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Brussels is a city characterized by its dualities: French and Dutch, historic and modern, sophisticated and trendy. Any travel plan here will include elegant museums, foodie fervor, and an astounding number of specialty bars to whittle your nights away in the local style. Easily navigated and accessible to English speakers, taking a chance on Brussels will pay dividends—just don’t think for a minute that Belgian waffles are all Brussels has to offer.
Proudly global and defiantly local, Brussels has cemented its role as an international hub while still retaining its own identity, symbolized by the juxtaposition of the gleeful and lighthearted Manneken Pis and the international grey-suited diplomats. Sleek cafés with artisan espresso stand next to bohemian dive hangouts known for eclectic art, and both are filled to the brim with interesting conversation. Traditional breweries and handcrafted chocolate shops abound, offering travelers some of the best beer and sweets in the world. Architect Victor Horta’s revered Art Nouveau masterpieces lurk around every corner, and comic strips such as Tintin are so beloved that they’ve merited their own museum. You’ll also have to try to not stumble upon elegant gardens like the Jardin du Petit Sablon right in the middle of the city’s urban areas—if you're against spectacular parks, that is. But whatever you're looking for on your European trip plan—architecture, culture, cuisine, history—you'll find it in Brussels, where it's bound to be stunning and have a flare you'll only find here.