There are many car rental companies in Brussels, including most of the large multi-national companies. Rental prices can vary widely and it is often useful and more economical to use online comparison sites which will give you options and prices from different companies. GPS systems are usually available for an extra price. For newcomers who are planning on doing a lot of driving, GPS systems are recommended as it can be difficult to navigate Brussels. You may also decide to hire a car with a driver and there are many options available as well. Though not necessary, it can make life easier, in particular when time is of a premium and you do not want to concern yourself with always being dependent on a cab or trying to find your way around and parking if you are driving by yourself. Generally you can look to rent a small car for around 60€/day.
Main Rental Companies
- Budget – http://www.budget.be/budgetonline/be-gb/budget.nsf?open&~Default
- Europcar – http://www.europcar.com/EBE/module/booking/FirstStep.do
- Alamo – http://www.goalamo.be
- Avis – http://www.avis.co.uk/CarHire/Europe/Belgium
Online Comparison Sites
- Travelocity – http://www.travelocity.com/Car-Rental/1,,20,00.html
- Expedia – http://www.expedia.com/daily/cars/default.asp?rfrr=-1068
- Orbitz – http://www.orbitz.com/App/DisplayCarSearch?z=3e78&r=3f
- Business and Driver Services – Contact +32 (2) 424 1944 http://www.business-drivers.com/en.html
- Brussels Chauffeur Services – Can be booked by phone +44 20 8144 4670, Skype (eurochauffeurs) or online http://www.eurochauffeurs.com/chauffeurservice/brussels.htm
- Onelimo, Brussels – Can be booked online at http://www.onelimo.com/Brussels_Limousines_Limos_Car_service.htm
Lacking the splendour, 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 Vlaanderan, the Antiques Fair, and Ommegang. The Brussels Marathon in August is a popular event for the fitness types, while sports centres 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.