The XV Global Summit of WTTC concluded in Madrid highlighting the importance of Innovation

By NH | 10:49
  • Share on Tumblr

The travel and tourism industry is undergoing a time of rapid evolution, with many opportunities and innovations that need to be taken advantage of. This was the main conclusion of the XV global summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the most important event in the world for the tourism sector. The event took place on the 15th and 16th of April in Madrid and hosted more than a thousand industry professionals including hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, providers, airlines, and expert speakers on the present and future of this sector.

NH Hotel Group was Platinum Sponsor of the event, hosted in Spain for the first time, and we took advantage of this important occasion to share and learn with industry experts.

The session began with a spectacular flamenco performance, followed by a warm welcome from David Scowsill and Michael Frenzel, the CEO and Chairman of WTTC respectively, along with the General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai.

Richard Fenning, CEO of Control Risk, gave us great insight into existing risks in the Travel and Tourism Sector.  He shared his latest studies which show the advantage that we have, given that “the world has never been as safe as it is now”.

Julie Meyer, CEO of Ariadne Capital (a bona fide entrepreneurship guru), spoke about the great opportunities and advantages currently available to startups.

Important figures participated, such as the former President of the European Commission José Manuel Durao Barroso, the President of Banco Santander Ana Botín, and the CEOr of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Tony Tyler.

Durao Barroso highlighted Europe as the most visited destination in the world, and as such should tap into its potential. Botín reminded us that tourism represents 12% of the Spanish economy, generating three million jobs. 

The CEO of the WTTC, David Scowsill, also mentioned the importance of the industry on the global level. It makes up almost 10% of the world economy, and is estimated to grow 3.7% this year.  In the last decade, the tourism sector has become, according to Taleb Rifai, “a cornerstone of social transformation in the world”.

The growing importance of technology in the tourism sector was one of the most highlighted themes at this Summit which played host to CEOs of companies such as Amadeus, Ryanair and Booking.com. The roundtable discussion dedicated to the potential growth of the Travel and Tourism Sector in Europe became, thanks to Michael O’Leary, an entertaining debate about the taxes and politics faced by airlines.

During the second day, taking advantage of the fact that Madrid was the Summit host, there was a discussion about Madrid’s role as a connection between Spain, Latin America and the rest of the world. David Muñoz, chef of the restaurant DiverXo with three Michelin stars which is located in the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding, highlighted that Madrid is “the best city in Europe to enjoy gastronomy, innovation and new trends”. 

Luis Gallego, CEO of Iberia, said that Madrid is “the entry point for Latin America in Europe” and that it has “one of the best airports,” but that it is necessary to consolidate Barajas as a hub that connects Spain and the rest of the world.

NH Hotel Group participated in one of the roundtable discussions that took place to talk about the current situation of hotel chains and the current importance of technology in the sector.

In the words of our CEO, Federico J. González Tejera, hotels are both “services and experiences”. When someone stays at a hotel they want the best products and services. The destination and location can then complete a great experience. 

Federico J. González Tejera also said that “in the hotel industry, there are still many opportunities to innovate and that those innovations create a strong link with our clients”.

 “For NH, technology is fundamental and we are very focused in this area, but the most important thing continues to be knowing what the guests want and what they will want or need. We use technology to respond to this, but without a deep knowledge of the guest’s needs the technology is useless”, said NH’s CEO who participated in the innovation debate along with members of Airbnb, Expedia, Google Travel and Hertz Corporation.

One of WTTC’s best panels was “Social Media- Letting the Outside In”, in which Gary Vaynerchuck, Co-Founder of VaynerMedia, debated with Barney Harford, CEO of Orbitz Worldwide, John O’Sullivan, of Tourism Australia, and Adam Weissenberg of Deloitte, about how businesses should market to their clients, using new Social Media tools to listen to and target their audiences well.

In the end, the two days of intense debate and reflection energized the sector, which is looking towards the future with the intention to continue renovating itself every day to keep setting new goals for offering the best experiences and services to clients. The next Summit? It will take place next year in Dallas, Texas. 

  • Share on Tumblr

The WTTC 15th Global Summit Arrives in Madrid

By NH | 13:32
  • Share on Tumblr

 

On the 15th and 16th of April, Madrid will host the 15th Global Summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in which important business and public relations leaders from the tourism and travel sector will participate. The event takes place annually with the objective of examining the sector at a global level and determining goals for the future. This year’s theme is “Disruption & Reinvention” (see program).

The event will also cover the latest in tourism and travel in Spain, and particularly Madrid. After all, the host country is a leader in international tourism and ranks third for most number of visits. The conferences will take place in IFEMA, the capital’s largest exhibition and conference center, and the gala dinner will be held in the Palacio de Cibeles.

Our CEO, Federico J. González Tejera, will take part in the Summit along with other prestigious speakers such as José Manuel Durão Barroso, (European Commission President 2004-2014), Michael Frenzel (President of the WTTC), Taleb Rifai (General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization), Ana Botín (Delegate Advisor from Santander Bank), Luis Gallego (CEO of Iberia), Emilio Butragueño (Director of Institutional Relations for Real Madrid) and chef David Muñoz, among others. (see complete list here).  

Our Commitment to the Tourism and Travel Sector.

NH Hotel Group is one of the event’s main sponsors. Our hotels NH Collection Eurobuilding and Hesperia Madrid have been appointed as official hotels of the Summit, offering special discounts and offers for attendees.

NH Collection Eurobuilding is considered the best business and leisure hotel in Europe, thanks to its dedication to maximum technological innovation, its eclectic decoration and its extraordinary service, not to mention that it hosts some of the best restaurants in Madrid such as Domo by Roncero&Cabrera, DiverXO (3 Michelin Star) and 99 Sushi Bar.

Hesperia Madrid is located in the middle of Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid’s main artery, in a business and shopping district. This luxurious hotel hosts the restaurant Santceloni, which has been awarded with 2 Michelin Stars. 

NH Hotel Group has a total of 33 hotels in and near Madrid, which are always prepared to host everyone who visits the capital of Spain according to their needs.

The World Travel & Tourism Council

The WTTC is considered the leading authority on the global economic and social contribution of the tourism and travel sectors. Among its strategic priorities are promoting tourism growth policies, reducing procedural restrictions and barriers for business and leisure travelers, and the sustainable development of the sector with big growth predictions in the coming years.

This organization conducts economic research, which examines the direct and indirect impact of tourism on employment, the GDP of countries, and trade and investments. It also studies the impact of politics and policy on the tourism and travel industry. The WTTC also has important industry members, such as directors of the sector’s leading companies, among them the Global CEO of NH Hotel Group.

The WTTC was founded in 1990 in Paris, and one year later celebrated the first global membership meeting in Washington. It was founded in response to a lack of awareness among political leaders of tourism and travel’s importance for factors such as job creation and impact on national economies. Its first president was James Robinson III (Executive Director of American Express) and early on, figures such as Henry Kissinger took a leading role in setting the group’s objectives.

Since then, the WTTC has continued to grow in members and influence. This year the 15th Global Summit will arrive in Madrid. Previous editions focused on topics such as the implications of growing population on the Travel and Tourism industry (2013 Abu Dhabi Summit), or the industry´s capacity to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and preserve cultures and resources for future generations (2014 Hainan Summit).

 

  • Share on Tumblr

Hugh Jackman and Neill Blomkamp: Holograms for a Day

By NH | 12:50
  • Share on Tumblr

Once again, NH has had an extraordinary experience! Our NH Collection Eurobuilding was host to the first holographic press conference in the history of the Cinema. The reason for the conference was none less than the presentation of Chappie, Sony Pictures’ new science fiction project which will premiere in Spain on Friday March 13th.  Well known Australian actor Hugh Jackman (X-Men, The Wolverine) participated in the event as well as Neill Blomkamp (Elysium, District 9), a Canadian director originally from South Africa. This ‘miracle’ was made possible thanks to the Musion holographic telepresence technology, installed in NH Collection Eurobuilding (Madrid) where the public and press gathered and in nhow Berlin where the actor and director of Chappie were located. A gray screen placed on the ground reflected the projected image of the protagonists in 3D, so that they appeared to be present and the attendees could interact with them in real time. 

The presence of  Jackman and Blomkamp’s holograms caused a lot of excitement. The event was covered by important media outlets, among them La Sexta, Antena 3, TVE and Telemadrid. One of the highlights of the press conference was Hugh Jackman being asked if the development of holographic technology would mean that actors would use this system for all future press conferences. The Australian was quick to respond “I’m not going to stop travelling, at least to Spain, because I love it”. Once the event was over, the actors disappeared from the stage as if by magic. 

Even though holographic technology is no longer science fiction, the plot of Chappie still belongs to the genre. In the film, two gangsters, played by members of the South African musical duo Die Antwoord, kidnap Chappie, a robot gifted with artificial intelligence who is able to learn and think for himself. He is the first of his kind and they intend for him to be the last because of the threat that he poses to mankind. Given the technological component of the film, the idea of having the press conference via this unique holographic technology matched perfectly with the plot of the film. 

At NH Hotel Group we are committed to the innovation and development of technology in service of our clients, with the end goal of improving their experience in our hotels. 3D holographic technology has recently been installed and is already present in NH Collection Eurobuilding (Madrid), nhow Berlin and in NH Collection Constanza (Barcelona). In addition, it is being installed in 9 more hotels with the goal of being available for events and business and leisure meetings. Learn more about the application of innovation and technology in our hotels by watching the following video:

 

 

  • Share on Tumblr

NH is committed to art and culture and awards the first NH Collection Contemporary Art Prize in ARCOMadrid.

By NH | 12:38
  • Share on Tumblr

ARCOMadrid, one of the most important international fairs in the art world, has become the center of attention for several days. This year, more than 27,000 professionals have visited the fair at which the country of Colombia was the guest of honor. NH Hotel Group was present at ARCOMadrid thanks to our General Director BU Spain, Hugo Rovira, who presented the first NH Collection Contemporary Art Prize to José Dávila for his work Untitled 2014. The following is part of Hugo Rovira´s presentation: 

“This prize makes up part of NH Hotel’s strong commitment to culture and to art as a vehicle for change and making the difference. It is a project of the company’s responsible artistic patronage which commits to the installment of conceptual and minimalistic art pieces in NH Collection Hotels, our Premium Brand which is present in Europe and Latin America. In this way, the art contributes directly to the extraordinary client experience in these hotels”.
In the following video we will provide a brief summary of ARCOMardrid and show you our Guest Relations space in the stand of our Premium NH Collection brand where the prize-winning piece was displayed. Pay attention! We’re sure you’ll love this piece!

 

 

The judges panel, made up of prestigious collectors of contemporary art, selected José Dávila’s work: Untitled 2014. The Mexican artist has participated in individual and group exhibitions since 1996. His works have been displayed in places such as the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, the Museum of Modern Art in Sâo Paulo and the Bass Museum of Art in Miami.  In Untitled 2014, you can appreciate the turning axes around which Dávila develops his work: architecture and geometry. His work explores the relationship between fact and fiction and between space and time. 

This is not our first commitment to art, as we already have works of art in our hotels from renowned artists such as Javier Mariscal, Agustí Puig and Manolo Valdés, among others. Come and discover them! For example, in the case of Untitled 2014, if you didn’t already see it at the fair and you want to enjoy this work by José Dávila you can see it at our NH Collection Eurobuilding Madrid. 

The next morning, we organized in our NH Collection Eurobuilding in Madrid, a breakfast in honor of the jury and José Dávila, leader and ambassador of visual art in Mexico, to thank them for their cooperation. 

Dávila is a leader in contemporary Latin-American art. As you already know, everyone interprets art, and especially contemporary art, in their own way.  How would you interpret it? Don’t forget to tell us by leaving a comment at the end of this post! 

 

 

 

  • Share on Tumblr

NH Hotel Group, Technological Innovation for Business and Leisure

By NH | 13:08
  • Share on Tumblr

The 35th Edition of the International Tourism Fair (FITUR), which recently closed its doors, had more than 225,000 visitors.

At NH Hotel Group, we wanted to be the perfect host and surprise everyone who visited our stand by showing them our most cutting-edge technological innovation: 3D holographic technology. To do this, we installed a 16 square meter cube in our stand in which we projected different holographic messages featuring employees and friends of the Group, such as TV host Anne Igartiburu, designer Lorenzo Caprile, chef David Muñoz, and the international top model Eugenia Silva.

In addition, this year we were very proud to have the visit of their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Spain in our stand. They were the first to enjoy the 3D holographic technology firsthand with a welcome message from Federico J. González Tejera, CEO of NH Hotel Group.

This technology, permanently installed in our hotels, is part of our innovative technological product High Tech Made Easy, a pioneer in the hotel sector that also offers the next generation SMART Room System™ online videoconferencing system. High Tech Made Easy falls under the umbrella of “NH MEETINGS: inspire. create. enjoy”, NH’s value proposition for meetings and event’ segment. Through this new service for , our group seeks to make the most advanced technologies available to clients, in order to guarantee high performance meetings and impact as well as more personal and efficient conferences. 

This technology, permanently installed in our hotels, is part of our innovative technological product High Tech Made Easy, a pioneer in the hotel sector that also offers the next generation SMART Room System™ online videoconferencing system. High Tech Made Easy falls under the umbrella of “NH MEETINGS: inspire. create. enjoy”, NH’s value proposition for meetings and event’ segment. Through this new service for , our group seeks to make the most advanced technologies available to clients, in order to guarantee high performance meetings and impact as well as more personal and efficient conferences. 

 

 

NH Hotel Group is more than technology…

Over the course of this week of tourism, numerous managers of our company participated in various presentations and round tables featuring FiturTech, FiturGreen, and Fitur Know-How & Export, among others, in which they shared the innovations and projects that the group is carrying out.

Hugo Rovira, General Director of the Spain, Portugal and Andorra business unit, participated in the VII National Business Travel 2015 Conference where he highlighted the importance of commitment to excellence in service.

Our COO, Rufino Pérez, was also present in the FITUR Know How & Export Forum debate about “New Professional Profiles in the Tourism Sector”. He highlighted the company’s internship program for recent graduates and the importance of shared knowledge between consumers and hotel professionals, in order to offer the best service possible.

In the case of FiturGreen, our Environmental & Sustainability Manager, Mónica Chao, spoke about how we use technology to be efficient and thus contribute to the sustainability of our hotels. Our group won the “Rethink Hotel” prize, organized by the German company KNAUF, which recognizes the best global hotel sustainability project.

Alu Rodriguez, SVP IT & Organization, participated in the discussion panel “The New Traveler”, in the context of FiturTech, highlighting the need for collaboration between the IT Department and the Commercial Department in order to better understand consumers and their needs.

NH Collection Eurobuilding played an important role in the speeches of our managers. Pilar Rodríguez, Manager of Construction BU Spain, spoke about remodeling the company’s flagship, highlighting the extraordinary changes made to the hotel over three months of intense remodeling. Likewise, the head chef of NH Collection Eurobuilding, Luis Bartolomé, spoke about the hotel’s organic menus, another step toward offering sustainable gastronomy.

César Gómez, Manager of F&B BU Spain, expressed the commitment of the Group to offer more sustainable hotels to consumers in “Forum 2: The HUB”.

FITUR or How to visit more than 100 countries in five days

We also had the opportunity to visit the 5 continents through the different pavilions of FITUR, featuring the originality of the Portugal stand, which drew the attention of a large number of visitors for its portrait of their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Spain made from corks. Another of the most visited stands was Madrid, held in a football stadium where visitors could virtually test the power of their kick.

In addition, FITUR was the place where Vitoria passed the baton to Cáceres as the Capital of Spanish Gastronomy. To celebrate this recognition, they performed multiple shows and gave tastings of typical products in the Extremadura stand.

We hope to see you at the next edition of FITUR with many more innovations!

 

  • Share on Tumblr

Cork2Cork, NH’s sustainability program that is changing corks into hotels.

By NH | 10:29
  • Share on Tumblr

What is CORK2CORK?

You probably already know that cork is a very useful material that can be used to make many things including wine corks, shoes, surfboards, bulletin boards, coasters… but I bet you didn’t know that it can also be recycled to make coating and insulation that reduce noise pollution and air conditioning needs in buildings, improving their energy efficiency. Since 2011 our hotel chain, in collaboration with the world’s leading insolation and cork producers, Amorim, has been doing exactly this through our CORK2CORK Initiative.

Where do these two tons of natural cork come from?

We have been known for our environmental focus for years. For this reason, each time we uncork a bottle in one of our 77 hotels in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium or Holland we collect the corks to be recycled and reused.
Where do the corks go?
In our CORK2CORK sustainability program, we have collected a total of 1994 Kg of corks which instead of being thrown away, are given a new use. For example, the production of 8,000 m2 of pavement which is equal to the remodeling or construction of more than 300 rooms.

It doesn’t end here…

NH Hotel group has spent years advocating for environmental sustainability. We have focused on reducing CO2 emissions, water and energy consumption, and waste reduction… and we will continue to do this! As Mónica Chao Janeiro, NH Hotel Group Director of Environment and Sustainability, confirms “this initiative was very well received and its fantastic results encourage us to continue researching and implementing projects that promote responsible environmental practices in our work”.

 

 

  • Share on Tumblr

HOTELS WITH A HEART.

By NH | 10:16
  • Share on Tumblr

 

It isn’t often we have such an important reason to celebrate as this one. After the end of 2014, the NH Hotel Group will remember it as the year of the tenth anniversary of our social initiative, Hotels with a Heart. 

This initiative was born in 2004 when we started to work with Menudos Corazones Foundation. Our expectations were formidable and we can’t contain our surprise and excitement now that, one decade later, the program is not only continuing, but is stronger than ever. Now, 10 years of the program, we have collaborated with more than 300 social institutions and hospitals through all of our business units, supporting children with serious illnesses and their low-income families when they need a place to stay away from home.

 

 

In the last ten years, this journey has become a beautiful adventure in solidarity, which we have been committing to, a little more each day. Our hotels and our employees have become, during long days and nights, a second home and a family for many people in difficult and delicate times. For our employees, this has also been an unforgettable experience, as Maria Luz (NH Porta Barcelona) tells us:
“When they explained the project to us, I thought it would be very good to be able to help people in need during difficult times. It makes you feel good to think that your work has a helpful purpose.”

In celebration of our tenth anniversary, Hotels with a Heart program, this year facilitated the largest Christmas giving campaign our company has ever had, taking place in 9 countries with 57 of our hotels participating. We created a moving video based on a true story, explaining what Hotels with a Heart, a project of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy, is about. The results were very positive, with more than 75,000 views on different communication platforms. If you haven’t watched yet, we invite you to!

  • Share on Tumblr

Rome: 5 Things Not to Miss

By NH | 9:59
  • Share on Tumblr

It’s no secret that the Italian capital is a giant open air museum, full of historic images that form part of our DNA. Images that, even without having been there, are carved into our memory.

However, nothing compares to arriving there for the first time. When you visit, the sight of its monuments, the smell of its cuisine, its famous cappuccino, the frenetic noise of the center, and the spirit of the people and the city itself will win you over forever.

In this post, we will talk about 5 things not to miss when you visit the Italian capital, especially if it’s your first time.

1. Visit the Colosseum and imagine what happened in its dungeons.

The Roman Colosseum was inaugurated in the year 80 A.D. with a bloody festival which lasted 100 days and ended the lives of thousands of gladiators. It became an important meeting place in Roman society as it was the largest amphitheater in Rome and could accommodate more than 50,000 people during its battles and executions.

If you are interested in obtaining in-depth knowledge of the Colosseum, go for a guided visit. Be sure to purchase your ticket in advance and select the option to visit the subterranean dungeons. Given its age, you’ll be surprised to find that the colosseum is well preserved despite receiving around 7 million visitors per year.

2. Explore Trastevere and try a gelato.

Trastevere is an enchanting neighborhood to explore. It is outside of the center but very well connected to public transportation. You can get there easily by taking the tram from Plaza Largo di Torre Argentina. Its picturesque streets are filled with trattorias, gelaterias, and small traditional shops selling goods typical of the bohemian neighborhood. Enter the first gelateria you see, choose your favorite flavor, and enjoy this family friendly neighborhood, characterized by its small, winding, cobblestone streets. Of course, don’t forget to visit the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome. Its exterior might not draw much attention, but the interior is sure to make your jaw drop.

3. Battle to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain.

Concealed in the middle of hotels, restaurants, and shops, dating from the mid-1700s is one of the world’s most impressive fountains. La Fontana di Trevi was designed in the Baroque style, is filled with beautiful details and has been the scene of millions of stories both real and fiction. The fountain is currently undergoing restoration which will be finished in 2015 but with or without the construction, La Fontana di Trevi is always surrounded by tourists, so be sure to bring your good sense of humor. Don’t forget to follow the tradition of throwing a coin over your shoulder to ensure your return to Rome!

4. Enjoy Italian Cuisine.

Be sure to try one of Rome’s most popular and unforgettable dishes: Spaghetti Carbonara. We recommend the following restaurants to try the best of the best.
● Hostaria Romana. Via del Boccaccio, 1, 00187 Roma (near la Fontana di Trevi).
● Otello alla Concordia. Via della Croce, 81, 00187 Roma (near Piazza di Spagna).
● Da Danilo. Via Petrarca, 13. Esquilino, Roma (in the Termini área).

Before the spaghetti, don’t forget to order the famous antipasto, a typical Italian appetizer, which may surprise you with something like fiore de zucca.

5. Admire the Sistine Chapel and be part of its history.

Michael Angelo’s frescos are already more than 500 years old and admiring them will be an experience you’ll always remember. The only problem is that you’ll have to crane your neck to see all of the details but it’s worth it!
The artistic work in the Sistine Chapel marks a significant change in the history of art but Michael Angelo would never have guessed that his works, The Final Judgment and The Creation of Adam, would attract millions of people every year.
Access to the chapel is possible through the Vatican Museums, another place that we highly recommend. For this visit, be sure to set aside at least a couple of hours.
Aside from these 5 experiences, there is so much more to see and do in Rome. Rome is an open air museum, or as they would say it: ¡Roma, un museo a cielo aperto!

  • Share on Tumblr

México City: the colorful metropolis

By NH | 9:39
  • Share on Tumblr

Mexico City

 

When you land in México City, the first thing that you see is a metropolis that never ends. This city is plenty of colors, flavors and a vibrant history. Did you know that México City, with a population of more than 22 million people, is the largest Spanish speaking city in the world nowadays?

The best words to describe Mexico City are unique and unexpected. At this surprising city, you will see from Aztec dresses to Mexican hats and typical sweets, informal vendors selling chicken legs in the traffic jam to colorful crafts and souvenirs. But be careful: most of sweets, candies and lollypops are spicy!

Despite the fact that México is mainly known for Cancún or the Rivera Maya, it is also is a frequent connection for business travelers on their way to South America. A good option for accommodation is our NH Aeropuerto T2 México. The hotel is an impressive white and elegant building that offers 287 rooms and is located just 10 minutes away from the Foro Sol or Palacio de los Deportes, and 30 minutes from the beautiful Chapultepec Park and the main History Museum.

The most exciting places to visit are situated in the city center. El Zócalo is one of the biggest squares in the world. In the past, it was also the center of the ancient Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Mexican Empire. The Cathedral was built in the ruins of the main temple. Right next to it, you can see also de National Palace and the City Hall, with a Baroque style, and the National Library. In the middle, there is a big flag with the three colors that characterized the country and the food: Green, White and Red. Closed to El Zócalo, you can find our hotel NH Centro Histórico, with 105 comfortable rooms, gym and a useful service of bikes for rent.

The city also offers another Unesco World Heritage: Xochimilco, one of the best places to enjoy the Mexican culture. The canals of the park are plenty of colorful boats, known as trajineras. Along the canals, there are a lot of restaurants where you can taste the typical Mexican food.

  • Share on Tumblr

Brussels: architectural gems and creative corners

By NH | 13:46
  • Share on Tumblr

Brussels

The capital of a multicultural country and a diverse continent discovers much more than a exquisite square: The Grand Place, a marvelous masterpiece protected as a Unesco Word Heritage. It is the most iconic site of Belgium.

The city’s Town Hall is surrounded by public and private buildings of the 17th century and testifies the success of the city at that time. Every two years in August, an enormous flower carpet of 1.800 square meters is installed there, becoming the main attraction of the city.

But beside the marvelous square, Brussels also offers a complete list of places to go. Few hundred meters from the Grand Place, you can find the famous Manneken pis, the bronce sculpture of a boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. Tourists usually think on a bigger masterpiece, however it is one of the most remarkable sites to see in the surprising old city. 

From there it is easy to go to Mont des Arts where is the Royal Museums of Art and History and the Palais de Beaux Arts – Bozar with wonderful gardens. It is also close to Palace of Justice where you can enjoy beautiful sights of the city in the same area which is located the NH Brussels City Center, at the Avenue Louise, near by to the European Parliament. It is an important residential and commercial neighborhood. 

But Brussels is not only a historical city. The capital of Europe is also the legendary home of the comic book. It is the hometown of Tintin, Astèrix and Obélix and Lucky Luck. The city has a guided tour that includes buildings decorated with cartoons and the Belgian Comic Strip Center where visitors can discover a range of permanent exhibitions, illustrated with original artwork and unique objects.

The city also offers good connections to amazing medieval places as Bruges, an old city where it is easy to feel in a town 500 years ago. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is referred as “The Venice of the North”. The city is also well connected to Antwerp and even Paris where you can go in a 90 minutes trip. 

  • Share on Tumblr