Cheap flights to Brussels
Famous for being the centre of the European Union, producer of some of the world’s best chocolate and home to more beer varieties than any other city in the world. Brussels is a city with rich historical offerings, world-class museums, a chic café culture, and stunning Art Nouveau architecture, and should definitely be at the top of anyone’s list when it comes to choosing that city break you’ve been after.
As any Brussels travel guide will tell you, this is a modern, cosmopolitan city at the heart of Europe. And although it is known more for being a political hub, it also has a surprisingly young vibe that makes it one of the more cutting edge cities in Europe. Whatever you’re after from a city break, trust us when we say you’ll find it in Brussels.
The annual Brussels Fine Art and Antiques Fair, on 24 January - 1 February, unites top dealers and their clients from all over Europe under one roof. Buy that surprise present or indulge yourself with an investment that can hang on the wall. Guest of honour this year will be unusual exhibits from the Royal Museum of Central Africa (Tour et Taxis, 86C Avenue du Port, brafa.be).
Contemporary Portrait Photography showcases the work of 20 contemporary European photographers inspired by and contrasted with portraits painted by Renaissance artists to create a revealing dialogue between past and present. From 6 February - 17 May (Palais des Beaux-Arts, 23 Rue Ravenstein, brusselsmuseums.be).
The exhibition Sensation and Sensuality gathers together more than 150 works by Rubens. Exhibited together for the first time, the wide range of paintings loaned from museums all over Europe centre around six themes, from Lust and Love to Power and Poetry (25 September 2014 - 4 January 2015, BOZAR, 23 Rue Ravenstein, bozar.be).
The three-day Belgian Beer Weekend, set in the beautiful Grand Place, comes to town on 5-7 September. More than 200 beers will be on offer, ranging from the classic grand crus to more modest, locally brewed ales. The holy grail of beer drinkers, the Brewers Museum, is just a short tottering distance away. belgianbrewers.be
Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (8-20 April) is a globally known celebration of the very best horror, science fiction and thriller films that will really get the adrenaline pumping (Centre for Fine Arts, 23 Rue Ravenstein, bifff.net).
Head to the pretty university town of Leuven (30 minutes by train from Gare Central) for the Brussels Beer Challenge, when 750 beers from all over Europe will compete for prestigious gold, silver and bronze awards judged by a 60-strong panel of experts. Trips to local breweries can be arranged through the local tourist board (30 October - 2 November, brusselsbeerchallenge.com).
Hit the beach in the city. Brussels Beach (Bruxelles les Bains) features bars, music, entertainment for young and old from morning until late and, of course, plenty of golden sand. Open 4 July - 10 August, Tuesday till Sunday (Quai des Péniches near the Place Sainctelette).
The Royal Greenhouses are a vast complex of 19th-century hothouses close to the Palace of Laeken. Open to the public only three weeks a year, lose yourself in the heady aromas of this masterpiece of Victorian regal extravagance (18 April - 9 May, Serres Royales de Laeken, Avenue du Parc Royal, monarchie.be).