City of Brussels

Why Brussels?

Things happen in Brussels! There’s always a buzz. Not just because it’s the capital of 500 million Europeans and political decisions are made here, but also because Brussels offers you an exciting cultural, artistic and social scene... at sensible prices. All in a city with historical beauty and a multicultural soul. No wonder Brussels is the n°1 destination for congresses in Europe.

Brussels: Capital of 500 million Europeans for meetings & conventions

For the third consecutive year, Brussels was ranked Europe’s n°1 destination for congresses and meetings in 2012*. While many meeting organizers choose Europe’s capital city for its outstanding infrastructure, facilities and services, there is another defining reason for Brussels’ popularity: the help and services provided to organizers and delegates by visit.brussels, the convention bureau. 
* Union of International Associations  

COME Brussels has such easy access

Brussels has superb air, road and rail connections, right in the heart of Europe. More than 60 million people live within 300 km of the city: Paris is less than one and a half hour away by high-speed rail; London, Cologne and Amsterdam just two. If you fly in, it will take you only 20 minutes by train from the airport to the city centre. 

When you have arrived, it’s easy to move around our compact city by tram, bus, metro, or on foot. Most places are within walking distance or a short ride away. Step out of your hotel and the chances are you’ll find shops, restaurants, places of interest and nightlife, all within a short stroll.

DISCOVER Creativity, arts and culture in the heart of Europe

Theatre and shows, music and dance, art and exhibitions, ... Brussels is a non-stop creative experience with abundance and choice. Enjoy world-class opera and music in the splendid La Monnaie/De Munt theatre that goes back 300 years ... and see the arts in a new light at the BOZAR fine arts centre. The Brussels agenda is also packed with festivals, events and surprises, whatever time of year you come. Indoors, the city offers you dozens of fine museums and exhibitions; outdoors, you can join a folklore festival, browse a street market or take in a garden concert. And later, perhaps you’ll fancy dinner on a tram while you tour the city? In Brussels you can.

FEEL AT HOME Enjoy our multicultural understanding

Everybody is welcome in Brussels. It’s a truly cosmopolitan city with place for all languages and cultures. Unsurprisingly Brussels ranks top in Europe for number of languages spoken. The growth of EU institutions and international organisations has enriched this multi-culture, creating a melting pot of nationalities, ideas and ways of life where everyone feels at home. It has also created an easy-to-access body of professional translators and interpreters (in all 24 official EU languages) that no other city can match.

SAVOUR Brussels art de vivre

The taste of Brussels! With its fine food and eclectic choice of restaurants, Brussels has long been a favourite destination for food lovers. Congress delegates can also enjoy this high quality in their on-site catering and, after the meeting, in a local speciality or one of the hundreds of beers brewed in the area. And of course there’s those famous chocolates that we all love to take back home. The inviting shops and charming historical city centre add to this experience, giving visitors a memorable taste of Brussels’ quality of life. 

Outside the institutions of modern Brussels, the city has maintained its local traditions and rich heritage - like the comic strip art, Surrealism, folklore and Art Nouveau that colour the city. People enjoy living here, and it shows. That’s why there is a layback ambience of good humour and tolerance flowing through the city.

Food and chocolate

Try the traditional dish of mussels and chips on the rue des Bouchers or head over to the Sablon for Italian or French cuisine. There are literally hundreds of eateries ranging from Tex-Mex to Sushi and all within walking range of SQUARE. Dotted around the city are numerous "ateliers" - all dedicated to creating the finest chocolates.

A green city

Brussels boasts the title of the greenest capital in Europe. Just over 50% of the city is classified as green space. This is achieved by a succession of parks which wind their way through the urban landscape with the lion's share of this green area provided by a 4,000 acre ex-royal hunting ground, the Forêt de Soignes. A walk in the woods is therefore never far from the city centre.

A conference champion

For the seventh year in a row, Brussels maintains its position as the most active and visited conference capital in Europe and the second in the world, only  by Singapore but ahead of Paris, Vienna and Tokyo. Far from being complacent, this city is intent on offering much more and is busy building a future that reflects modernity and positive progress with an infrastructure to match.

A power city at the heart of the debate

Besides the European Parliament, Council and Commission, the capital houses over 2200 active international associations. Then add the NATO Headquarters, EUROCONTROL and the regional headquarters of many a multinational. All of these organisations and companies are attracted by the quality of the workforce, transport links, outstanding telecoms infrastructure, and the need to be at the very heart of the debate.

Nightlife

With over 80 bars serving some 400 beers and with names like Delirium or Mort Subite- Sudden Death - you can expect an authentic and unique experience. The charming Place St Catherine is reputed for seafood whereas the area around St Géry will serve more oriental flavours.

Transport

Inner-city Brussels is well connected thanks to an efficient public transport network, including metro, tramways and buses. The town centre uses a unified ticketing system and the same ticket can be used for a combination of bus, metro and tram, for 1 hour from the time of validation.

Pharma and biotech

Over 150 international and Belgian pharma and biotech firms have firmly implanted themselves in or around Brussels. Research facilities and qualified multilingual personnel are a major incentive while Brussels international airport is a key pharma distribution hub, and a recognised centre of excellence. The Brussels region is also home to an enviable healthcare infrastructure with 23 hospitals.

Shopping

The quaint Place du Sablon is host to internationally renowned antique shops, with a pop-up market every weekend. Nearby, in the old Marolles district, take a stroll along rue Blaes to enjoy the eclectic choice of homewares. Belgium's avant-guard fashion boutiques are concentrated along rue Antoine Dansaert, near the Stock Exchange whereas top international brands can be found on Avenue Louise. More affordable shops are scattered just off the avenue and in covered galleries. Don’t miss the beautiful 1900 Saint-Hubert gallery, near SQUARE, and its gorgeous shop windows.

Clusters

In Belgium, companies from the same economic sector have come together to form clusters or company networks. These clusters aim to create synergies within a given sector, so as to establish partnerships, promote a common vision for development and develop innovative projects. The clusters are formed around four main themes:

  • Transport and mobility
  • Sustainable development and the environment
  • Health and nutrition
  • Horizontal application technologies