Welcome to the capital of Europe
Despite being the seat of both the European Union and NATO, Brussels has not lost its welcoming and warm "small town" values. It never fails to surprise, and always where you least expect it. Cosmopolitan and creative, it is famous for its Grand Place, waffles and pralines.
You can fly to Brussels all year round via Paris-CDG with Air France or via Lyon with HOP.
Climate : mild oceanic, due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. Summers are pleasant without being too hot, winters are quite cold, with temperatures occasionally dropping as low as -10°C with snow. Rain is quite a common occurrence too. The best time to visit is from May through to September.
Currency : Euro
Travel document requirements : valid passport or national identity card
Tourist information : http://visitbrussels.be/bitc/front/home/display/clt/BE_en/section/visiteur.do
Visitors to Brussels cannot fail to notice the broad social and cultural diversity. One of the strengths of the Brussels identity is the ease with which it skips from one culture or style to another. Not only does everyone appear to be talking a different language, but architectural styles change abruptly, with a modern glazed office block standing alongside a traditional old house. The city is like a chameleon - surreal and relaxed - but always embodying the spirit of the times.
A rich architectural, cultural and gastronomic heritage
The impressive historic centre of Brussels draws many into a contemplation of the past. Take some time out to wander and admire the city's architectural jewels, and the range of styles. All roads seem to take you to the famous Grand Place (central square) which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has a world-wide reputation for its richly-decorated ornamental facades. It is surrounded by the Town Hall and the Breadhouse. To appreciate the full diversity of the city and experience the atmosphere of the various quarters, take a stroll down rue Dansaert, visit the Halles Saint-Géry (covered market) or place Sainte-Catherine… and don't forget to visit the famous Manneken-Pis (little boy peeing) statue, down a backstreet not far from the Grand Place.
Brussels is also a popular centre of culture. The main attractions include: the Atomium, Autoword Brussels (a vintage car museum), the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, the Magritte Museum, the Belgium Comic Strip Centre, the Museum of Original Figurines…
Finally, no visit to Brussels would be complete without indulging in a waffle or praline! And, of course, Belgium is famous for its chocolate, chips, mussels and beer, though its stoemp and maquée are local speciality dishes with particular merit.
Capital of Europe
The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) are both based in Brussels. Many European institutions are also headquartered in the city: the European Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the Economic and Social Committee... This strategic city plays an important role in world affairs.