BRUSSELS TRAVEL GUIDE
Before you start commenting on who even writes a travel guide on Brussels, I know, I know! The city has a reputation for being boring, hence even those who go on a complete Euro trip end up skipping this one. The good news is, in recent years, home of the European Union – Brussels – has gained the attention of those who are into creativity. Even though I completely agree that the city is kind of boring, but it has a lot of new turns to it that people don’t generally expect or even search for. That is the exact reason, I have written Brussels Travel Guide 2020.
Don’t let the boring image of Brussels fool you, because it is picturesque with tons of yummy chocolate and beer. If you look closely or decide to not drop it, the architecture is breathtaking and the place is foodie’s dream come true. The bustling city has the old-world charm and a lot to offer if you allow it to. Now that I have enough of your attention and I might have convinced you to consider adding Brussels to your vacation trip, let me walk you through the entire guide on Brussels so you can make a better and informed decision.
Here you go:
EVERYTHING YOU’LL FIND ON THIS TRAVEL GUIDE
- Duration for Your Brussels Trip
- Recommended Budget
- The Good, The Bad & The In-betweens
- Things to See & Do In Brussels
- Where to Stay?
- How to Go Around?
- What To Eat & Drink?
- Brussels Nightlife & Beer
- Money-Saving Tips
- Things About Brussels You Must Know
DURATION FOR YOUR BRUSSELS TRIP
As much as I want you to go visit Brussels and see the city, I recommend you give it one or a maximum of two days. Any more than that and you will end up wasting your days. You can rather spend the extra days in some other picturesque small towns nearby.
When it comes to the best time to visit, Brussels generally has rainfall and cloudy weather throughout the year. So, expect it to happen even when the weather doesn’t seem cloudy. Alike the rest of Europe, Summer is generally the busiest tourist time of the year and the temperature averages mid-70s. As far as the winter is concerned, the average is around mid-40s and it can go below freezing levels as well. You might not find snow, but the damp weather makes it chillier than you expect it to be.
Coming to when do I recommend you take a trip to Brussels, the late March to May and in-between September to October have the most comfortable temperature. Keep in mind the tourists aren’t at their peak in these seasons, so you can have some calm and peaceful time if you decided to visit within these months.
RECOMMENDED BUDGET for Travelling to Brussels
As I all already know, Brussels is the home of the European Union, hence I can expect the prestige to be luxurious. When compared to the other cities of Europe, Brussels is a bit on the pricier side. This is also one of the main reasons people decide to opt-out of it because they feel it doesn’t provide value for the money. But, believe us, it does. Just because filthy rich people are visiting Brussels throughout the year, everything is expensive, including the main attractions as well. However, you will only be staying a maximum of two days so I think you can manage the budget.
On a backpacker’s budget, surviving on the cheapest of the things, you should have at least €50 – €75 per day. As always, you can spend way more than this and can swing by lesser, but this is the perfect budget I recommend you keep, so you aren’t welcomed by surprises.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE IN-BETWEEN
I have been discussing this throughout till yet, but Brussels has a mixed reputation among travelers. So, if you are confused about whether the Brussel attractions are worthy of planning your trip, here are a few likes and dislikes so you can make an informed decision.
Give them a shot!
What You’ll Love About Brussels
Architecture – Europe has been blessed with some of the best architecture in the world, and so is Brussels. The Grand Palace houses some of the breath-taking architecture that will leave you in awe. Sitting at a sidewalk café, sipping beer, you will have the time of your life here.
Food, Food, Food – Brussels is all about eating and drinking. The city is the birthplace of the world’s best beers. You will find delicious chocolate everywhere. The fries are drool-worthy and the Mussels are to die for. In short, if you have money in your pocket, Brussels will provide you the best things to eat and drink ever.
Easy Connection – Belgium doesn’t only have Brussels, but it has a wealth of beautiful small towns to offer as well. The best part about Brussels is, it connects the beautiful cities like Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent, etc. via train. It also offers a train connection to other cities like Paris and Amsterdam. This means, even if you don’t want to spend more days in Brussels, you can use it as a stopover for any other destination.
Museums – They might not be Brussels’ biggest attraction, but this small city does have a fair number of decent museums with a solid history. If you are into natural history or military, then Brussels is your place to be.
Comic Book Art Street – Brussels is known worldwide for making great comic book characters for ages. The most notable among the others is Tintin, and who doesn’t know him? Throughout the city, you will find various comic book characters painted on buildings here and there. The colorful sight is a treat for the eyes.
What You Might Not Like About Brussels
A City of Rich – If you have been following this guide, you already know the European Parliament gives Brussels the status of being expensive and rightfully so. It is super expensive and is best for those who don’t mind spending wads of cash. For those who are on a backpacker’s budget, they might find themselves craving to try a lot of things, but the money won’t allow them to.
Overrated – Though Brussels isn’t as popular as the rest of Europe, it still is decently known. And, even though I want you to visit it at least once, but there is no doubt it is a bit overrated. It is one of those European cities, which everyone talks about so much, but in the end, you are left disappointed because you expected too much. A little more than two days and there would be nothing left to do in Brussels.
WHERE TO STAY?
Brussels has a lot of decent hostel options for you to stay. Even though the city is quite expensive due to its posh stature, but since there is a lack of backpackers’ sort of people, you will find cheap albeit amazing hostels. I recommend a budget of at least 25€ per night for one person. Either go to Booking.com or Hostel World to find a hostel as per your choice or budget.
Keep in mind the budget I have recommended is an ideal one. You might be able to find a hostel lesser than this price and you can go up as much as you want.
HOW TO GO AROUND?
Brussels has an extensive public transport system. So, you will often be using the subway, trams, and buses to go out and about the city. They are also the cheapest way of transportation as well. A single metro ticket will cost you €2.50 when purchased inside the vehicle, or €2.10 when purchased at a metro station. You can get a five-journey pass for €8 or a ten-journey pass for €14.
If you want a complete one-day ticket, it will be for €4.20. It is super-cheap as it gives you unlimited access to all public transportation throughout the day. Make sure every time you use the transport; you validate the ticket. If you don’t and the police checks, you can end up incurring a hefty fine.
If roaming around the city in a bicycle is more of your thing, then you can get a bicycle for amazingly cheap rates. Villa! will give you a free ride for under thirty minutes, otherwise, a single-day bike rent will cost you €3.15.
Taxis are super expensive, so I don’t recommend you ever use them. You can use Uber in Brussels, so if it comes to any emergency, use it.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK?
If you are on a budget, eating near the city center should be a no-go zone for you. Belgium is world-known for fries, waffles and the chocolate, so you can find these for cheap anywhere you go. You can get croquet (grilled sandwiches) and Moules Frites (mussels and fries) for a decent cost as well.
You can find cheap and decent food from department stores. If you feel like having a lavish yet fulfilling meal, then you can opt for a side-walk café near Grand Palace at the City Centre. Don’t forget to try out beers of all kinds, because who goes to Brussels and doesn’t drink beer?
BRUSSELS NIGHTLIFE AND BEER
Do you know Belgium officially has over 1000 kinds of beer? And, some bars in Brussels have a stock of over 2000 kinds. This means, you shouldn’t ever leave out partying late night and trying out beer if you are in Brussels, you will be missing out on the city’s major attraction.
If you love jazz music along with beer in a cozy place, then The Music Village is a must-visit. It is one of the best jazz places in the world.
Otherwise, go to Delirium Café, as it is one of the most famous bars with over 2000 types of beer. You should also pay a visit to La Porte Noire, which is basically inside a 16th-century cellar and has over 1000 types of beer alongside live music. Lastly, À la Mort Subite should be on your list as well, as it goes back to the early 1900s. It is almost still similar because it hasn’t ever been updated. They might not have a long list of beers, but whatever they offer is super luxurious and delicious. I have given you some best options, but I know you will be able to find your way to the bar or a late-night pub of your choice once in Brussels.
Must Read, Top Places to See in Brussels in 2020
MONEY SAVING TIPS
If you are still reading my guide, I am sure that you are loving the Brussels Travel Guide 2020 and you are a backpacker like me so here are the most important tips. As I have already warned you, if you are not sensible with your money in Brussels, you might end up chewing it all. Brussels is one of the most expensive cities in Europe with lots of diplomats, hence you mustn’t get into the diplomat spirt and have a lavish time, especially if you can’t afford.
This is why here are some of the tips you should keep in mind if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Pro Tips for saving money! The reason you are still reading Brussels Travel Guide 2020
Couchsurf – If you are an extrovert and you find no problem crashing in with strangers, then there is nothing better than Couchsurfing to save you a lot of money on your accommodation. Couchsurfing will connect you with locals who will be happy to host you for free.
Belgian Fries – If you just want something to snack at and aren’t especially hungry then Belgian fries are cheap and yummy. I shouldn’t tell you this, but I am sure if you eat them once you will be eating them again and again.
Plat du jour – Yeah, I wanted to use a fancy title here, but the meaning is simple. Many restaurants will offer you a dish of the day at a fixed and affordable price for lunch. Make sure you check them out, as it will save you a decent amount of money.
Rent a Bicycle – Though I have already mentioned the details above, if you love biking around, the best way to save transportation money is to rent a bike.
Walking Tour – Again, you can find the details above, but take a free walking tour so you get access to the city from a local’s perspective and save yourself a lot of money on things you otherwise would have paid for.
Rideshare – If you don’t have time to use public transport, book an Uber. It is not only cheaper than the local taxi, but there is also a rideshare option through which you can carpool with the people who want to go to the same area. It works best to and from the airport as you can always find someone to share the ride with.
THINGS ABOUT BRUSSELS YOU MUST KNOW
Some of the things you must know about Brussels while finalizing your vacation include:
- It rains year long, so you must have the rain essentials with you even if the forecast doesn’t say so
- Brussels has a tourist card. If you plan on sightseeing a lot, make sure to check it out
- There are three main train stations, so make sure you know which one will you be arriving at or departing from
- The Belgian beer has a high alcohol content, so go easy if you can’t drink a lot of alcohol
- The areas around train stations have a lot of pickpockets, so be very vigilant when around them. Some of them like Brussels Midi-Zuid are super shady so don’t stay there for long especially at night
This guide was all about Brussels and I tried our best to pack it with as much information as possible. Do not leave Brussels out of your Euro trip, because if done right, Brussels has a lot of fun and food to offer. This is the best I could write for Travel Guide to Brussels 2020. So that’s all for now and you better Visit Brussels in 2020 and write your own travel guide or share your experience with us.