Our Favourite Things to Do in Brussels

Our Favourite Things to Do in Brussels

Brussels is home to the headquarters of numerous regional and international institutions, notably that of the European Union. But that is not all that the Belgian capital is known for. The city is also known for its art noveau architecture, museums, not to mention its gastronomical delights. Think chocolate, beer, waffles and fries!

As you indulge your tastebuds in Brussels, be sure to work off those calories and visit these attractions!

1. Grand Place and Town Hall

The iconic Grand Place is one of the most famous town squares in the world and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998. It is characterised by a mix of Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV architecture styles and many buildings in the Grand Place were once merchant guilds. One of the most notable buildings in the square is the Town Hall, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that houses tapestries, paintings and sculptures from the 16th to 18th centuries. No matter which time of the year you visit the Grand Place, the square will always be bustling with activity. 

2. Notre Dame du Sablon

This Catholic church is one of the most well-known examples of Brabant-Gothic architecture. It has two baroque chapels which are adorned with funeral symbols in white marble and is known for its coloured and glass-stained windows that illuminate the the interior of the church. During the 15th and 16th centuries, monarchs and aristocrats attended this church and up till 1784, the Notre Dame du Sablon was the burial site of well-off Belgians. If you are visiting this church on the weekend, you may drop by the nearby market selling antiques, books and other knick knacks. 

3. EU Headquarters

Brussels is at the heart of the Europe and the headquarters of the European Union is where member states hold major discussions and make some of the most important decisions for the region. When there are no political meetings or major events held, visitors will be able to enter the compound. There are guided tours available which last an hour.  

4. Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate

Discover the world of chocolate as you learn about the history of cocoa beans and how they are transformed into a treat well-loved by many. Upon entering this small museum, you will be greeted with the sweet aroma of chocolate and get to sample warm melted chocolate for free! You can also watch a demonstration held in the kitchen of the chocolatier, where you will witness how chocolate goes from liquid to solid form and gets moulded into different shapes and sizes and there will be more chocolate to go around! Chocolate lovers will not want to miss this!

5. Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is the official home of Belgium's monarchy and the site of state receptions and court ceremonies. Every summer, the Palace opens its doors to the public where visitors will be allowed to explore its majestic rooms, some of which were decorated by Belgian artists. Near to the Palace is Parc de Bruxelles, a large public park where you may enjoy a quiet and leisurely walk after visiting the Palace.

6. Royal Museum of Fine Arts

If you are interested in works by Belgian and Flemish artists, be sure to head to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. The collection of artwork at this museum come from a range of time periods, with the earliest dating back to the 15th century. The Musee Magritte Museum, an exhibition solely dedicated to works by the Belgian surrealist artist, occupies one wing in the museum. Magritte is among the most famous painters in the world and his works depict the everyday existence of people and the things around them. His collection of works is not to be missed with a visit to the museum. 

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What To Do In Budapest

What To Do In Budapest

Got a few days in Budapest and not sure how to spend them? Read on for the most comprehensive itinerary guide to Budapest for a trip of 3 to 4 days.

Day 1

1. Breakfast at Central Market Hall

Location: Budapest Vamhaz krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary

What is better than starting your morning with fresh authentic Hungarian food? The Central Market Hall is one of the major attractions in Budapest. Located just outside the Metro stop Fovam Ter, tourists and locals alike visit this place for groceries, food and souvenirs. The first floor of this market houses stalls that sell fresh local produce like paparika peppers, vegetables and fruits like cherries, which are a Hungarian speciality. As you move up to the second floor, this is where you will be captivated by the alluring smell of sizzling langos and from the pot of bubbling stuffed cabbage.

This floor sells almost all of Hungary's classic cuisines such as langos, goulash, pancakes, beer etc. Langos are fried flat breads made of dough. They can be eaten both sweet and savoury. The sweet version will include chocolate, cherries and other kinds of fruits while ham, salami, cheese and tomatoes are normally topped on the bread for the savoury version. Although this place might be touristy and prices run a little higher than usual, it is THE place to be to try out all kinds of local cuisine.  

2. Walk to the Buda Castle District

After a satisfying meal, you can opt to walk to the Buda Castle District where the Fisherman's Bastian, musuems and Matthias Church are located. Many first time tourist are confused when they could not find the 'castle' at this place. Although it might be refered to as the Buda Castle in short most of the time, the place does not have a castle. There are public transports available that takes you directly to the door. Alight at the terminal stop of Trams 4 and 6 or stop at Szell Kalman Ter from Metro M2. Then from there, Bus 16 and 16E both takes you up the hill.  However we suggest taking the 45 minute walk from Central Market Hall. The Central Market Hall is located on the Pest side while the Buda Castle District is on the Buda side. So you need to cross the bridge to the Buda side and you can walk along the Danube River. 

3. Explore the Buda Castle District

Matthias Church

If you take bus 16 or 16E, you will be dropped off directly in front of the Matthias Church. The Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church. Although the first one was destroyed by the Mongols in 1241, the current one was builted in the 13th Century and named after King Matthias in the 19th Century. Entrance fee for students is 500HUF and 750HUF for adults.

Fisherman's Bastian

The Fisherman's Bastian is a terrace overlooking the city that surrounds the Matthias Church. It has seven towers and they represent the seven tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896. This is where you will need to take out your camera as the view will blow you away. It gives a panoramic view of the Danube River, Margaret Island, the Pest side and the Gellert Hill. To get to the top of the towers, you have to pay an entrance fee. This is totally your call as the second story of the tower is just as magnificent.

Stephen I

At the centre of the Fisherman's Bastian, there is a bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse. Also known as Saint Stephen, he was the first king of Hungary. 


The Buda Castle Hill houses many museums such as the Hungary Museum of Applied Art, Hungary Museum of History and other off the beaten path museums like Hospital in the Rock and the Labyrinth. You can spend up to an entire day exploring the district and it's various museums. If you are in Budapest in the summer, you can wait till 21 June when Budapest has it's annual Night of the Museums. With a small fee of 1500HUF, you can visit all the museums in Budapest from 6pm to 2.30am. This is day where all the locals come out to visit museums.

Hospital in the Rock

Hospital in the Rock is a museum in a cavern under the Buda Castle that was previously used as an underground hospital during World War II. It was most heavily used during the Siege of Budapest which was a 50-day long encirclement of Budapest by the Soviet forces near the end of World War II. This museum provides guided tours and has an entrance fee of 3600HUF.

Labyrinth of Buda Castle

Right next to the Hospital in the Rock, the Labyrinth of Buda Castle is more of an underground maze than musuem. It is definitely suited to the paranormal-lovers amongst you. In some places, it is totally dark and has plenty of macabre exhibitions such the dracula, ghastly figures dress in Victorian outfits and statues. There is even mist to add to the atmosphere!

4. Lunch/Dinner

The Pest-Buda Bistro in the Buda Castle District is a good place to go when you are famished after exploring the area. This cozy restaurant offers authentic Hungarian food like goulash, live bands and excellent service. 

Day 2

1. Szechenyi Thermal Bath

What is touring in Budapest without trying at least one of their world famour thermal baths? The Szechenyi Thermal Bath is simply  magnificent. It is the largest medicinal bath in Europe and the water is supplied by two thermal springs of temperatures 74 Degrees and 77 Degrees. It has both outdoor and indoor pools with different temperatures, depths and water containing different minerals. This place is worth to spend your entire day there. Yes you heard me correctly, an entire day. You can pack your own food and have a little picnic there while sunbathing. 

Besides the Szechenyi Bath, there are various other baths like the Gellert Thermal Bath in Gellert Hotel and the famous turkish Rudas Bath.

Day 3

1. Hero's Square

This is one of the major squares in Budapest and featuring stutues of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important leaders. On the centre of the square lies the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is situated at the end of the Andrassy Road.

2. City Park

Vajdahunyad Castle

The Budapest City Park is a huge public park that houses several attractions and places and is located in the heart of Budapest, on the Pest side. Inside the park there is the Szechenyi Bath, Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden, Municipal circus that is right in front of Szechenyi, the Vajdahunyad Castle etc. It is just a step away from the Hero's Square. During summer, this place is the epitome of summer chill. There are food fairs on the grounds of the castle and in the park, people sunbathing on the grass and little kids running around.

3. Dinner

After a day spent at the gorgeous city park, why not have an authentic Hungarian dinner with Peter, our host at BonAppetour? Located in the heart of Budapest, the menu starts with a traditional meat soup with vegetables. Hungarians eat a lot of soups which are usually very meaty. The main dish will be the delicious goulash served with bread. You can end the night with a typical Hungarian dessert called Somloi Galuska which is a layered sponge cake with vanilla, chocalate sauce, raisins and nuts. Of course there will be some good local wines to accompany the meal. Local wines such as palinka ( a fruit spirit) will be served with the main course and then the world famous Tokaji wine will be served alongside dessert.

Day 4

1. House of Terror

This is a museum located along Andrassy road and features exhibits relating to the fascist and communist dictorial regimes in the 20th Century Hungary. It also acts as a memorial to the victims of the regimes, such as those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building. People place candles and flowers at the outside of the building as a tribute to those dead.

2. Andrassy Avenue

Andrassy Avenue is a boulevard in the centre of Budapest and alongside the road, there are many shops of major international brands. Recognised as a World Heritage Site in 2002, it is a place for shopping and fine dining.

3. Hungarian Parliament Building

One of the amazing things about Budapest is that the city is different in the day and night. By night, the golden glow transforms itself into a magnificent city of lights. Sit across the Danube to face the parliament and you will astonished by the beauty of the Parliament Building. During the day, the Parliament is open for visits too.


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How To Eat Like A Local In Budapest

How To Eat Like A Local In Budapest

In the gastronomic city of Budapest, one will find a diversity of flavours that combines food influences from both the east and west. Most Hungarian dishes, particularly traditional items, are heavily influenced by the nomadic lifestyles and tastes of the Magyar people. Livestock, seasonal vegetables and meats were cooked over the fire, and stews, such as beef goulash and fish soup, as well as pickled vegetables and spices are often featured in the diet of the locals. This wide variety of local food in Hungary may be overwhelming to travellers new to Hungarian cuisine…until you get a handy list of tips on how to eat like the local Magyars in Budapest!

1. Angelo Café Bar

Kalvin Ter, along with other central locations such as Deak, Andrassy Road or Octogon offers a good number of dining options. The eateries here will suit tighter budgets, and you will be able to find all kinds of traditional food items here. One restaurant that comes with my recommendation is Angelo Café Bar. You will not have a problem spotting this place – the menus of the cafe are huge, and it is one of the first few restaurants that you see when you enter 6 Raday Street. 

Prices are affordable, and portions are generous for the food items sold here – a gigantic salami pizza costs just €5. Savour a taste of traditional Hungarian flavours by ordering the beef goulash, fish soup and cabbage wrap, or try out well-loved fare such as sandwiches and steaks. You must order the Elderflower wine spritzer to go along with your meal – the combination of aromatic elderflower and wine makes this a heavenly-tasting beverage not to be missed!

Location: 6 Raday St, alight at metro station Kalvin Ter

2. Nagyi Palacsintazoja (Granny’s Pancake House)

Hungarian-style pancakes are a must-try when you are in Budapest. A hiddem gem called Granny's Pancake House is tucked away at Batthyany Square. This eatery may not have an attractive location or fancy decorations, but it continues to draw flocks of diners keen on having a taste of its delightful pancakes. Browse through the menu, and you will find about a hundred different varieties of sweet and savoury pancakes, with fillings such as choclate, spinach and chicken stew. The eatery is open 24/7, so you can get a fix of pancake treat any time when the cravings hit. 


Pest City Center – Petőfi Sándor utca 17-19, District 5

Buda – Királyhágó tér 2, District 12

Óbuda Aquincum – Szentendrei út 131, District 3

3. Local Markets

Avoid the over-priced souvenirs and food produce sold at the touristy Central Market Hall. Instead, explore local haunts, such as the market located next to Allee Shopping Centre at Ujbuda-Kozpont. You will find an abundance of vegetables and fruits, such as cherries, strawberries and paprikas, sold at affordable prices. 

Location:  October twenty-street 8-10

4. Spar / InterSpar

Supermarkets offer heaps of options to go truly local. In Budapest, you will easily find a chain of supermarkets known as Spar. Once here, do not leave without getting a box of Pöttyös, a well-loved snack of chocolate coated with sweet cheese. The coating does not taste like traditional cheeses, for it is sweet and sour. This is the most amazing snack that I have ever tasted! 

All the Spar outlets offer a good selection of salamis with varying levels of spiciness and flavours. The salami with paprika is a must-try, and can be eaten as a snack, or used as an ingredient in dishes. Give the liver spread a try too – you will find tins of goose, chicken or cow liver spreads on the shelves. Spread over bread, and eaten with pickled cabbage and cold cuts, this makes for a simple breakfast often consumed by the locals. 

Locations: All over the city

5. Anna Café

Venture to Vaci Ucta, one of the most popular tourist streets in Budapest, and you will find Anna Café. The cafe offers a variety of traditional Hungarian cakes and desserts, as well as salads, sandwiches, wine and specialty coffee. 

Try the gundel palacsinta, a decadent treat made up of three gundel pancakes rolled up together, and coated with chocolate, peanuts and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you are not in the mood for an indulgent dessert, the cafe's strategic location makes it an excellent spot to spend a leisurely afternoon sipping coffee, people watching, and enjoying the views of the city. 

Location: Vaci Ucta 5, 1051 Budapest Hungary

6. McDonald’s

Yum! Creamy, filled with small wafer balls and containing a splash of rich chocolate, the Cornetto McFlurry is a treat that ice cream lovers will adore!

The baroque-style McDonald’s outlet at Nyugati Railway Terminal in Budapest is regarded as the most beautiful McDonald’s outlet in the world. Opened in 1988, it is the first Mcdonald’s outlet in Hungary, and also one of the first outlets opened in Eastern Europe. 

Location: Right outside Nyugati Railway Station

7. Street Food Stalls and Food Festivals

Lucky holidaymakers traversing the streets of Budapest during the summer will have plenty of opportunities to explore a slew of food festivals. Make time to visit Oktoberfest, set up beside Deak Metro station in the heart of Budapest. You will find stores selling different varieties of beer, sausages, stews, pickles and crunchy, deep-fried fare.

Be sure to try out kolacs when you see it sold at the street food stalls. This traditional pastry is made by rolling pastry dough around a cylinder, before cooking it slowly over fire. When it starts to brown and turn crispy, a generous dash of sugar and cinnamon are spread over the pastry before it is served.  

Nutritious and flavourful, the paprika is a favourite snack among the locals. 

8. Home-dining with the Locals

Want to tuck into a spread of Hungarian dishes in the cosy homes of the locals? A meal with Peter promises to be a culinary adventure. You will start dinner with a traditional soup served with Palinka, a local spirit made from fruits, and round off the meal with flodni, a layered Jewish cake packed with walnuts, apples and poppy seeds.

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Vegetarian Dining in Brussels

Vegetarian Dining in Brussels

Veggie-lovin' travellers in Brussels, we bring good news! The city has become increasingly vegetarian-friendly in recent years, which a rise in the number of eateries offering more meat-free options apart from the usual salads. Kick start your veggie-healthy diet at the following places during your travels:

1.  SINStreetFood

SINStreetFood is a food truck serving Indian-inspired vegetarian and vegan delicacies, as well as freshly squeezed fruit juices. Its veggie burgers, packed with nuts and grains, are a huge hit with the vegetarian and non-vegetarian crowd.

SINStreetFood ensures that only fresh and organic ingredients are used, so you can be assured that you are served with top quality fare. If the notion of tucking into wholesome vegetarian street food floats your boat, look out for SINStreetFood's food truck at the following markets: Place Van Meene (Monday), Chatelain (Wednesday), Square du Vieux Tilleuls (Thursday) and Flagey (Sunday). 

2. Green Way

Need your veggie fix on the go? Head to Green Way to grab a wholesome vegetarian fix. You will chance upon a variety of inexpensive vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare such as falafels, salads, burgers and wraps, as well as refreshing veggie and fruit juices. A choice selection of desserts, like a slice of fudgy brownie or rich cheesecake are available on the menu. 

Green Way begins operations at the crack of dawn, serving as an ideal breakfast spot for veggie-loving travellers in search of a hearty and healthy morning meal. 

​3. Mémé Café​

Tuck into organic vegetarian and vegan fare at Mémé Café​Thoughtful consideration has been given to the menu, so diners with food intolerances can find gluten-free and lactose-free items at the eatery. There is something for everyone at all times of the day – the sandwiches, wraps and salads serve well as brunch or lunch mains, while the cakes, brownies and muffins are perfect for a teatime snack. 

4. Mr Falafel

A meal at Mr Falafel will please budget travellers looking for a quick grab-and-go bite. Seats at this compact eatery are limited, so most diners order a take out. You can choose as many veggie fillings as you wish, so go ahead and pack your falafel wrap to the brim! 

5. Moonfood

Vacation makers who do not mind spending a little more to get their veggie fix may make a stop by at Moonfood. This self-service vegan cafe dishes out raw and organic items that are free from gluten, lactose and refined sugars, making it the perfect hang out for all health nuts. Salubrious treats on the menu include raw lasagna, quinoa salad and lemon coconut cake. 

6. Home-dining with locals

Eateries and restaurants are not your only bet when it comes to dining on healthy veggie fare. Try out a different dining experience by eating with the locals in Brussels. Head to brunch at Olga's, and she will welcome you with a spread of traditional Belgian dishes, or venture to Titch's for vegan or gluten-free waffles. The men can be customised to suit your tastes and dietary preferences, so rest assured that you can enjoy a veggie-packed meal! 


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