Bruxelles (În franceză: Bruxelles, în flamandă: Brussel) este capitala Belgiei şi deasemenea, neoficial, a Uniunii Europene. Situat la confluenţa culturilor germanică în nord şi romanică în sud şi jucând un rol important în Europa, oraşul corespunde descrierii de "creuzet", dar îşi păstrează un caracter propriu.
Aeroportul Internaţional Bruxells (cod IATA BRU), aflat la Zaventem, este aeroportul principal al oraşului. Legătura dintre aeroport şi centrul oraşului este asigurată printr-un tren cu plecarea la fiecare 15 minute, cu care călătoria costă 2.60 € şi durează 25 de minute. Legătura cu "Cartierul European" o asigură linia de autobuze numărul 12 cu plecări la intervale de 20-30 de minute, care costă 3 €. Taxiul până în centru costă aproximativ 20 € (preţuri din 2004) daca este rezervat în avans, altfel costă aproximativ 30 €.
Taxis bleus: 02 268 0000
Taxi Brussels: 02 411 4142
Taxis verts: 02 349 4343
Există câteva linii aeriene ieftine care deservesc Aeroportul Bruxelles Sud (cod IATA CRL), aflat la Charleroi. De acolo se poate ajunge la Bruxelles cu autocarul (o cursă durează o oră şi costa 10 € în 2004) sau cu autobuzul până la gara Charleroi şi apoi cu trenul.
Aeroportul oraşului Anvers (cod IATA ANR), are de asemenea legături bune pe calea ferată cu Bruxelles.
Trenul de mare viteză Thalys (tel.: 070 66 77 88) leagă Bruxelles de Paris (o oră şi 30 de minute), Köln (2 ore şi 30 de minute), Amsterdam (3 ore) şi Marsilia (5ore). Se practică numeroase reduceri de preţ pentru călătorii sub 25 de ani sau care cumpără biletele cu până la două săptămâni în avans sau în timpul unor perioade cu reduceri de preţ. Preţul unei călătorii la Paris variază de la 50 € dus-întors (cumpărat în avans) la peste 150 € doar dus (cumpărat pe loc).
Trenul de mare viteză Eurostar (tel.: 02 528 28 28) leagă Bruxelles (doar gara 'Midi') de Lille (39 de minute, de la 22 € în sus), Ashford (Kent) (o oră şi 38 de minute, de la 40 € în sus) şi Waterloo, Londra (2 ore şi 27 de minute, de la 40 € în sus).
Companiile de autocare de linie Eurolines (Tel: 02 274.13.50, Fax. 02 201.11.40) şi Gulliver (Tel: +49 30 311 0 211) leagă Bruxelles de multe oraşe din alte ţări.
Brussels has 3 metro lines, many buses and some tramways, all run by STIB/MIVB.
A card that can be used for ten rides with public transport costs 9,80 €.
One hour tickets cost 1,40 € and are available from the driver. One, five and ten ride tickets are available at almost all metro and train stations, and possibly at newspaper kiosks. You validate the ticket in the orange box on the bus, or at the orange boxes at the metro and tramway stations before entering the platform. The orange boxes time-stamp the ticket, both in ink and magnetically, and it will be valid for one hour. You can interrupt your ride and interchangeably use any STIB/MIVB transport. You should revalidate your ticket for each new ride.
There are also one-day tickets available, for 3,80 €.
On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays you can take another person with you.
Definitely check out the Arc de Triomphe on the east side of town. It's in the Cinquantenaire Park. Take Metro line 1 east, exit Schumann and walk east or exit Merode and walk west.
The Atomium and Europe in miniature are worth a trip. Take Metro line 1A direction Heysel. The Atomium is closed until January of 2006 for renovation work.
Brave the tourist-trap restaurant gauntlet of the rue des Bouchers.
See the history of film-making at Musée du Cinéma, it's free to look around, and classic and cult films are shown at low prices. Rue Baron Horta-str., walk from Gare Centrale.
Musées Royaux d'Art et d'histoire The Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts show historical art and modern art in one building. Opening hours: Museum of Historical Art Tues-Sun 10am-noon and 1-5pm; Museum of Modern Art Tue-Sun 10am-1pm and 2-5pm. Address: Rue de la Régence 3, at place Royale, Phone: 02/508-32-11, Prices: 5.00€ adults, 2.50€ students/seniors/disabled visitors, 1.25€ children 12-18, under 12 free. Description: In a vast museum of several buildings, this complex combines the Musée d'Art Ancien and the Musée d'Art Moderne under one roof (connected by a passage). The collection shows off works, most of them Belgian, from the 14th to the 20th century, starting in the historical section, with Hans Memling's portraits from the late 15th century, which are marked by sharp lifelike details, works by Hieronymus Bosch, and Lucas Cranach's Adam and Eve. You should particularly seek out the subsequent rooms featuring Pieter Brueghel, including his Adoration of the Magi. Don't miss his unusual Fall of the Rebel Angels, with grotesque faces and beasts. But don't fear -- many of Brueghel's paintings, like those depicting Flemish village life, are of a less fiery nature. Later artists represented include Rubens, van Dyck, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt. Next door, in a circular building connected to the main entrance, the modern art section has an emphasis on underground works - if only because the museum's eight floors are all below ground level. The collection includes works by van Gogh, Matisse, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst, Chagall, Miró, and local boys Magritte, Delvaux, De Braekeleer, and Permeke.
Musée BD is located in Europes earliest Shopping-Mall (a shine Jugendstil palais). There is a permanent exposition featuring the early beginning of comics as well as it's development. There is enough room for other varying expositions. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Prices: 6.00€ adults, 4.00€ students/seniors. The librarie Bd at the ground floor sells many different comics.
Snapping up a Bargain at the Flea Market. Each day, from 7am to 2pm, the Marché-aux-Puces in place du Jeu de Balle offers everything from the weird to the wonderful at rock-bottom prices.
Taking a Ferry Trip. The ferry in question is a tiny, electrically operated pontoon that makes a 1-minute crossing to Robinson's Island in the lake at the heart of Bois de la Cambre.
Shopping at Galeries Royales St-Hubert. The world's first shopping mall, opened in 1847, is a light and airy triple-gallery enclosing boutiques, bookshops, cafés, restaurants, and a theater and cinema.
FOSDEM is an annual event of the Free Software / Open Source community. Many renowned speakers talk about their projects. Any attendee may be able to take part of tutorials or to meet lead developers of the many different open source fields (Linux distributions: Debian, Gentoo,..; desktop applications: Gnome, Mozilla, Opengroupware; Programming Languages: Perl, Php, Tcl..). The entrance and attendance are free.
The Cooperative nouveau cinema plays the Actors Studio and the Styx. Both cinemas are screening interesting films in their original version with French and Flemish subtitles. Actor's studio, 16 petite rue des bouchers, bruxelles 1000, tel: 025121696. Cinéma Styx, 72 rue de l'Arbre Bénit, 1050 Bruxelles.
Hydra-breaks organises "Next Level" and "Caliente" drum and bass parties at various locations. Next level is a midsize party with international headliners. Caliente is a smaller club night with Belgian DJs.
Gays and Lesbians may want to check out the Next parties. They organize a free party bus from Brussels center.
Beer Mania claims to have a stock of over 400 beers.
Comic books and rare books. De Slegte on rue des Grands Carmes, FNAC on rue Neuve.
General shopping along rue Neuve with GB supermarket at City 2 accessed
from rue Neuve and Metro Rogier.
Frites! Belgian Fries are usually of high quality and served with a choice of sauces, common is "Frites avec Mayonnaise".
Pig out on Belgian Chocolates. Those devilish little creations--handmade Belgian pralines--are so addictive they should be sold with a government health warning. Try the Wittamer chocolatier in place du Grand Sablon, and eat your fill. Passion Chocolat is a bit out of the way but its artisanal chocolate is worth a visit, & you can taste lots of it for free at the entrance.
Falstaff has decent food and is open every day until 02:00, around 20-30 Euros. Rue Henri Mausstraat 19 by the Bourse.
Aux Armes de Bruxelles, 13 rue des Bouchers Telephone +32 25115550. Closed Mondays (as of 2001). Basic honest food. Crowded. From 5 Euros upwards (as of 2001).
Resto.be will help you find almost any restaurant in Belgium, comments and appreciations must not be taken literally.
Taverne du Passage is an old-style luxurious Restaurant in the Galerie de la reine (see aboves). Tel.: +32 2512 3731
Léon 1893 is in middle of many others Restaurant around de la rue des Bouchers 18 proposing typical Belgium food like moule et frites. Tel: +42 2511 1415
Insider-Tip: Le Beau Soleil. This very little restaurant (approx. 14 seats) is located in Rue Lebeau 7. The interior looks like a violin workshop, so you sit next to all the tools and half finished violins. Unlike other Belgian restaurants, it is open from 9am to 5pm (Mo-Fr), 9am to 6pm (Sat,Sun), closed on Wednesday. The menu is small, really delicious. (I had the best Quiche and cheese cake of my life!). The atmosphere is informal, so do not expect a formal restaurant atmosphere. It is more kind of being invited by friends. Tel.: 02/5032779.
Les Brassins is located in Ixelles rue Keyenveld 36. It's audience is mostly made out of young couples or students. Rich choice of beer, good quality of food. Tel.: +32 2512 6999
Belgium has a lot to offer for beer lovers.
Bier Circus no 89 (moves to no 57 March 2005) , rue de l'Enseignement/Onderrichtstraat, tel: 218-00-34 have an impressive selection of beers.
A La Becase serves a typical Brussels product this slightly sweetened Lambic beer, white beer based on Lambic, Kiek Lambic and so on. It's entrance is not that easy to find. rue de Tabora 11, Bruxelles 1000, Tel: 02 511 0006
The hostel Generation Europe offers beds for budget travelling.
Hotel A La Grande Cloche - cheap rates, decent rooms, decent location halfway between Gare Du Midi and the Grand Place (about a 10-minute walk to either). Address: 10/12 Place Roupe, 1000 Brussels, price around 70 Euros.
Hotel Opera is centrally placed on Rue Grétry 53, Brussels. Quoted price of 73 Euros may be negotiated downwards if booking a off-peak weekend or 3 or more days.
Sofitel Brussels Toison d'Or, 40, avenue de la Toison d'Or (subway station Louisa, turn to the right towards the Hilton - it's right across the street), +32 2 5142200 (fax: +32 2 5145744, email: H1071@accor-hotels.com). Open daily 24h. A rather nice Sofitel with good rooms, conveniently located close to the very heart of the city in the fashionable Luisa district. €99 - €495 per person per night (breakfast €25/person - but there is a Quick fast food restaurant right next door). http://www.accorhotels.com/accorhotels/fichehotel/gb/sof/1071/fiche_hotel.shtml