FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Brussels Is A Canvas For Creative Business Meetings

Apr 1, 2013
2013 / April 2013

Located in the heart of Europe, Brussels is an uncomplicated place to conduct business. Everyone speaks English, it’s easy to navigate, and there’s an abundance of artistic options for meeting with clients.

Belgium’s capital boasts a population of 1 million, but more than 60 million Europeans live within 186 miles of Brussels — less than two hours by high-speed train. One of 19 municipal communes, Bruxelles-Ville (the City of Brussels, population 150,000) is full of contrasts and contradictions: historic and contemporary, French and Flemish, fine art and comics, chocolate and beer. Somehow this charming city maintains its freshness, melding the old with the new, quickly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s must-see destinations.

As the headquarters for NATO and the seat of the European Union, Brussels attracts dozens of multinational companies from all over the world such as Toyota, Bridgestone and Levi Strauss & Co., which all have offices in the city. It is also home to 50-plus intergovernmental agencies and more journalists and diplomats than Washington, D.C. The population is equally diverse, with one in three residents possessing foreign nationality.

The compact city is easily navigable via public transportation or by foot. Fly into Brussels International Airport (BRU), and the Airport Line (Bus 12) will take you to the city center in 20 minutes. The eight-mile trip by taxi will set you back about $60; but the STIB, the public transport system consisting of the metro, buses and trams, is an extensive, convenient and affordable alternative. All operate under the same ticketing system, making it convenient to make transfers with the same ticket. Purchase your ticket from a GO vending machine. Day passes cost $6; a single ride is $2.40.

When riding the metro, look around for an introduction to the city’s art de vivre, a network of the country’s largest art gallery with more than 60 works of art decking the platforms and corridors of the stations. Famous artists include Delvaux, Folon and Hergé.

While the European institutions are mostly in the east around Rond-Pont Schuman and Place de Luxembourg, the financial district and the Belgian parliament are located in the old city center.

Business deals are sealed during power lunches at restaurants or cafés often open only for lunch on weekdays. Nearly 20,000 hotel rooms are available city-wide, and most properties offer on-site expansive dining, many with private meeting rooms.

Five-star restaurants are as prevalent as waffle stands in Brussels. With more than 1,500 eateries, your choices range from casual sidewalk cafés to Michelin-starred restaurants.

A maze of six narrow alleys brings you into the heart of the historic city, the Grand-Place, a centuries-old square and UNESCO World Heritage site. Gaze on the impressive Baroque guild halls and the Gothic intricacy of the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall).

Ensconced in the enticing scents of chocolate, waffles and frites, you and a client can dine alfresco or sip a Belgian beer at one of the many terrace cafés, including the always popular and casual Le Trappiste.

In the Grand-Place area, lunch at a Brussels institution, Aux Armes de Bruxelles. Tight schedule? Order un complet and minutes later dive into a pan of steamed mussels and fries and a beer. Other nearby classics are the Taverne du Passage and La Roue d’Or.

A few steps away on Place de Brouckère, find the mythical 5-star Hotel Metropole with its sumptuous French Renaissance décor. The hotel offers an early-morning meeting option, Le Jardin Indien, serving fresh fruits, cereals and yogurts along with a steaming breakfast buffet. Impress your clients with lunch at the hotel’s L’Alban Chambon, an award-winning French cuisine classic.

One block from the world’s most beautiful square and close to the financial district is the exclusive Hotel Amigo. Built in the 1950s on the site of a 16th-century prison, the Rocco Forte hotel’s lobby is laid with the granite stones once adorning the Grand-Place. On the ground floor, the first-class Bocconi Ristorante serves delicious Italian fare.

Surround yourself with mahogany, oak and regal décor at the Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place. Enjoy an American-style breakfast at Salon Grand Place with its dramatic stained glass ceiling guarded by wrought iron gates. For a touch of England, invite your client for an intimate high tea in Chutney’s Restaurant.

Dine in an Art Nouveau building with a panoramic view of the city from the rooftop restaurant at the Musical Instrument Museum. A short stroll from the bustle of the Grand-Place, this Grand-Sablon area also offers dozens of petite bistros and antiques shops.

The rich opera world comes alive at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, but you don’t have to go to a production to experience theater. Behind the theater, a 15th-century Dominican convent and former home to famous neoclassicist painter Jacques-Louis David is now The Dominican, a magnificent hotel. The lounge bar is a perfect nightcap stop for theater-goers and business travelers.

Venture beyond the Grand-Place for two classic Italian restaurants in the heart of Brussels’ European quarter. Taste southern Italy at Dal Padrino or Barbanera, located inside a charming, century-old house, or outside on the terrace on the corner of Rue Archimède, and be sure to sample mouth-watering scampi or filetto.

Brussels’ laissez-faire attitude is also in its street art, not in graffiti form but with artists using the city as their canvas and creating remarkable art in unusual places, hidden corners, dark alleys, sidewalks, metro stations and, of course, framed on a building’s façade. The Comic Strip Walk, spread throughout the city, features more than 40 houses decorated with the greatest cartoon characters, including Tintin and Lucky Luke.

If time allows, enjoy the city’s thriving art scene by visiting one of its 80-plus galleries and museums, including the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Magritte Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum, Musée Hergé and the Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art, celebrating the city’s status as the world’s comic strip capital.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
May 25, 2022

Princess Cruises Launches All-Inclusive Premier Add-On

Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED

Daily
May 25, 2022

NoMo SoHo Hotel Launches Nation’s First NFT with Hotel Stay Experience

Recently, NoMo SoHo and its ownership, real estate and investment firm Sapir Corp Ltd., launched a curated NFT program, making NoMo SoHO the first hotel in the United States to offer guests an innovative way to book stays using blockchain technology.

Daily
May 25, 2022

Celebrate the King During Memphis Elvis Week

From Aug. 9 to 17, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, will vibrate to the sound of the world’s favorite Elvis Presley tunes as Elvis Week 2022 gets underway. This year’s event will be a fun-filled mashup of tributes, concerts, special events and celebrity appearances, including actress Barbara Eden, who starred with Elvis in the 1960 film Flaming Star and became a household name for her lead role in the long-running television series I Dream of Jeannie.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

eFlyer Reviews
May 24, 2022

Brasserie Mon Chou Chou Review

What happens when three of the six French nationals residing in San Antonio get together? If they happen to be from a long line of proud French gourmands from three different regions of the country, they take what they know and make it something proudly Texan, while still adhering to their separate and collective culinary roots. That’s exactly what happened as a result of those three — Executive Chef Laurent Réa of Strasbourg, Philippe Placé of Chartres, and Jérôme Sérot of Lyon — meeting 20 years ago.

eFlyer Lead
May 24, 2022

Travel Edge Releases Travel Trends for 2022

With a network of more than 450 independent luxury advisors, Travel Edge, the North American leader in luxury travel, released a report on its findings for travel trends in 2022. No doubt the pandemic can be blamed as the main culprit behind many of these changing trends in travel, with travelers attempting to regain moments lost over the last two years.

Discover a Journey Filled with Wonder in 2022

ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.

Daily
May 24, 2022

Nobu Barbuda to Offer One-of-a-Kind Island Experience

Nobu Barbuda is underway in the Caribbean, the newest installation to the Nobu Hospitality portfolio. The Nobu restaurant, all conceived by actor Robert DeNiro, debuted in 2021, and Nobu Barbuda’s first beach club opened this year.