The capital of Belgium and administrative center of the European Union, Brussels gleans its vibrant air from a melding of French and Flemish cultures dating back to the 10th century. The city's 19 districts encompass picturesque medieval streets, lively squares and parks, and an eclectic social scene. Book a Brussels hotel near the Grand Palace in the Grote Market and begin exploring one of the most splendid squares in Europe, with flower vendors hawking their goods amid gabled Renaissance-era buildings. Breathe in the sights and sounds from an outdoor cafe near the Palais de Justice while breathing in the alluring aromas of the Place Sainte-Catherine, a former fishing village and now the city's seafood district.
A Walk Through Time
Southeastern Brussels, known as the Upper City, is home to some Brussels cheap hotels that are still amazingly luxurious. From your hotel, set out to explore the Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule, Mont-des-Arts, and the city's main shopping areas. The Palais Royal, a neo-Gothic masterpiece and the home of Belgium's kings, exhibits 18th century art and architecture, and a walk in Quartier Louise, the most prestigious shopping area in the city, will lead to Bois de la Cambre, near Sonian Forest, one of Brussels' finest parks. Afterwards, take in the Museum van Cacao en Chocolade from your hotel in Brussels, highlighting Belgium's confectionery heritage.
Tucked into a quieter section of the city south of its center is the district of Ixelles, dating back to the 12th century. From your Brussels hotel here you'll find an amazing collection of ancient churches as well as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, the largest museum in the country. And at the square Place du Grand Sablon, myriad shops teem with an assortment of European treasures, high-end fashions, and must-have housewares and artwork. The restaurants in Ixelles serve a mix of French and Belgium cuisine, much of which focuses on the city's world-renowned seafood.