Brussels: Like a local
Ahh Brussels, the de facto capital of Europe. From historical architecture to vast green parks, great shopping and tasty cuisine. A true global city, Brussels has it all. Our local teams at Pentahotel Brussels City Centre and Pentahotel Brussels Airport joined forces to give you the ultimate 7 tips on the things that can’t be missed and the things that only the locals know.
1. The right spot for people watching.
The Sablon area with its shops and cafés and (most importantly) chocolates is a top place to have a coffee and watch people go by. Grand Place is our beautiful central square. Flagey is well connected and perfect for meeting friends – go and check out the market on weekends.
2. Where to go to get away from the crowds.
Do the “Monument” walk. This 15 kilometre route will bring you from Zaventem to Grimbergen (yeah… BEER). You will experience Flanders’ heritage in all its beauty. Be dazzled by the ancient buildings and hop in to one of the experience museums along the way.
3. The best local market and what to buy there.
• Marché Place du Chatelain: Wednesday from 1PM to 7PM. Fresh food galore! Make sure to grab yourself an aperitif at the market.
• Marché Flagey: Saturday and Sunday from 7AM to 230PM. Fresh produce, and lots of food trucks with cuisine from all over the world, for a nice change.
4. Where to go after dark.
There are so many amazing restaurants and cafés in Brussels. Place Saint Boniface, Chatelain and Saint-Gery are all areas with lots of great options. There is of course the famous Belga Café at Flagey and Nord Zee at Place Saint Catherine as well.
As the night progresses, move to The Fuse for some solid techno, or Bloody Louise for R&B, of if you feel fancy, head over to Spirito Brussels – located inside a former Anglican church. In the summertime, check out Piknik Electronik with electronica played in a different park every Sunday.
5. Tips for a rainy day.
Be star struck at Mira Observatory. It will introduce you to astronomy and allows you to use appropriate instruments for visual observation purposes. You will love it to the moon and back.
6. What’s unique to your city?
There is a looot of food that is unique to Brussels: the Pralines from Neuhaus, Nihoul, Marcolini, Galler, Benoit Nihan (Belgian chocolate is famous for a reason); the waffles (p.s. Belgians eat their waffles without whipped cream and fruits); the beers (we have more than 1000 types!); the fries (you MUST have a cone when visiting); the meatballs with tomato sauce; mussels the Belgian way… Safe to say, you won’t lose weight in Brussels!
And of course, our quirky custom of passing in front of Mannenkenpis for luck.
7. What’s worth checking out in the region around the city?
In for some serious biking? Grease your legs and do the “Gordel Route”. A dazzling bike ride that will guide you through Flanders’ green surroundings. Have a stop at the famous Plantentuin in Meise, the Africa museum in Tervuren and many other gems. Guaranteed to come out the other end a true “Flandrien”!