Brussels - an international city with its own flavour
Brussels is a cosmopolitan and international city, which still manages to retain much of its unique character and medieval heritage. Most visits start at the ornate Grand Place, full of history, cafés and shops.
When is a good time to visit Brussels?
The warmest months of the year are May to September. The "Fête de l'Iris" is in May, with free live music, as well as street art and food. The "Ommegang" medieval pageant is held in mid-Summer, while the "Memorial Van Damme" athletics event takes place at the end of August and beginning of September.
What to note before travelling to Brussels?
Indian passport holders need a visa to enter Belgium, make an appointment on the Visa for Belgium website. Brussels' prices are higher than in India, with basic meals starting at about 6€, rising to around 13€ for main courses in restaurants. Beer costs about 6€ and soft drinks around 2€. Brussels Waffles are a typical treat and cost between 1.50€ and 3€. Also popular are mussels with chips, known as Moules Frites. Brussels is home to the first shopping centre in the world, The Galeries Saint Hubert (Sint Hubertusgalerijen), which opened its doors in 1847.
Some useful local information
Travelling from the airport to central Brussels by train takes around 20 minutes and costs about 8.50€. The Airport Line bus shuttle, operated by STIB/MIVB, costs around 4.50€ for advance tickets and about 6€ if paying on the bus. This takes around 30 minutes. Taxis take up to 40 minutes and cost between 35 and 45€. The city is compact enough to explore by walking, yet Brussels also has an efficient public transport system consisting of Metro, Premetro (trams travelling partly underground), trams and buses. Rechargeable MOBIB cards are valid for 60 minutes of travel and start at about 2.10€ when bought in advance. Five trips costs about 8€ and ten trips around 14€. Daily travelcards cost about 7.50€, or 14€ for two days and 18€ for three days. Taxis charge about 10€ for the first 3 km, then around 1.80€ per km. Bike hire is free for the first 30 minutes, then around 1.60€ a day, or 7.60€ for a week's hire. Hostels cost from 19€ a night, with 3* hotels starting at about 55€. Holiday rentals charge from 70€.