Accommodation & places to visit in Brussels

Brussels, located in the heart of Belgium, is that country's capital city as well as the working capital of the European Economic Union and headquarters for NATO. Founded more than 1,000 years ago, Brussels combines history and art with modern technology and cutting edge cuisine and entertainment. The city of more than 1.2 million residents offers something for most every taste and interest.

  • When to visit
    There's no bad time to visit Brussels. Summer (June - August) can be crowded as this is when schools are out for holiday around Europe and the United States. This is also the most expensive time to visit. The shoulder seasons (April, May, September and October) offer more comfortable temperatures, lower prices and fewer crowds.
    Visiting during the winter season isn't to be dismissed, however. Brussels looks charming with a light dusting of snow and the lights, store windows and other decorations during the holiday season give the city a magical air.
  • Weather
    Brussels has four, full seasons. While summer temperatures can sometimes top 80 degrees (Fahrenheit), winter brings snow and occasional freezing temperatures. A little snow is to be expected in winter, but Brussels doesn't usually get more than a light covering. Rain is possible year-round, but showers generally don't last for very long. Below are some of the average high and low temperatures as well as the average precipitation in the city:
    Average high (F/C), average low (F/C), average precipitation:

    • January -- 42/5.6, 33/.07, 3 in.

    • February -- 44/6.4, 33/.07, 2 in.

    • March -- 50/9.9, 37/2.9, 3 in.

    • April -- 56/13.1, 41/4.8, 2 in.

    • May -- 64/17.7, 48/8.9, 3 in.

    • June -- 68/20, 53/11.5, 3 in.

    • July -- 72/22.4, 57/13.6, 3 in.

    • August -- 73/22.5, 56/13.1, 3 in.

    • September -- 66/18.7, 51/10.8, 2 in.

    • October -- 58/14.4, 46/7.6, 3 in.

    • November -- 48/8.9, 39/3.7, 3 in.

    • December -- 44/6.4, 35/1.9, 3 in.

    Noteworthy events include the Iris Festival in May, the National Day celebration on July 21 and the Winter Wonders Festival in December.
  • To Do
    You can tour one of Brussels many breweries, such as the Cantillon Brewery; sit in on a working session of the European Union Parliament; attend one of the many cultural events popular in the city; and rent a bike and explore the many nooks and alleyways of Brussels.
  • To See
    There are plenty of attractions for all ages and interests in Brussels. The most popular attraction is the Grand Place, a collection of 300-year-old, gilded buildings. The square is also home to a number of cafes and summer open-air concerts. Other must-see's include the Mannekin Pis, the iconic bronze statue of the little boy urinating in a fountain; the Atomium, the atom-shaped structure that was the symbol of the 1958 World's Fair; and mini-Europe, scale models of some of the continent's most popular structures.
    Of course, Brussels has its share of museums, too. Chief among these are Royal Museum of Fine Art, the Royal Historical Museum, the Horta Museum (which features decorative art from the Art Nouveau period) and the Magritte Museum.
  • Tips & Recommendations

    • French and Dutch Flemish are both official languages in Belgium. However, English is also widely spoken and understood.

    • Belgium is known for its delicious, tiny mussels, its thin "frites" (French fries) served with creamy mayonnaise, its luxurious chocolates and its beer.

    • Lunch is typically served around 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and dinner is served around 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The midday meal is generally the largest of the day in Belgium.

    • When in Belgium, shop for handcrafted lace items, chocolate and linens.

    • Most shops are closed on Sunday in Brussels. Some are also closed on Monday.

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