This will be our first visit to Brussels, a place that was on our list for many years and we are looking forward to our time here. Our apartment is centrally located, about a block from the Bourse de Bruxelle. Le Comptoir de Mathilde, on Rue au Beurre, is just around the corner and a bit. It will be handy to have a gourmet food store like this so close by. Anything on the avenue of butter must be well matched for good cooking! It is only a 5 minute walk to the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert.
Cinquantenaire Arac (Photo: March Rychaert)
Galeries Saint Hubert, built in 1847 look fabulous. (Photograph: Jpotakal)
The Law Courts (Photo: Karmakolle)
Brussels is bilingual, officially recognizing the Dutch and French speaking communities of Belgium. About 90% of the people speak French. Signs for streets, railway stations, bus stops and other places will have names in the two languages. English is spoken but less prevalent.
Brussels is known for architecture, beer and chocolate. The chocolate will make Karen very happy. I like European beers and I always enjoy photographing architecture so this should be a great week. We have found a great apartment so now the planning commences.
We will consider getting the "Brussels Card" as for about 22 Euro it gives free admission to over 30 museums and monuments.
Some of the sights to see include:
Belgium has one of the most best developed railway networks in Europe. Domestic trains are operated by the national railway operator SNCB logo.svg - memorize the name of your destination in both French and Dutch so that it is easy to recognize as the name as you may know in English might not be used at all.
Frequencies and approximate travel times from Brussels Central station to selected cities in Belgium:
There are also trams that travel through Brussels. One take a scenic 10 km long journey through the Sonian Forest (20 minutes) with a frequency of 5 trams per hour. A single ticket is €2.10, and allows you to get off at any station along the way and back on the next tram within the ticket validity of an hour. Tickets can be purchased in Tervuren station or from the tram driver at an additional fee.
For the metro, A single ticket Jump costs €2.10. Tickets must be purchased from a GO vending machine in either Kraainem or Stokkel metro station, and can only be paid with euro coins or Maestro compatible cards. Bills are not accepted.
Galeries Saint Hubert is a beautiful glass-topped shopping passage.