Welcome to Brussels
A city that endlessly surprises and captivates, touches and moves you.
This city-region-capital of 500 million Europeans has been waiting to share its treasures with you: its Gothic monuments, its comic strip heroes, its Art Nouveau façades, the talent of its stylists and designers, its delicacies and its surrealism, which can be found on every street corner.
It’s likely that the region’s stormy history is the reason for its open-minded, warmth and friendliness: Brussels adapts to its visitors, so everyone feels at home here, at any time of the year, at any age and for every passion. People like Brussels for its broad thoroughfares and small side streets; getting lost in them is a real pleasure because the various city districts are full of surprises.
There's just something about Belgium. Maybe it's the friendly & welcoming people who with three official languages still find it easy to converse in English, the unofficial 4th language. Maybe it's the stunning architecture decorating the quaint cobblestone squares. Or perhaps it's the incredible cuisine that can meet any challenge Energetic and carefree, the overall mood in Belgium is infectious, summoning in all of us to desire to live as Belgians and enjoy life to the fullest.
Well situated between France and the Netherlands, the kingdom of Belgium encompasses all the best that Europe has to offer in one small area. Within the span of one day you can take a romantic cruise, hunt for diamonds, enjoy waffles, get lost in a castle, discover antiques at an outdoor market, and explore a fine art museum. A comprehensive train network connects all of Belgium and makes navigation simple and comfortable for travelers.
Often called the Essence of Europe, Belgium is both multicultural and multilingual. Flanders in the north, a flatland crisscrossed by canals, is proud of its medieval art cities, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. To the south in Wallonia, you will find the rolling hills of the Ardennes, countless castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, and Tournai. The city of Brussels is one of the world's great cosmopolitan capitals, home to both the European Union and NATO, as well as a wealth of international trade and finance companies.
How to get there
Direct trains run every 15 minutes in both directions. It takes just 17 minutes to travel into central Brussels.
Up to 4 children under 12 can travel free of charge if they are accompanied by a paying passenger.
In addition, any ticket to or from a station in the Brussels Zone entitles you to travel by train all day between all stations in the Brussels Zone on the date of travel.
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Brussels South Charleroi Airport
You can easily connect to Brussels South Charleroi Airport from any Belgian station.
If you select "Charleroi South Airport" as the departure or destination station, you will receive a combined Train + Bus ticket.
With this ticket you can travel to Charleroi-South station by train, then take one of the many buses on Line A, which provides a direct link between the station and the airport terminal and takes just a few minutes.
The ticket price includes the train and the bus transfer. A quick, efficient and great value way to get your journey off to a flying start.
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Train (SNCB) (NMBS)
There are five main stations serving the Brussels-Capital Region, all interlinked.
For all information concerning passenger transport in Belgium and abroad, T (0)2 528 28 28
National traffic: 7 am. -9.15 pm.
International traffic and reservations, Eurostar; TGV, Thalys Info: 8 am - 8 pm.; WE: 9 am - 5.30 pm)
The main stations:
Carrefour de l'Europe 2 - 1000
Europakruispunt 2- 1000
rue de France 2 - 1060
Frankrijkstraat 2- 1060
For London/Lille: Eurostar
For Paris/Amsterdam/Köln: Thalys
For France: TGV
For Köln, Frankfurt: ICE
rue du Progrès 85 – 1030
Vooruitgangstraat 85- 1030
For Köln, Frankfurt: ICE
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Most public transport in the Brussels-Capital Region is organized by the STIB/MIVB
The network includes metro lines, which connect the eastern and western districts of the city. Pre-metro lines (trams in the tunnels) complete the metro service. A great many metro lines also have above ground bus and tram connections.
Public Transportation Running Hours
Week days: First metro 5:18 am to 0:14 am last metro
Weekend: First metro 5:49 am to 0:14 am last metro
Week days: First tram 5:01 am to 23:53 pm last tram
Weekend: First tram 5:01 am to 23:53 pm last tram
The first bus can be between 4:51 and 7:38 am to the last bus between 20:00 pm and 0:24 pm
Consult the timetables shown at the stops or check here.
Buying your ticket:
In the various metro stations and at the STIB/MIVB information offices
at many newsagents
at Brussels International - Tourism, Town Hall, Grand-Place | 1000 (1-day cards only) and BIP - rue Royale/ Koningstraat 2-4 | Brussels 1000
single ticket JUMP
card for 5 journeys JUMP
card for 10 journeys JUMP
1-day card JUMP
airport line one way ticket
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Sights of Interest
The Grande Place is the heart of Brussels. Since 1998, the Grande Place has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The square is recognized for its political, cultural and commercial value - and is truly the heart of Brussels.
The statue of Manneken Pis can be found in one of the side streets off the Grande Place. Manneken Pis is a Belgian national landmark of a little naked boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. It was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618 or 1619. To find it, one takes the left lane next to the Brussels Town Hall from the famous Grand Place and walks a few hundred metres southwest via Rue Charles Buls/Karel Bulsstraat.
The Atomium is a landmark originally constructed for Expo 58, the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 m (335 ft) tall. Its nine 18 m (59 ft) diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The tubes connecting each sphere enclose stairs and escalators to allow visitors to access the five accessible spheres, which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant with a panoramic view of Brussels.
Magritte Museum and Beaux-Art
The Magritte Museum is dedicated to the work of the Belgian surrealist artist, René Magritte. It is situated next to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Parc du Cinquantenaire or Jubelpark is a large public, urban park in the easternmost part of the European Quarter in Brussels, Belgium.
Sablon and the Antique
The Sablon lies near the Mont des Arts district, and not far outside the first city walls of Brussels. In the 16th century, the Grand Sablon was known as the Peerdemerct (Middle Dutch for Horse Market) due to the horse market that was held there from 1320 to 1754. However, nowadays the Grand Sablon is a genuine neighborhood with residents and small businesses, while at the same time being a popular place to stroll. On Saturdays and Sundays the Grand Sablon hosts the Sablon Antiques and Books Market.
This lovely square is located in the center of Brussels in the middle of the Royal Palace, the Palace of Justice, the shopping area, and the Grande Place. The square is almost an exact replica of the Place Royale in Reims, France.
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official residence of the King and Queen of the Belgians in the centre of the nation's capital Brussels. The palace is situated in front of Brussels Park and along the square that connects the Palace and the park called Het Paleizenplein or Place des Palais.
Rue du Dominicains 7/ Predikherenstraat 7, 1000 Brussels
In a luxurious and muffled décor of a Brasserie from 1900 Scheltema serves a cuisine specialized in the richness of the sea, famous for its freshness. The restaurant is located in the heart of the historical centre of Brussels, at walking distance from the Grand Place and has been a living institution in the Ilot Sarcré quarter since 1972. The house is renowned for its exquisite cuisine, specialized in seafood and its atmosphere in Brasserie 1900 style decoration, which makes the Scheltema one of the highlights of Brussels’ gastronomy.
Maison du Cygne
Grande Place 9, 1000 Brussels
La Maison Du Cygne, on the Grande Place, has a fiercely arching sculpture of a swan above its front door and a reputation as one of the best and most traditional restaurants in Brussels. Head chef Christian Devrieze has been in charge for 2 years, and at 34 seems young for such a prestigious appointment. The interior is opulent and classical, with high-backed green velvet dining chairs, acres of rich, dark brown woodwork and floral paintings hanging by the liberal use of silverware and crystal. In another room hang two original Brueghel paintings. The historical pedigree of La Maison is completed by the fact that Karl Marx briefly made it his home in the 19th century.
Brasserie du Jaola
Schuitenkaai 4/ Quai aux barques 4, 1000 Brussels
You will fall in love with the charming Brasserie du Jaola. Chef Gaeten Colin shares his vision of everything that makes this a great contemporary brasserie. With the most beautiful courtyard in the centre of town it is also the most lovely and tranquil place to be with the return of those mid-summer days.
Rue Notre Dame du Sommeil 12/ Onze-lieve-vrouw van Vaakstraat 12, 1000 Brussels
La Manufacture is a trendy restaurant that specializes in seafood. It formerly ran small manufacturing units which can be seen in the fine re-works of an old factory, evoking the spirit of worker’s past as twenty first century dinners gorge on the productivity gains of the last hundred years. You can enjoy a very pleasant dinner serving great meat and fish dishes. There is a presence of the industrial interior adds to a pleasant ambience. Away from the buzzing town centre and Grand Place, La Manufacture is a convivial dining place and after dinner you can saunter back to the centre of town and join the locals and tourists meeting in the cafes and clubs.
Wolvengracht 32/ rue fossé aux loups 32, 1000 Brussels
Antoine Pinto’s desire to create getaway spaces that offer a gastronomic trip throughout Belgium is the foundation of the Belga Queen brasserie adventure. In a landmark building dating from the 18th century Antoine Pinto created an establishment breaking away from the traditional brasserie, elbow-to-elbow style. Contemporary architecture and gastronomy meet each other in an amazing way. At Belga Queen the Belgian cuisine is adapted to today’s taste, lightened and given a very national touch through the addition of beer to numerous dishes. The wines come from Belgian producers and the Ponti coffee is from a selection of ‘pure Arabica’ coffee beans from various continents and roasted locally. All these characteristics make Belga Queen the ambassador of “Made in Belgium”.
Beenhouwersstraat 24/ rue des bouchers 24, 1000 Brussels
In 1967, Leon Vanlancker decided to set up a business within a stone’s throw of the Grand Place to run a five table restaurant called A la Ville d’Anvers. In 1893, he moved a few metres from there to 18 rue des Bouchers and opened Friture Leon. The years passed and the restaurant expanded slowly but surely. Real growth stared from 1958, the date of the World Expo, when Brussels became the irrefutable capital of mussels and French fries. Since then, the Vanlancker business had not stopped expanding. Nowadays it extends to nine buildings and more than one thousand meals are served every day, always served with a smile. Everyone comes to try out a menu that has hardly changed – one of fourteen recipes for mussels or 120 traditional Belgian dishes.
La Rose Blanche
Grande Place 11, 1000 Brussels
La Rose Blanche is a bar and restaurant located inside a picturesque 17th Century Flemish style building right on the famous Grande Place of Brussels. Hungry for a Duck a la Chouffe, Lamb Filet a la Grimbergen, Salmon a la Faro, Rabbit a la Kriek,…
If the prospects of a good meal served with a Belgian accent with a view of the world’s most beautiful plaza tempts you, just sit right down and choose from a multitude of dishes each more enticing than the other.