A weekend in…

Before you go

… allow us to point out some easy ways to get more out of your city trip to Brussels. As is so often the case, the secret lies in the preparatio­n. When should you go? What’s the best way to get there? Where should you stay? Which items are indispensa­ble i

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Let’s face it: Brussels isn’t exactly an exotic, sunny paradise. In fact, the weather is pretty much the same as in the United Kingdom, if a tad drier. To increase your odds of having a sunny stay, late spring or summer are the times to go. From April on, the temperatur­es are mild and the number of rainy days decreases. In July and August, the temperatur­es can climb up to 25 degrees – or you might even get a rare 30 degrees, if you’re lucky. If you go between September and April, you might want to wear a warm coat and bring an umbrella. These are just statistics, though. The weather in Brussels seems to follow only one rule – you can never be sure what to expect.

What to pack?

Besides warm, waterproof clothing (if you go in winter), you should bring some cash with you. While supermarke­ts, restaurant­s and major shops almost always accept card payments, smaller purchases often have to be made in cash. Of course, the city counts ATMs aplenty, so you can withdraw money anywhere you want.

Brussels is easy to walk through, so hiking boots can – but don't need to be – worn. Avoid entering the historic centre on stilettos, though. Its cobbled streets make it a high-heel nightmare.

Brussels isn’t overly touristy, so booking your visits in advance is usually not required. Only a guided visit to the European institutio­ns requires a reservatio­n. When going for dinner, however, we advise you to book a table in advance, at least if you’ve got your mind set on a specific place. Belgians eat

around 7pm, so by then, it can be hard to find a vacant table anywhere. If you want to go to a concert, play or sports event, check in advance whether a reservatio­n is necessary.

Brussels is easy to reach by plane, as most British and European internatio­nal airports have at least one daily connection with Brussels Airport. Moreover, flights are usually very cheap. If you are lucky, you can get to Brussels for 20 euros or less. If you want to travel by train, you can take the intercity from Amsterdam

(3 hours), the Thalys from Amsterdam (2 hours) or Paris (1.30 hours), the Eurostar from Amsterdam (2 hours) or London (2 hours), the ICE from Cologne (1.45 hours) and Frankfurt (3 hours), or the night train from Innsbruck (15 hours) or Vienna (14 hours).

Where to stay?

As a business centre pur sang, Brussels counts numerous affordable business hotels. If you crave a bit more luxury, lush places like Steigenber­ger Wiltcher (from €179) and The Hotel – where Barack Obama used to stay when he came to Brussels – (from €112) are great options. If you search a bit, you will also discover that the city counts plenty of well-hidden boutique hotels and charming bed and breakfasts – both wallet friendly.

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