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Brussels after the terrorist threats: as safe as ever

One cannot simply say “no” to Brussels. Think about the rivers of chocolate, endless bottles of aromatic beers, crispy frites which claim to be better than the “French fries” and mouth watering waffles it has to offer. The impressive flux of 3,4 million visitors in 2014 (source: visitbrussels) was, however, dramatically affected in the late of November 2015, when Brussels was under a potential terrorist attack similar to the one in Paris, which registered more than 130 deaths and 380 injured people (source: Paris attack 2015).

In an attempt to protect the citizens and the sojourners trying to have a glimpse at the charms of the city, Brussels raised  the alert level to 4 and enforced the police presence on the streets of the city. In a matter of hours, the European city was labelled as “locked-down” and the Internet was full of tweets supporting or criticising the situation by using the “brusselslockdown” hashtag and pictures of their feline companions:

source: Belgians tweet cat pictures

Whereas the situation has been effectively handled without harms (or reaching the purpose of capturing the suspects), the situation in Brussels was far from coming back to normal in a couple of days. The instinct of survival has automatically intensified within tourists who cancelled their trip to Brussels not only on the short-term, but on the long-term as well, resulting in local hotels and tour operators receiving cancellation requests for their service even 2-3 months in advance. This came as a punch to the tourism sector and cost Brussels thousands of visitors, thus thousands of chocolates on the shelves and multitude of frozen fries waiting for hungry bellies that ceased to appear. At least we know the beer can survive for centuries.

Ever since, Brussels tried to overcome the status of a city “in danger” and the fear of foreigners asking the frequent question “is Brussels safe?”. By far, the most effective campaign is “Call Brussels” which involves public phones connecting people  in Brussels and the rest of the world. The result? Frank and live updates on the situation of Brussels:


The campaign enjoyed more than 12,688 calls on the first 5 days of the initiative meant to reassure travellers around the world that Brussels is safe again. Calls from around 154 countries reached Brussels in an atempt to get up-to-date with the current situation and more than 9 million impressions were created on social media.  And as locals replied “hop on a plane and get to Brussels”/ “We have waffles..and you can’t say no to waffles”, Brussels might become again a ant nest in the near future. Safety above all might not be a good motto when trying to discover the world, so why not replace it “seize the moment?”

Local tour providers are definitely waiting for you with more excitement than ever, and they will make sure you’ll enjoy the trip in a “terror-free” Brussels of chocolate, beer and waffles.

When in doubt, always go for guided tours:




Brussels in a nutshell

Brussels in a nutshell @Brussels all-in discovery tour

The wonders of travel, of a new city to unwrap and the scent of a freshly stamped passport. Name one person who would not drop off their daily responsibilities for a moment of relax. And still, the struggle of preparing the perfect escape is real:

·       Wait, there’s 2 airports? How do I get to the city?

·       Should I be afraid of thieves?

·       Do I tip the bartender?

·       Do they speak English? Body language should do the trick if not

·       Can I drink on the streets?

·       I wonder if there’s any Michelin star restaurant

·       But I’m also interested in cheap souvenirs

·       How do I eat mussels?

·       Will those plates give me stomach ache?

·       I must do something crazy over here, but where?

·       Beers are my thing; can I find a proper one here?


One can explore the nook and cranny of a city that he could find, but Brussels would still be a big hit and miss. Although not comparable in size with Paris or London, Brussels is not exactly an open book when it comes to its highlights. Sure, you all heard about the European Comission, Mannekin Pis or Atonium, but how about the cultural aspects of the city? Would you want to miss that only because Google ranked just 10 activities as a “must-do-in-Brussels”?

This is where local businesses step in and do the extra mile so that you can enjoy activities which are reflective of the city and what it must offer. Imagine you’re in Brussels: you probably want chocolate, beer, fries, waffles and to wander around to see its main attractions. How much time do you plan to spend on your research? Is your budget prepared to taste at least 10 out of the 1300 Belgian beer before finding one on your taste? Would you trust a 3-dollar chocolate box? A friendly recommendation would be to avoid all the headaches by going on a Brussels guided tour, such as Brussels all-in discovery tour. Exactly as the name says, it’s ALL-IN, meaning Belgian chocolate, Belgian beers, Belgian cuisine, Belgian waffles and Belgian frites (which by the way, are way better than the typical French fries).

The activity will start in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Grand Place, surrounded by opulent guildhalls, the city’s Town Hall and la Maison du Roi, which is an incredible to-do on your Brussels highlights list. In your pursue for chocolate and beer, we will guide you to walk right past the big, gaudy shops hopping to rake your tourist dollars and direct you to small places that relish the craft. The magical send-off is even better as you realise that you’re trying some of the best Belgian chocolates in the world in combination with flavoured and delicious Belgian beers.

If you’re intrigued enough by beer and chocolate, wait until you get to serve your specially prepared Belgian lunch, full of small portions of all Brussels specialities: mussels, waterzooi, beef stew, Brussels sprouts, fries and the-best-of-the-best Belgian waffle. A deal breaker if you’re into food and you’re curious about the gastronomical cuisine of the city.

What’s more is that you get to see the entire city centre, the cheeky but major character in the folklore of Brussels Manneken Pis, you will descend upon the antiques market in Place du Grand Sablon and you are guaranteed to be left awestruck with the breath-taking panoramic view of Brussels. This activity is perfect way to learn how to get around and more familiar with the city and by the time it will end, you can already be considered a local with all the “do”s and “don’t”s you will gather.

You can consider Brussels all-in discovery tour as more than a way to pass an afternoon- it will be more like handing out with a group of friends. Do not let your reluctance to organised or group activities steer you way. There’s something for everyone and we will make sure this will be the highlight of your trip in Brussels. Chocolate, beer, waffles, fries, sightseeing and friends; what more can you ask for?