, crockery, old telephones, records and books , some from the distant past, all of which are appreciated by today’s inhabitants.
If you’re a bit hungover, then just make your way straight to the designer restaurant “Bla@Bla&Gallery” to recover. Located in a former biscuit factory, it serves a wide variety of lunch dishes from 11am to 3.30pm.
> Discover and Eat in Trendy Brussels!
For the last stop in your Brussels weekend, head for the SAINT-GERY HALLS (BRUXELLES). This former covered market in the historic centre has been converted to an exhibition hall which hosts a wide range of interesting temporary shows. Just opposite the Halles, you can have a drink or a light meal at the Roi des Belges on one of the city’s trendiest terraces, which seamlessly blends contemporary and old-fashioned styles.
These two recommended hotels are only a twenty-minute train journey from the airport: the Ibis Hotel is close to Brussels-Central station and the St Nicolas is just five minutes’ more walk further on.
IBIS BRUSSELS OFF GRAND PLACE (BRUXELLES)
Located at the heart of the historic city centre, reasonably-priced and comfortable, this hotel is an ideal choice for young people! The hotel offers 24 rooms service of drinks and food and its restaurant serves breakfast from 4am: which will suit night-owls or early risers!
The Saint Nicolas Hotel (BRUXELLES)
A few steps from the The Grand-Place in Brussels (BRUXELLES), the Hotel Saint Nicolas offers 60 renovated, spacious guest rooms, each with en-suite bathroom, television and telephone.