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The Hidden Secrets of Brussels

walking tours for the curious

PROGRAMME SUMMER 2014

 

BREAK OUT OF THE BUBBLE

THREE THURSDAY AFTERWORK WALKS

 

Summer is a quiet time in Brussels when you can break out of the Brussels bubble and get to know the city's hidden charms. These three walks are designed to take you straight from work on a Thursday evening on a two-hour walk through some of the city's unknown quarters.

 

Each walk begins at 18.00 outside the Berlaymont building entrance

 

31 JULY 2014 6pm to 8pm

THE CINQUANTENAIRE PARK

 

7 AUGUST 2014 6pm to 8pm

THE SECRET MAELBEEK VALLEY

 

14 AUGUST 2014 6pm to 8pm

PLACE ROYALE

 

Reservation and info: walks@mysecretbrussels.com

 

Street art in the Rue des Chandeliers

 

 

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

walking tours for the curious

 

Derek Blyth organises walking tours of Brussels based on his bestselling guide The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels

 

Here are some of the most popular walks -

 

Downtown Brussels

From a hidden river to an unknown mediaeval lane, this walk takes you through the oldest part of Brussels to parts that tourists never reach. Departs Place St Géry 23

 

Secret street art

Find out about the street artists who work in Brussels, from the man known as “the Banksy of Brusssels” who paints skeletons on apartment walls to the couple who have turned a blank concrete wall into an art gallery. Departs Place Stephanie 6

The secret history of Belgium

Discover the history of Belgium during a two-hour stroll in the Cinquantenaire Park. Departs Berlaymont building entrance

 

European Brussels 

Find out how Brussels became the capital of Europe in a walk that takes you through the cosmopolitan European Quarter. Departs Berlaymont Building entrance

 

How it works

 

The walks are given in English and aim to show a side of the city that most people do not know about

 

The walks are not organised like guided tours but provide stimulating encounters with the city. Each walk is different, depending on weather, participants, roadworks, urban developments 

 

Tours normally last 2 hours

 

 You choose a date and a starting time. Most walks work well beginning on Saturday at 10.00 or 16.00

 

You choose a walk. For those new to Brussels, I recommend Downtown Brussels.

 

You can begin the walk at your hotel or office, or at the official departure point.

 

The walks normally go ahead regardless of the weather. Bring umbrellas to be safe. Occasionally a walk will be cancelled because of severe storms.

 

Brussels is a city of cobblestones and dilapidated pavements. Wear the right shoes.

 

The walks are free.

 

 Get the book: Hidden Secrets Walks are based on a small selection of places listed in the book The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels. You can buy a copy in most good bookshops in Brussels or order it online from the publisher here 

 

Hidden Secrets of Brussels

walks for the curious 

                                                                   photo Klaus Ken Shipley 

In the summer of 2012, Derek Blyth launched a series of walking tours in hidden parts of Brussels to promote his new book The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels. Here are photos taken by Klaus Ken Shipley during the first walk on 23 June 2012. The walk started out at the secret River Senne (below left), dived down into the cellars of the old St Géry market hall (below right), and ended two hours later in the former fishmarket (above). 

Past walks and events

20 FEBRUARY 2014

NO JOKE, CAN WE LIVE IN BRUSSELS? talk

 

1 MARCH 2014

SECRET STREET ART walk

 

13 MARCH 2014 5pm

BRUSSELS FOR BEGINNERS walk

 

MARCH 2014 7pm

CAFE LITTERAIRE talk + walk

 

22 MARCH 2014 11am

HIDDEN SECRETS OF DOWNTOWN BRUSSELS walk

Private walks

You can book a private walk for a few friends to celebrate a special event like a birthday or a wedding. Just drop me an email and we can discuss the possibilities

SEE THE LIST OF 10 WALKS HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

 

I just wanted to say a big thank you for the talk and walking tour yesterday evening which everyone thoroughly enjoyed! It really is one of our most popular events at Le Méridien. Looking forward to whenever the next one will be!

Sophie Clarke,

Starwood Hotels

  

I just wanted to thank you for the nice talk and walk yesterday evening. I've been in Brussels for more than seven years and still hadn't noticed some of the spots you showed and explained to us.

Valeria,

Brussels

 

We wanted to thank you for the great walk we had with our group of students on 14 January 2014. It was a hit: our students absolutely loved it! Even though the weather was quite rough, this was the first group that we've had that was collectively enthusiastic right until the end, regardless of the cold.

Pauline Le Floc'h,

International Students Abroad

 

What a treasure trove of knowledge and a delightfully witty one at that! Derek has a delightfully cool approach to the whole tour of street art. And I discovered that Brussels is definitely NOT flat OR boring. He gave his commentary in English. My daughter was too jet-lagged to come along but when I showed her a few pictures and told her about it, she was as turned on by Brussels as me. Now we notice the quirky features of Brussels in a way we would never have done on our own.

Maggie Morgan, Melbourne

 

I want to thank you for the excellent tour that you did last Saturday. My wife and I learned a lot and we will try our best to be a part of your upcoming trips. We will also be purchasing your book as well as telling our friends about the hidden secrets that we are sure that many of them do not know about. 

Klaus Ken Shipley

 

Thank you for the great tour through Brussels yesterday. It was very interesting. I am flicking through your book that I bought yesterday. What a gem. 

Ramona Butler

 

Thank you so much for your time and enthusiasm and for showing me how much I yet have to discover in this city. I especially liked the banana murals, the mediaeval street, the designers' stores and the hospital square with the white buildings. It helped me imagine how Brussels looked at the time Joseph Conrad referred to it as the whited sepulchre.

Joanna Luczac

 

I was touched by the city that you showed us. I have lived here for a year and I have always felt that there is more to Brussels than I could describe, show or touch. Even though I have read hundreds of books about Brussels. I loved the gorgeous photo exhibition, and the abandoned old fountain lined with rubbish made me cry. Brussels is a magnificent old city, but it's a pity it's not visble on a daily basis. Like the narrow street near the Rue de Flandres that isn't even on Google maps. Every citizen should be obliged to try to see Brussels through your eyes.    

Joanna Slocka

 

The walk on Saturday was illuminating and your book is on my list of things to buy. I adore getting to know about my surroundings and our peregrinations were ideal for that.

Nick Hogg

 

You were fabulous. After 15 months here, I've fallen into a bit of a Brussels funk. Your book and the walk were just what I needed to remind me of the quirkiness and absurdity that makes Brussels such a unique place. After the walk, a friend and I enjoyed drinks as you suggested at the Dominican. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon.    

Brandee Butler

 

Your narration is fantastic, it could entertain and enlighten me for hours. In fact, one of my group said, "I'd like to take him out to dinner and just let him talk."     

Pam Rubin

 

 

One day in Brussels

 

a tour of the best secret spots in the city

 

Buy the bestselling book

The 500 hidden

secrets of Brussels

 

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