Discover cobblestones and fountains on city breaks to Brussels, home to gilded palaces, buzzing beer halls and comic book hero Tintin...
The capital of the European Union, Brussels is abuzz with political activity and home to impressive architecture, such as the European Parliament building. Consider a tour of this place, but other than that you can forget the city’s constitutional credentials and concentrate on the things that make city breaks in Brussels so popular.
The jewel in Brussels' crown is the centrally located Grand-Place. Medieval facades and ornamented rooftops on the enormous square compete for attention with statues of ever-so-important (and long gone) royalty, while adjacent chocolate and lace shops are as busy as the palatial embellishments. Following a warren of cobbled streets east takes you to the manicured gardens of the Parc de Bruxelles, or hop aboard Brussels' clanging city trams for a quick glimpse of the flea markets and down-to-earth cafés of the Marolles district.
It’s easy to get to the capital of Belgium from the UK. A direct Eurostar service runs from London and two airports serve the city. Fly into either Brussels Airport (BRU) or South Charleroi Airport (CRL). From Brussels Airport, the Brussels Airport Express trains whisk travellers to the city's North, Central and Midi stations in just 16 minutes. Taxis are also available outside the arrivals terminal to take you where you want to be.
Getting around on weekend breaks to Brussels is also easy. In terms of public transport, the efficient tram and Metro systems connect central Brussels to all of its surrounding suburbs. Central Brussels is compact, its chief attractions and shopping districts located within a few blocks. If you want to save cash, explore the city on foot. The city is also well equipped with bike lanes, and bikes can be hired at Central Station, so there's really no excuse not to cycle.
To find your ideal Brussels city break, in a hotel that matches your style and budget, use the search tool on TravelSupermarket to compare prices on short breaks.
Brussels is a year-round destination and breaks here are available at any time. Find out what the weather might be like for your visit...
With a climate similar to that of London, visitors to Brussels should pack for all kinds of weather. Generally, spring and autumn are mild, summer days can be warm, while winter days can feel chilly. It gets a little colder in Brussels compared with London, so pack an extra layer or two. It can rain at any time of the year, though spring is the driest season in the city.
Brussels is a business destination. Take weekend breaks to Brussels and hotel prices are likely to drop as the suits and briefcases move out and the sightseers move in. You can compare prices on all aspects of your short break to Brussels when you use the search tool on TravelSupermarket.
It’s not all about politics in easy-going Brussels. There’s a wonderful collection of annual events that are worth being in the city for...
Brussels Jazz Marathon; May: Smooth jazz tunes punctuate the normal city sounds of Brussels during the last week of May. A three-day programme of jazz takes over a host of venues and every show is free to enter.
Ommegang; June: This beautiful medieval city celebrates its heritage with the yearly pageant known as Ommegang, a procession that dates back centuries. Hundreds of performers take to the streets to bring history to life. It’s one not to miss, so book tickets early after you’ve secured your break in Brussels.
Christmas Markets; November-December: The traditional markets of Brussels lure visitors during the festive season. Grand Place and Place St Catherine are transformed into magical markets as Christmas draws near – it’s a wonderful time to be in Brussels.
There’s a memory just waiting to be made in Brussels, whatever you’re into and whoever you’re travelling with...
Shopping: Hunt for bargains among the elegant stalls of the 19th-century Galeries Royales St Hubert. Beneath the glass-roofed shopping arcade sits a treasure trove of delicate lace table linens and hand-dipped, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate pralines.
Romance: Glimmering candles and steaming plates of mussels cover tables in pastel Art Nouveau restaurants around the Place du Grand Sablon. After dinner, savour the moonlit evening with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the narrow stone streets of central Brussels.
Nightlife: Sample a Brussels original, Lambic beer, or one of 450 frothy Belgian brews at wood-panelled taverns around the Grand-Place. Peckish? Order a plate of frites – French fries – and mayonnaise. Cheers!
Active types: Ditch the metro and hop on a bicycle, like true Bruxellois. Once you've rented wheels at Central Station, bike lanes will take you everywhere on short breaks in Brussels, from the medieval city centre to the sprawling park in Laken.
Families: Children have giggled at the Mannekin-Pis fountain since the 15th century. What's not to love about a gilded boy sprinkling a street corner as only little boys do, just two blocks from the prim and proper Grand-Place?