This is a site about Brussels, a city that sometimes to be nothing more than a chaotic intersection of roads and railways and tramlines, a place where everyone is passing through on the way to somewhere else. But it turns to be a city of many secret places that most people know nothing about.
The aim of this website is to steer you away from the more obvious tourist sights so that you can discover the hidden places that reveal the soul of the city.
BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO
I love you Brussels. I hate you Brussels.
Could Brussels become the new London?
My hidden restaurants revealed
A SMALL TOWN IN BELGIUM
Aarschot - where nothing ever happens
Where to go now the cars have gone
The 10 most romantic things to do in Brussels
STREET ART UNCOVERED
The secret art that no one sees
NO, WE CAN
No one understands Belgium. Not even the Belgians.
The Flemish cities have a cosmopolitan, European feel because of their history. The architecture is a mix of different styles: French, Dutch, Hapsburg, along with a hint of America. And then you have the fabulous squares in Flemish cities, not just the Grote Markt, but the small, intimate squares like Hendrik Conscienceplein in Antwerp. That’s where you find the cafes, the beer, the frituur stand and maybe you will be lucky and hit upon a local festival. It can sometimes feel like Italy, especially in the summer.
I thought Lier was a perfect small town with a friendly tourist office, fascinating local museum and interesting walking trails. I also had a great time in Aalst which feels like a mash up of Antwerp and Ghent. And I had a lot of fun exploring the hills around Oudenaarde on a bike. But, to be honest, each of the 15 cities I have visited has turned out to be interesting. Even Vilvoorde, which I expected to be grim and industrial, turned out to be a fascinating example of urban regeneration. It might even be the next hip destination.
15 FLEMISH CITIES
Kortrijk has come a long way since 1302
Monsieur Jean comic book mural by Dupuy and Berberian in Rue des Bogards
The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels
"this little gem is an instant Brussels bestseller"
The 500 Hidden Secrets
"best Brussels guidebook"
"the descriptions are short and snappy and give you just enough information to tease you into discovering them for yourself"
The Brussels Tribune
"Really love your book. I always knew Brussels was a great city and no way boring. We enjoyed our stay in Sweet which your book rightly recommends. Sofie the owner was sweet."
in bookshops now
Available in French:
500 coups de coeur
Second revised French edition now in bookshops
Walking tours in
10 walking tours in Brussels based on the bestselling guide
"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 visible 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."
find out more about urban walks here