All tagged Brussels

A weekend in Brussels • The city center

One of my greatest joys is being a tourist in my own country. And this city guide is a fine example of that since I'm taking you to the city center of the Belgian capital! Brussels has many different facets and I'm happy to introduce to you some of the best it has to offer. Expect some of my favorite shopping venues, the most famous sights of the city and an exceptional place to stay in the middle of it all. Because being a tourist is actually the best way to approach any place, since it means doing so with a curious mind and innocent eyes!

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

I guess it's very clear by now I have a thing for tropical plants and architecture. So what if I told you there is a place where these two loves come together in the most splendid way? The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken form a magnificent complex of glass and steel and house some true botanical gems. This Belgian landmark is only open for 3 weeks a year for people who aren't royals so take out those agendas and write this down.

A day in Brussels • Dansaert

A Brussels' neighborhood that I love but where I don't spend enough time (which is probably for the best for my finances) is Dansaert! The most Flemish part of Brussels' is all about fashion of the unique, alternative kind. This area is the epicenter of the Brussels' fashion scene and it's packed with unconventional shops and Belgian designs. Plus there are plenty of cool spots to hang out with a drink. This way fashionistas!

A day in Brussels • The European Quarter

The old Leopold Quarter might appear as of no interest to some as it is home to the European institutions and frequented mostly by Eurocrates, making it a little sterile. But actually there are plenty of interesting spots hidden in those supposedly soulless streets, such as parks, museums and ancient architecture that survived. Again, this is an area of Brussels with a very distinctive feeling, almost New York-ish if you ask me. And it is definitely worth a visit!

A day in Brussels • Brugmann & Chatelain

The funny thing about Brussels is that it has so many different areas, each with a distinct atmosphere. The Brugmann quarter, sometimes referred to as "Little Paris", is a peaceful and rich neighborhood with an almost village feeling to it. Whereas the Chatelain quarter is very lively and attracts many expats, making it a joyful place to hang out. Both flow into one another and both offer unique shopping venues and beautiful architecture, making them the perfect backdrop for an inspiring afternoon.

Brunch & Culture • Villa Empain

Brussels is famous for being the capital of Art Nouveau, the art movement that's all about organic motifs. But there's more to Brussels. Just think of the Flagey "liner" building, the Palais des Beaux-Arts or the Basilique de Koekelberg. Characterized by symmetry and rectilinear shapes, these are all Art Deco monuments, the art movement that flourished in the roaring twenties. The Villa Empain is another Art Deco jewel of Brussels that will surely take your breath away.

Brunch & Culture • Royal Museums of Fine Arts

Living in Belgium is a real delight thanks to the wide variety of cities and landscapes to visit. There's just one catch to our country: the weather. If you're often faced with the question "what to do when it's cold or raining" I might have the answer: Grab a friend, go for brunch and visit a museum! For this first "Brunch & Culture" post, let's head to Brussels and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.