24 Hours in Brussels

Belgium’s compact capital is easy to reach and packed full of cultural, gastronomic and architectural delights, says ANNABEL STEVENS…

8am Skip the generic hotel breakfast and get out exploring! Opposite Saint Catherine’s Square you’ll fi nd Charli, an inconspicuous bakery with arguably the best pain au chocolat outside of France.

10am Get your camera ready and take a leisurely walk through the gilded opulence of Grand Place. The central square is one of the most iconic landmarks in Brussels, and is flanked by the city’s lavish town hall and the Breadhouse building, which contains the City of Brussels Museum.

12pm The scent of chocolate wafts through the streets in this decadent city. So, after all that culture, why not treat yourself at Elisabeth – a gorgeous independent chocolatier?

1pm Fans of Tintin can make the journey of a lifetime to the real-life Rue du Labrador and pay homage to the world’s most famous Belgian at Musée Hergé.

4pm Shopping time! Visit Les Enfants d’Edouard and nab a stylish vintage find, famous publishing house Taschen for some cool keepsake books, and Gallerie St Hubert for some window shopping in the 19th century mall.

6pm Make the mandatory pitstop at the Manneken Pis – the 400-year old bronze statue of a boy peeing into a fountain (allegedly inspired by a reallife merchant’s own son who wandered off and was shortly found happily urinating in the streets).

7pm After a long day, seek nourishment at Restaurant Vincent for some mussels and chips – a classic Brussels dish. And it would be rude not to wash it all down with a Belgian beer or two.

11pm Treat yourself to a night of luxury at the beautiful fi ve-star Hotel Amigo, ideally located just behind the Grand Place. Perfect for some muchneeded R&R!