Brussels is a region of Belgium which is made up of 19 municipalities including the capital city of Brussels. Since the end of the second world war, it has become a large centre for international politics and home to a number of organisations such as the EU and NATO. The city itself speaks a mixture of Dutch and French making it officially Bilingual. Some of its main attractions include the Grand Palace, a beautiful square, Manneken Pis, Atomium and cultural institutions such as the Museums of Art and History and La Monnaie. Historically during World War 1 and 2, Brussels was occupied by the Germans and after the war, the city underwent extensive modernisation with the construction of the North-South connection which linked railway stations in the city and was finished in 1969. In more recent times, the city has fast become a key venue to hold international events and has been named European Capital of Culture. It is also an extremely popular place for commercial art galleries, with more popping up all over the city. Architecturally the city is a mixture of art deco, 1960s developments and the ultra-modern home of the EU, Gotham City. Food is very important to the city, who believe fries should be double fried and a waffle isn’t a real waffle without a coating of icing sugar. They also have their own biscuit which is the shortcrust cinnamon speculoos and aside from the beer there is the ‘half-en-half’ which is a mixture of white wine and champagne. The Marolles quarter features intimate restaurants and interior design shops on the main streets of Rue haute and Rue Blaes. There are many activities you can take part in including the traditional chocolate tour, beer tasting tour and a visit to the Flanders World War 1 battlefields.
April – September are the best times to visit Brussels, during spring the weather is drier with rain expected only on half of the month instead of two thirds. The summers are fresh and not too warm with temperatures reaching up to around 23°C in July and August. If you want a fresher experience spring and early Autumn might be better but do expect more chance of rain. St. Nicolas is celebrated here on the 6th December where him and his entourage arrive in Belgium in late November, a couple of weeks before the celebration starts.
As with any holiday, it's a good idea to carry some identification with you at all times and to keep a photocopy of your passport. British passport holders don't need a visa to enter Belgium. Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports, visas and travel.