Lacking the splendor, glitz, and glamour of Rome, Paris, and London, Brussels does offer a surprising array of entertainment options. Particularly in the summer, the city seems to emerge from hibernation, adding to its world-famous allure of museums and plazas with many different forms of entertainment for people of all ages. Festivals, fetes, open-air concerts, markets, and more are common features of the city and the country as a whole.
Boasting one of the best performing arts scenes in the world, there are many theatres and operas, many of which are hosted at the magnificent opera house, the Theatre de la Monnaie. There are almost 100 museums in and around Brussels where many hours can be spent exploring. You may also find yourself spending lovely leisurely time in many of the city’s parks. The National Botanical Garden, located in the north of the city with over 18,000 varieties of plants (about 6% of all plants in existence), Bouchout Castle, greenhouses, ponds and flower beds, is one of the largest in the world and hosts an annual flower festival. And, of course, there are many restaurants and bars in the city offering a wide range of food and drink to nourish and entertain.
Annual events in the city include the Brussels Jazz Marathon, the Eureka Science Fair, the Festival of Fantastic Films, Festival van Vlaanderen, the Antiques Fair, and Ommegang. The Brussels Marathon in August is a popular event for the fitness types, while sports centers with tennis courts, hockey and football pitches and more can be found in many places in and around the city. The Van Damme Memorial IAHF Grand Prix, a major annual professional athletics event takes place in August at the Roi Baudouin Stadium. For golfers, there is a good selection of courses around the city. Cycling is very popular in Belgium, too, and cycling tours can be arranged or simply creating your own trails in the city can be very enjoyable.