travel guide

Shops and Shopping in Brussels

Brussels of course is the paradise for consumers with a plethora of high quality designer label goods. However, prices are often expensive because the main customers are the highly paid employees of the European Union. Being the centre of the EU Parliament with many of their administrative offices located in the city, prices are set to reflect their relatively high salaries.

In the shopping mall Galleries Royales there are some of the most splendid shops for male and female fashion, as well as interesting bookshops, art galleries and shops selling objects d’art. This mall was the very first shopping mall to be built, not only in Europe but in the world. Established in 1847 the architecture is a splendid example of early industrial building techniques of using vast areas of glass spanning metal structures. 

Inside the malls you will find a lot of street musicians that do not play the typical busker music. Here there are string quartets playing classical works from Vivaldi, Mozart and other such composers.

A good place for those who are interested in buying antiques is the quarter Marolles at the Square Jeu de Balle. There is an open air antique market here everyday but avoid coming at the weekend because it is full of tourists. The best time is Tuesday and Thursday when new stocks are brought in. Also the streets around the square are crammed with antique shops.

On your tour around Brussels you will have lots of opportunities to stop and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of ice cold beer. The Belgians are rightly proud of their beer and consider it to be the best in Europe. There are more than 200 different Belgian beers. One of the really strong ones is Duvel (Devil). This is aptly named as it has a very high alcohol content- so go easy on it. Many attractive cafes are around the square of the famous Grand Place and Grand Sablon, both these squares are surrounded by unique Art Noveau buildings.