Having been to Brussels before, I have to admit I have an advantage when it comes to navigating the city. Visiting during the holiday season with tourists in town for the markets, it helps to have an idea of where to eat, shop and sleep!
This is not sponsored but if you’re traveling by train, Thalys is really the only way to get to the city. I love their trains as they are always clean, the staff is courteous and I never have issues with where to go/what time.
A few required stops for dining. Breakfast at your hotel is not necessary. You will want to grab a table at Cafe Liegeois in the Grand Place (Brussels Square). Their prices are fair, the food is consistent and you will be in the thick of things when it comes to walking around to sights nearby.
I have been here every visit and usually have far more food on the table than this.
The one place I eat every single day in Brussels is Pizzeria Napoli. My love for Italian food is unmatched. This eatery is home cooked authentic Italian and I immediately feel welcome each time I walk through the door. Whether dining with friends, family or alone, I am completely filled with joy ordering a glass of wine and dancing along to the music while I enjoy the atmosphere around me. Naturally when my food comes, I have a one track mind but you cannot pass this experience up.
There are different areas of the city you can consider staying, if you’re into high-end shopping, antique shopping or interested in sightseeing. My recommendation is choosing a property near the Grand Palace. It’s in the center of everything and you can walk to the rest with ease.
I prefer taxis rather than the local metro system. Honestly, their local metro system employees were quite rude compared to every other country in Europe and gave the wrong information about what platforms to go to. The queues were terribly long as everyone had the same questions, sometimes people were asking each other hoping it would be faster. In the past the taxis were quick, easy and relatively cheap. Leaving Brussels, I didn’t bother with the metro again, I took a taxi to Midi. If you’re asking your hotel for advice here, definitely compare what they say to Google Maps too.