Since last year, I have been spending at least one night a week in Brussels; before that I already spent quite some time in Brussels. I love Brussels – it is probably the only true ‘city’ in the BeNeLux. Yes, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Luxemburg and Utrecht are amazing, but none of these ‘villages’ compare to the size and roughness of Brussels. And that often puts people off from visiting Brussels – they don’t ‘feel’ the city or think it’s difficult to navigate. So here are my favorite places in Brussels.
Brussels – my favorite places to stay
- I love The Hotel in Brussels. It (especially the rooms with the best views) is a bit more expensive than the hotels I would normally visit, but the views are just stunning (see the header image).
- When flying early the next morning I usually stay at the hotels at Place Charles Rogier (either the Crown Place Brussels – La Palace or the Hilton Brussels City, the hotels I used for my little hotel birthday experiment), near Brussels North Station. Although the neighborhood near the Brussels North Station probably isn’t the nicest neighborhood around, I have never encountered any issues. Brussels North Station is a 10-minute train connection away from Brussels Airport and saves you the bus transfers from the airport and/or overpriced hotels near the airport.
- The Pantone Hotel is full of references to the Pantone color palets. From the colors in the rooms
- The Vintage Hotel is a hotel … well … with vintage gear. They even have an airstream caravan room.
Brussels – my favorite places to eat
People in Brussels love to go out for dinner, so make sure to reserve in advance.
Brussels – my favorite places to go out for a drink
- Winery is an amazing wine bar and has some great bites (charcuterie).
- Le Wine Bar des Marolles has great food, even better wine.
Brussels – my favorite things to do
- View from Place Poelaert. Place Poelaert has a great view over the city. In the summertime, there is even a small bar where you can get some drinks.
- Belgian Comic Strip Center has original sketches from world-famous cartoon artists and shows the developments of the comics profession/art.
- Flea markets. There are plenty of amazing flea markets in Bruxelles, but make sure to visit the Place du Jeu de Balle flea market, which is known throughout the world. Not only is it the place where the famous Tintin bought a model of the tall ship “La Lincorne” in Hergé’s The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), but also a true paradise for antiques and vintage hunters.
Brussels – my favorite places to get some work done
- I often get some work done at Thalys Lounge near Brussels Midi train station. If you’re a Thalys Gold or Platinum member, there is free access and free access to coffee, water and usually some bites. There is really nothing too special to it, but I have noticed I usually get a lot of stuff done while working from here. It is also quite a nice base as the many train-, bus-, and tram connections make that you can reach any part of the city fast.
Brussels – my favorite places to go out for a run
- When I’m staying in the city center, I try combining Parc de Bruxelles and Parc du Cinquantenaire to create a large loop in the city (maybe even doing an extra round in the parks).