The “capital of Europe” as well as Belgium is an especially popular choice for Erasmus and other study-abroad programmes, as well as a holiday destination for young people.
The list of cool and interesting stuff to do here is long, tasty, and occasionally surprising. To cite just three: enjoying a steaming plate of mussels and crunchy golden chips; touring the many high-quality chocolate shops such as Pierre Marcolini and Mary, whose artisanal confections will send you into raptures; and marveling at the different outfits of the famously saucy Manneken Pis statue. And much of it is even – as we always delight to note – pretty affordable.
Central Brussels especially is the place to get lost amid its streets. Amid its many historic buildings, you’ll also come across some 50 wall murals of smile-provoking comic-book art (including the famous Tintin, of course, but many others, as well) which further liven up the urban landscape and make great photo ops.
And beyond getting aimlessly lost, another cool thing about Brussels is its personalised and free-of-charge guide service. Known as “greeters”, these volunteers (in many cases students) are motivated mainly by their passion for their city, and want visitors to get to love it, too. You can take advantage of their two-to-four-hour tours in groups of up to six, and it’s a great way to meet people, learn new things, and find cool stuff to do. Signing up is easy – send an email a couple of weeks ahead of time via the site http://brusselsgreeters.be/.
Photo | Matthias Ripp