Those looking for a getaway without paying the high hotel costs associated with visiting Europe at the height of tourist season might want to consider booking a stay in Brussels. After business-people frequenting the capital of Belgium and the European Union vacate the city, you can find a range of hotels that offer weekend rates during the weekdays.
Using Brussels as a base, you can then take short day trips via car, boat or train to other cities and regions in Belgium including Antwerp, Bruges, Gent and Mechelen. Also, consider touring nearby countries since Brussels is only an hour from Paris and Luxemburg and 2 to 2 ½ hours from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and London.
During your stay be sure though to spend some time in Brussels, a major city that retains the intimate feeling of a historic town. Within a day, you’ll be surprised at how easily you can navigate the cobblestones that wind their way through museums, shops, parks and cafes.
While in Brussels be sure to savor their unique culinary delights. Brusselicious 2012, a year-long festival commemorating food and drink, affords a gourmet touch to cultural events while offering a range of unique demos, workshops, dinners in the sky and on a tram, and other singular delights that feature Belgium cuisine. Chocolate connoisseurs can sample chocolates from a range of world class chocolatiers including Pierre Macolini, Wittamer, Laurent Gerbaud, Mary and Neuhaus.
Don’t forget the joys of a simple stroll around the city’s cobblestone streets. Go window shopping along the glass covered Galeries Saint-Hubert. Walk up the Mont des Arts and take in the many museums especially the Museum of Ancient Art, home to the Flemish masters. Venture into the Romanesque crypt located inside the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula. Snack on some Belgium Fries while ambling through the Park of Brussels. Be sure to stop and snap a panoramic view of the city from the Palais de Justice. Finally, no trip to Brussels can be complete without an iconic photograph of Manneken Pis, a 17th century bronze statuette situated at the Grand Place that serves as a folkloric symbol of Brussels’ irreverent spirit. In the spirit of equality, a female statuette Jeanneke Pis erected in 1987 sits on the east side of Impasse de la Fidélité / Getrouwheidsgang (Fidelity Alley).
Pick up the Brussels Card and any additional tourist information from any of the local tourist information centers. This card comes in 24, 48 or 72 hour increments and provides free entry to over 30 museums, unlimited travel on public transportations, discounts on other tourist attractions and organized tours, discounts in shops, restaurants and bars, and a free city map.
For additional information on your getaway, check out the websites for Flanders.
This Outpost is Sponsored By Visit Flanders