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To get a feel for Brussels, Divento recommends starting your day in the city by admiring the Gothic architecture of Grand Place. The guild houses surrounding the square give it a distinctive look with their rich ornamentation, while the grand 15th-century town hall is impressive too. There are lots of little atmospheric cafes in the houses lining the streets to tempt you with the beautiful smell of freshly brewed coffee.
An inseparable part of Brussels' identity is the mysterious Manneken Pis (peeing boy). According to Divento, it is a must-have for a day trip to the heart of Europe. Despite dating back to the end of the 14th century, the boy's story still has many unknowns, but what is certain is that the boy is the best-dressed citizen of Brussels. He has about 900 different outfits in his wardrobe, and a special committee selects his outfits.
Next, bring out your inner Willy Wonka and pay homage to chocolate at Choco-Story in Brussels. Divento can't imagine a day in Brussels without learning about the origin of chocolate - finding out about its history, and watching a live chocolate-making presentation by a chocolate expert.
The highlight of the visit is a live demonstration of a chocolate maker, who will prepare delicious Belgian pralines before your very eyes.
Divento then recommends a shopping spree at the 19th-century Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert, which is one of Divento’s favourite architectural experiences. Under a glass roof, there are over 50 boutiques where you can buy various souvenirs and designer clothes, not forgetting Belgian chocolates.
Once you’ve satisfied your retail needs shopping, try some authentic Belgian waffles at the famous Maison Dandoy bakery and treat yourself to Belgian waffles made in the traditional way.
As you may know, Belgium is home to the best comics. You can read them, watch them in museums, or take a walk along the comic strip trail and admire the colourful murals adorning the walls of Brussels houses. A specially created Divento map will help you find your favourite character.
So Divento suggests you pop into The Museum of Comics, which has original sketches and first editions of cult comic strips. You can see works by famous artists from Belgium and numerous creators from abroad. Permanent exhibitions include an exhibition dedicated to Tintin created by Herge, as well as to the Smurfs and other comic characters.
Divento recommends that you then stop at the exceptional collection of Belgian surrealism painter, Rene Magritte. The Magritte Museum houses over 200 masterpieces by this famous painter and is the largest collection in the world. Among them are paintings, drawings, sculptures and billboards.
At the end of an active day in Brussels, Divento suggests a stop at Brussels' beer mecca - Delirium Cafe which offers more than 2,400 types of beer from all over the world, not forgetting Belgium. In 2004, the bar made it to the Guinness Book of Records, with more than 2004 beers from over 60 countries on sale.
You can choose from Trappist beers, the famous Belgian Abbay, strong brown beers, fruity beers or lighter beers from Belgium and the other parts of the world. And lovers of different flavours will find unusual beers such as chocolate, banana, Coco walnut, spicy, hot pepper, gingerbread, and gluten-free beers.
A definite must-try in the bar is the "beer meter" - a tasting board consisting of 10 beers one metre long. This is an excellent opportunity to taste a selection of traditional Belgian beer in the company of your closest friends.
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