Brussels – a getaway guide

Posted on 20 March 2015
By Aadrienne Gowns
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If you’re looking for a slightly understated and quirky get away this month, Brussels may not be the first place you think of but it should be on your list.

With flights at fairly low prices throughout the year you’d be missing out if you’re looking for a cheap cultural getaway and don’t give Brussels a try.

If you’re enticed by world beers and chocolatiers, this is the guide for you.

We’ll be giving you a few alternative options to the regular guidebooks, to save you time and help you find some of the best spots in Brussels.

Despite being seemingly quite small on maps, Brussels is rather large. There are actually two aiports there. The Brussels main airport is very close to the centre. When considering your flights inbound, if you’re flying to South Charleroi, you’ll be wanting to account for around 17 euros each way – if you’re buying your coach tickets on the day of arrival.

The coaches are regular enough. Plus, the cheaper flights may still be less than a flight into the main airport; it is something to consider before buying your tickets.

Another hint of advice before you head away is to have some printed copies of the maps and places you are staying. These will come in handy when trying to align your plans with the tram maps. Finding free Wifi spots was more difficult than anticipated for a business capital so just incase, have your back up maps if you’re not taking a device away you can use without a Wifi connection.

Most guides will advise you to visit the ‘Mannequin de pis’, however after finding the tiny statue, a better plan is in finding all the (much larger) replicas, pouring out beer, chocolate and who knows what else.

On the topic of beer, for you drinkers out there, Delirum Café is the place for you, with the choice of around 3000 beers you will be spoilt for choice. Don’t be afraid to ask for a bar tenders recommendations too and if you’re really lost and are looking for something sweet, simply order a Delirum Red. The vibe in the official Delirum Café is always buzzing no matter what time of day it is and you’ll really feel like you’re in the hub of Belgian’s students. On top of this, for the most part it’s not too harshly priced and you’re guaranteed to walk out with a new acquired taste.

Seeing as the place is always buzzing, maybe you would rather opt for somewhere a little quieter, so along the same street and surrounding Delrium are many smaller cafes that offer beer tasting trays and some are as cheap as six euros!

Of course while you’re there, it’s a must to try some ‘authentic’ beligum chocolate. Similar to all the bars and resturants, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to chocolatiers. If you happen to pass Laurent Gerbaud we recommend backtracking and having a break inside. Not only because it’s not an overcrowded spot, being an only small shop, but you’ll fall in love with the packets of chocolate you’re able to hand pick to put together yourself. Even if you’re not up for a whole bag to yourself, with every coffee or hot beverage you purchase, you’re rewarded with some complimentary chocolate.

It is also in the perfect location if you’re a traveller into arts and culture as you’ll find yourself right in the centre of many of Brussels museums and art galleries. Just a short walk away and you can access Mont des Arts, Musee des beaux-arts, Musee des instruments, Musee Magritte, you won’t know where to head first. If you’re really feeling adventurous you could combine the combination of drink and chocolate as a very short walk away from the Delrium café is the Musee de Cacao, a whole museums dedicated to chocolate.

There are many restaurants to try in Brussels but for those of you on a budget, you’ll find often the portions are much smaller than the price, plus the atmosphere is often what is most attractive. You will find so many great places to eat but if you’re counting your euros wisely, sticking to street food and stalls for a fair amount of your holiday is not a bad choice. The street food alone will make you want to return to the capital of Belgium. The pastries, the waffles, the fries, whether you’re on the cheap or looking for a quick bite, it’s worth a grab.

These places will all perfectly complete a trip full of architecture, a city of history and a business centre of Europe. With the buildings are roads looking like something of a mix between Amsterdam and Paris, you’re trip this March should be a break away to Brussels.