Crowd sourcing and editing by Evelyn Hannon
Brussels is a multicultural city -- it has the NATO headquarters as well as the European Union headquarters within its city limits. Brussels also hosts the most American corporation head offices in Europe and just about every country of the world has an embassy here . There are three official languages -- French, Dutch and German but they are certainly not the only ones spoken in the city. There are a lot of special places to visit in Brussels, but I definitely recommend the downtown. It's the oldest part of the city and also the most beautiful'. (a note from Katrien in Brussels)
What women are saying...
-- Trains are great for transport around Belgium and Europe. Senior journeywomen should know that the Belgium railsystem offers a special senior rate that allows for 50 percent off fares for travel in non-peak hours. Be prepared to show proof of age.
Meg, Massachusetts, USA
-- Frites, frites, frites! You can always do as the Belgians do: buy a "cornet" of French fries (here we call them Belgian frites) with a big splash of ketchup on top. Where and when do you eat them? In the street, while enjoying the beautiful buildings, scenery or events. There is a wide variety of sauces to choose from for the fries . But, for your information, most Belgians eat their fries with mayonnaise. Delicious!
Katrien, Brussels area, Belgium
-- I was in Brussels in October. I stayed at a great little hotel named the Funkey Hotel. The hotel rooms are named after a deck of cards. Therefore, you might stay in the Queen of Heart room or the 7 of Spades. It is a short distance by bus to "La Grand Place" in Brussels. I would also like to recommend a very quaint brasserie that has a large selection of microbrewery Belgium beers and good food. It is located close to La Grand Place and it is called, the Nuetnigenough.
France, New York City, USA
-- I am a Norwegian woman just moved home after five years in Brussels. During my stay there was one place I always brought my visiting friends: Parlamentarium. Parlamentarium is located at Place Luxembourg, actually inside the European Parliament. Parlamentarium is an interactive, very interesting exhibition showing the history/story of EU from the start until today. Not to be missed. An other place I brought my friends is to the roof of the Triumphal Arch in Parc Cenquantenaire. You need to enter through the Military Museum. The view is fantastic.
Astrid, Oslo, Norway
-- I've been to Brussels and Bruges. Most exciting thing about Brussels is the square or Grand Place which will captivate you with its architecture and waffles. The locals tempt the tourists with mussels too. Right around the square are many shops and restaurants. Belgium is known for its wonderful chocolate and beer so think food while in Brussels. You can take the train to Brussels which will arrive within a decent walk to the square. People speak Flemish and French mostly although you may find occasional English. Editor's Note: It's indeed lovely to explore the Grand Place but if you are ready to eat or shop move into the less touristy areas. Not only will it be cheaper, the experiences will be much more authentic.
Susan, Washington, USA
What about the girl?
Everyone knows about Manneken Pis -- Brussel's famous statue of a little "peeing" boy. But, does anyone know Jeanneke Pis, the little girl? This statue is much more difficult to find and much less famous. Jeanneke stands in a very narrow, dead-end street in the Rue des Bouchers. Don't miss these two tiny statues that are answering Mother Nature's call. And just in case your friends or family may not believe what you saw, there are post-cards of the two of them on sale everywhere.
Katrien, outskirts of Brussels, Belgium
Some helpful information about Brussels
In Brussels and you don't want to waste precious time shopping for postcards? Make for the BiP, Brussels Expo (open daily 1000-1600, except Dec 25 and Jan 1), and get your photo taken against a range of backdrops. Email them to your friends from there. BipExpo also includes a Tourist Information Center with super-helpful multilingual staff, a multi-media exhibition on Brussels, and free wifi. BiP is located at 2-4 Rue Royale, which means it's opposite the Magritte Museum, and round the corner from the Museum of Musical Instruments. Have fun, ladies!
Roberta, Induno Olona, Italy
Cook like a Belgian...
Everybody Eats Well in Belgium is a cookbook written by Ruth Van Waerebeek. In it she promises to show you how to cook mouthwatering specialities like the crispiest fried potatoes, moistest roast chicken, plumpest garlicy mussesls, and of course Belgian waffles. Oh my goodness, it sounds wonderful :) For more information, click here.