Culture Trip: I really like this app and, like CityMapper, it’s not just for Brussels, so you can take it on your holidays too. Once you’ve chosen your continent, country and town, you’re presented with a menu entitled ‘I Want’. Choose from a range of categories, just one or as many as you like and it’ll fetch articles based on what you requested. It appears to be slightly subjective but it certainly isn’t bland. Besides, I like a little bit of opinion to colour a review. The majority of official apps tend to have an obvious agenda, which is understandable. My one tiny criticism would be that some of the articles are a little bit like clickbait, such as ‘10 reasons you need to see Brussels from a helicopter’ or something equally odd. The information-to-filler ratio is very high, however, and I would heartily recommend it. As far as my personal experience goes, it isn’t constantly trying to coerce you into paying for something either, which is a welcome change.
Brussels Gardens: A slightly misleading title really but a great app. Produced by the city (Brussels Environment), the app gives a unique insight into one of Brussels’ best-kept secrets – its wide variety of parks, gardens and forests. The casual visitor could be forgiven for thinking Brussels was just a city with quirky statues and an unhealthy obsession with waffles but tucked away in every available space is a small park here, a mini forest there. If you’re here for the long haul, or just passing through, this app will surely have something for you. A surprisingly good find and 100% free.
My, but it’s hungry work, all this travel and leisure, isn’t it? There’s a recent flurry of activity on the food delivery scene in Brussels but if I want to go out to eat, like in the old days, I usually turn to:
The Fork: One of the really good things about this is that it’ll search for places by cuisine, by location and other criteria, but, more importantly, by when the restaurant is open. Not a big deal, you might think but in Brussels with its mix of cultures and religions, the ‘standard day off’ simply doesn’t exist. Many a time I have pored over a web search, drooling onto my keyboard, only to find that the place I fancy is shut. The Fork also offer special deals on certain places at certain times, so it keeps you coming back for more. The downside is the review system. It’s owned by TripAdvisor, so the review data really can’t be seen as authoritative. It’s pulled straight from TripAdvisor – a site on which you don’t have to have visited the restaurant in order to provide a review. That said, it’s mostly OK in my experience.
Brussels is a gift that keeps on giving. Hopefully, some of these apps will keep you coming back, or help with your stay.