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Most beautiful cities in Belgium

In my opinion, Brussels was an enjoyable city break for two nights. We went by Eurostar from Waterloo in London straight to Brussels and the journey took two hours twenty minutes.

There were some historical places to visit, one of them being the Mannequin Pis, which is a statue of a small boy as a water fountain. The story is rather amusing and interesting to hear.

There are other places to visit, such as the brilliant Grand Place where there are many shops and places to eat. BALTHAZAR, the “Art Bazaar”, is an unusual shop where you can buy artistic works by living and past artists. You will find paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more from artists like Alechinsky and others. Balthazar will also propose to you a selection of very good copies of well known works from ancient artists. Those copies comes from great museums like Paris Le Louvre, The New York Metropolitan, and Brussels Art Museum. There are some historical places to visit there too. The Market Place is the heart of the Old Town. The Town Hall is the most remarkable ancient monument of Brussels and one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in Belgium. The flower market is held in this magnificent setting every Sunday morning.

Many tourists are seen at Grand Place and in June it was packed with people all day and evening, as there was a heat wave on the weekend that I was there.

There are trams to use for getting around Brussels. This is an ideal way to see more of the city and it is used by many people.

I found that evenings in June were packed with even more people and I thought that Brussels night life is very a trendy place to socialize. The are lots of restaurants and bars to choose from and most this time of year were bustling with all kinds of tourists.

The Royal Palace, in the center of Brussels, is where the King carries out his official duties. This is interesting to see and I was able to take a coach tour to this which was arranged by my hotel called Hotel Bristol Stephanie. It was a stunning hotel to stay in and we had a beautiful room there, which we booked via the Internet using www.expedia.co.uk

This was my first time to Brussels and I would definitely recommend it to anyone as a short city break.

Food And Drink Specialities Of Brussels – What To Eat & Drink During Your Stay In Brussels

You could be forgiven for wanting to visit Brussels for the eating choices alone. The city centre has a sprawling medley of restaurants serving up fine cuisines and ales and no trip to Brussels is complete without visiting a speciality Belgian Chocolate Shoppe and stocking up on sweet treats for the journey home.

Food & Restaurants In Brussels

From the traditional Belgian & French fare in and around Grand Place to the more exotic ethnic options such as the enjoyable Italian fare offered by the string of restaurants in “Little Italy” (along rue Franklin), Brussels is choc-a-bloc with engaging dining opportunities.

Of course, we all know that Belgium is associated with Moules (mussels) et Frites (Chips) but it’s also regarded for a number of additional dishes that have been shaped by a variety of influences including the French, Spanish and Dutch who all ruled over the land at some point in History. In fact Belgians culinary history can be traced back to the middle ages.

You can enjoy starters such as Croquettes aux Crevettes Grises (shrimp) and Fondues au Fromage (a type of cheesy croquette). A speciality Belgian bread that is sweet is Choesels and Ardennes pate is a pate comprised largely of pork and garlic. Then there are main dishes such as Filet American (served minced and raw mixed with onions and several spices). The Belgians do enjoy their red meat and it can form the basis of many a meal. Ragout d’agneau is a braised lamb dish that’s marinated with herbs. Pheasant and rabbit are also used in some speciality dishes like Faisan a la Brabanconne and Lapin dishes.

Anguilles au vert is an eel based soup and Andouillette a type of sausage.

You may expect to see Brussels Sprouts somewhere – and you would be right (Choux de Bruxelles). Chicory is one of the most used vegetables in Belgian cuisine, featuring in foods such as Witloof where it’s wrapped in cheese and ham.

You can round things up with Damme Blanche – vanilla ice cream served with a thick chocolate sauce. Or opt for other sweet delights like Profiteroles or Tarte tartin (apple pie served with cream).

There’s no shortage of quality restaurants in Brussels – you can feast on fresh fish in the Lower Town, enjoy dinner at any one of the high-class offerings along rue Antoine Dansaert – in fact you can venture to practically any part of the city and be within five minutes of a good place to eat.

For Tradional Belgian Food…

For pleasant food at reasonable prices, Chez Leon in Grand Place delivers – As you may expect it offers the Moules et Frites type menu and children under the age of 12 eat free.

Similarly, Chez Patric (Rue des Chapeliers) is popular with the tourists who want to sample traditional Belgian fare as is Brasserie de la Roue d’Or which is on the same street. La Rose Blanche (Grand Place) is known for its stews or you can opt for La Brouette for grander Belgian fare.

Italian

Noted for its warm atmosphere and exquisite food, A’mbriana (Rue Edith Cavell) serves up quality Italian fare are reasonable prices. Nearer to Grand Place is Rugantino and Senso (rue Franklin) offers well presented food but is somewhat on the pricey side. Also along Franklin are Pappa e Citti and Napoli.

Asian

While Brussels has a fairly high number of Chinese & Vietnamese restaurants, Indian fare is not as widely available and one of the best options is La Porte des Indes Avenue Louise).

La Cantonnaise (rue Tenbosch) and Hong Hoa (rue du Pont la Carpe) are among the favoured Chinese options while La Citronnelle is an interesting Vietnamese restaurant along Chaussee de Wavre.

Spanish

Tapas Locas (Grand Place) draws in a younger crowd and tends to be pretty good, cheap fare and Casa Manuel (also in Grand Place) is also a nice place which serves Portugese fare as well as Spanish.

Other International Restaurants

Le Forcado (Chaussee de Charleroi) is one of the few pure Portugese restaurants in Brussels. Along Rue des Grands-Carmes is Canita Cubana, which as you might suspect offers a wide range of Cuban cuisine. In the mood for African? Try Gri Gri located on Rue Basse.

Beers In Belgium

Belgium is the beer producing capital of the world, and offers a variety of hundreds of different beers. In fact, bars in Belgium often have a separate menu just for their beers. Depending on who you talk to, Belgium produces anywhere between 400 to 750 different varieties of beer.

Brussels also hosts the “Beer Weekend” which is on for three days every September. With reasonable beer prices and free entry, this is a must for beer lovers everywhere.

Some of the different types of beers include:

Blanche Beers – The most prolific blanche is Hoegaarden, which aside from being light in colour have a distinct citrus flavour and have a low alcohol content.

Trappist Beers – such as Chimay go back to the Middle Ages and are strong, yeasty beers with up to 11% alcohol.

Lambic Beers – are the most common in Brussels. Non-malted wheat beers, Lambics have around 5% alcohol strength. A derivative of Lambics are Gueuze beers which are a blend of Lambic beers. You’ll also come over Kriek beers which are Lambics that have a fruity flavour (very popular in summer).

If you’re really into your beer then consider a visit to Musee Bruxellois De La Gueuze – one of the best breweries in Belgium. Here you can take a tour of the beer production process (and taste a pint or two on the way).

It’s not just the staggering variety and flavours of beers that’s interesting in Brussels – equally, the ambience where you can enjoy your liquid nectar can and should be part of the whole Brussels experience. Having your pint in an old brown café or within one of the many historic Art Nouveau buildings is simply a joy to experience.

Things to See in Brussels

This famous small bronze statue of a little boy, with his own personal fountain, is located in the Grand Place in Brussels. The legend of the Mannekin Pis statue suggests that it will bring good luck to all who visit it. In addition to its own attractions, the city of Brussels hosts a wealth of European delights. If you are having difficulty deciding which European location to choose for your city vacation or weekend break, then the European city of Brussels can help you out, as it offers the perfect solution.

Mini-Europe Park, Brussels

Perhaps one of the lesser known attractions of Brussels is the site “Mini-Europe” that is situated at Bruparck, Heysel. This location offers great entertainment for the whole family and in particular for children. Mini-Europe offers the visitor a trip around many of Europe’s finest buildings and top cultural and historical sites, all in miniature but realistic versions. The scale for these small copies is 1:25 enabling even the children to feel tall. In order to create these models and to make them as true as possible to the real thing, experts worked in workshops in 55 different locations. There are 300 magnificent creations that have been recreated professionally to produce an excellent likeness to the real site.

Countries represented at Mini-Europe include, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Just consider that in a matter of a couple of hours you can feel like a giant and visit so many interesting places, such as a tiny replica of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, a miniature Arc de Triomphe just like the one in Paris, a small version of the leaning Tower of Pisa, a small Acropolis and a mini Grand Place of Brussels. The list goes on including miniature town halls, temples, monuments and towers around Europe.

Mini-Europe also features certain models that have the ability to move, such as the T.G.V. train, which travels around France. Additionally, there are models that the visitors may set into motion for themselves. Big Ben’s chimes, a Venetian gondola and windmills of the Netherlands, among other delights, are all featured at the Mini-Europe Park. In addition to viewing all the top sights in Europe in scaled down versions, there are often special events that take place at the Park. At the end of the park, visitors will find the ‘Spirit of Europe’, which is an interactive exhibition aimed at educating and enlightening guests regarding the European Union.

Entry charges to the Mini-Europe Park stand at 12,20 Euro for adults and senior citizens. The charge for children up to the age of twelve is 9,20 Euro, while youngsters who are no taller than 1.20 meters can enter the Park for free.

A range of top hotels can be found in Brussels including members of international hotel chains. Holiday accommodation can be found in the town centre, in addition to in the outlying areas.

The Mini-Europe Park provides a unique trip around Europe with its collection of replicas and is an attraction that should not be missed while in Brussels.