Brussels is the capital of 500 million Europeans and is one of the world’s Power Cities – very important places for decision-making and debate. But it’s a metropolis with a personal touch, internationally renowned for its conviviality. It offers a warm welcome to its numerous visitors: whether they come for business, culture, leisure or to get away from it all, a trip to Brussels is always memorable.
It’s a global and proudly multicultural city… it’s both historical and modern, a meeting point of North and South, where the differences are maintained yet meld together harmoniously.
Its gastronomy is up to any challenge, its fashion walks the most sought-after runways, its architectural heritage was created by some of the world’s most famous names and its comic book heroes have become Hollywood stars…
The multiple identities of Brussels are its key assets and each visit to the European capital is unique. Welcoming, dynamic and open, the capital makes all the treasures that it contains accessible to friends and family, winter and summer, day or night.
Audrey Hepburn, the actress who became a fashion icon for her effortless elegance, was born in Brussels in May 4th, 1929. Nowadays there is a plaque outside her house at Rue Keyenveld 48 in Ixelles which is missed by most visitors in Brussels as it is off the tourist radar and close to hidden gems like L’Epicerie. Audrey Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England and the Netherlands.
Brussels gastronomy has a long history with deep-rooted traditions, quality produce and bold flavours. Among the many Belgian specialities, three are long-standing favourite taste-sensations, emblematic of Brussels.
Chocolate is undoubtedly the best-known and most-exported gourmet product. Neatly arranged in ballotin boxes, pralines (invented in Brussels) are true jewels. World-renowned chocolatiers like Frédéric Blondeel, Godiva, Laurent Gerbaud, Mary, Neuhaus, Pierre Marcolini, Wittamer can be found in the Galeries de la Reine, around the Sablon and elsewhere
As a reaction to their predecessors, who only made neo-something art, the artists of the 1940’s created a movement that defied all conventions: Surrealism. It was a revolution that questioned everything… Not just painting and literature, but also the way of life at the time, as their works demonstrate. The artists of Brussels, who already were natural rebels with a love of derision, quickly adopted this state of mind. Even now, Surrealism can be found around every corner.
Gay Brussels is all about a spirit of freedom, non-discriminatory legislation and a wide offer of varied activities in terms of nightlife, gastronomy, shopping and culture. Situated in the centre of a virtual rectangle linking Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris and London, Brussels is synonymous with joie de vivre and multiculturalism.
When the offices close and the conference rooms empty, another life begins: there are some who go home… and others who go out. That’s the time to explore the soul of Brussels, to soak up its cosmopolitan atmosphere and experience its cultural differences. Here, in just a few paces, visitors can switch from one ambience to another – from exotic to trendy, from lounge to swanky, to places for lovers of music and food.