Visit the centre of Brussels day or night and you’ll be struck by its feeling of vibrancy and sparkle. Before you uncover its little streets, cross the Boulevard Anspach where you’ll see an imposing monument: the Bourse (or Stock Exchange).
Nearby, the Saint Gery district has become the place to come for all fashion lovers. Creative and artistic types survey the famous rue Antoine Dansaert as well as the adjacent streets to find a rare gem amongst the numerous specialist boutiques. Between two shops hidden by the angle of the rue des Chartreux and the rue du Vieux-Marché-aux-Grains you’ll have a surprise encounter with the Zinneke-Pis or "chien bâtard" in the local Brussels dialect.
Don’t miss the Halles Saint-Gery. This old covered market has today been transformed and is now a place that showcases the heritage and urbanism of the city of Brussels. However, come nightfall the scene changes and the place is transformed into a giant bar!
Tired of your shopping trip? Join Place Sainte-Catherine, another familiar sight of Brussels artists. In the summertime, this place turns into a huge terrace and the famous Belgian beers flow freely. And in winter, enjoy of 1000 m² for ice skating, awarded by the Wall Street Journal.
Don’t forget to take in the sublime Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, built in the thirteenth century. It hides treasures including magnificent stained glass windows as the Renaissance of the Last Judgement.
Continue your tour of the city centre by heading towards the Theatre de la Monnaie, where internationally renowned concerts, operas and ballets are scheduled each year. The history of the Royal Monnaie Theatre dates back to 1700 when Gio-Paolo Bombarda, financial advisor to the governor of the Spanish Netherlands, built a hall for public performances of opera, drama and ballet. Today, the Theatre offers concerts, recitals and operas. And, some evening, artists of the past like Maria Callas or Jacques Brel sometimes haunt this theater...
Also in the area, comic-book fans will have the privilege of admiring an incredible number of murals illustrating the Belgian comic strip heros. Head to "Rue du Bon Secours", between "rue Marché-au-Charbon" and "Boulevard Anspach", and you can see "Ric Hochet"."Cubitus" is hidden, meanwhile on "rue de Flandre".
But if you want to know everything about comics, you have to visit the Centre belge de la Bande dessinée (Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art) and his most know hero, Tintin. Upon entering, you will understand that you’re now in the temple of the comic-book…
pictures: Johan Mares (@Belgiumview)