"BRUXELLES - BRUSSEL - BRUSSELS" Top 5 Page for this destination Brussels by breughel

Brussels Travel Guide: 5,813 reviews and 12,540 photos


Although I was born and lived 50 years in Brussels, I decided to write not much on my home town; other VT members wrote here numerous and excellent comments about Brussels. What could I write more that is not redundant?
I nevertheless made an exception for some comments on the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the distinction to be made between Flemish and Dutch painters .
Indeed a VT visitor, from over the ocean, wrote a comment which risks raising a problem with our Dutch neighbours:

" Highlights include "Belgian" Bruegel(s), Bosch, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Jordaens paintings (I put "Belgian" in " because Belgian as a country did not exist when these painters were alive)."

The last part is right but Rembrandt was never Flemish or Belgian, he was a genuine Dutchman from Leiden (between Rotterdam and Amsterdam)!

For those who like to visit museums, I added some tips about the best museums in Brussels.
Having revisited recently, here in Brussels, the Cinquantenaire and the two main museums located in this park i.e. the Army Museum and the Royal Museum of Art and History, I noticed that as what concerns quality and variety they are as good as better-known museums from abroad.
Grass is not necessarily greener elsewhere!


I had written some comments about the history of Belgium on my intro page but with the new VT layout this page is no more visible under "Belgium Travel Guide".
Therefore I rewrite here that great moment of the history of Belgium i.e. the Liberation of Brussels on September 3 & 4th, 1944.

Some days before the arrival of the Allied armies, all Belgian families cut a sheet in three parts which they coloured in black, yellow and red with the appropriate dyes. The three rectangles were then sewed together in the form of the national flag.
On the day of the Liberation coming on the street I was really dazzled by all these tricolour flags hanging on all houses. I have never forgotten this colourful vision.

On that day I saw for the first time friendly soldiers; they were British. A soldier on a tank gave me my first chewing gum.
Later I learnt that they were Welsh Guards. I believe that it is the reason of my sympathy for the Welsh people (ref. my tip on Barry Cymru am Byth.
It were the 1st (Infantry) and 2nd Battalion (Armoured) WELSH GUARDS, part of the British Guards Armoured Division, who after an advance of 100 miles in one day entered Brussels on the evening of 3 September 1944.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, commanding the Welsh Guards recalled that great moment:
"Crowds of joyous, deliriously excited citizens barred the way, swarmed all over our tanks, screamed salutations to us, pressed fruit and drink upon the tired, dusty, hot tank crews. [?] one was left wondering which was worse ? to be kissed, hugged and screamed at by hysterical women while trying to give orders over the wireless and to control the direction of your tank; or to be free of the crowd and shot at by the Germans."

A great, great moment which I don't forget and for which I remain grateful to all those soldiers British, Americans, Canadians, Poles, of which many rest in the cemeteries of my country.


Is the climate cooling down in Brussels and surroundings?
We used to have here a rainy but mild climate. Snow was exceptional.
It changed dramatically in 2008.
Snow on 25th March. Easter of 2008 was the coldest since 40 years. On October 30th, it started snowing here just south of Brussels. Never seen that in 50 years!
After winter 2008-09 being the coldest since 1987 we Belgians thought it was time to react and we put a political party called Ecolo into our regional government. The ecologists had predicted a warming up of the climate so that we thought we would have nice warm weather in our country.
The disappointment was terrible, no global warming as promised by them but a terrible cold winter 2009-2010, a lot of snow blocking our roads.
The cold weather continues. This month of May reached a record of cold.
Only 3C on May 3rd made of me a climatesceptic!
This is the third year of an unusual cold and snowy winter. 2010 with 53 days of snow did beat all records since one hundred years.
This winter 2012-13 is again a cold winter (four weeks of frost) with a record of snow more than 15 cm, not in the Ardennes but in the low lands. The global warming did cost me snow tyres!
March 12, 2013 again 10 cm snow and 1600 Km roads blocked. A record for Belgium!
May 24, 2013 the coldest May 24 since 1833. Should we start praying for the global warming?

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Was a wonderful city in the time of Jacques Brel.
  • Cons:Increasing criminality.
  • In a nutshell:Brussels in one sentence! Even our best politicians are unable to do that!
  • Last visit to Brussels: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (90)

Comments (36)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2015 at 4:30 AM

    On one day I will come with my big cameras!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Me again, just checking your updates since last February. Next October I will be in Brussels for a few minutes, but only to change trains on my way to Lille.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I missed so much of the good sites when we came through here 3 times. Glad you show such good detail

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      May 30, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      There are some good things left in Brussels a.o. these two museums. For many other things the evolution is negative. What explains that so many Brusseleirs left the town to live in the green surroundings.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Again you have added numerous updates since I last looked at this page. Here in Frankfurt we have also had a few cold days this winter, but no records have been broken. Actually it has been quite mild most of the time.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    What do you think of Jacques Brel's pronunciation when he sings in Nederlands?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    Me again, coming back to look at your updates and new tips that you have added to your Brussels page since last November. The mussels seem to be a good example of international cooperation, since they are grown in the Netherlands but cooked and eaten in Belgium. I?m sorry to read about the rise of criminality in Brussels.

  • wandeljp's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I love chocolates... euh ...pralines :-)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    Hi Eddy, I?m glad to see you have been adding lots of updates to this page in the past several months. Your museum tips are especially informative as always. Also I now know why frites taste better in Belgium than in other countries. Do they really enforce the regulations about what kind of oil to use?

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Mhhh... I am hungry now and want frites :-) And remember the good old days when we departed from the airport with tons of pralines boxes :-) Leonidas was always my favourite :-) BTW: we have member's choice back as default :-)

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Very informative page, both museum and gastronomy visits. it is pity that criminal sitaution is worse since my visit in 2006... but the city is one of my favorite ones in any way!


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