Located at only 1 hour and 22 minutes from Paris by high-speed train, Brussels, the capital of Europe, is far more interesting than a Eurocrat’s press conference. And it is certainly worth spending a day to discover the city and its Art Nouveau buildings, its master chocolatiers and its fashion houses.
The shopping tour in Brussels is concentrated on two districts: the Dansaert district and the Sablon district. Between both is the historically famous Grand-Place surrounded by the guild houses.
This is the heart of Brussels creativity: defiant, unrestricted, bold, inventive and even sometimes eccentric – but always excellent quality. On the Rue Antoine Dansaert and the Rue Léon Lepage you will find the biggest number of designer names to the square meter. The clothes are haute couture, the accessories set the tone and style. The boutiques in this district look like a mixture of both private fashion shows and art galleries.
The Grand-Place is the central square of the City of Brussels. All over the world it is known for its decorative and aesthetic treasures. The Grand-Place is surrounded by the guild houses, the City Hall and the Maison du Roi.
This arcaded square is one of the most exclusive in Brussels and is lined with 15th- and 16th-century townhouses. At this market antique dealers install their red and green striped stalls to sell their wares in the weekend. There are also art galleries, shops specialised in African masks and objects, haute couture and many master chocolatiers. This is the place to look for a collector’s item in an elegant and harmonious atmosphere.
Near to the Sablon are the capital’s major museums – a must for the art lover.