The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels
is a guide to the Brussels that no one knows. It takes you to undiscovered art museums, forgotten squares and secret shops. The aim is to challenge the idea that Brussels is a boring city and to uncover the hidden places that give this city its charm. The book doesn't mention everything there is to see. There are already more than enough guides that cover the familiar tourist places. This book goes one step further and lists the places the author would recommend to friends if they asked him where to go in Brussels. Here you will find the the 5 best places to eat frites, the 5 small museums that no one should miss and the 5 best record shops in town. The aim is to take the reader to the unexpected places that are different in some way from the normal tourist destinations, like the cafeteria on the top floor of the national library, or the metro station that is decorated with 140 characters from Tintin albums, or the art cinema that seats just 20 people. You do not have to do everything listed in the book, but you are urged at the very least to drink a beer in one of the 5 best Brussels bars, eat at one of the 5 best fish restaurants, and visit one of the 5 best small cinemas. If you do, you will begin to discover a city that no one else knows. 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels
offers a practical guide to Brussels' finest places, covering all bases to ensure no visitor to the city is ever anything short of captivated. The 'secrets' are listed thematically and include 60 places for good food, 45 places for a drink, 50 places to shop, 20 places for fashion, 40 buildings to admire, 40 places to discover the world, 25 things to do with children and 60 activities. Derek Blyth
has lived in Brussels for more than 20 years. As a journalist, he has explored almost every corner of the city. He likes to drink coffee at Blomqvists and buy wine at Mig's. He cycles down the Rue de la Paix to buy croissants at Renard and drinks Poperings Homelbier at Les Brassins. Formerly editor of the Brussels English-language weekly The Bulletin,
he has written several books on the Low Countries, including Brussels for Pleasure
and Flemish Cities Explored.
He is co-founder of the discussion forum Café Europa and contributes a regular column on Brussels life to Eurostar's Metropolitan
magazine. In drawing up this list of 500 hidden secrets, the author has taken advice from friends, family, neighbours, Belgian journalists and local historians. He thanks Lucia Cabanova, Nathalie Piana and Anna Blyth for checking out places to go clubbing. He thanks the people of Brussels for creating a city that is like nowhere else.