9 Alternative Things to Do in Brussels

You’ve seen the Atomium and had your picture taken next to the Manneken Pis sculpture, and you’ve eaten all the Belgian waffles and chocolate within a 12 mile radius. So what else is there in the capital? Here’s a look at some of unsung hotspots and alternative activities that you just can’t miss the next time you visit Brussels.


Take a Comic Book Tour

Comic book geeks will be in their element in the city of Brussels. Belgium has a long history with comics and there’s even a museum dedicated to comic books and comic book characters. Head to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre (open daily from 10am to 6pm) and be sure to check out the section on Herge’s Tintin.


Antique Shopping in Le Sablon

Visit the cool, chic and hilly neighbourhood of Le Sablon and get a taste of local life in Brussels. Mingle with the residents of this area in the countless coffee shops dotted around, and enjoy browsing the endless antique shops within this historic upper town area.


Dive in the World’s Deepest Pool

Want to learn to dive? Why not do it at the world’s deepest indoor pool, the Nemo 33? There’s also a fantastic restaurant with 7 large windows offering views into the pool so you can watch divers in action as you dine.


Drink Cocktails in ‘The Coffin’

Le Cercueil is a horror themed bar located on Rue des Harengs, featuring gruesome décor inspired by iconic horror films such as The Exorcist. Expect grim reapers and skeletons, plus quirky cocktails with creepy names such as ‘Corpse Juice’ or ‘Devil’s Sperm’. Served in a skull cup of course.

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Learn to Make Chocolate

You’ve eaten all the chocolate you can stomach. Now it’s time to make your own at Zaabär on Chaussée de Charleroi. They host regular chocolate workshops so you can get the full chocolate factory experience. Suitable for all ages, including children.


Visit the Musical Instruments Museum

This is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Brussels and if you love Art Nouveau, this building is not to be missed. The Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) features collections of instruments from around the world and there’s also a fantastic rooftop terrace where you can get amazing views of the city.


Beer Tasting in Ixelles

Explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Ixelles, an area famous with the city’s students and hippest beer drinkers. Choose from 2,000 different beers at Delirium Café or the hundreds of beers available at L’Amère à Boire.


See the Temple of Human Passions

This Greek style temple located at Cinquantenaire Park is only open for a couple of hours, a few days week (2pm-4pm every Wednesday and 2pm-4:45pm every Saturday and Sunday). So don’t miss your slot! Commissioned by Victor Horta in 1889, this building houses a stunning Carrara marble relief created by sculptor Jef Lambeaux and is definitely worth exploring.


Eat ‘Slow Food’

The Slow Food movement started in the 1980s in a protest to the fast food industry. Slow Food is about being kind to the environment and promoting fair conditions. There are currently 12 famous Belgian foods that make the Slow Food approved list, including Herve cheese and horseback-fished brown shrimps.


Organise your taxi transfer from Brussels Airport today to ensure you make the most of your time in the fascinating capital.

7 Things You Have to See in Seville

Fabulous flamenco dancing, traditional bull fighting, authentic tapas, and real Seville oranges. These are just some of the things that define the spectacular city of Seville, Andalusia’s capital. But as well as having so much to do and experience, it’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities in Europe – with awe-inspiring architecture that will take you on a journey through history and time. Whether you’re staying for a few weeks, or just here on a stopover, there are so many sights and attractions to check out. Here are 7 of our favourites for your next trip to Seville.

 


 

The Alcazar

This ornate castle complex should be on everyone’s bucket list. Designed with the most extravagant, intricate features, it’s an architectural marvel, originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings in the 14th Century. The Alcazar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as the most beautiful palace in Europe. The complex features beautiful patios and salons, plus a garden decorated with lush green palms, pavilions and pools.


Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes

The Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes is a Baroque 17th Century building, once used as a hospice for priests. Whilst the exterior is of a humble design, inside holds some of Seville’s greatest works of art. The property’s chapel is decorated with beautiful frescos by Valdes Leal as well as works by Virgilio Mattoni and Juan de Oviedo, whilst the courtyard is landscaped to a typical Sevillian style. The site also houses the Velázquez Centre, which is dedicated to the famous painter Diego Velázquez.


 The Cathedral

Together with the Alcazar, Seville Cathedral is a UNESCO site that should not to be missed if you’re in Seville. As the world’s largest Baroque cathedral, it’s a sight to behold and the Giralda bell tower is one of its most iconic features. Book a tour and head to the top of the tower to be rewarded with the most incredible panoramic views of the city.


Monasterio de Santa Paula

This 15th Century monastery provides visitors with more than just sightseeing. It’s a unique and somewhat surreal experience, which will really add something special to your trip. On arrival, guests will need to ring the doorbell before entering – after being greeted by a nun, you will have the chance to tour the property, including its small church and its closely guarded collection of sacred paintings. There’s also a shop on site where you can purchase products made by the nuns at the convent.


Museo del Baile Flamenco

You simply cannot visit the Andalucia region without going to a flamenco show. To learn more about the history of this wonderful dance and art form, head to the famous museum, Museo del Baile Flamenco. Inside, you can watch live shows on stage or see the interactive video displays within the museum area, plus there are exhibitions available throughout the year.


Parque Maria Luisa & Plaza de España

Known as the ‘lungs of the city’, this fantastic park is a great place for enjoying a stroll, doing some sightseeing, or some practicing your nature photography. Stretching along the Guadalquivir River, Parque Maria Luisa provides a peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle – and it’s a great place for kids too. Don’t miss the park’s centrepiece, the Plaza de España, which was built in the 1920s for the Ibero-American Exposition.

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Triana

One of the areas definitely worth visiting the next time you’re in the city is Triana, a neighbourhood where Seville’s history and traditions come to life. Triana is the birthplace of flamenco dancing and bullfighting and the places you have to check out are Triana Bridge, the market, Castillo San Jorge, and the Centro Ceramica Santa Ana.


If this has inspired you to visit the beautiful Seville, then don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange your airport transfer.

Your Guide For “Tipping” Around The World

You are not sure how to express your appreciation for the service you just received in the foreign country you are travelling around? It’s a decision every traveler has faced when calling a taxi or being served at a restaurant in a foreign country – who should you tip and how generous should you be? Don’t wait until you have ordered your meal to figure out whether or not you should leave a tip. Instead, do a little research beforehand – here’s what you need to know about tipping in Europe and beyond.


We can all agree that gratuities around the globe can be tricky and a real head-scratcher. While tipping is considered customary and required in some countries, it is not expected in others. Tipping etiquette varies by country, by region, and by scenario. Not being aware of the tipping rules in different countries can lead to making big mistakes when it’s time to show appreciation for good service, and a misstep could mean an angry glance, an embarrassing situation, or even accidentally offending someone. A little bit of research ahead of your trip will be very helpful when it comes to knowing whether or not your destination expects a gratuity in return for services.


The Middle East

Dubai


In Dubai, a 10% service charge is typical to all bills at hotels, restaurants, and bars. Anyway, feel free to top it off with a few dirhams.


Egypt


In most places, the tip is already included in the bill. It is a good idea to add an additional 5-10% gratuity on top of the tip that is already on the bill. Dollars are often preferred to local currency.


Asia

China


The rule in China is no tipping whatsoever. Tipping has never been a thing in China, and it can even be considered offensive. However exceptional the service you receive is, you don’t leave a tip.


Japan


In most places, the Japanese keep it simple – don’t tip whether you’re at a restaurant, bar or a hotel. While it’s mostly a non-tipping society, providers of some services may appreciate a tip. Receiving yens is preferred.


South Korea


Tips are never expected from tourists, especially in restaurants. Hotel porters, however, usually accept the usual $1 per bag.


India


Double check before tipping as many places already include a 10% service charge. At more modest spots, a few rupees will be sufficient. Dollars are not preferred. Also, keep an eye for tipping boxes in hotels. This way you can tip the staff for their service without having to go after individuals.


Vietnam


Whether you’re dining in a luxurious restaurant or simply grabbing a cup of coffee, be prepared to tip. You should leave a 5-10% tip, preferably in cash.


Thailand


A tip is usually not expected in restaurants in Thailand. However, it is customary to leave a few baht on the table. That being said, tips are always appreciated and happily accepted.


Europe

Czech Republic


In most places, there is usually a service charge included but just in case, scan the bill to check. If there isn’t, you should leave a tip between 10 and 15%. If there is, you can still consider tipping on top of it as when it comes to good service, Czechs definitely have it.


France


The words service compris ,which appear on most restaurant bills, mean that the price already includes tax and tips so a tip is not required. However, most locals round up a little on the bill or leave an additional tip up to 15%. It is preferred that the tip is in cash and left on the table.


Germany


From restaurants to hotel housekeeping, tipping in Germany is considered customary unless the service was poor. Don’t leave change on the table, but instead give the tip to the waiter directly. Dollars are accepted, but euros are preferred.


Italy


Before you tip, scan the bill to check if you have already been charged for service normally listed as coperto, meaning a cover charge. If not, leaving a few euros on the table is considered generous, but no more than 10% of the total. However, when cruising down the canals, tipping gondoliers isn’t considered customary. When tipping, euros are preferred.


Spain


Service charge is typically included in restaurant bills in Spain, and there is no need to leave additional tip. However, if the service is particularly good or you’re feeling generous, you can either round up the bill to the nearest euro, or leave up to 5% tip, preferably in cash.

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Portugal


You might think that tipping etiquette in most European countries doesn’t vary greatly, but the tipping rules in Portugal prove you wrong. When tipping in Portugal, a little bit more cash is required so make sure to have a few extra euros in your pocket.


United Kingdom


In most parts of the country, a service charge is often included, but if not, then a tip is expected. You can leave a 10-15% tip or feel free to simply round up to the nearest pound. Sometimes you will see an ‘optional’ charge added to the bill; if you accept it, then a tip is not required. Also, tipping in a pub is not considered customary.


This guide of tipping rules in different countries will come in handy next time you set off for your trip, and your tipping efforts will be much appreciated wherever your travels take you.