Brussels: The heart of Belgium
Ah, Brussels. The city at the heart of the multi-lingual country of Belgium.
Brussels is famous for its cultural history and is an absolutely beautiful city to visit. If you ever get the chance to rent a holiday home in Brussels, we would highly recommend it. Here are some of the best things about Brussels.
First of all, the waffles. They're called Belgian waffles for a reason. Every shop in the center of Brussels sells them with a variety of toppings. If you want to eat like a local, though, we recommend you get them plain. Usually the plain ones are covered in a light sprinkling of sugar before cooking, so they have the slightest caramel crunch to them.
A waffle of this style will usually only set you back around one euro, so don't worry too much if you eat one and later find you want to buy a dozen. Other foods you probably won't get enough of include the fries, chocolate and (for the adults among you) the thousands of varieties of beer.
If you're going to Brussels, then you absolutely must know about the artistic history that the city belongs to. Specifically, Brussels is known as one of the birthplaces of Art Nouveau -the beautiful and organic artistic style from the turn of the 20th century that looks like it belongs in every fairytale.
Several famous buildings in Brussels were built in this style, including the lovely Brussels Comic Book Museum, home of many of the original Smurf drawings. If you're interested, it's not too hard to walk to each of the buildings on a sort of cultural scavenger-hunt. Though many of them are private residences, they usually open to the public once a year - or if you get lucky, you might just be able to see the inside, too.
Besides the Comic Book Museum (which really is a must-visit, even if you're not a fan of the Smurfs), the city also has a multiple-story Musical Instruments Museum. Here you will see thousands of instruments from all over the world. Of course, since seeing a musical instrument doesn't tell you much about its sound, the museum also gives visitors an audio guide that allows them to listen to music played by each of these instruments. It's perfect for anyone looking for a more comprehensive view of music around the world.
If you have the chance, we really recommend you plan your holiday to coincide with the Brussels Tulip Festival. During this festival, the entire center square of Brussels (called the Grand Place) is covered in beautiful flowers by dedicated volunteers. Viewed from above, the flower arrangement looks like an intricate and beautiful rug. Every year features a new design - so no matter when you come, the view you'll see will always be one-of-a-kind.
Even if you don't have a chance to go during the Brussels Tulip Festival, the Grand Place is still well-worth a visit. It is surrounded by all the official government buildings, all of which have intricate architectural designs. Overall, Brussels is a great city to for food, the arts and to just generally enjoy life.