BRUSSELS TRAVEL GUIDE
Before you start commenting on who even writes a travel guide on Brussels, 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, the 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 boring, 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 dull image of Brussels fool you because it is picturesque with tons of yummy chocolate and beer. If you look closely or decide not to drop it, the architecture is breathtaking, and the place is a foodie’s dream come true. The bustling city has 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 IN 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 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 spend the extra days in nearby picturesque small towns.
Regarding 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 dirty. Like 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 the mid-40s and can go below-freezing levels. You might not find snow, but the damp weather makes it chillier than expected.
When I recommend you take a trip to Brussels, late March to May and in-between September to October, have the most comfortable temperature. Keep in mind that the tourists aren’t at their peak in these seasons, so you can have a quiet and peaceful time if you visit within these months.
RECOMMENDED BUDGET for Travelling to Brussels
As I already know, Brussels is the home of the European Union. Hence I can expect the prestige to be luxurious. Compared to other cities in Europe, Brussels is a bit on the pricier side. This is also one of the main reasons people 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 visit Brussels throughout the year, everything is expensive, including the main attractions. 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 things, you should have at least €50 – €75 per day. As always, you can spend way more than this and swing by less, but this is the perfect budget I recommend you keep, so surprises don’t welcome you.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE IN-BETWEEN
I have been discussing this throughout, but Brussels has a mixed reputation among travellers. So, if you are confused about whether the Brussels 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 breathtaking 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 with the best things to eat and drink.
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 beautiful cities like Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, etc., via train. It also provides a train connection to other cities like Paris and Amsterdam. This means you can use it as a stopover for any other destination, even if you don’t want to spend more days in Brussels.
Museums – They might not be Brussels’ most significant attraction, but this small city does have a fair number of decent museums with a solid history. Brussels is your place if you are into natural history or the military.
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, various comic book characters are painted on buildings here and there. The colourful sight is a treat for the eyes.
What You Might Not Like About Brussels
A City of Rich – If you have followed 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. TThose on a backpacker’s budget might find themselves craving to try a lot of things, but the money won’t allow them to.
Overrated – Though Brussels isn’t as famous as the rest of Europe, it still is decently known. And, even though I was hoping you could visit it at least once, 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 disappointed because you expected too much. There would be nothing left to do in Brussels for a little more than two days.
WHERE TO STAY?
Brussels has a lot of decent hostel options for you to stay in. Even though the city is quite expensive due to its posh stature, since there is a lack of backpackers sort of people, you will find cheap albeit excellent hostels. I recommend a budget of at least 25€ per night for one person. Go to Booking.com or Hostel World to find a hostel 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 use 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 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 cheap as it gives 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 incur a hefty fine.
If roaming around the city on a bicycle is more of your thing, you can get a bike for amazingly cheap rates. Villa! We will give you a free ride for under thirty minutes; otherwise, a single-day bike rental 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?
Eating near the city centre should be a no-go zone for you if you are on a budget. Belgium is world-known for fries, waffles and chocolate, so you can find these cheaply anywhere you go. You can get croquet (grilled sandwiches) and Moules Frites (mussels and fries) for a decent cost.
You can find cheap and decent food from department stores. If you feel like having a lavish yet fulfilling meal, you can opt for a side-walk café near Grand Palace in the City Centre. Don’t forget to try 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 at night and trying out beer. If you are in Brussels, you will miss the city’s major attractions.
The Music Village is a must-visit if you love jazz music and beer in a cosy place. It is one of the best jazz places in the world.
Otherwise, go to Delirium Café, one of the most famous bars with over 2000 types of beer. You should also pay a visit to La Porte Noire, basically inside a 16th-century cellar with over 1000 types of beer alongside live music. Lastly, À la Mort Subite should also be on your list, 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 luxurious and delicious. I have given you some best options, but I know you can 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 you love the Brussels Travel Guide 2020, and you are a backpacker like me, so here are the essential 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 Europe’s most expensive cities with many diplomats. Hence you mustn’t get into the diplomatic spirit and have a great time, especially if you can’t afford it.
Here are some 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 happily host you for free.
Belgian Fries – If you want something to snack on and aren’t especially hungry, Belgian fries are cheap and yummy. I shouldn’t tell you this, but I am sure if you eat them once, you are 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, renting a bike is the best way to save transportation money.
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 cheaper than the local taxi, and there is also a rideshare option through which you can carpool with 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 you will 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 vigilant when around them. Some of them, like Brussels Midi-Zuid, is super shady, so don’t stay there for long, especially at night.
This guide was about Brussels, and I tried 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 register your travel guide or share your experience with us.