Proud to be home to the first rail connection in continental Europe, Belgium’s capital can still boast of its extensive rail network and high-speed train connections making it an ideal destination for flight-free events. Although its excellent transport links also mean it is within three hours of many major airport hubs.
Cosmopolitan and diverse, this international city is home to more than 183 nationalities as well as European institutions and NATO. For a city of just 1.2 million inhabitants, it punches well above its weight in its event sector, restaurant scene and creative industries.
A place for meetings
There are many popular meeting districts in the city and all enjoy constant investment and new venue openings – even including a new beer spa!
- At the airport, the Brussels Airport Company's Skyhall opened this year and can host up to 2,000 people; the Residence Inn by Marriott at Brussels Airport is also new
- The Louise area has welcomed newcomers Hotel Avenue Louise by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the Moxy Hotel and the Comet Meetings building
- The Holiday Inn Express Grande Place and the five-star Juliana Hotel Brussels opened last month in the city centre and there is also a refurbished pedestrian zone together with a new wave of cafés
- 2021 is the European Year of Railways and one of the world’s largest culture festivals - Europalia – will have rail as its main theme. Numerous exhibitions commemorating the history of the railway and its future will be celebrated in Brussels in the Bozar cultural centre and Train World.
Looking to the future
Brussels has developed a vast plan to support and relaunch tourism activity in accordance with the recommendations of the World Tourism Organisation. Its tourism and culture agency visit.brussels has its teams focused on events, communications, local co-ordination and international promotion, in addition to an extensive programme of digital transformation.
The biggest changes, however, can be seen in the city itself. After almost 20 years, the Tour&Taxis area has been transformed with new meeting spaces at Gare Maritime and Maison de la Poste. Close to it, the local Brasserie de la Senne has opened its new brewery and Be.Here together with Green Bizz are important incubators in sustainability.
Close by, the new contemporary art museum KANAL will open in 2023, offering art and hospitality in a new cultural area. Together with the redesign of the North station district, this area of Brussels will receive a whole new identity.
A new redesign is also transforming the European Quarter, with a redeveloped Schuman roundabout, the creation of a citizen forum, a new conference centre for the European institutions while enhancing the residential character of the district.
As the world opens up once again for events, Brussels is focused on sustainability and increasing the lengths of stays in order to both reduce environmental impact and maximise encounters between visitors and inhabitants