IMAGE: SCStock


Capital City, Continental Impact

September 25, 2023

Often, we cover smaller or less well-known cities in this magazine. We like to show readers what a country has to offer beyond its capital and major cities, highlighting the progress these lesser-known places are making towards sustainability.


Brussels, then, may feel an unusual choice. Beyond its status as the Belgian capital, it's famous the world over as the administrative centre of the European Union.


However, this fame may detract from what the city has to offer visitors; you don't have to be a major EU institution to find your place here! Brussels is an accessible city with great sustainability credentials. Behind the busy city bustle, you'll find delicious cuisine, interesting history, and pockets of old-world charm. If you want to organise a business event here, then you can add state-of-the-art facilities to the city's attributes too—and its position as the EU 'capital' becomes a distinct bonus.


IMAGE: Bjorn Behaydt

Brussels: The Accessible Heart of Europe


Brussels is one of the easiest European capitals to travel to (if not the easiest!), especially by rail. The city has three main railway stations. South Station (Gare du Midi or Zuidstation) is served by Thalys, Eurostar, TGV Brussels-France, ICE and InterCity trains, providing services to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Great Britain. It also connects to the domestic railway network. If you're travelling from London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Cologne, you'll be here in two hours or less. North Station (Gare du Nord/Noordstation) handles mainly domestic routes, as does Central Station in the city centre. Another usefully-located station is Brussels-Schuman, serving the European Quarter.


Eurostar and Thalys are set to merge by October, with only the Eurostar brand prevailing. The unified entity will spotlight Brussels as the central hub of their expansive network, simplifying and enhancing the rail travel experience across key European cities.


Brussels is now more connected than ever with major European cities through night trains, a re-emerging travel trend. ÖBB Nightjet offers a cultural journey, emphasising Belgium's rich heritage, while European Sleeper is set to expand its routes, including a new service from Prague. As travellers seek sustainable options, the revival of night trains promises not only a blend of comfort and convenience but also a unique sense of adventure.


If you prefer a coach, Flixbus and BlaBlaCar Bus offer routes from cities throughout Europe. Many national coach companies, such as Megabus in the UK, offer services to Brussels too.


Over 200 destinations are connected to Brussels by air. Brussels Airport has its own train station, with trains leaving every 15 minutes to the north, central, and south stations (12-21 minutes). There's also a half-hourly bus service. If you land at Brussels South Charleroi Airport, it's a 20-minute bus journey to Charleroi-Sud station. You can then go on to Brussels by train (1 hour) or bus (45 minutes).


IMAGE: Bombaert

Getting Around in the City


Once you've arrived, it's easy to travel around the city sustainably too. There's a comprehensive public transport system of tram, bus and metro routes run by STIB/MIVB, including tram routes that extend to outlying municipalities. A new metro line, Line 3, is planned, which will run for 10.3 km north to south.


The trams and metro trains use 100% green electricity, and the metro trains recover much of their expended electricity via braking. STIB/MIVB has nearly 40 electric buses in its fleet, including 25 electric articulated buses that recharge overnight at the depot and enroute, and 402 hybrid buses. All newly buses purchased buses are now electric or hybrid.


If you want to venture further afield, train services are managed by SNCB/NMBS, and there are buses to Flanders destinations (run by De Lijn) and neighbouring Wallonia (run by TEC).


The Brussels Card, available in 24, 48 or 72-hour durations, provides free access to 49 museums, discounts at attractions, shops, restaurants, and bars, discounted guided tours, and a free app, information guide, city map and museum map. It also has an add-on option that provides unlimited access to public transport, including Hop-on Hop-off Tootbuses, the Noctis (night) buses, and airport shuttle buses.





IMAGE: Andrey Shevchenko

Cruising through the city's iconic avenues or winding down its historic alleyways, the silent hum of electric vehicles adds a futuristic touch to the Brussels experience. Several rental services offer a range of EV options, from sleek models for solo voyagers to roomy variants fit for family outings. Companies such as GreenMobility, UFODrive, Europcar, Sixt, Enterprise, and Green Motion are just a few on the ever-growing list. Convenient charging stations are sprinkled across key locations, ensuring that travellers can juice up their rides while soaking in the city's essence.


Brussels is a dense, highly populous city, meaning that distances are short, but pavements and streets can be busy—a problem the city is trying to tackle. Walking was at the heart of the urban project in the Regional Sustainable Development Plan (2018) and the Good Move regional mobility plan (2020-2030).


The Good Move plan envisions Brussels as a '15-minute city', where everyone has services and shops close to home. Ongoing actions include developing a coherent network of pedestrian routes and creating quieter neighbourhoods with less through-traffic, where public spaces are prioritised. Safer pedestrian crossings, traffic speed reduction methods and wider pedestrian walkways are also targets. A maintenance and redevelopment schedule for the city's pavements had been launched to bring them all up to a universal standard of safety and accessibility.


Brussels Mobility also launched a 2021 campaign to promote walking: Les Pieds/Je voeten. It 'marketed' feet as free, locally produced, 100% natural, available 24 hours a day—and capable of being recharged everywhere, with an expenditure of 67 kcal/km! Currently, 37% of all trips within Brussels are made on foot. The Good Move plan aims for trips by foot and bicycle to exceed 50% of all city trips by 2030.




IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

To that end, the city has launched various projects, alone and with partners, to promote cycling. Brussels already has 65 cycling 'nodes', all numbered for easy navigation, covering 220 km, and there are regional routes covering over 2,700 kilometres. The Brussels By Bike Map shows all the cycling nodes and major routes that criss-cross them.


Brussels also lies on the EuroVelo 5 Via Romea (Francigena) long-distance cycle route, which connects Canterbury in the United Kingdom to Brindisi in southern Italy, covering 3,200 km.


19 new regional cycle routes are planned. They include 12 radials, and the Canal, Senne and Maelbeek paths, which follow Brussels' waterways.


The Cyclofix map tool helps cyclists find useful facilities such as bike parking, water fountains and repair stops across the city. The non-profit CyCLO runs bike repair shops in seven strategic locations around the city.


Brussels' own Villo! bike share programme has 5,000 bikes (including e-bikes) for hire at 360 stations throughout the Brussels-Capital Region. There's an array of hire plans to suit all needs, and the first half an hour is free.


Several private companies also provide bike-sharing or rental, including Pro Velo, Swapfiets and Vanelo. Tier, Blue Bike, Prov Velo, E-bike To Go, Bolt and Cozywheels offer e-bikes; Bolt supplies e-scooters too, and the Cozywheels fleet includes cargo bikes.



IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

Accessibility for those with Disabilities


Brussels is striving to be accessible for those with disabilities. All STIB buses have a low floor, as do many of their trams—all newer trams being introduced have a lower floor and automatic access ramps. Around a hundred Brussels taxis have facilities to carry wheelchairs and drivers trained to assist, and STIB/MIVB's Taxibus service is available to help people with reduced mobility who can't reach their destination via public transport. Alternatively, Vanelo offers a range of adapted electric bicycles, trikes and rickshaws.


All metro stations have Braille maps, stud-marked paths and platform safety limit lines. 53 of the 60 metro and 'pre-metro' stations are equipped with guides, signage suitable for visually impaired people, and ramps or lifts, with more improvements to come. As for surface rail, SNCB/NMBS is trying hard to improve but admits it's still a work in progress. It does have specially trained staff and mobile teams to provide assistance. The SNCB/NMBS app lets you log multiple advance requests for help and has a handy route planner. Navigating Brussels, inclusivity takes the front seat, making the city a beacon for accessible travel.





IMAGE: Utopix / Lionel

A Sustainable Destination for Your Event or Break


Densely-populated Brussels has to work hard to achieve sustainability. Some of the measures it's put in place include:


  • The Regional Economic Transition Strategy (2022-2030), 'Shifting Economy', is designed to move Brussels to a circular economy and align its economic objectives with its climate objectives. Examples of this shift include:
  • A roadmap for promoting the re-use of building materials by public authorities, with the objective of increasing the volume of re-used construction materials in circulation by 50% by 2032.
  • A mandate making it compulsory, from 15th May 2023, for residents to sort food and green waste, ensuring it's collected and recycled if they're not composting it themselves.
  • The Inspire the Neighbourhood project offers support and funding to residents with good ideas to improve their district and its environment. From this year, residents can submit their ideas for consideration all year round, not just during open calls.
  • In the Low Emission Zone, staggered restrictions are gradually reducing combustion engine vehicles. The target is to ban diesel vehicles by 2030, and petrol, LPG and CNG vehicles by 2035.
  • The goal is for there to be an electric vehicle charging point within 150 metres of each household in the city by 2024, and 22,000 charging points in the region by 2035 (currently, there are around 2,500).
  • RENOLUTION: this Renovation Strategy aims to ensure that the average level of energy consumption for all Brussels housing will be 100kWh/m²/year by 2050 (around a third of the current average).




IMAGE: Utopix / Lionel

Explore Eco-Friendly, Authentic Brussels


To experience this city at its genuine and sustainable best:


Look Out for Labels


There are several labels used in Brussels to denote quality, safety and sustainability. We'll look at food labels later, but for attractions, accommodation and venues, seek out:


The Health Safety Label, awarded to providers in the tourism and MICE sectors who adhere to specific health and safety requirements.


The Green Key, an international eco-label widely used in Brussels within the tourism and MICE sectors. Label holders follow strict excellence criteria in environmental management, waste management, water, energy, green open spaces, food, environmental education, and mobility.


The Access-i label marks organisations that provide information on the accessibility of their buildings, goods, services, or events. Accessibility is assessed in seven categories, each corresponding to a special need and represented as a symbol in a box (e.g., a wheelchair symbol to denote accessibility for wheelchair users). The box colour corresponds to the accessibility level. Green denotes autonomous accessibility; orange, accessibility with the need for occasional help; and white denotes that an information sheet is available to let users assess if they will be able to access the service or building.


Brussels’ Bike Friendly label, given to accommodation providers that offer services and facilities for cyclists.





IMAGE: Mix Brussels

Choose Sustainable, Accessible Accommodation


Handy Brussels lists nearly 60 hotels that are accessible, and many hold sustainability certifications too—or adhere to comprehensive individual or corporate sustainability programmes.


Hotels listed as both accessible and sustainable include:


Mix Hotel


The newly opened 4-star Mix, located in the iconic La Royale Belge, merges contemporary design with eco-responsibility. Beyond its commitment to renewable energy and waste reduction, the hotel offers 180 rooms, state-of-the-art event facilities suitable for seminars, workshops, or intimate gatherings. While guests can enjoy a comfortable, tech-savvy stay, event organisers will appreciate the modern amenities that cater to diverse needs. Prioritising both environmental stewardship and guest experience, Mix presents an ideal destination for the eco-conscious traveller and event planner alike.



IMAGE: The Hoxton Brussels

The Hoxton


Another newly opened hotel, the 198-room Hoxton hotel seamlessly combines a luxurious experience with a dedication to sustainable practices. Set within the former European headquarters of IBM, its interiors exude vintage charm merged with modern touches, along with a Peruvian-inspired restaurant and a Mexican-inspired rooftop bar with views over Brussels. More than just a place to rest, The Hoxton is also a hub for gatherings and collaborations, offering diverse event spaces tailored for meetings, workshops, and social events. For travellers and businesses alike seeking both comfort and a sustainable ethos, The Hoxton delivers on all fronts, guaranteeing that every guest's stay is in harmony with sustainable values.


For luxury and historic grandeur: Steigenberger Icon Wiltcher's Hotel Brussels


An architecturally-stunning, historic, five-star hotel southeast of the city centre, with Green Key certification and the Health Safety Label. It offers 267 rooms, a wellness and spa centre, and five restaurants and bars—including one with a Michelin Star. It also has numerous event spaces, from small meeting rooms for 8 people to three ballrooms that can be combined to host 600.




IMAGE: Lena Wurm

For a five-star contemporary experience: Sofitel Brussels Europe


Sofitel Brussels Europe is close to the European Parliament. As part of the Accor group, this hotel follows the corporate Planet 21 sustainability programme, and has rooftop beehives used to supply the honey for breakfast. It also holds the Access-I label. Sofitel Brussels Europe offers 149 modern, elegant rooms and suites, plus a spa and fitness room, rooftop lounge, bar, and restaurant. There are also 11 rooms, plus a dining room, library and terrace, that can be booked for meetings, with capacity for between 20 and 250 people.


For a comfortable stay: Radisson RED Brussels


A thoroughly modern, sleek hotel with an arty vibe, in the heart of the European Quarter. It's Green Key certified and offers 194 rooms, a gym, a games room, and a bar and restaurant. There are three meeting spaces here, suitable for events for between 20-27 seated or 40-80 people for a cocktail reception. Immersing guests in a fusion of contemporary design and cultural richness, the hotel's vibrant ambiance perfectly captures Brussels' dynamic spirit.


For a budget stay: Bruegel Hostel


The 74 rooms here accommodate 1 to 4 people, so there are no big dormitories. Bright and modern, it's decorated in the style of painter Pieter Bruegel. The hostel is Green Key certified and lies close to Central Station.




Find Support and State-of-the-Art Facilities for Your Sustainable Event


The city's European Quarter houses numerous institutions. They include the Council of the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Commission, and of course, the European Parliament. This has helped to make the city a place of connection and cultural diversity, with a skilled, multilingual workforce, innovative businesses, and more international associations than any other city. It also has dynamic ICT and life-science sectors—and, of course, an exceptionally accessible location.


As for its sustainability, that extends to its business facilities too. The team at can help you make your meeting as ethically and environmentally friendly as possible, and there's a wide range of eco-friendly event venues, whether you're planning a small meeting or an international convention. All you need to ask yourself is: What kind of venue are you looking for?



IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

A Historic Venue?


EDIFICIO - Bibliothèque Solvay: This grand building, with its stunning Reading Room, has event spaces suitable for seated meetings for 20-40 people and cocktail receptions for between 30 and 250.


The Chalet Robinson: A unique chalet-style venue in an equally unique location, on an island in the Bois de la Cambre. Surrounded by water and woodland, it has five event spaces, with banqueting space for 40 to 320 people and reception space for up to 400.


A Contemporary Venue?


Sparks: In addition to its impressive green credentials, the venue boasts 2,500 m2 of flexible space, allowing tailored setups. It can host up to 250 guests across its 14 versatile and contemporary meeting rooms. Its central location, just a stone's throw from major transportation hubs, makes it easily accessible, reducing the need for long commutes.




IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

A Repurposed Heritage Venue?


Tour and Taxis: This Green-Key certified complex of renovated buildings, in a pedestrianised zone in the canal district, offers 25 adjacent event spaces for 2 to 15,000 people. Some are in grand, beautiful old buildings, while others are in industrial buildings with smart, contemporary interiors. The Sheds, Maison de la Poste and Gare Maritime are all Access-I labelled, with Gare Maritime impressively assessed as green or orange across all categories.


A Quirky Venue?


Nemo33: This aquatic centre is home to one of the deepest diving pools in the world, and also boasts state-of-the-art event facilities. It has event spaces from 40 m2 to 400 m2, accommodating large events for up to 1,200 people.





IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy



A Cultural Venue?


Museum of Natural Sciences: Hold dinners and receptions for up to 200 people in the Gallery of Dinosaurs or its mezzanine level, for a very different event. Alternatively, there are meeting rooms, event rooms and auditoriums for 18 to 150 people. The maximum capacity event capacity is 2000 people.



IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

Visit the Redeveloped Canal District


One of Brussels' sustainable successes that's well worth experiencing for yourself is its redeveloped canal area, which deserves an article all of its own. Unused industrial buildings and warehouses have been repurposed, and the area now has a hip, arty vibe and a sustainable focus. It brims with exhibitions, amazing street art, galleries, art studios, and eateries, most of whom focus on sustainability and local ingredients.


Belmundo goes one step further. Occupying an old malt house, its interior was entirely constructed from recycled pallets, and it sells furniture made from recycled pallets too. The restaurant is part of Groot Eiland vzw, a social economy organisation. It employs people struggling to find permanent work, giving them language lessons and valuable work experience. Meals are prepared from local produce, organic vegetables from the restaurant's own garden, or unsold produce from the morning market and supermarket.


The jewel in the crown here is Tour and Taxis. Its former freight station, Gare Maritime, now generates its own energy from geothermal and solar sources. Inside, you will find stunning internal wooden architecture, rows of trees and a large food court. There are also stylish event spaces and exhibitions.


Another Tour and Taxis resident is Permafungi. This social cooperative collects waste coffee grounds by bicycle and uses them to grow oyster mushrooms, produce fertiliser, and create myco-material, a biodegradable alternative to plastic.



IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

The BEL is one of Europe's largest passive buildings and one of its most sustainable event destinations. With its cutting-edge eco-friendly design and 700 m² of photovoltaic panels supplying nearly 88,000 kWh of electricity, the venue embodies the green ethos of the city. Covering a generous expanse of 16,700 m² of floor space, it boasts a variety of spaces, including a 415-seat auditorium, exhibition areas, and breakout rooms. Additionally, the panoramic terrace offers breathtaking views of Brussels. Guided by an unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility, BEL integrates sustainable practices in every event, from energy conservation to waste management.


Other highlights in the district include the interactive BELEXPO environment museum with its large park, and the Access-I-labelled BE-HERE sustainable village. Inside this 'village-in-a-building, you will find eco-friendly stores, a brasserie, a micro-brewery, a bicycle repair shop and even yoga sessions!



IMAGE: Utopix / Lionel

Immerse Yourself in Culture and History


It's worth mentioning that Brussels generally doesn't close on a Sunday. You'll find many of its shops, attractions and museums are still open. Some museums offer free entry on the first Sunday of every month.


The Grand Place


Expect stunning architecture on all sides in this grand square. It's home to the beautiful Town Hall, attractive 17th-century private houses and the Maison du Roi, or Broodhuis (Bread House), a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the Brussels City Museum. By night, the square's illuminations create a magical atmosphere, making it a must-visit both day and evening.


The Royal Galleries


These elegant galleries close to the Grand Place were opened in 1847. They housed restaurants, cafés, auditoriums, and apartments, and attracted many writers and painters. Today, these glass-topped arcades are still home to chic eateries, plus boutiques, a theatre and a cinema. Strolling through, one feels transported to a bygone era, yet greeted with contemporary allure, making it a timeless Brussels attraction.



IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

Manneken Pis


The cheeky little fountain statue, installed in 1619, that's become the symbol of Brussels. It replaced a pre-1388 stone version.


The Marolles District


You can often still hear the Brusseleir dialect being spoken here in this area; that's the 'most Brussels' of the capital's neighbourhoods.


Maison de Toone


A typical Brussels tavern in pink Spanish brick. Puppet shows, which have a long history in Brussels, take place here in the evenings.


Cantillon Brewery: Brussels Museum of the Gueuze


This family brewery still makes Lambic, Gueuze, Faro and Kriek as it did when it was founded in 1900.




Brussels has far too many museums to list them all, but the Museum of Musical Instruments and the Belgian Comic Strip Centre are both housed in Art Nouveau buildings, which are worth a visit in themselves. Don't miss the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Design Museum Brussels.


IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

Horta House and Villa Empain


Horta House was built between 1898 and 1901 by architect Victor Horta, a prolific pioneer of the Art Nouveau style. Villa Empain is a vast Art Deco mansion built in the 1930s. Both stand as exquisite testaments to Brussels' rich architectural tapestry, drawing art and history aficionados alike.



IMAGE: Anton Ivanov

The Atomium


Built to celebrate scientific discovery for the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium is a striking building consisting of nine 'ball-like' spaces that represent iron atoms. Go inside to visit the exhibitions and enjoy great views from the top.




IMAGE: Bjorn Beheydt

The European Quarter


This district isn't all looming buildings and concrete—far from it! There are some wonderful cafés and restaurants, and charming parks, such as Léopold Park. Near this park, just by the entrance to the European Parliament, you can see two pieces of the Berlin Wall on display. You can also discover more about the EU and Europe by visiting attractions such as the interactive House of European History or the European Parliament Hemicycle, where Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) hold their debates.



IMAGE: Werner Lerooy

Explore Beautiful Green Spaces Around Brussels


Brussels may have a large population and busy streets, particularly in the city centre, but it still boasts 8,000 hectares of green space—albeit mainly on its outskirts.


Josaphat Park


Located in Schaerbeek, this park offers ponds, floral borders, sculptures, and health trails, making it a must-visit for those seeking a slice of nature in the heart of the capital. Josaphat Park also boasts playgrounds and mini-golf, ensuring fun-filled experiences for visitors of all ages. This haven of greenery symbolises the city's commitment to preserving nature amidst

its architectural splendour.


The Logis and Floréal Garden City


Brussels' garden cities were districts developed in the 1920s to be green, comfortable, convenient areas for less privileged workers. This garden city in the south of Brussels, with its uniform cottages, is the best known. Listed as a protected monument, its numerous blossoming trees and shrubs are a wonderful sight in spring. The Logis and Floréal Garden City are more than just architectural gems; they echo a bygone era's ambition for communal living. A visit here is like stepping into a living postcard of Brussels' rich urban history.





IMAGE: / Jean-Paul Remy

The Sonian Forest


Since 2015, the Sonian Forest has been a designated 'Natura 2000' area, and parts of its 4,400-hectare area are UNESCO-listed too. Mainly consisting of beech trees, it's crisscrossed by trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and encompasses several parks, memorials and archaeological sites. It's also home to Drohme Park with its leisure, sports and cultural facilities; the Africa Museum; the Jean Massart Botanical Garden; and the fascinating Rouge-Cloître Abbey, worth a trip in itself for its traditional craft demonstrations and heritage displays.


The Neerpede Valley


A protected nature reserve just outside Brussels' ring road. It has signposted tracks and is a great spot for birdwatching. Visitors to the valley are treated to a blend of serene landscapes and the gentle murmur of nature, making it a perfect spot for sustainable exploration.


The Promenade Verte


This 63 km-long route passes through a variety of landscapes as it takes you on a roughly circular route around the region, with Brussels in the centre of the circle. It's divided into 7 sections of 5-12 km and can be followed on foot or by bicycle.


Bois de la Cambre


A wooded park designed by the German architect Edouard Keilig in 1861. It was designed to replicate the English style of recreating natural landscapes, using irregular planting and winding footpaths.



IMAGE: Jvdwolf



Dotted with fountains and statues, this park was commissioned in 1880 by King Leopold II to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Belgian independence. It's home to the Triumphal Arch, the  Art & History Museum, the War Heritage Institute (which provides access to the terraces atop the Triumphal Arch), and Autoworld (offering the capacity to host dinners for up to 1,000 seated guests).





The Best Ways to Explore the City


If you have disabilities or mobility issues


  • Pro Velo offers a range of scheduled bike tours and will organise bespoke tours too. They offer bikes, tandems and trikes specially designed for people with disabilities.
  • The Handy Brussels website has detailed accessibility information for accommodation, eateries, attractions, event venues and more.
  • The website of Brussels Museums, an association of over 120 Brussels Museums dedicated to sustainability and accessibility, has a diary page of events. You can filter them for accessibility and see details of the facilities provided.


On foot or by bicycle


  • Brussels is part of the International Greeter Association of volunteer tour guides. Offering free tours in 12 languages for groups of up to 6 people, Brussels' Greeters let you experience the city like the locals do.
  • There are more than 20 guide associations. Each offers its own thematic walks, from nature and history to gastronomy and comics.
  • The site has some great suggestions for walking routes around the city, including the Street Art Trail.
  • The site also has numerous bike routes in its 'Brussels By Bike' Section, allowing you to explore specific parts of the city or follow a themed trail. Get on your bike to discover the city's best art, fries or beer! You will find suggestions for bike-friendly hotels on the site too.


On public transport


The hop-on, hop-off bus service, Tootbus, takes you to all the main tourist attractions, including Manneken Pis, the Stock Exchange, the Atomium and the European Parliament.


IMAGE: EquinoxLightPhoto

Try Traditional Foods and Enjoy Eco-Friendly Eateries


Belgium is probably most famous for its chocolate, closely followed by its waffles and beer. There are plenty of places for you to discover the reason for this fame! But why not go more local and try some Brussels specialities? They include 'pains à la grecque' (a sweet cinnamon flat-bread), 'caricoles' ('escargots'—snails cooked in a spicy soup), 'anguilles au vert' (eel in green herb sauce), 'tartines de plattekeis' (a white cheese) and shrimp croquettes. As to where to try these delicacies, a good start is to look for the Brusselicious Label. It's awarded to eateries, from restaurants to food trucks, offering delicious local dishes and a warm welcome.



IMAGE: Mathieu Golinvaux

To enjoy cuisine cooked by some of Brussels' best chefs, book the Tram Experience, available from the beginning of September until mid-July. Enjoy a six or seven-course menu as you travel through some of the capital's most beautiful districts aboard a 1960s tram.


WILD LAB in Saint-Gilles offers delicious sustainable food. It's predominantly vegan; where dairy products are included, they're sustainably sourced, and cow's milk products aren't used. There are also seventy-six establishments in Brussels holding the 'Good Food Resto' label. This label promotes restaurants that use local, seasonal, responsibly-produced ingredients, offer animal protein alternatives and limit food waste. Try the zero-waste Super Fourchette, which offers all its dishes as takeaways in reusable glass boxes if you wish, or Les Filles, with its focus on organic produce from small cooperatives.


Vegans are well-catered for here. Head for Liu Lin, a Taiwan-inspired street food bar, for something informal, or treat yourself to dinner at Humus x Hortense, the first 100% plant-based restaurant in Belgium to receive a red Michelin star.


Shop for Local, Ethical Souvenirs


Finally, it would be rude to leave Brussels empty-handed; pay it homage by buying a sustainable and/or local souvenir. One way to ensure you take something authentic and ethical back home with you is to join the Mixua Eco Tour of Brussels. This provides an in-depth look at what terms like zero waste, organic and fairtrade mean in practice, and lets you talk to the business owners selling sustainable goods.



IMAGE: / Eric Danhier

For a sustainable shopping spree, head to:


Machao in Marolles for home décor made from refurbished, re-used furniture and textiles.


Valérie Berckmans in the city centre for fashion. Locally-produced from fair trade, organic or alternative raw materials (end-of-line fabrics, upcycled vintage pieces), her clothes are produced to a sustainable, zero-waste standard.


Orybany for zero waste, eco-responsible or upcycled fashion and accessories. The store also runs a wide range of workshops, mainly on crafts and cosmetic making.


MakeSenz in Ixelles for sustainable, organic cosmetics.


Supergreenme for sustainable fashion and toiletries for all the family, fabrics, and household products.


Don't forget markets. Brussels' biggest flea market, held on Sunday mornings at the Place du Jeu de Balle in the Marolles, is the ideal place to find second-hand bargains. In the afternoon, head to the MicroMarché at Quai à la Houille to browse the wares of local artists and craftspeople.



Belgian Beer World


This much-anticipated "temple of beer," opens on the 9th September at the Brussels Stock Exchange. This 12,000 m2 immersive experience dives into the rich history and art of brewing, offering multi-sensory workshops. The adventure concludes with a rooftop bar, providing panoramic views from a 350 m2 terrace.


IMAGE: / Eric Danhier

A City of Many Sides


It's hard to sum up Brussels in a word. It has a solemn side, but also a sassy one! It's cosmopolitan, yet it hasn't been stripped of Brusseleir atmosphere. It's busy and bustling, but not brash or self-important. It's moving with the times yet doing its best to ensure nobody gets left behind, and that its history is honoured through preservation or renovation.


The trend may be for city breaks to be short, but if you come to Brussels for a weekend, you'll barely scratch the surface. It's a city that deserves more of your precious time. Dive in, and let this vibrant city charm you with its layered depth and captivating allure!






Dive into Brussels' commitment to sustainability and see why it stands out as your next destination for an eco-aware getaway or gathering. Learn more by visiting:





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