Belgium's capital blooms in summer, with a floral welcome on the mat
Belgium's capital comes to life in summer: café life spills out on to sunny terraces, the city's many parks are full and the Royal Palace opens until September. The biennial flower carpet (flowercarpet.be), at Grand Place, opens at 10pm on 14 August and runs from 9am-11pm from 15-17 August.
Get your bearings
Central Brussels is divided into the Lower Town, where most sites cluster around the Grand Place and, to the east, the Upper Town on the Mont des Arts, where state buildings such as the Royal Palace and the Palais de Justice are ringed by a series of main thoroughfares (the designer shop-filled Waterloo Boulevard is the main stretch).
Fanning out from that inner ring are trendy residential districts such as Ixelles and Chatelain, and the EU's European Quarter. The main tourist office is at the Hôtel de Ville on the Grand Place (