Brussels city break guide – Telegraph
Brussels, “Capital of Europe” – it sounds modern, thrusting and perhaps a little soulless. But Brussels is none of these things. Instead it is a city on a human and eminently manageable scale (virtually all you want to see and visit is within walking distance), in touch with its medieval origins, and tweaked by its own distinct, rough-edged character and bubbling conviviality.
This was the city of Brueghel, Magritte, Victor Horta (inventor of Art Nouveau architecture), Hergé (creator of Tintin) and Jacques Brel, and it does not take long to see why they were attached to it. Beneath its self-effacing veneer lie numerous treasures – first-rate collections of art, supreme cooking, unique beers, and master-chocolatiers.
When to go?
The north European climate divides the year into four clear seasons – and all have their attractions. Spring is upbeat and green, while autumn turns the beech woods golden as the low angle of the sun gilds the skylines. A Christmas Fair that spills across the city centre helps dispel the darkness of December.
But summer is particularly agreeable: when the sun shines the pavement cafés throng with life, and Brussels is quickly into party mode. Life in Brussels centres around friends and conviviality: on a summer’s evening head down to the newly trendy area around the Place du Châtelain in Ixelles to get a measure of it .This is also the season of classic Brussels events, notably the Ommegang pageant (July) and the “Carpet of Flowers” in the Grand Place. Be warned, however: it rains frequently in all seasons – pack an umbrella, whatever the forecast.