Twelve reasons to visit Brussels this summer

The sun is out and Brussels is looking good, so here are our suggestions to make the most of the city and the beautiful weather this summer.

You can’t visit Brussels without spending some time on the historic Grand-Place, admiring the gilt topped guild houses and perhaps enjoying a beer on the terrace of one of the great bars.  From 16 to 19 August  you have an extra reason to visit, as the Flower Carpet http://www.flowercarpet.brussels/en takes over the Grand-Place in an explosion of colour and beautiful scent. A team of volunteers assemble the carpet, which is made up of 500,000 flowers, in over just eight hours, creating something magical. This year the intricate floral patter will be paying homage to the colourful Guanajuato region of Mexico.

August is also the time to take in some live music in the city centre, thanks to the Brussels Summer Festival. With three stages and five days of concerts spanning pop, rock, electro and rap, from you are bound to find something that takes your fancy!

Before or after the show, why not relax on one of the city’s great bar terraces? The buzzing St Géry square, packed with bars that spill onto the street, has a real party atmosphere in summer, or for something a little calmer, try Sablon institution Au Vieux St Martin for brilliant people watching.

The warm days are an invitation to eat al fresco and there are wonderful spots to do that in Brussels. Join the happy crowd of locals and foodies at Nordzee for small plates of the freshest seafood, eaten standing up at the tables in the pretty Sainte Catherine square. Afterwards, summer isn’t summer without ice cream, so treat yourself to one of the best at nearby Gaston. Gaston make their own ices, using Ardennes cream, fresh eggs and seasonal fruit. There are deckchairs and a huge terrace overlooking the pretty Bassin des Marchands pond, a relic from when this area was part of the harbour of the Port of Brussels.

While you are in the area, take a peep (or have a drink!) at the newly renovated and reopened Cheval Marin bar (Quai aux Briques 90) which has been restored to its beautiful nineteenth century glory after a twenty-year closure.

Even in the heart of the city Brussels has green spaces. The Hotel’s near neighbour, the Egmont Park is a little oasis behind the bustling Boulevard de Waterloo, with shady spots to sit and beautiful mature trees. Nearby, visitors can also discover the elegant Petit Sablon square with its fascinating collection of statues.