8 Things Not to Miss While Living in Brussels
Brussels, the city at the heart of Europe, is famous for its government organizations and its waffles and fries. But there are lots of things to do and see in the city which even seasoned expats living in Brussels sometimes miss out on. We have put together a list of must-sees for you:
1. Comic Culture
Granted, the murals depicting famous comic characters are hard to miss. But did you know that Brussels is the comic hub of the country? There is a whole museum dedicated to Tintin and the Smurfs: the Belgian Comic Strip Center. Here, you can learn all about the development of European comics, from their beginning up until today.
2. The Musical Instruments Museum… and its Terrace
The Musical Instruments Museum is one of the most impressive art nouveau buildings in Brussels. It is famous for its architecture and its collections but it also has an amazing rooftop terrace with a breathtaking view of the city.
3. Cafés: Where the Locals Meet
Little restaurants and cafés can be found everywhere throughout the city, but if you want to blend in with the locals, Café Belga at the Place Eugène Flagey is the right choice. Although it is a bit crowded at times, its big windows and terraces offer a beautiful view of the lakes nearby.
4. Fries and Beer
Fries, especially when they’re served with mayonnaise, are a typically Belgian food you should not miss out on. Frit Flagey is the number one destination for that experience. To enjoy real Belgian beer with real Belgians, head to Moeder Lambic! This bar is far cheaper than the touristy places in the center and the staff is always ready to help you choose the right beer brand.
5. Foodie Markets
Of course, it’s easy to buy your fresh produce at local grocery stores, especially if you are rather busy. Still, you should not miss out on the various fresh food markets throughout the city. On Wednesdays, you can find a beautiful foodie market on Place de Chatelaine. On Saturday morning, you should head to the Place Flagey Farmers Market for fresh produce, cheese, meat, and baked goods.
6. Green Spaces
Although Brussels is a major urban center, there is a lot of green space, offering a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Botanique boasts a huge collection of rare, beautiful flowers and plants. If you are looking for a park with a little more privacy, visit Park Tounay-Solvay in the south of the city. Close to it is Brussels very own forest and former royal hunting place: the Sonian Forest. Although it is a weekend favorite of many families, you will only meet few people there during the week.
7. Late Night Bread
If you are a typical night owl, be it for business or for recreational reasons, you will soon find that it is not that easy to buy food at 4 a.m in Brussels. Luckily, L’Atelier Au Vatel in Etterbeek, opens the doors of its bakery for customers, after their shop and tea room has closed for the day. You can buy your bread there, even in the middle of the night, while the bakers prepare the goods for the following day.
8. The Brussels Film Festivals
Film fans who are trying to get a job in Belgium have made the right choice coming to Brussels. The city has some great film festivals you should not miss. The Brussels Short Film Festival takes place at the end of April or in early May. The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival comes with lots of events surrounding the genre. And Offscreen deals mostly with bizarre and cult cinema.