Brussels: Interesting Facts About The Belgian Capital

What is unique about Brussels?

Despite it being relatively smaller than most European capitals, many unexpected great things have come from Brussels. Here are some interesting facts:

Audrey Hepburn

Famous actress Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels in 1956

Remembered as the iconic British actress, model, dancer and humanitarian that she was, Audrey Hepburn was originally born on 48 rue Keyenveld in Ixelles, Brussels. Although she is not Belgian, we still pride ourselves in knowing that she came from our city.

Foodie Central

Interesting facts about Brussels Belgium

The Belgian capital has an impressive 138 restaurants per square mile, boasting every possible cuisine imaginable and making it one of the hottest destinations for foodies. From cheap eats to gastronomic Michelin starred restaurants, Brussels can satisfy any preference.

A Peeing Obsession

Brussels fact Manneken-Pis-Statue-of-kid-peeing-in-Brussels-

You’ll probably recognise this famous statue of a peeing boy, also known as the Manneken Pis. Repeatedly stolen and dressed in all sorts of costumes, this little guy is one of the main tourist attractions in Brussels. But did you know that in Brussels you can also find a peeing girl (Janneken Pis) and peeing dog statue?

Don’t ask us why… It’s a thing.

The Oldest Shopping Mall in Europe


The galleries Saint Hubert opened in 1847, making them the oldest shopping arcade in Europe. Tourists will find an assortment of high end brands like Delvaux, Belgian chocolate shops, like Neuhaus and Pierre Marcolini, and other artisanal Belgian shops.

Chocolate Hub

Packages of delicious Belgian chocolate

Speaking of chocolate, we’re obsessed with it and so are our tourists. The airport in Brussels is the largest chocolate selling point in the world. Whether you’re picking up your haul in the city or at the airport, you will be met with a vast choice of famous household names like Leonidas, Godiva, Pierre Marcolini, etc.

The Biggest Court In The World

Huge monumental building in the center of Brussels called palais-de-justice

Standing at 26.000 square metres, the justice palace in Brussels is the largest court in the world. Constructed in the 19th century by Joseph Poelaert, it is currently a candidate to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Having been born after 1982, I have never seen this building without scaffolding, construction which is supposed to end in 2028.

Brussels sprouts

interesting fact: A bowl full of Brussels sprouts

Despite being the most hated vegetable in America, the success of our local veggie around the world is indubitable. Yes, Brussels sprouts were broadly cultivated here during the 16th century. Many people think that Brussels sprouts are baby cabbages, this is because they are part of the same family but they are different vegetables.

The streets of Brussels are waiting for you!


London: The Best Restaurants in Soho

Whether you’re shopping on Oxford Street or sightseeing and looking for a bite to eat, Soho is by far one of the best areas of London when it comes to food. Known for its density and diversity of choice, Soho will satisfy any culinary craving you might have.

Here is a list of the best restaurants in Soho.

Cookhouse Joe

Cookhouse-Joe- the best food of London

This Lebanese influenced rotisserie is considered one of the cheapest yet best eats in the area. If you love chicken and mediterranean food, then look no further! The entire menu is a fusion of both cuisines. The restaurant interior is cramped with cheap furniture, you’ll be served tin trays but the food is the show stopper, paired with delicious cocktails. This is truly the best place to go for a drink after work or a quick bite after a day of shopping or before a show.

Zelman Meats

Zelman-Meats restaurant in Soho

The owner of this steakhouse opened this place as a way of experimenting with the cooking of different cuts of meat and perfecting the art of grilling a steak. Although the menu is dominated with beef dishes, you’ll also find seafood (in homage to its predecessor restaurant). If you’re here for the meat, they offer three different kind of cuts: Picanha, Chateaubriand and rib. We recommend taking the Picanha for it’s deliciously smooth smoky and soft flavour, which costs an astonishingly low 6£ for 100g.

Banana Tree

Banana tree one of the best restaurants in soho

This trendy Thai chain sells “tasty food at a reasonable price” and they deliver just that. Here, you can satisfy any asian food craving with their diverse menu covering Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai and Vietnamese dishes. You can accompany your curry, stir-fry, noodles with some delicious cocktails or cool beers. We recommend having the Red Saigon cocktail (vodka, raspberry, ginger syrup, lime, mint and fresh pomegranate).

So if you’re in London looking for something more exotic, we definitely recommend going to the Banana Tree.

The Queen’s Head

Vegetarian food in Soho

If you’re in for all things British, The Queen’s Head is a pub worth visiting for a meal. They pride themselves in having locally sourced ales and serve traditional pub food. The restaurant is located upstairs from the busy pub and, there, you will taste a variety of traditional British dishes from ethical and sustainable sources. So if you put aside your pessimism towards British cuisine, you might find yourself delightfully surprised.

Our recommendation: the Fish & Chips or the homemade Piccadilly Pies


Fish dish in soho

Not many people know of this place, TripAdvisor will tell you that it’s only number 2000+ of restaurants in London but Copita will give you an amazing Tapas experience, I can guarantee it! If you are a tapas connoisseur, you will find all the typical dishes of the famed Spanish cuisine with a surprising but delightful twist. This is such a good place to spend time with friends and share food.

Our suggestion: the truffled goat’s cheese with almonds, honey and toast.

After reading our list of the best restaurants in Soho are you looking for a place to stay? EUROPEA has the accommodations you’re looking for!


Brussels: Decorating Buildings With Our Favourite Comics

Belgium, the country that has the highest rate of comic book authors per square mile. From the Adventures of Tintin by Hergé (Georges Prosper Remi) to the Smurfs by Peyo (Pierre Culliford), most of our favourite childhood comic book characters came from the small country of Belgium.

Comic book buildings
Ric Hochet in Rue du Bon-Secours

The city of Brussels has for numerous years honoured the tradition of Franco-Belgian comic books by displaying its famous characters on building facades in the city. This initiative started in the 90s when the city decided to minimise the amount of publicity billboards that hung on buildings, disfiguring the old city center. Once these billboards were taken down, they uncovered dilapidated walls and facades that needed restoring. Thus was born the first comic fresque depicting Broussaile by Frank Pé.

A book with a comic book in the facade
Broussaille fresque by Frank Pé

What started as a creative way of crossing renovation with art soon turned into an intricate parcours that tourists could follow through the city of Brussels. Other authors from Belgium soon joined the project as well as foreign authors like Hugo Pratt, Zep and Uderzo.

Large building with comic book on it
Corto Maltese Fresque by Hugo Pratt
A building in Brussels with a comic book character
Le Scorpion by Marini and Dresberg situated at 14 Treurenberg street

Today more than sixty comic fresques can be found in Brussels as well as the comic book museum (Musée de la BD) and the special Tintin boutique next to the Grand Place.

A map can be found on the Brussels Tourism website.

EUROPEA Residences has many apartments in Brussels.

Where to find comic book buildings?

Brussels: 5 Places To Have Dinner Near The Grand Place

When it comes to diverse cuisine, Brussels has a very wide range of restaurants. The only problem is knowing where to go! As a tourist, it becomes very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the restaurants on Rue des Bouchers will be great (Stay away!). As Belgian locals, we become creatures of routine and end up going to the same place every Friday night and eating exactly the same food for years.

So here’s to changing habits and giving adventure a shot! Here’s to being a good local and telling tourists where to eat! (*Raises a Tripel Karmeliet bier glass*).

Fin de Siècle (Rue des Chartreux 9)

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Meat, potatoes and beer. You really can’t get any more Belgian than that. This authentic little restaurant has a very rustic atmosphere. Your chair will mismatch the one the person you’re with is sitting in, the place is loud and you’ll wonder if this was a good choice. You’ll question the art selection that changes every couple of months and seems to get stranger and stranger, until you taste anything that comes out of that kitchen.  This is where you’ll try real Stoemp (mashed potatoes and veggies with sausage in creamy beer sauce) and sumptuous carbonnade flamande (Beef stew also served in dark beer sauce). My personal recommendation: Agneau en papillotte (veal stew with potatoes and vegetables).

Bia Mara (Rue du Marché aux Poulets 41)

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This small low-key restaurant is the perfect place for a last minute late night snack. They have a variety of fish types to pick from as well as a range of sauces. Try the classic panko fish with seaweed salted chips and homemade garlic truffle sauce, it’s to die for!

It might not be comparable to authentic British fish and chips but it’s worth a try!

Kokob (Rue des Grands Carmes 10)

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Ever found yourself in the situation where you wanted to try new food but didn’t feel adventurous enough to actually go for it?

Kokob is a great restaurant with delicious Ethiopian food. You will experience the culture by eating with your hands and sharing food with your friends and/or family by eating from the same plate! Don’t worry, if this doesn’t make you feel comfortable, the kind staff will be more than happy to give cutlery and a plate.

Ricotta et Parmesan (Rue de L’Ecuyer 31)

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This Italian restaurant serves such good Italian food. With a wide range of dishes, oven baked pizza and endless combinations of pastas and sauces, this place will suit every person’s taste. The staff is dedicated to maintaining the classic standards of Italian cuisine. My personal recommendation: the combination panzerotti pasta stuffed with cèpes mushrooms and covered with truffle sauce. Mmmm!

Amadeo (Rue Sainte-Catherine 28)

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Five words: All You Can Eat Ribs. Bring your full appetite to this place! The portions are quite big and the servers will keep bringing you ribs until you beg them to stop. For those who aren’t fond of ribs, the restaurant also offers other meat or fish dishes.


Bon appétit!