Belgium’s capital Brussels is famously the home of the European Union. But this exciting multi-cultural city is much more than just the home of European politics. Its residents speak either of two languages – French and Dutch-Flemish – and you’ll find art and culture on every corner. The easy St Pancras International to Brussels Eurostar train takes a sppedy 1 hour, 48 minutes, leaving you lots of time to enjoy the city. While it may not be as picturesque as some of its European neighbours, it’s still worth a visit.
The city’s jewel in the crown is the Grand Place, the enormous historic central square where you can enjoy the view of the ancient guild houses and beautifully decorated civic buildings. In the streets surrounding the Grand Place you’ll find many great examples of 19th century art nouveau architecture and its master builder, Horta. The city prides itself on its culture so don’t miss Belgium’s premier art collection at the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts. Here you’ll find some of Bruegel and Rubens best work. Brussels also boasts a comic book museum and the best double-fried frites and beer in the world.
Eurostar to Brussels
It takes just 1 hour 48 minutes to get the Eurostar to Brussels from London St Pancras station. There are up to 10 trains every day right into the heart of Brussels-Midi/Zuid (Brussels South) station. Remember to arrive at St Pancras 30 minutes before departure. Prices start from €52.
Eurostar to Brussels: Must-see
Train lovers are in for a treat at the newly opened Train World which takes you on a route past 22 locomotives, from an early steam train, past first world war coaches, the royal carriage and futuristic high-speed train simulators.
What to eat in Brussels
Stoemp – buttery mashed potatoes and veggies served with juicy sausages – is one of Belgium’s best-loved dishes. So, join the locals at Madame Chapeau in the trendy Saint Jacques neighbourhood for the best stoemp you’ll ever eat. You can choose your own veggies and eat the potaoey dish with fish or bangers.
What to buy
Belgium is famed for its fantastic flea markets and if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Brussels on the first Sunday of the month, head to the Saint-Géry market where you’ll find some great fashion and music bargains. If you’re lucky you could even score a vintage Chanel jacket or handbag.
Where to stay in Brussels
This five-star hotel boasts elegant rooms and the award-wining Ristorante Bocconi. Rooms are lavish with luxurious bathrooms. The hotel is situated on the corner of Grand Place.
Hotel Made in Louise is a cool modern 3-star hotel situated near Just 350 yards from Avenue Louise. Rooms are fresh and comfortable and the prices here are reasonable.
This city centre hostel is great for young travellers or those who are young at heart. It has a great warehouse vibe and is located in a cool area – just 300 metres from Porte de Flandre station. Guests can choose from dorm accommodation or private rooms.