Welcome to buzzing, cosmopolitan Brussels. The Belgian capital has two other roles: it's the headquarters of the EU (clustered around the Rond-Point Schuman and the Place du Luxembourg) and the European base for thousands of international corporations, many of which have headquarters on the highways leading out to the airport.
Meet us at our airport, railway station or Brussels city car rental locations and begin your journey in style.
This is not only the capital of Belgium but also of the European Union. It is therefore not surprising that there is a lot to experience here. With a rental car you can discover this multicultural city in all its facets.
Like many capitals, this city is a melting pot of different cultures. The result is a huge range of different events and attractions for young and old. A rental car gives you the freedom to get the most out of all these activities.
Given the political importance of the city, it is the home of a large number of national and foreign politicians. Many of them use Avis to travel to and from the airport, as well as within the city itself.
Most tourists now know that Belgium is known for its beer, french fries and chocolate. Nevertheless, Belgian cuisine has a lot more to offer in terms of gastronomy. A number of regional products such as eel in green and black pudding, chicory and caracoles are popular, but certainly not less tasty! To enjoy the local cuisine and culture even more, you can stroll through the Marolles, the oldest working-class neighborhood in Brussels, and then eat a delicious waffle at one of the many terraces on the Grote Markt as a snack. If you want to buy art or antiques, it is best to go to the Grote Zavel and Hoogstraat, where the countless art galleries and antique shops offer something for everyone, ranging from old Belgian furniture to African and South American crafts. Try out every alley in this neighborhood and you will be amazed by the beautiful shops and cafes of class restaurants.
Sights in and around the city
One of the most famous attractions in Brussels is the Atomium, built in 1958 to mark the World Exhibition held in Belgium that year. On the corner of Stoofstraat and Eikstraat you can admire Manneken Pis, a 58cm statue of a peeing boy who has been attracting tourists from all over the world for years. Some of the most visited museums are the Cinquantenaire Museum, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts and the Royal Museum of the Army and the history of war. The Musical Instruments Museum is certainly worth a visit and has a roof terrace with a spectacular view over the city.
Those who prefer to hear the music themselves than to watch the instruments, can indulge in the annual free festival Bruksellive that takes place at the Atomium. In the Mint, the Kaaitheater and the Ancienne Belgique there is also something to experience every night. The latter is perhaps a relatively small hall, yet it is one of the most famous concert halls of Belgium and there are daily world-renowned artists from every genre. Shoppers are in for a treat, there are shopping streets for every price range: in the Nieuwstraat you will find all popular chains, while the Avenue Louise is known for more exclusive brands, and in the Brabantstraat you have to be for absolute bargains.
Those who prefer to visit nature can visit the National Botanic Garden, 12km north of the center. The Sonian Forest south of the city is a true walking paradise, but there are also many green zones and parks within the city, such as the Botanique and the Cinquantenaire Park. For the sports enthusiasts the Gordel is organized annually, a cycling and walking event that has 19 different courses. All these activities are easy to combine thanks to Avis car hire.
Thanks to the central location of the city you can literally go all the way through the many highways from which it forms the junction: the E40 takes you to the North Sea, the E411 leads to the Ardennes. Both these destinations and much more are just over an hour away from the city.
To get your Brussels bearings take an hour to walk from the Palais Royal, along the Rue Royale, through the Place du Grand Sablon and down to the Grand Place.
One of Europe's greenest cities, lose yourself in regal Cinquantenaire park. Dominated by a Triumphal Arch, these 30 hectares of classic gardens were created by King Leopold II in 1880 to celebrate the 50th anniversery of independence.
Culture-vultures should alight at Place Royale for the Magritte Museum, which holds the largest art collection of Belgian surrealist René Magritte. Grand Place, a 10-minute walk away, is a World Heritage Site. The guildhouses around the square add to the charming character.
A trip to Brussels must include some sampling of the wonderful chocolate. Rue de Chartreux is a good place to start. It's chock full of sweet shops and chocolatiers, as well as clock shops, art galleries and vintage clothes stores.
The infamous battle that ended Napoleon's empire was fought just 10km south of Brussels and the rolling farmland remains much as it was on June 18, 1815. Near the visitor centre at Braine l'Alleud, climb Lion's Mound to get the best view.
Drive for 13km from Brussels in a south-westerly direction and you get to Kasteel van Gaasbeek, an ancestral chateau with particularly resplendent furnishings. You may feel that the long-deceased inhabitants have never left.
Antwerp and Bruges
It's a 50-minute drive north to the diamond capital of Antwerp, popular with fashionistas and fans of fusion dining. In medieval Bruges, an 80-minute drive away, climb the 12th-century belfry in Markt Square and spy the 18th-century windmills on the eastern edge of town.
Which side of the road?
In Belgium, please drive on the right side of the road.
Country driving laws
All speed signs will be in km/h.
For a standard Avis rental vehicle with no trailer:
Unless indicated by road signs. Be aware of changes to speed limits displayed on road signs due to adverse weather conditions.
Child safety / Seatbelt laws
Please note, it is the child’s parent/guardian or vehicle renter’s responsibility to fit the child seat.
This road rules information is for provided for general guidance only. We endeavour to keep the information up to date and accurate, but any reliance you place on this information is at your own risk.