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7 Reasons Why This Gorgeous European Capital Is Breaking All-Time Tourism Records

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Brussels has always been one of Europe’s most criminally underrated cities, though I might be biased since it’s one of my personal favorites, too.

After all, it’s hard not to fall in love with the stunning Art Nouveau buildings, the incredible food scene, and that unmistakable Belgian energy you feel just walking up and down Rue Neuve.

woman in brussels

As it turns out though, other travelers are also slowly but surely falling in love with Brussels – over 1.5 million of them flew to the city this past February, a number that not only marks a 14% increase from the same time last year but also surpasses every monthly record we’ve seen thus far.

So, why are so many people only now rediscovering the charm and beauty of this centuries-old city?

Well, finding a one-size-fits-all answer is impossible, but the following reasons have all contributed to the Belgian capital’s rise to the heights of mainstream popularity.

One Of Europe’s Most Underrated Gems

grand palace brussels

Brussels has historically been one of the continent’s most overlooked destinations, especially considering the sights and cultural experiences it promises everyone lucky enough to set foot within its limits.

But as travelers have grown increasingly tired of overcrowded places that have been all but ruined by mass tourism, the energetic yet still authentic streets of Brussels feel like a breath of fresh air.

Seeing as here you’ll find the likes of the Grand Place, Manneken Pis, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Atomium, and (the somewhat lesser known) Mini-Europe, it’s still mind-boggling how the city has managed to fly under the radar for so long.

A Gateway To The Rest Of Europe

brussels airport

If there’s one thing American travelers will always struggle to wrap their heads around when they travel across Europe, it’s just how cheap airfare between EU countries can be.

Brussels, in particular, is located in such a central position in relation to other major European hotspots, that you can easily fly to Germany, France, Italy, or Spain in less than two hours and – get this – sometimes paying less than $33 for a round-trip ticket!

English Can Get You Very Far

people walking in Brussels train station

While we’ve all heard of the stories about some Europeans side-eyeing Americans who don’t speak a word of the local language, that’s not the case with people in Brussels.

Almost everyone you’ll come across here is multilingual, and though the three official languages are French, German, and Dutch, English might as well be on that list, too.

As far as English proficiency goes, the country ranks 7th in the world, so there’s a good chance you’ll never struggle to communicate with locals during your travels here.

It’s Entirely Possible To Visit Brussels On A Budget

view of brussels, belgium

One of the biggest downsides to a European city break is that expenses can add up quicker than you realize, especially if you’re staying in a big, influential capital.

Surprisingly enough, though, despite Brussels’ intricately adorned buildings and million-dollar-looking chocolate, exploring the city on a tighter budget is totally doable.

I can’t recommend smaller places like Il Colosseo or even just nameless street carts enough – you can get great portions for a fraction of the price of bigger restaurants, and the quality, at least in my humble opinion, doesn’t suffer at all.

It’s also pretty easy to find great little hotels in the city center for under $100 a night, especially now that peak season has yet to start.

Everyone Is Guaranteed To Have A Good Time

woman in brussels, belgium

The thing about Brussels is that no matter what you like or who you’re with, you’re guaranteed to have a good time here.

Whether you’re looking forward to sipping artisanal beers at cozy cafes, strolling through bustling markets, or dancing the night away at Place du Luxembourg or Havana Club, the choices are endless.

The Food Is Even Better Than You’d Imagine

chocolate fountain

Belgian food is a top European attraction in its own right – after all, who of us hasn’t dreamt of the scrumptious sea platters, hand-made cheeses, decadent chocolate, or flaky pastries?

Take advantage of the chance to finally try some authentic Belgian waffles, and whatever you do, don’t you dare leave without trying a cone of fries and spicy mayo; it’s the best thing to eat during those cold nighttime walks or, better yet, after a long night out.

Plenty To Do Year-Round

easter in brussels, belgium

I’d recommend spending at least a full week in Brussels, especially if you want to experience both the long sightseeing trips and the many fun events that take place year-round.

As we speak, Easter is just around the corner, and the city will transform into a treasure trove of Easter Markets and parades, as well as giant egg hunts where everyone is welcome. 


For more info on what you can look forward to this year in the Belgian capital, head over here.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.