Dreaming of life in Belgium? As the capital of Belgium and Europe, it is one of the most international cities in the world. Known for its chocolate, waffles and 800 different types of beer, Brussels is a great choice of location.
Life in Brussels
You’ll find and excellent variety of restaurants, ethnic food shops and markets. There’s also plenty of parks and green open spaces for cycling and walking, and art galleries and museums to explore.
Winters in Brussels largely involve indoor activities. However, in the summer, it’s easy to make the most of the good weather! Strolls through Grand Place, drinks on bar terraces and a daily flower market provide plenty of excitement throughout the sunny season.
It’s also a good place to learn a new language, as French and Dutch are widely spoken throughout the capital.
Where to go, what to see
Brussels’ most iconic statue is the Manneken Pis, a 17th century bronze statue that can be found on a fountain on the corner of Rue de L’Etuve. The 61cm tall statue is a representation of the Belgian humour and gets dressed in fancy costumes for special occasions.
The Grand Place is the main attraction is Brussels. The cobbled square is a great place to watch the world go by and admire the elegant guildhalls that surround it. There is a daily flower market throughout March to October, and every two years (during August) the square is decorated with a charming flower carpet, depicting a theme.
An interesting attraction is the ‘Mini-Europe’ miniature park, located in Bruparck. Here you’ll find a wide range of famous European monuments. From the 4m tall chiming Big Ben, to the mini Grand Place, to the 13m high Eiffel Tower (taller than a 3-storey building!) there is plenty to see and interact with. They even give you a free guidebook, which is full of fascinating facts.
Yearly Events/ Festivals
May – Iris Day – The Capital’s annual festival of celebration
May – Festival of Europe – Activities in and around the institutions of the EU
(Every 2 years) May – Zinneke Parade – A colourful, multicultural parade through the centre of Brussels
June – July – Ommegang – Historical spectacle re-staging the arrival of Charles V into Brussels
August – Carpet of flowers – On Grand-Place (every 2 years)
September – Belgian beer weekend – Beer festival on Grand-Place
Thinking of taking a trip to Brussels, or want to spend some time there before moving?
Hotels right next to the square are usually inexpensive, depending on the season. A personal favourite of mine is the Mozart hotel, which is a stunning 3-star hotel close to the square with a quirky Moroccan styled interior.
During the day, there is plenty to see (as listed above), and during the evening there is a great variety of restaurants, bars, and clubs, for the old and young, the gay and the straight.