Brussels, An Introduction

Brussels: Capital of Europe. Far from the big city you would imagine, Brussels has kept all its character, refusing to grow wildly like some other European capitals. Sung about by Belgian’s most famous artist Jacques Brel, Brussels is even a bit more than a city, it is a culture, a language and a spirit in itself. At the crossroads of French Belgium and Flemish Belgium – torn apart by local and language disagreements, Brussels stays strong and resists proudly with its tremendous centenary buildings. Strolling along its streets, you can hear all the languages on earth, the perfect mix of people coming here to work, enjoy, visit, or just pass through.

Best value hotels in brussels

flickr image by martin_vmorris

In this unique European mixture of cultures and languages, you will discover more than 600 years of history, between several hotspots here and there in the city. Centre of all the attention, Brussels’ Grand Place, the absolute jewel of architecture of the capital, which has recently been voted the most beautiful square in Europe! The rectangular square measuring more than 110m long and being part of UNESCO World Heritage is surrounded by exquisite architectural masterpieces.

Brussels Grand Place

flickr image by kevgibbo

Not far from there, walking down the Rue de l’Etuve, you will encounter the most famous kid on earth: the Manneken Pis. This very “Marols” term – Marols being known to be the very local Brussels jargon – was designed in 1619, and is now traditionally disguised with many costumes according to several occasions and local festivals.

Walking slowly up the beautiful Rue du Chêne, you will see appearing in the urban horizon a small house with red walls and traditional shape. In the mid summer afternoon, the sun lights up the whole place, and the Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés becomes one of the most relaxed and warm places in the whole city.  Settled there, in this very house, is the Café Novo. Serving excellent local food – unique Carbonnades and more – and basing its tremendous cuisine on the creativity of the chef, the Café Novo offers a perfect lair for chilling out and sipping one of the 8700 different beers of the country.

If you like to sit back and spy on the local life, then choose the terrace to quietly sunbathe. If you are more of a shy bird, choose the backyard and enjoy the freshness of a unique town centre garden decorated with plants and wood, and hidden from the turmoil of the city. At night, candles and gentle glittering lights will attract you like a moth to get you in more of a romantic mood, and listen to some very Belgian music playing in the Café Novo.

Date posted: 25th May, 2011

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