1. Do NOT drive yourself! Transit is cheap(ish), plentiful and convenient – driving is (VERY!) dangerous and very traffic-y. The road ways are confusing, have a lack of proper signage, and often are not very well maintained. Belgian drivers can be wild. From multiple personal experiences, if I have (finally) learned one thing, it is to take public transit around Belgium! You can read more about our time in Brussels here and here.
2. Plan ahead. As with Amsterdam, Brussels is a place you might need to plan ahead to visit. Being the capital of the EU, full of festivals and celebratory events, and stunning in general, Brussels is often packed with tourists. If you want your choice of affordable, convenient places to stay, you might want to make reservations.
3. Bring a local map detailing side streets. If one could get lost anywhere, it is Brussels. The magnificent streets wind around each other and make absolutely no sense – from a foreign perspective. If you are like me, you enjoy wandering and looking. Sometimes this means lifting my head and not knowing where I am. I have gotten lost on each visit to Brussels – on my second visit I was organized enough to have brought a map that I used to find my way back downtown.
Brussels is a safe friendly city, where the locals generally know how to speak English, and have (at least) a tolerance for tourists. Truly there is not much advice needed for a trip to Brussels – go, have fun, enjoy the wealth of architectural history, try not to get really lost and DON’T DRIVE yourself!