Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 4-5
Next stop: Brugge Previous stop: Paris Return to full itinerary »

Despite a stuffy, bureaucratic reputation, Brussels is a lively city for any visitor. The central Grand'Place will grab your attention, and the surrounding streets, comfy bars, and welcoming people will hold it.
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  • Food and Wine
  • Museums

Experiences

  • The Grand'Place is over the top as far as central squares go. Be sure to look at the top of the buildings; each has a special design based on the guild it housed in the 1700s.
  • Nearby, the Manneken Pis draws throngs of visitors to see the famous statue of a boy peeing. Throughout the year he is dressed by the city in themed costumes.
  • Have a beer at A la Mort Subite, a 1920s café and a Brussels institution. It's a five-minute walk from the Grand'Place.

Festivals

  • Ommegang, a historical pageant recreating Emperor Charles V's reception by the city in 1549, is held the first Tuesday and Thursday in July.
  • The Grand'Place hosts a flower market every day save Monday from March to October.

Side Trips

  • The battlefield of Waterloo, where Napoleon met his match, is 12 mi/19 km south of the city.

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