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Grand Place, Floral Carpet, Brussels, Belgium
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Building Covered with Ivy, Brugge, Belgium
Building Covered with Ivy, Brugge, Belgium
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Belgium Travel Guide:
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Antwerp Travel Information
Bruges (Brugge) Tourist Information
Bruges Travel Information
Brussels: Chocolate Capital of the World
Discovering Antwerp
Gent (Ghent) Tourist Information
Holidays In Brussels - How To Get There & Navigate The Public Transport System Of Europe's Capital City
Namur Tourist Information
Oostende (Ostende) Tourist Information
Holidays In Brussels - How To Get There & Navigate The Public Transport System Of Europe's Capital City

Brussels: Chocolate Capital of the World   by Paul McIndoe

Featured Brussels Hotels
Self-catering accommodation in Brussels and surrounds

As the de facto capital of Europe, home to both the EU and the NATO headquarters, it's fair to say that Brussels plays a vital part in European society and global politics, and if you were asked to name something that makes Brussels famous then its role as the capital of European politics is bound to spring to mind.

Then again, you may decide to answer more 'diplomatically', and name the other thing that Brussels is world famous for: chocolate!

Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium
Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium Photographic Print
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The image of the chocolate-obsessed Belgian also springs quickly to mind when thinking of Brussels - and with over 2,000 chocolate shops and factories around the country (many in Brussels itself), it is perhaps a stereotype that the Belgians would not only accept, but be very proud of too!

And yet, there is something rather strange about this relationship between Belgium - a European country - and chocolate, a sweet treat made from the plant of the cocoa tree; a plant native to South America. So where does this connection come from?

The story goes that the cook of 16th century French Duke Plesslis-Praslin one day accidentally spilled burned sugar over almonds, a mixture that the Duke found delicious, and later gave his name to the praline! The accidental discovery of this sweet, nutty paste and the way it complimented chocolate, led the Belgians to develop and perfect this delicious sweet.
This is a story that is kept very much alive in Brussels today, and is a heritage that they are only too happy to share with a chocolate-loving world. Shops in Brussels include the world-famous Lady Godiva chocolate facility, which bears the Royal stamp of approval, and La Fonderie, which offers tours for chocoholics. There is also the Chocolate Museum, which tells the history of Belgian chocolate; offers chocolate making lessons and perhaps more importantly, offers some delicious samples!

Brussels is also home to a wealth of cultural attractions, like the Lower Town, home to the Grand Place, which boasts gorgeous 17th century baroque guildhalls and is today used for huge open-air concerts, and the St. Michel cathedral - the construction of which took over three centuries! The architectural styles of this fabulous building shift from Romanesque to Renaissance before your very eyes!

And if you find yourself needing some sustenance that isn't chocolate, or you need a place to lie down and rest your legs (and stomach!), there are also a vast range of restaurants and hotels in Brussels to suit your financial taste.

Grand Place, Brussels (Bruxelles), Belgium
Grand Place, Brussels (Bruxelles), Belgium
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So if you're a chocoholic in search of the finest sweets in the world, and wouldn't mind getting a taste of European culture on the side, why not treat yourself to Brussels?

top  /  Brussels Featured Hotels
Self-catering accommodation in Brussels and surrounds

About the Author  -  Paul McIndoe is an online, freelance writer from Scotland. When not writing, he enjoys playing golf and is a keen gardener.


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Astrid Centre Hotel Brussels
The Astrid Center Brussels is a first-class hotel located five kilometers from the Zaventem Airport and only 400 meters of the Grand Place. This hotel boasts an excellent location in the center of this enchanting city. The famous Grand Place, with its beautiful architecture, exciting sightseeing places and pedestrian shopping streets, is situated with a comfortable walking distance away. 
Bedford Hotel and Congress Centre Brussels
Located in the heart of Brussels, between the famous "GrandíPlace" and Eurostar / Thalys terminal, the Bedford Brussels includes 2.660m2 meeting area.  For any kind of venue, the Bedford perfectly combines the flexibility and the traditions of a privately owned hotel with the experience and the efficiency of a professional staff.  The Bedford houses 326 bedrooms including standard, business, executive rooms and apartments.
Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie Brussels
The Hotel Bristol Stephanie offers travellers a supreme location right on the Avenue Louise in the heart of Brussels' most fashionable shopping and business district. The staff at this excellent 5 star hotel will endeavour to ensure that your stay is as comfortable and memorable as possible. Should you require any tourism advice just find a staff member who will be happy to help.  Whether you are travelling to Brussels on business or leisure you are sure to find the hospitality and facilities at the Bristol Stephanie of the highest calibre.
Citadines Apart'hotel Brussels Sainte-Catherine Brussels
The Citadines Brussels Ste-Catherine, complete with indoor garden and fountain, is situated in the heart of the city and only a stone's throw from Brussels' famous Grand-Place, a showcase of Flemish baroque architecture.  It is also close to the city's flower market.  This bustling European metropolis is a focal point for art and culture Ė it is home to Musée Brueghel and the Musée d'Art Ancien et d'Art Moderne (Museum of Ancient and Modern Art).  Absolute musts: the 80 museums about art, industry, science, history... and the the "Comic's tour".
Citadines Apart'hotel Brussels Toison d'Or Brussels
Citadines Brussels Toison d'or is located near the Jardin d'Egmont and the Avenue Louise which is lined with world-class shops. You will love Brussels for its numerous museums (Brueghel Museum as well as the Ancient and Modern Art, just to name 2) and its splendid architecture. This native land of Tintin also boasts of a wide range of gastronomic delights.  Absolute musts: the Musée de la Bande Dessinée (Comic Museum); the Art Nouveau tour at Ixelles. 
Comfort Hotel Art Siru Brussels
The Comfort Art Hotel Siru is a unique, first-class hotel located near Brussels longest pedestrian shopping street. This hotel itself is a beautiful art-deco building with 101 unique pieces of art. The interior includes the work of 130 Belgium artists. As a result, no two guestrooms are alike.  The Comfort Art Hotel Siru is only two minutes walk from the NORTH TRAIN STATION, ten minutes from the Grand'Place and a twenty-minute cab ride from the Airport.
Floris Louise Brussels
Hotel Floris Louise is located in the heart of the intriguing city of Brussels close to the exclusive shopping area 'Avenue Louise' and just a short distance from many of the major tourist monuments and business districts.  Guests will enjoy excellent accommodation in Hotel Floris Louise. Each of the rooms in this charming hotel has been designed with your every comfort in mind.  Hotel Floris Louise offers a range of hotel services ensuring a pleasant and trouble free staying in this quaint hotel.
Hotel Chambord Brussels
Hotel Chambord Brussels ideally situated in the most luxurious district of Brussels. This Art Deco Hotel, which was refurbished in 1995, has 70 comfortable rooms, all with the modern facilities demanded by modern business people.  A personalized welcome, warm atmosphere and lobby bar make this hotel the place to stay of choice offering an unbeatable combination of quality and price in the city center.  The guest rooms are charming with spacious dimensions. Try the Piano Bar and don't miss the nearby shopping.A personalised welcome, warm athmosphere and lobby bar make this hotel the place of stay of choice offering an unbeatable combination of quality and price in the city centre.
Hotel Plaza Brussels
Hotel Le Plaza Brussels is located in the heart of Brussels, which was built in 1930 following the plans of the Georges V Hotel - Paris. The hotel was completely renovated in 1996 with particular care for tradition. Touches of the past remain in intricate moldings, and graceful arches. Today, its 193 freshly refurbished rooms with bright Louis XVI, combined with the latest technological amenities.
Le Meridien Bruxelles
A curving structure with a palatial façade, Le Meridien Brussels is a tribute to Belgiumís rich and gloried history. This capital cityís Grand-Place, the central square of the city, is only a short walk from the hotel, a square thatís flanked by the gothic-era Hotel de Ville, the cityís town hall.  The hotelís 224 elegant guest rooms and suites offer a place of luxurious sanctuary and unmatched comfort. Easily accessible from the International Airport and the TGV/Eurostar terminal, Le Méridien Brussels stands opposite the Palais des Congres and the Central Station.
Louise Hotel Brussels
Louise Hotel is set in the middle of a 19th century neighborhood, in the centre of Brussels, near the well-known Avenue Louise and Avenue de la Toison d'Or.  The 49 guest rooms at Louise Hotel features amazing and spacious bathrooms (hair dryers and courtesy bath amenities), as well as LCD flat screen TVs, direct dial telephone lines and free wireless Internet connection.  The breakfast buffet, served from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m., is the perfect way to start the day.  A Grab & Run Breakfast is also available on request and includes delicious takeaway espresso and home-made croissant.
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre is a new hotel and located in the center of Brussels, the hotel ideally situated for business and tourist travelers. The hotel is within walking distance from "Grand Place" and opposite the main shopping area. It is a modern hotel with warm Norwegian style decoration. There is easy access by road and rail and only 20 minutes by taxi from the airport. The hotel has new & warm Norwegian style property offering a variety of choice, high quality and top comfort.  Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre is located in the city center. It is next to the new business district and the Belgian government area.
Van Belle Hotel Brussels
The hotel is situated just sixteen hundred metres from Brussels' Grand Place, and a courtesy shuttle is available to take you there during evening hours. Please Phone the hotel upon arrival at the Midi Station for free transportation to the hotel. Hotel van Belle offers a number of restaurants and conference rooms, as well as a spacious ground floor lounge, invitingly decorated, where you can relax- or perhaps you would prefer one of the comfortable seats at our bar. The modern, fully-featured rooms all have en-suite bathroom, automatic wake-up alarm, cable TV, hairdryer, personal safe, and telephone. 
Warwick Barsey Hotel Brussels
The Warwick Barsey Hotel is ideally located on the prestigious Avenue Louise, in Brussels' fashionable shopping area, and in close proximity to the Bois de la Cambre and the Place du Châtelain, the 'Soho of Brussels'. The Warwick Barsey Hotel is only five kilometres from the Midi train station (Thalys and Eurostar) and just a 20-minute journey from Brussels Airport, Zaventem.  Luxurious and cosy, Warwick Barsey Hotel has been decorated entirely by the famous French designer Jacques Garcia. The restaurant at Warwick Barsey Hotel serves the finest cuisine, mixing invention with tradition.
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