Brussels (Bruxelles in French, Brussel in Dutch, Brüssel in German; pop. 140,000 for Brussels City, 1 million for Brussels-Capital Region) is the capital of Belgium and of the European Union and the seat of numerous international organizations, such as NATO. It is a multicultural and multilingual city where there is always something happening, be it one of the many festivals or a political summit.
Divided in 19 municipalities, Brussels often feels like an aggregate of towns with distinct personalities. It was a patchwork of styles well before it became cosmopolitan, from the sumptuous Renaissance façades of the Grand Place to the scattered Art Nouveau houses and the grand classical monuments. Brussels is the third richest and most influential city in Europe, and one of the best places to wine and dine.
Brussels is a global city. The World City Survey ranked it as the fifth most influential city in the world in 2010. The American journal Foreign Policy ranked Brussels third in Europe in its Global Cities Index, right after after London and Paris (and 11th worldwide).
Map & Orientation
Entertainment & Recreation
Life in Brussels
There are plenty of hotels in Brussels, especially in the mid-range and top-end section. The array of luxury hotel is quite amazing for for a city of this size. Click here for a list of 5-star hotels in Brussels, with location and links to their websites. For a more general listing, please consults our directory of lodging in Brussels.
If you are in Brussels for more than a week but no longer than a few months, staying at hotels quickly becomes hard on the wallet, and renting a regular apartment is close to impossible (most owners won't let for less than 6 months). The solution is to stay at a short-term furnished apartment, which is half-way between a hotel and long-term apartment, as much for the price as the size. You will have more space than at a hotel, have a kitchen and feel more like at home. It is also an excellent place to stay when you arrive and start looking for long-term accommodation, as the whole process usually takes a few weeks. Try the hospitable and cozy Villa Primavera (short-term rentals in central Brussels), which has two locations - one on each side of the European district.
In the budget range, Sleep Well Youth Hostel is probably the cheapest one can find in town, as long as you don't mind spartan rooms or bunk beds.
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