You simply must eat at the fishmonger’s pavement bar, the Mer Du Nord on the corner of Place Sainte Catherine and Rue Sainte Catherine.
It’s perfect for a delicious tapas style seafood lunch particularly if you are on a tight schedule, it’s also excellent value: small glass of Muscadet €2 (we had several).
Check out the fabulous Restaurant Vincent in Rue des Dominicains, where you walk through the kitchen to be seated.
No hidden secrets, the best steaks and the finest moules. Try the steak tartare, if you dare, prepared at your table with the freshest ingredients - and with amazing flair.
Practice your French and hone your ability to out-barter even the most masterly merchant in Europe, at the flea market on Place du Jeu de Balle.
Pick up a priceless rarity you never knew you needed, meet the locals and exhaust your euros surrounded by classic Belgian architecture, the shouts of stallholders and a unique, animated atmosphere.
Of course, when you can haggle no more, you can collapse at a local café with a glass of red and some sumptuous Belgian food.
My tip is to visit the bar La Mort Subite on rue Montagne-aux-Herbes Potagères 7.
This bar has a superb selection of beers, which are reasonably priced, and is frequented by locals rather than being a typical tourist trap.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and it's an ideal place to meet up with friends for a good natter.
If that isn't enough, last time I went there an opera singer started to sing, with the whole bar joining in. Beer, opera and conversation - perfect!
Try the Mappa Mundo bar in the Saint-Gery area of the centre of Brussels (2-6 rue pont de la carpe).
It's a great cosmopolitan bar, with a very nice atmosphere, it's not too expensive, and it serves lots of good Belgian beers (try my favourite... Faro.) and great food.
Plus it has a nice terrace , so it's perfect for warm days!
Avoid the mass produced Belgian "tourist" chocolates and head for the Pierre Marcolini chocolate shop that opened last November on the Place du Grand Sablon.
Pierre Marcolini manufactures his grand cru chocolate himself, using cocoa beans that he selects personally.
He is among the last five craftsmen working this way in Europe. Truly amazing chocolates, pastries, ice creams and sorbets - look out for the chcoclate squares with Earl Grey or Assam tea ganache!
After relaxing on your short, swift ride to Brussels, stay close to the sweeping Avenue Louisa, just a tram or metro ride from the Eurostar Terminus and a short walk from the busy heart of Brussels.
The area has many attractive shops and boutiques - they really know how to dress and window dress! Tucked off the side streets of the Elsene quarter are lively markets, galleries and tree lined squares for coffee and finding unique gifts.
At the far end of Avenue Louisa are grand villas and gardens, lush parks and gardens of Terkamerenbos.
Take your first drink - a coffee or a trappsit beer at the magnificent art nouveau Le Cirio just around the corner from the Bourse metro ( 4 stops from the Gare du Midi).
Have your last drink at Au Laboureur close to the Gare du Midi.
And in between use the CAMRA Good Beer Guide to Belgium by Tim Webb to find your way round Brussels.
Visit Musée du Cacao et du Chocolat. Belgium is renowned for its delicious chocolate, which makes this an essential visit.
The museum tells the story of chocolate, right from its cocoa-based origins, as well as having lots of unexpected things made out of chocolate.
Ever fancied wearing chocolate? Marvel at the chocolate clothing, which means chocolate can now be worn outside the bedroom!
Sample the museum’s delicacy as you explore and you can even take some home with you, with a visit to the shop. It can be found on Rue de la Tête d'Or, Brussels.
Watch the Son et Lumiere show in the Grand Place. Make sure you get there early and take an outside table in one of the bars on the Grand Place,
buy a Belgian speciality fruit beer and savour both the beer and the show.
And when it finishes, take a short walk to Chez Leon (rue des Bouchers) for the speciality of the house - Mussels and Chips - 14 different mussel speciality meals to choose from.
nb Children under 12 accompanied by parents are entitled to a free meal.
If you fancy a day of serious relaxation, and you're not the shy type, head to Grimbergen for a day at the thermal spa.
It's only €19 for the day and has a huge choice of saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis and an open air swimming pool.
The catch is, if you want access to the Aquarius area, which has the pool and the best saunas, you have to be naked. There is a swimsuit section for those who prefer to cover their dignity, but it's kind of liberating, and certainly amusing, to hang out in the buff with the Belgians.
Day trip? You’ve time for architecture and shopping if you take tram 55 towards Bordet, to Beurs, walk past the roman remains and into Grand Place.
Ten minutes from here via the Place des Martyrs, have lunch and marvel at the Art Nouveau masterpiece by Victor Horta the Center of the Comic Strip on Zandstraat.
For a quiet moment away from the normal hustle and bustle, take some time to sit in the Jardin du Petit Sablon (in between the Palais du Justice and the Royal Palace).
It is an oasis of calm next to the Royal School of Music and you can sit in a small garden listening to superb music.
For a great late night jazz bar go to Archiduc at 6 rue Antoine-Dansaert, Bruxelles.
It'll be a hit with anyone who loves Art Deco, cozy drinking holes, live jazz, fab cocktails and an eclectic mix of people enjoying themselves.
Down the south of Brussels about 20 miles away lays lovely town Waterloo, the famous battlefield, where Napoleon was finally defeated by Wellington.
Worthy to climb the Lion Hill or take the guided tour around the spot for five euros (especially the tour mirrors the battlefield spirit). Also maps are only 1.50 euros.
It is best to visit on a Sunday, as that's the day for the famous flea market in Waterloo (next to Careffour supermarket) with antiques and about 300 food stalls.
Waterloo is approachable by train (a return is only three euros on weekend) from central station, or by bus from Brussels.
Bar Paralle - If you fancy something quieter (and friendlier) than Place Saint Boniface go down Chausée d’Ixelles to Bar Paralle (Place Fernand Cocq 27), which has great salads, or to L’Amour Fou (Chaussée d'Ixelles 185) which is a nice restaurant that again tries so hard to be trendy they forget to serve you.
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