Brussels is an amazing city. Delicious food. Stunning architecture. Endless shopping opportunities. Incredible art. Relaxing parks. Not to mention it boasts a unique charm that makes it a sexy and romantic capital.
I love Brussels for all the above and more. And I am intrigued that only now it is becoming a trendy weekend destination. Granted, it is a relatively small city, but it has lots to offer. Here are 10 unique things that in my opinion, any first time visitor should try to experience while in Brussels
Indulge yourself in waffles, chocolate and cookies
Brussels has more chocolate factories than any other city on earth. And waffles have been the food of choice since the Middle Ages. Have no doubt, it’s a foodie heaven!
Any quick walk around the city center can turn into a tasting marathon. Sweet and sour waffles. Belgian pralines. And delicious butter cookies that come in incredibly cute boxes.
Belgian chocolatiers take their craft very seriously. As they do with the decor of their shops. And many of them have a long tradition. However, there’s one mandatory stop. Brussels chocolatier Jean Neuhaus invented the praline over a century ago and his wife invented the ‘ballotin’ – the luxurious, typical packaging for pralines. Their original shop can still be visited in the Galerie de la Reine.
Go on an Art Nouveau tour
Brussels is the capital of Art Nouveau. Apart from hosting an Art Nouveau biennial with doors open events, the magnificent structures can be admired from street level any time. However, certain buildings, including Horta Museum, can be visited throughout the year.
The Musical Instruments Museum is a masterpiece inside-out. It opened at the end of the 19th century, and back then it hosted the luxurious Old England department stores. Nowadays the museum has an extraordinary collection of more than 7000 musical instruments from all over the world (around 1500 are on display)....
Sleep Well youth hostel is located in the heart of Brussels, in a modern and welcoming building. It offers 240 beds and a wide-range of first class services. The building and rooms are totally suited for visitors with reduced mobility. There is a restaurant, bar, terrace, meeting rooms and relaxation areas, guided tours, bike hire, a Tourist Info Point, cultural events, a "tailored" welcome for all and special rates for groups. Sleep Well also runs activities that help promote exchanges and encourage people to meet others (games, music, library, karaoke, etc.).
MUCH MORE THAN A PLACE TO STAY FOR THE NIGHT!
Sponsorships, participation in social, educational and cultural events are an integral part of the hostel's day-to-day activities. By staying at the hostel, every visitor contribute (or contribued) to the following projects: « Ethiopia Mobility Cylce » project (Initiated by UNICEF and supported by the Brussels and the Abeba/Entoto Rotary Club), the creation of a youth SOS scheme (SOS Jeunes), the restoration of the Abbaye de Brogne (Work Training Enterprise, "les ateliers de Pontaury"), the handling of training courses organised by the non-profit FOR.e.t. association (qualifying training for housekeeping staff and kitchen staff),...
European Opera Days ¦ Venez savourez le génie de Giuseppe Verdi et de Richard Wagner à l’occasion de leur bicentenaire lors de la Journée européenne de l’Opéra le 12 mai prochain !...
Masterclass Chœurs de la Monnaie Assistez à un moment rare, une répétition publique du Chœur de la Monnaie ! Découvrez nos choristes, observez comment se tisse une relation enter un chœur et son chef, comment des voix s’emparent d’un rôle pour mieux vous faire vibrer !
FR & NL Durée : 60’ 13:00 Salle Malibran
Chantons Verdi ! Martino Faggiani et le chœur de la Monnaie vous donnent rendez-vous pour entonnez ensemble différents airs de Verdi! Une expérience unique, un partage d’émotions…
FR & NL Durée : 45’ 14:30 Salle Malibran
Concert Richard Wagner, Wesendonck-Lieder (1857-1858) (arrangement pour soprano et quatuor à cordes) Giuseppe Verdi, Quartetto per archi in mi minore (1873)
Quatuor Malibran (Tatiana Samouil, Emilie Belaud, Tony Nys, Justus Grimm) Tineke Van Ingelgem, soprano
Durée : 50’ 16:00 Salle Malibran
FILMS ET PROJECTIONS
2 Œuvres, 2 productions Venez voir ou revoir, découvrir ou savourer Parsifal de Wagner ou Macbeth de Verdi, deux productions phares des dernières saisons de la Monnaie !
PARSIFAL Richard Wagner (février 2011) - Mise en scène : Roméo Castellucci - Direction musicale : Hartmut Haenchen
MACBETH Giuseppe Verdi (juin 2010) - Mise en scène : Krzysztof Warlikowski - Direction musicale : Paul Daniel
Projections avec sous-titrages en français et néerlandais Parsifal 13:00 Mabeth 18:00 Studio 1
Dustin Hoffman, Quartet, 2013 Découvrez en avant-première belge le premier film de Dustin Hoffman, Quartet ! Dans la campagne anglaise, une maison de retraite s’apprête à accueillir comme nouvelle pensionnaire une ancienne diva connue de tous ! Et dire que la maison compte déjà en ses murs trois autres anciens chanteurs lyriques. Que se passera-t-il lorsque tout ce beau monde sera à nouveau réunit ? Les rivalités anciennes renaîtront-elles de leurs cendres ou au contraire, l’âge aura-t-il assagi ces pensionnaires bien sages ?
En Anglais avec sous-titrage en anglais Durée : 98’ 20:30 Galeries Cinema Nombre de places limité - réservation obligatoire au desk d'accueil (jusqu' 20h)
RENCONTRE ET CONFERENCE
José van Dam, Verdi & Wagner José Van Dam a chanté plus d’un opéra de Verdi ou de Wagner sur la scène de la Monnaie… Il en parle et évoque ses souvenirs au cours d’une conversation menée par Camille de Ryck. Une occasion d’entendre autrement l’une des voix majeure du chant lyrique !
Durée : 60’ 18:30 Salle Malibran
Wagner et l'esthétique de théâtre En créant le théâtre de Bayreuth, sorte de temple dédié à sa musique Wagner apporte des changements révolutionnaires dans l’architecture des théâtres d’opéra. Venez en apprendre davantage sur ce lien entre architecture et opéra face à la maquette du théâtre baroque de Bayreuth et de projetions du théâtre de Wagner à Bayreuth.
Durée : 30’ 15:00 - 15:30 NL Espace muséal
VISITES GUIDÉES Suivez nos guides dans les couloirs du théâtre : hall d’entrée, escaliers d’honneur, Grand Foyer, Grande Salle n’auront plus aucun secret pour vous !
Durée : 45’ A partir de 17h, départ toutes les 15’, en français et en néerlandais Hall d’entrée du théâtre
VERDI & WAGNER FOR FAMILIES !
Ateliers familles Au cours d’ateliers ludiques destinés aux enfants (6-12 ans), partez à la découverte de nos deux super héros !
Durée : 60’ 13:00, 14:15, 16:00 FR Alechinsky, Hall d’entrée des Ateliers de la Monnaie
Surprise pour les familles Chut… nous n’en dirons pas plus…
Durée : 60’ 17:15 NL & FR Alechinsky, Hall d’entrée des Ateliers de la Monnaie
Du côté des gourmands Ils portaient tous deux la barbe… Dégustez la barbaverdi ou la barbawagner en sucre rouge ou bleu sous le péristyle du théâtre.
VERDI & WAGNER BY POST À l’occasion du bicentenaire de Richard Wagner et de Giuseppe Verdi, la Poste édite une série limitée de 5 timbres illustrant des productions de certaines de leurs opéras. Retrouvez en timbre Parsifal dans la mise en scène de Roméo Castellucci ou Macbeth dans celle de Krzysztof Warlikowski. Profitez de la prévente officielle du 12 mai pour acquérir ces timbres précieux en avant première !
If you’re looking to take a break from your everyday life and retreat in a fairytale world, there’s probably no better place than La Balade des Gnomes, near the picturesque town of Durbuy, Belgium. Featuring ten amazingly-decorated bedrooms and a special suite designed as a Trojan cow, this place is certainly unique.
Formerly an ordinary Belgian farmhouse, La Balade des Gnomes was transformed into a magical tourist resort by architect owner Dominic Noel. Inspired by fantasy settings, ancient Greek history, science fiction and medieval castles, the resourceful Mr. Noel managed to create his incredible hotel exclusively out of natural materials like wood, stone and cob (mud mixed with lime and straw). “The hotel was created by people who have a strong interest in nature,” the owner says, but anyone with a rich imagination would certainly appreciate the unworldly design and decorations of this place. The names of the rooms do a good job of describing what you can expect to see when you walk through the door: The Legend of Trolls seems taken straight out of the Lord of the Rings, In a Moon Neighborhood takes you to a distant future where humans can spend their vacation in a hotel on the Moon, while Macquarie Island boasts a marine decor complete with a boat-shaped bed.
If you've been to Belgium, chances are you've spent time in Brussels but there are plenty of other Belgian cities worth adding to your itinerary. Places like Bruges and Antwerp in the Flemish-speaking northern region (Flanders) and Liege and Namur in the French-speaking southern region (Wallonia). And since many cities are just an hour from Brussels by train, you can see a lot in a short amount of time. Here are five our favorite places in Belgium... beyond Brussels...
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"Couch surfing isn't just a means of accommodation; it is an entirely new way to travel. You get to see the world through local residents, not hotel concierges or guidebooks. But what is most profound about the whole experience is the trust that naturally exists."
Get to know people around the world, find out about the area where they live and exchange homes with them when you travel. You stay at their place while they stay in yours. It's simple, affordable and friendly.
Partez à la découverte de logements fantastiques et uniques, dans 192 pays. Avec plus de 10 millions de nuitées réservées à travers le monde, Airbnb est le leader mondial du marché de la location de vacances.
Go and find a fantastic and unique place to stay for your vacations and holidays in 192 countries.
Europe’s largest low cost airline, Ryanair, will launch services from Charleroi in Belgium to the Montenegrin capital starting June 20. Maria Macken, Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Manager for the UK, Ireland and Cyprus, announced the new service this afternoon at a press conference in Budva. The Ryanair flights will operate twice per week, every Monday and Thursday. Tickets are to go on sale tomorrow on the airline’s website. Montenegro marks Ryanair’s 29th country of operation. Speaking at the conference Ms. Macken said, “This year we are introducing only one service due to capacity restrictions. However, from next year we plan to introduce flights from London, Barcelona, Stockholm and Milan to Tivat”. The initial service from Podgorica is set to operate throughout the year, with Ryanair planning to handle some 10.000 passengers on the route in its first year.
Ryanair originally made plans to launch services to Montenegro last summer. In March 2012, the Montenegrin government said it had negotiated with Ryanair to launch flights to Podgorica from three cities in June. However, the announcement was followed by an angry reaction from the low cost airline, unhappy that details of the agreement were made public. It then decided not to sign the agreement with the Montenegrin government citing expensive fees at Podgorica Airport as its main motive for staying away. Tour operators blamed the government, claiming it purposely sabotaged the negotiating process to protect Montenegro Airlines.
However, in January this year the government launched fresh talks with Ryanair, saying it had made it its main priority to bring low cost carriers to the country. Despite its economy heavily relying on tourism, Montenegro is currently not served by a single low cost airline. Within the former Yugoslavia, Ryanair only operates services to Croatia. Earlier this month it opened its first base in the country, in Zadar.
While Belgium might be a relatively small country which traditionally has not been seen as an economic powerhouse by the rest of Europe, its capital Brussels has become in recent years one of the most important political centres in the world. With various European Union headquarters situated here, Brussels could be considered to be the most important city politically in Europe, although this may be a controversial view. It is situated between two very distinct cultures, those of the Romance countries (such as France and Spain) and more Germanic countries to the north, giving it a unique cultural identity. Despite these factors, Brussels has always maintained a strong sense of history, and continues to be one of the most fascinating cities to visit, attracting millions of tourists every year.
Use Simply Hotels to search and compare prices on Hotels Near Brussels Train Station.
Popular Tourist Destinations and Landmarks in Brussels
No trip to Brussels would be complete without a visit to the Grand Place, which is the historical centre of the city and home to some of the most beautiful cities it has to offer. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is the most popular destination for visitors to the city, as it is simply stunning whenever you come to see it. The Town Hall and the Maison du Roi (literally, The King's House) are the two most distinctive landmarks in the square and provide the perfect backdrop for some of the displays that are frequently held here.
Museums and Government Buildings and Shopping in Brussels
Brussels is also home to several excellent museums, particularly focusing on art from Belgium and around the world. The Royal Museum of Art and History is a key museum with several collections exhibiting works and artefacts from various civilizations, while the Belgian Museum of Fine Arts is well worth a visit to the see some of the most important Belgian art ever produced. Since the European Union started locating much of its key buildings in Brussels, many tourists have come to see the important seats of power that are proudly held in the city, although getting to see them properly isn't necessarily easy. The European Parliament is open to visitors, although this depends greatly on the day that you're visiting, while the European Council and European Commission do not offer guided tours, only group presentations. This shouldn't deter you from coming to see these buildings if you have a strong interest in politics, but don't abandon the other amazing sights of Belgium in favour of these relatively modern landmarks. It's also worth visiting some of the fantastic markets throughout the city, while shopping in general is excellent in Brussels, especially if you're looking for something a little different.
Belgian Culture: Eating and Drinking in Brussels
Belgian culture is heavily centred upon food and drink, and it is for this reason that many tourists visit the city of Brussels in the first place. There are hundreds of fantastic restaurants, ranging from world-class fine dining to street vendors selling hot snacks. Whatever you're looking for, and no matter what your budget, Brussels will be able to cater to your every need. Brussels is famous for serving fantastic mussels and also decadent chocolate, both of which are available in abundance at most good restaurants. Belgium is also the Beer capital of the world and attracts many beer lovers due to its huge range of drink. You'll taste beer that's better than anything you've tried before, in pubs that are more homely and welcoming than anything you've ever experienced, so if you're even slightly interested in beer, make some time in your schedule to relax with a few drinks in an authentic Belgian pub.
Hotels Near Brussels Train Station
Finding accommodation in Brussels is easy thanks to the many different options you can choose from, such as luxury 5 star hotels, budget hotels, B&B's, Hotels Near Brussels Train Station, hostels holiday lets and apartments and many more.
It really doesn't matter why you are travelling to Brussels, perhaps you're just passing on business and need a Brussels airport hotel or you're planning on going for a romantic relaxing spa break, there are Hotels Near Brussels Train Station options for everyone.
If you're used to travelling you'll be aware of the costs of staying in other big cities such as London, Paris or New York. Well staying in Brussels is just as nice however, considerably cheaper than staying in those cities. Hotel accommodation in Brussels include comfy luxury hotels at great value for money, perfect for both leisure and business travellers.
Travellers with a smaller budget may want to stay in the backpackers and hostels dotted around the city. Most Brussels backpackers and hostels offer all the basic amenities and bed & breakfast.
As with all hotels (or any type of accommodation) in every city, there are no booking fees with Simply Hotels. Booking fees are expensive and avoidable. We compare prices of Hotels Near Brussels Train Station and show you how much it would be to book. We will also show you if that company has a booking fee so you can choose the cheapest way to book your hotel or accommodation.
Brussels is often overlooked by people who are looking to see some of the more historical parts of Europe, but that view is changing gradually. The city offers a fantastic cultural experience that is unmatched by any other city and unique in several ways, so it is arguably far more interesting to visit than some of the more traditional tourist hotspots around Europe.
Travel for free or next to nothing? Who’s kidding whom? Is that even possible?
We assure you, it’s very much possible. People do it all the time.
You just have to know how. Check out these 18 ways to travel for free or nothing and then tell us what you think.
Join Volunteer Programs
There are many volunteer organizations that’ll allow you to travel to the country of your choice and pay you for it, besides. Some of them will ask for fee to cover costs, but most are for-profit businesses.
1. Go Wwoofing - The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, wwoof.org offers free lodging and food in exchange for work on a farm. This group has affiliations in 53 countries.
2. Join The Peace Corps - The Peace Corps offers two year travel opportunities to various regions such as Asia, South America and Asia. You can also earn a modest stipend. Anyone can apply, notwithstanding their age.
3. Join The Volunteers For Prosperity - The Volunteers for Prosperity (VfP) offers very short or very long assignments. If you are looking for a short volunteer-travel opportunity, this might be it.
4. Join The United Nations Volunteer Program - As a UN volunteer, you can visit literally any region on the planet, with all travel expenses paid, plus benefit from stipends and grants. The UN usually takes people who are experienced in specific fields.
5. Volunteer As A Fundraiser - If you can commit a significant amount of time, join volunteer organizations as a fundraiser. You will get paid for room and board along with flight expenses. Try local organizations such as the Lions club, Rotary club and Optimist club as well as schools and community organizations. Register At Cultural Exchange Groups. Take advantage of the many cultural exchange groups that are available for travel networking.
6. Couch Surf - Locate couch surfers at your destination and enjoy staying for free at their homes on Check couchsurfing.org. You’ll find the best couch surfers on this site, with safety assured for both host and traveler.
7. Become A Global Freeloader - Another option is to register for free as a Global Freeloader on globalfreeloaders.com. This program is similar to Couch Surfers, but Global Freeloaders have to host guests within 6 months of registering.
8. Join The Servas Group Servas (joomla.servas.org) is a cultural exchange group that’s UN approved and almost 50 years old. It’s a fantastic, proven network of people and places. Members are rigorously interviewed before they’re approved for membership.
9. Join The Hospitality Club - Join the Hospitality Club (hospitalityclub.org), another cultural exchange program that is entirely internet-based. Members are thoroughly investigated including passport checks, online feedback and bank balance check.
Explore Other Cheap Travel Options
10. Become A Group Tour Organizer - If you can strategize trip itineraries for travel groups, you might be able to work as a travel group leader. It’ll be your job to plan every step of the travel, including visas and stay arrangements. For more information, see adventures-abroad.com and adventuresincorporated.com.
11. Become A House Sitter - Advertise your house-sitting services on the following sites: mindmyhouse.com and housecarers.com and also on social networking sites. Can you say no to free accommodation in return for watering the plants and feeding the cat?
12. Join A Boat Crew - If you can contribute your skills on a cruise or yacht as a handyman, steward, cooking staff, entertainer or event manager, you might be able to join a boat crew. Check out yacht or cruise crew opportunities online at royalcaribbean.com or carnival.com.
13. Transport Vehicles - Check with relocation or rental companies if you can drive people’s cars to their new homes. The car owner will pay for the fuel costs and if you can manage accommodation and food, it’s cheap travel.
14. Obtain A Travel Scholarship - Look up the UNESCO Study Abroad Guide at unesco.org/... for learning opportunities abroad and check out international travel scholarships.
15. Hop Along For The Ride - If someone is traveling the same direction as you, ask if you can join them. You can offset fuel costs with cheap stay options. Check out carpooling.co.uk, thorntree.lonelyplanet.com, erideshare.com, hitchhikers.org and compartir.org.
16. Barter Labor For Free Stay - If you’re not unwilling to work for your supper, barter labor for stay at hostels. You can apply for hostel jobs before your travel on sites like hostelworld.com, backpack.co.nz and so on.
17. Do Short Term Gigs - Look for short term gigs abroad. You can work as an English tutor, or as an au pair, as a fruit picker at wine farms and so on. Check out the following sites: aupair.com, greataupair.com, anyworkanywhere.com, goworkabout.com, swap.ca.
18. Become A Home Swapper - If you own a house or apartment in any city, advertise it on homexchangevacation.com, homebase-hols.com or homeexchange.com. You’ll find someone with a house at the place you want to visit. You two can coordinate and swap residences for the trip duration.
How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 40 languages, including Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go...
Forget stuffy hotel rooms. Get yourself an apartment! If you’re planning a holiday to a beautiful European city and want to feel immediately at home, our apartment rentals in Europe are much more comfortable for your short stay. Ask anyone who’s booked with us. Whether you want an apartment in a lively tourist spot, a flat by the beach, or a four bedroom house with a garden in a quieter, family-friendly area, you’ll find it on our website.
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