Brussels

17th August 2007 at 01:00
Why go?

With one of the most beautiful city centres in Europe, 83 museums, hundreds of local beers and designer chocolates, Brussels is a treat.

Why go now?

Last chance to see Only a Game? (www.onlyagame.be, until August 26), an exhibition at the Musees royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, which claims to convert even non fans to football.

I'm very cultured

Brussels' fine arts museum is worth a look, or try Horta Museum, to explore the wonderful art nouveau heritage of Brussels. More museums at www.brusselsmuseums.be

I think fashion is an art

So do the Belgians. In Avenue Dansaert (www.brusselscreativity.com), Stijl is the boutique which started it, while Avenue Louise is the shopping street where you'll find established names.

There's so much to see

The Brussels card offers free entry to 25 museums, free transport (from about pound;13.60, 22E, for 24 hours) and discounts. For travel only, a Brussels Pass starts from about pound;2.70, 4E (www.brusselsinternational.be). Book 24 hours before you go and collect at Brussels Midi station or the Grand Place information point.

Time for a beer

The Delirium Cafe has a collection of 2,000 beers (www.deliriumcafe.be). The Grand Place has a Belgian beer weekend from August 31 to September 2.

I'm hungry

The perfect pitstop for mussels and chips (and don't forget the mayo), Chez Leon is one of the city's oldest establishments in the Rue des Bouchers (www.ilotsacre.be) noshing district.

I'm a gourmet

Comme chez Soi in the Sablons district (www.commechezsoi.be) is elegant. If you try Belga Queen brasserie (www.belgaqueen.be), nip to the loo the cubicle doors are clear glass, but turn opaque when you lock them.

How to get there

Eurostar (www.eurostar.com, from pound;59 return) takes two hours from Waterloo.

Stay another day

Citadines Apart'Hotels has apartments for up to six from pound;26pppn. A studio for two sharing is from pound;54pppn (0800 376 3898, www.citadines.com). Or treat yourself at the Conrad (00 32 25 42 42 42, www.conradhotels.com)

www.visitflanders.com

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