Brussels – The appetite to explore comes with eating…
Brussels definitely has a lot to offer – from historical architecture that mixes with modern design and a comics paradise, to unique Belgian delicacies in various forms.
This Belgian metropolis is the perfect destination for a European city break. And it has one big advantage, which is that you can visit a lot of places there for free.
Things to See and Do:
- Have a picnic on the grass in the Parc du Cinquantenaire (Jubelpark) and take in the beauty of the Palais du Cinquantenaire and the Arc de Triomphe. And when you get bored, you can visit one of the museums.
- Visit the symbol of Brussels, the Brussels Atomium. This steel work reaches a height of 102 metres, and there you will find various exhibitions, a restaurant, and a 360° panorama of the highest of the spheres. Ticket price for adults is EUR16.
- Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate... high-quality chocolate is what comes to mind when you think of Belgium. It is in Belgium where you can enjoy chocolate in several forms, be it pralines, truffles, ganache, or traditional chocolate bars. And what you don’t have the time to taste, you can take with you as a souvenir.
- Follow the trail of comics, or the so-called Comic Book (Strip) Route. The street art pays tribute to famous local comic book characters and authors. You can find more than 50 objects all over the city.
- Visit the European Parliament building, which also houses The Parlamentarium, an interactive museum which takes you to the core of the European Union and European politics.
Not only families with children may visit Mini-Europe with its miniature reproductions (1:25) of buildings and landmarks from all over Europe.
Our Tip: If you are going to visit the Atomium as well, it is worth buying a combined ticket, which also gives you access to the Design Museum Brussels. Combined ticket price for adults is EUR29.
An iconic place and at the same time one of the most beautiful squares in Europe listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is the Grand Place (Grote Markt): at Christmas it comes alive with Christmas markets, while in the summer it is full of flowers, and in the evenings with light and music shows. In short, this square is always charming!
Brussels offers many other interesting places, such as the Notre Dame du Sablon church, the Manneken Pis peeing statues, and the Palais Royal.
Throughout the year, many interesting festivals take place there, which attract a wide range of people. In March, the city lives and breathes chocolate (Brussels Chocolate fair), in August flowers (Tapis du Fleur – Flower Carpet), in September beer (Belgian Beer Weekend) and comics (Comic Strip Festival Weekend), and, finally, there are Christmas markets from the end of November to the beginning of January.
Brussels weather is very similar to Czech weather, so it is a suitable destination throughout the year. Although the only thing which slightly differs from the weather in the Czech Republic are milder winters due to the proximity of the sea (Brussels is located about 100km from the sea). Temperatures are low in winter, but snow or sub-freezing temperatures are rare.
The best time of year to visit Brussels is spring and autumn, when the temperatures are very pleasant and suitable for exploring the city. Blooming flowers in spring or during an Indian summer in autumn add even more charm to the city.
If you go to Brussels during the summer, you won’t regret it either. As already mentioned, the sea is not far.
From Prague to Brussels by a direct flight in 90 minutes, regardless of which of the two airports you land at. Brussels has two airports, the main one near the centre of Brussels-Zaventem (BRU) and then one further away, Charleroi (CRL), about 60 kilometres from the city centre.
Train - Brussels Airport Train rides to the centre every 10 minutes. One-way ticket price is €9. The ride takes approximately 16 minutes.
Taxi – With Brussels Airport Taxi, a ride from the airport to the centre costs around €45.
Bus – Lines 272 and 471 run on the route between the airport and the centre. Line 272 takes approximately 30 minutes due to multiple stops. Line 471 only approx. 18 minutes. A one-way ticket costs €3.
Flibco operates a shuttle bus that runs from the airport to the centre every half hour. The journey takes an hour, and a one-way ticket costs €17.
You can use the same ticket for all types of public transport. The price of a one-way ticket for 60 minutes is €2.10. You can also buy a one-day ticket for €7.50.
Brussels has recently introduced public transport for people under 25 for FREE.
Metro – The metro in Brussels consists of six lines. Of these, four lines are standard metro lines and two of them, the so-called pre-metra, are underground trams which use underground tunnels used by metro trains.
Tram – The tram system in Brussels is one of the largest in the world. A total of 17 lines provide transport throughout the city.
Bus – There are 50 bus lines operating across the city.
Taxi – You can use companies such as Taxi Verts, Taxis Bleus, and Autolux.
You can also use the UBER application there.
If you want to stay in the very centre of the city, then Brussels City Centre is the best choice for you.
Thanks to its central location, this district is easily accessible both by metro and by car. And it offers all kinds of accommodation from luxury hotels to various inns.
The Sablon area is suitable for those who want to enjoy a bit of peace away from the city centre, while still being close to the main action.
There are two universities in Ixelles, so the atmosphere there is very young and lively, famous for its nightlife.
Other popular areas of the city include the European Quarter and Saint Gilles.