When to fly
May and September have the best weather and the most visitors. These months can be downright crowded and cheap flights to Brussels are hard to come by.
Ommegang taking place in July is both historically and culturally important and it involves the re-enactment of the arrival of Charles V and his court into Brussels. Nowadays, the streets are filled with a parade of people in authentic medieval costumes, representing different groups of the population, dignitaries and guilds of that time. Hundreds of extras also join the procession which passes through the city centre towards Grand-Place. If you are interested in the Middle Ages, this is a great time to take a flight to Brussels as there are also a number of medieval activities.
November to March is wet and cold with few tourists and quiet museums and markets. Many Belgians take their holidays in July and August, making Brussels quieter to visit. Apart from cheap flights to Brussels, you may also get a discounted hotel rate, especially over a weekend, but many restaurants and shops will be closed.
Book a cheap flight to Brussels and see the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, but this is no dull city. Brussels is a cosmopolitan capital, a melting pot, where its residents refer to themselves as Zinneke (mongrel), with a mix of origins - Flemish, Walloon, Italian, Spanish, English, German etc. There is even a biennial parade (the Zinneke Parade) of community groups and artists and schools that celebrates their various cultures.
If you are taking a flight to Brussels don’t forget to visit the Grand Place, one of the most beautiful town squares; the Musées Royaux Des Beaux-Arts, with its priceless collection of Flemish and Belgian art; the Cantillon Brewery, a family brewery where Lambic, Gueuze, Faro and Kriek beers are made; and the Atomium, a huge silver structure, representing an iron crystal, magnified more than 160 billion times.
The Manneken Pis may very well be the best-known attraction in Belgium. This statue of a little boy urinating has a wardrobe of more than 700 costumes including Father Christmas and Elvis Presley suits.
A little south of the centre is the area of Sablon, a haven for boutiques, antiques, jewellery and highbrow master chocolate makers. Further south is the borough of Ixelles which also has great shopping and food, particularly on Wednesday evenings when the Place du Châtelain is filled with stalls selling food and wine and people socialising.