Archive for September, 2010

Brussels excursion tours, a chance to peep into Belgian culture

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Brussels entirely is an old city which has been the center of politics from the early days and known for creative architectural structures that definitely caters tourist towards it. The attractions in Brussels are one of the factors that have contributed to tourists going to the place year in year out. Its excursion tour let one to learn about the city in rather different way.

• Gent: Ghent is a popular city and municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and the largest city of the East Flanders province. The earliest civilization on the city started as a settlement at the union of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and during middle ages was the largest and richest cities in the Northern Europe. Presently, it is busy city with a port and a university. The city is known for organizing some of the biggest cultural events like Gentse Feesten, I Love Techno, “10 Days Off” musical festival, Flanders International Film Festival Ghent and the Gent Festival van Vlaanderen. And in every five years, there occur massive botanical exhibition which attracts good number visitors into the city.

• A4 / E411 autoroute: This road tour let you to have entirely different panoramic view of the city along with its beautiful road, the hills slowly rises up and gives glimpses of the Meuse at Namur as you shoot over a high spanning bridge and the road connects with the Bvd. General Jacques on the `ceinture’ running around Brussels. There on the both side of streets you can have beautiful plaques by the side of the motorway, really poetic, drawing attention to the things as you are driving past at top speed. In area around the monastery at Villers-la-Ville you will have `le pays ou les pierres prient’ as some amusement park just outside Brussels with the picture of a rollercoaster and the slogan`cris et chuchotements’.

• Day Trip to Aachen, Germany:
This two hour trip to Aachen begins at the 10 am at the Brussels Central. After one hour train reaches to Leige, and hence after is changed and journey further continues to Aachen. On the train journey you can have bit idea about the wide windows that gives a better and exciting view of the countryside. The Aachen is a place filled with some old buildings and churches in the old city area, and too some better cafes for lunch. At railway information center you can have the tourist map so you can enjoy and roam freely everywhere.

• Excursion to Bruges: Bruges is a beautiful town and is worth visiting in Brussels for a few hours. Your efforts will be rewarded and in case you are traveling in rain then it would be best memories for you to keep in your mind. The train trip from Brussels Central take an hour, the only stop on route is at St Pieters, Gent. Bruges is a beautiful old town having magnificent old buildings, churches and the canals and you even can enjoy there 30 minute boat tour.

• Hallerbos:
At the South of Brussels, near Dworp, you will find ‘Het Hallerbos’. While at the end of April and in the very start of May, the wild flowers, like wild hyacints grow there and cover up the entire area up the soil.

Brussels guided tours to visit in and around the city

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The historic city of Brussels provides ample opportunity to sightseeing and there visitors can have a better time while passing and crossing around its different sites. There a good number of guided tours of Brussels are available through out the city. You can do a good number of activities on a Brussels tour and some of them are provided for your leisure as below:

• Luxembourg and the Ardennes tour: In case, you have enough time you can enjoy and can take a full-day tour from Brussels to find out the Luxembourg and the scenic Ardennes region. After traveling through rolling hills and dense forest, you’ll reach at Lavaux Saint-Anne, a beautiful Belgian Castle.

• Antwerp Half-Day Trip from Brussels: You can spare around an afternoon in Antwerp which is the second largest city on Europe’s largest harbor. Here you can enjoy and can watch polishing and cutting of Diamonds at a gem workshop. On the tour your first stop is Marquet Square that is an ancient houses and Our Lady’s Cathedral. Amongst other treasures, the cathedral has two of Rubens’ master works: “The Elevation of the Cross” and “The Descent from the Cross”. As Antwerp is the world’s diamond center, there at a diamond workshop you will learn more about the diamond industry.

• The Brussels Card: The Brussels Card let you to enjoy and roam around the long list of Brussels’ museums and all the buses, trams and metros of the Brussels Public Transport Company (STIB). However to visit the National Botanical Gardens of Belgium and for the Wellington Museum you need to pay some extra bugs. Every card comes with a free guidebook with helpful information on the tourist centers related to card along with a city map.

• Bruges Express City Tour from Brussels: After reaching Bruges you can visit the Lake of Love (Minnewater) and the Beguinage (convent). And next have a walking tout and visit Our Lady’s Church that is decorated with the Madonna statue by Michelangelo. On a trip to Bruges you can have a recorded commentary that can help you to found out the history of Flanders, Ghent and Bruges. After the walking tour and for weekend tours only, you can choose to involve an optional boat tour along the canals.

• Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour: This four hour guided tour let you to understand the history and culture of Brussels and its relation to mouth watering chocolate tradition of Belgium. You finish this tour with a Belgian chocolate testing session with a master Chocolatier. On the tour you will travel across places like cobbled streets of the historic old town, Grand Place, the former market square, Manneken Pis, the iconic Brussel’s statue made by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619, the Comic Strip Route, and Royal Palace. Meanwhile on the tour you would luckily visit the European Union district that is home to Parliament Buildings and Art Nouveau houses.

• Mini Europe - Miniature Model Park: On the tour of Mini Europe you can view samples as specific to each European country. You can roam around in ambience and comfort of most beautiful cities of the ancient European Continent. You can experience there chimes of Big Ben that carries you to the center and heart of London. The gondolas and mandolins serenade let you to imagine you at Venice lanes. The Thalys of Paris to the furthest end of France. There are around more than 350 sites and monuments as reconstructed there to their best details as set in adaptable green setting with typical ambience for each monument.

Some best spots in Brussels to dine and Drink

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Dining is very serious occupation in Belgium and all the standards there are maintained for hungry travellers on a budget as well as there are some that can be relished and enjoyed if one is fond of eating at expensive restaurants. For fast eating too there are street side cafés where Belgium waffles, chocolate, French fries and beer all make it a great treat to be enjoyed in company of friends or dear ones. Here are briefed some of the most poplar restaurants and bars in Brussels.

• Aux Armes De Bruxelles: In operation from 1921, this one is a true Brussels restaurant as it serves the freshest of mussels and finest of French fries. There you can eat in typical moules et frite Bruxelles-style by eating the first mussel with your fingers and then you use the shell to eat the rest of there. Its entire menu is too delicious and excellent. It opens daily for lunch and dinner.

• Comme Chez Soi: This is an impressive restaurant for offering cuisines over here and refined flavours in a an cordial and refined ambience in Art Nouveau design. The restaurant talks of both a warmly welcoming atmosphere and truly memorable dishes, like as red mullet fillet with karides or beef fillet with black truffles. In dessert one can try the chocolate cake with almonds and hazelnuts.

• Les Trois Couleurs: You can dine at the restaurant at any period of the year however in winter there one can enjoy the spacious neat dinning room and in summer the terrace garden is equally weaved over there. This elegant and romantic restaurant’s menu offers French cuisine like as prawn and caviare salad, or poached brill. A reservation is a necessity over here.

• La Maison du Cygne: Kown for famous frequent visitor Karl Marx and the Belgian Socialist Party, this 17th century house now provide dinner in a traditional ambience. It has a quite a rich colored decor and embellished walnut walls. Its menu offer primarily Belgian and French cuisine involving lobster salad with apples and a curry sauce, beef fillet with a three pepper sauce, and lemon-scented codfish.

• La Truffe Noire: For diners in love and passion with truffles one can pay a visit at this place developed by Italian chef Luigi Ciciriello. It is a friendly establishment known for serving superb truffle-focused dishes in its warm and relaxed environment. One should not miss out here the carpaccio truffles with olive oil and parmesan for starters and the roast duck with Canary Island bananas for mains.

Pubs and Bars in Brussels

In Belgium beer is popular in same magnitude as it is the case of wine in France. It is home to some of the popular trend with respect to drinking Beer in world and Brussels is a great spot to devour some of the best beer of present age. Typical beers of Brussels are gueuze (rather sour) and kriek (rather sweet, cherry based).

• Le Tavernier: It is the most popular bar located at downtown in central Brussels on a strip of bars right by the Cimétière d’Ixelles-Begraafplaats van Elsene. It’s situated quite close to the student campus which has made it to be immensely popular with students who wishes to have a kick back and have rather relaxed drinks.

• Chez Moeder Lambiek: Situated behind the Saint Gilles-Sint-Gillis city hall the pub has a huge list of different beers, with several hundred obscure beers not likely found anywhere else. This cafe is one of the remaining Victorian type brown cafes in Brussels.

• Brasserie Verschueren:
This pub provides some very queer type of feeling as offered by the portly, bearded deep-voiced owner, hipsters, starving artists as you can their enjoy endless mugs of beer and cups of coffees. There is a beautiful woodwork football tableau showing the scores of some long lost second and third division teams from earlier times. .

• Crystal Lounge: It is situated at a prestige’s location at the center of the Louise district in Brussels and offers a new style of Lounge Bar. The service, the musical atmosphere and the lighting all are designed in the restaurant with a thoughtful symmetry. And sitting arrangement there also changes as according to day of the week or time of the day.

• Bier Circus: It has an impressive selection of beers, involving some extremely rare brand of beers like Lam Gods that is a delicious beer brewed from figs and the rarest of the Trappist beers. One can have all that over here at Bier Circus. Bier Circus has also won the Beer of the Year 2005 award.

• BXL Cafe/Bar: This is a stylish, friendly internet cafe in the center of Brussels that provides high speed internet access, occasional live music/DJ, and latest movies shown on video screens around the bar with frequent art exhibitions. It also is a gay friendly place too.

• Delirium Café:
Situated right straight in the center of Brussels within five minutes walk from the Grand Place. This bar offers about 2004 different beers from all over the world. They are also record holder of the Guinness world record for most number of available beers there. More info about available beer there you can check out from your own local beer shop.

• Mappa Mundo:
It is one of the trendy bar/cafés situated at a popular spot Saint Géry-Sint Goriksplein. There you are assured and is being sure for good drinking at least one of their establishments and is very popular with young, eurocrats, foreigners and interns and provides a rather systematical cosmopolitan character and shape.

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