Brussels is consistently ranked as one of the top convention cities in the world, thanks to its ample meeting space and picturesque setting. Ever since World War II, Brussels has been a global capital of international politics and is home to a number of international organisations. This global focus makes Brussels a dynamic and interesting city, perfect for bringing conference attendees together from around the world.
The Brussels Expo is the city's primary conference space, offering over 1.2 million square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Although French is the official language in the city, the growing influx of immigrants and expatriates has made the city increasingly multilingual.
Visitors to Brussels should not miss the Grand Place, a 15th century town square and the home of the world-famous Mannekin Pis, or Peeing Boy statue. The Palais de Justice, the high court of Brussels, offers one of the most spectacular vistas to look out over the city. Other popular European cities, including Paris, Amsterdam, and London, are less than two hours away by train, offering ample opportunities for day trips.
When compared to other popular cities in Europe, the hotel prices in Brussels are much more affordable, even for well-known hotel chains. Travellers have a range of options to choose from to satisfy any budget. Apartments are also available for rent, giving visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the city's culture while living like a local. Brussels is a relatively small city, so most accommodation options provide easy access to the city's centre. Here are a few recommendations from top travel companies to help guide you in your selection:
Dining out is a popular activity in Brussels, and the locals often prefer to eat outside. The local cuisine features strong French and Italian influences. The atmosphere is relaxed and the beer is plentiful. Watch out for tourist traps, though, as there are many in the city. Even though they are often crowded with diners, the food can sometimes be mediocre at best. Ask the locals for recommendations, or check out a few from popular travel sites:
Brussels' public transportation system is an affordable and easy way to get around the city. The subway, bus, and streetcar network can get you just about anywhere you need to go in the city for just a few euros. The price is slightly more expensive to buy your tickets on-board, so you are better off purchasing you tickets prior to boarding. Morning and evening hours tend to be pretty busy, so try to avoid the stations during these times. Pickpocketing is also common during the busy hours, so keep your belongings close.
When the public transport system is busy, you are better off walking around the city. Because of its small size, most places are relatively quick to get to on foot. However, it is important to note that pedestrians do not have the right of way in Brussels, so be sure to watch carefully before crossing the street, as cars will not stop for you. In the city's core, there are many pedestrian avenues that are safe and enjoyable at any time of the day.
Travelling by car or taxi in Brussels is not recommended. Drivers tend to be highly aggressive, which can be unsettling to visitors who are not familiar with the city. Also, in the mornings and evenings, traffic stops almost to a standstill. Taxis are available from most hotels and public areas, but the meter will keep running while you are sitting in traffic. Public transport and walking are your best options for getting around.