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Brussels Travel Guide


Brussels Introduction


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Brussels is best described by one word: cosmopolitan. Nearly one in four city residents is an expatriate drawn there, typically by business or government ties. Brussels is not just the capital of Belgium, but also the capital of the far-reaching European Union. So when you're sipping hot chocolate at a sidewalk cafe (a delectable treat at any time of the year), you are eyeing one of the world's most diverse populations; and it is one of the wealthiest, too. At restaurants near the main square, you may be presented with at least six copies of the menu—each in a different language.  Click here to see the full Brussels travel guide on Travel42 »

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Brussels Geography


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The heart of Belgium's capital is a pentagon enclosed by large boulevards called the Petit Ring. At the center of that pentagon is the main square, or Grand Place. Also within the ring are the Sablon district and most of the historical and cultural sites of interest. The major thoroughfare, Avenue Louise, runs out from the ring to the southeast, where the Bois de la Cambre and the Foret de Soignes are located.  Click here to see the full Brussels travel guide on Travel42 »

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Brussels History


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Brussels was founded in AD 979, but it was overshadowed during the Middle Ages by Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, trading towns that were famous for their textiles. Brussels' influence began to grow when it was made an administrative center in the mid-1400s. But then it came under Spanish control, followed by Austrian and then French rule in 1794.   Click here to see the full Brussels travel guide on Travel42 »

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Brussels Sightseeing & Things to Do


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You'll need a minimum of three days in Brussels to get a feel for the city. It's an easy destination to explore on foot, and the best place to begin is at the ornate Grand Place, one of the most perfectly preserved of all market squares in Europe. A short walk southwest on the Rue de l'Etuve, you'll see the famous Manneken-Pis fountain, regarded by Belgians with reverence and a healthy dose of humor. Continue to the Sablon, an old aristocratic district famous for its markets, Gothic church and picturesque little park. After you've had your fill of the Grand and Petit Sablons, head up Rue de la Regence to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts—well worth a few hours, especially if you're interested in early Flemish art or works by Belgian painters.  Click here to see the full Brussels travel guide on Travel42 »

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Brussels Nightlife


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Brussels nightlife has a deserved reputation as being accessible to the initiated only: It may seem that everyone but you knows where to go. Your best bet is to try to get a recommendation from a resident, or visit http://www.netevents.be. Whether you want a relaxing drink or a steamy disco inferno, there's plenty going on, and even more with the recent influx of foreign residents.  Click here to see the full Brussels travel guide on Travel42 »

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Brussels Restaurants & Dining


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Belgian food is ranked among Europe's finest and has distinctive regional characteristics. Most of Brussels' best restaurants serve French-style cuisine. (Even the French will admit that it's easy to find excellent French dishes in Brussels.)   Click here to see the full Brussels travel guide on Travel42 »

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