Expect to Spend: Brussels

Expect to Spend: Brussels - Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is one of the more expensive cities in Europe, but that doesn't mean the hotel rooms and other necessities have to drain your wallet.

Hotel Rates

Across the board, a room in a family-run hotel, B&B, or guesthouse will typically cost a bit less than larger hotels or chains. At most of the bed and breakfasts we review, we found rooms for between €60-80 a night for two people.

If you can splurge, expect to spend a bit over €100 for a larger room or suite in a property filled with amenities like air conditioning and free Wi-fi.

Tip: If your dates are flexible, consider visiting over a weekend when hotel rates drop or during the summer months - considered the low season for hotels in Brussels. Read more about the hotel scene here.


Meal Prices

The best way to dine out in Brussels is to go for the "prix fixe" meals. But, beware: While you can find fixed price meals that cost between €10-18 for three courses plus a drink, restaurants will try to burden you with incidentals (refills on drinks, dessert course, bread charge, water fee, etc.) later. So, watch out for those hidden charges, especially on the touristy Rue des Bouchers.

One of the best prix fixe meals we had was at Chez Leon, a famous Belgian restaurant and a Brussels standby. A meal here-which includes a large, steaming vat of mussels, one beer and a dessert-costs €14.


Some Quick Dining Tips

The mussels in Brussels are really the way to go. They're cheap, prepared quickly, and can be found at locations all over the city. They are also often served with a traditional side of pommes frites (French fries).

Locally produced beer can be pretty inexpensive in Brussels-and it's standard fare for the locals. If you must have wine (party pooper), ask for house wine. It will be the cheapest available-and will probably be quite good.

Also, consider having a stand-up meal (no, they won't ask you to tell jokes). We love "Mer du Nord" across from Ste. Catherine's Cathedral where a bowl of seafood chowder is filling and costs €3.

Bonus tip: Stop by any number of dessert stands for a Belgian waffle on the way home. Anyone hungry yet?

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