Belgium

Panorama des Stadtplatzes in Brüssel

Belgium

Trilingual, multicultural...

...and full of wonderful, historic buildings.

Pommes frites were invented in Belgium, people here discuss how brown they should be - and do so in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.
With an area of only 32.61 square kilometres, Brussels is not exactly a mega-city, but it is packed with variety on a very compact scale. Clearly in first place for people with an interest in politics is the European Quarter with its trendy shops, numerous parks and wonderful museums. Highlights include the headquarters of the European Union and Parliamentarium, the House of European History, and the chamber of the European parliament. The 100,000 or so people from all over the world also bring the quarter to life outside of office hours. Their meeting place: "Maison Antoine", the most famous snack bar in the city.

After all, it is not only the little grey cells that want stimulating: your luggage should also definitely include trousers with an elasticated waistline, because Brussels specialities are highly calorific and irresistible: waffles, pommes frites - topped with mussels or mayonnaise, the finest pralines and, of course, beer: Belgium is the world’s leading brewer, the hop and barley brew is even on the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Fully refreshed in this way, you’ll experience sights such as the guildhalls on the Grand Place, the Atomium, the cute Manneken Pis and the Broodhous much more intensely.

And away from the well-trodden paths? As Europe’s capital, Brussels is a melting pot of different cultures - which can be experienced up close in trendy districts such as Matonge ("Little Africa"), Kolenmarkt, Les Marolles and Sablon - where the finest chocolate can also be purchased for a fair price. Heading home on the Nightjet, you can then digest all the impressions - and delicacies - in peace and quiet...

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